How being cheerful is continuing the miracle of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him)
The Character of The Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon Him)
Praying for the best character
One of the opening supplications in Salah before reciting Al-Fatiha is:
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنِي لأَحْسَنِ الأَعْمَالِ وَأَحْسَنِ الأَخْلاَقِ لاَ يَهْدِي لأَحْسَنِهَا إِلاَّ أَنْتَ وَقِنِي سَيِّئَ الأَعْمَالِ وَسَيِّئَ الأَخْلاَقِ لاَ يَقِي سَيِّئَهَا إِلاَّ أَنْتَ ” . رواه النَّسائي
O Allah, guide me to the best of deeds and the best of character, for none can guide to the best of them but You. And protect me from bad deeds and bad character, for none can protect against them but You. (Nasa’i)
The Prophet (peace be on him) was continuously asking for this in every salah. If you multiply this dua by the number of times the Prophet (peace be on him) prayed it would be considerable. In every salah he made this supplication, and He was Rasululallah. He was teaching his ummah that to be the best if you have the best character.
In another hadith, which is one of my favourites the Prophet (peace be on him) said:
‘You cannot accommodate everyone with your wealth and your money, i.e. (no matter how much money you have. You can’t always win people over or please them with money), but you can accommodate them with two things. A cheerful face and a good character. (Al-Bazzar).
In the Lebanese colloquial proverb, we have a similar saying:
‘Meet me with a cheerful face and don’t invite me to dinner with a frown’. i.e. the cheerful face is more pleasing to me than your dinner without the warm welcome.
This is a similar principle in HR. Those who are in the front office, meeting the public and clients have to have the right persona. Not everyone can be in the front office. As in medicine, paediatricians need to be friendly so they can work with children. A harsh mannered or angry person cannot carry out the role well.
In the year 8 and 9 Hijra, the Prophet (peace be on him) used to send delegates to different leaders of different countries and cities and he would choose these people very carefully. He would select the most eloquent, well presented, cheerful ones. He always chose the right person for the right job. It couldn’t be simply the person with the most taqwa. Personality and presentation are more important in this position. People can’t warm to someone with a serious demeanour. They would be better suited to the front of the battlefield.
Real happiness emanates from a heart that is connected to Allah
There are many times someone will make your day with a cheerful face. Just a smile from someone can brighten your day and help you feel positive about the day. On the contrary if you see someone with a frown on his face, it fills you with negativity. The gestures of the face can have a great deal of impact on us. We are sensitive creatures and the smallest things can affect our mood.
The Prophet (peace be on him) always had a smile on his face, kana Sal Allahu alayhi wasalam, daimal bishr. His smile was a reflection of his internal status. Of genuine peace and tranquility. Such cheerfulness cannot be faked. How do we get this peace and tranquililty? From being in a state of dhikr (remembrance) of Allah Almighty.
لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
You have an excellent example in the Messenger of God; for anyone who seeks God and the Last Day, and remembers God frequently. (3:21)
Thus the Prophet (peace be on him) remembered Allah Almighty all the time, from waking to sleeping. He would begin the day with the dua:
All praise is for Allah who gave us life after having taken it from us and unto Him is the resurrection. (Bukhari and Muslim)
Feeling true gratitude
He started the day by feeling gratitude towards Allah Almighty who grants life after death (by returning the souls to our bodies on waking). The moment we open our eyes we too should remember the akhirah. It is one thing to say I believe in the Last Day because it is an article of imaan while but living in a state of ghafla (distraction) and another to actually seek Allah and be mindful of Him during the day as you carry out your business, your class or your chores. Your focus is the akhirah and Allah Almighty is the core of your day. It does not mean that you stay on your prayer mat all day, but it means that you are not agitated by the concerns of the dunya.
Aisha said the Prophet (peace be on him) remembered Allah Almighty all the time. He did not disconnect from Allah Almighty when his salah finished. His smile was therefore a smile of true satisfaction and gratitude towards Allah Almighty for His favours. We are enveloped by inward and outward favours. If we appreciate these we would feel satisfaction too. Switch your app to gratitude mode, not moaning mode. Thank Allah Almighty for obvious and hidden favours.
The Prophet (peace be on him) made dua throughout the day, waking, dressing, entering the toilet, and exiting. If you begin to incorporate these in your day you will feel the benefit. Download and recite his adkhar – before salah, after salah etc. No matter how busy you are, if you recite these with sincerity, believe me it will change the course of your day. You will feel the tranquility. When you have tranquility inside you will not argue with your spouse, or shout at your employees. You will notice the difference.
How the miracle of Muhammad (peace be on him) lives on
Whenever we talk about the Prophet (peace be on him), his character is the main thing we associate with him. When we reflect that when Allah Almighty mentions Musa (peace be on him), he mentions his miracles . When Allah Almighty mentions Suleiman (peace be on him) he mentions his miracles. When Allah Almighty mentions Eesa (peace be on him) He mentions his many miracles. But when Allah Almighty mentions Muhammed (peace be on him), it’s not the miracles of Muhammed (peace be on him) He focuses on, though he did have many, but He focuses on his character. His miracle was his character.
All the miracles of the previous messengers ceased to exist after they passed away. However character transcends time. The ummah of the Prophet (peace be on him) carry the good character of their Prophet (peace be on him). Everyone who follows their Prophet (peace be on him) in the right manner is part of this ongoing miracle of his character. It is no wonder Islam spread across many countries without wars and invasions. It was spread through the good character of the people. The good character of the merchants, businessmen who were doing business with the people in different countries. Their hearts rather than their countries were invaded by Islam. The Muslims were able to communicate with people with cheerful faces, with fairness, justice and goodness.
Talk by Shaykh Haytham Tamim delivered at the Youth Circle on 31st October 2019. Transcribed by Uzma Kareem
July 30, 2021
Ghazali’s 20 rules for dealing with people. Rules 19-20 Avoid the people of ghaflah and the rights of Muslims.
July 30, 2021