I’m sort of short. I was more than ‘sort of short’ during my childhood. I don’t really mind. Fine, so maybe not reaching the top shelf without climbing onto something (*nervous laughter and sideward glance at my dad* whaaat, no, I don’t use my cupboard shelves as a ladder) can be bothersome at times. But I can deal with that. The thing that does get real old real quick is hearing “Dynamite comes in small packages” all the time. Especially since it’s from you i-don’t- really- notice-if-i-grow-another-centimetre people. Kick a guy while he’s down, why don’t you?
Ironically, said statement is the basis of my post. However, my mention refers to the act of smiling. That little curve of the mouth and wrinkling of the eyes have a greater impact than you would think on those around you, notwithstanding the psychologist advantage it holds for yourself.
Smiling lowers the heart rate and temporarily reduces blood pressure. It reduces stress by releasing endorphins that naturally diminish stress and pain hormones simultaneously putting you in a better mood. Smiling boosts the immune system by relaxing the body and allowing the immune system to react more quickly and effectively to invaders. Smiling has also been shown to increase productivity.
Nabi [S.A.W] said: “Do not abuse anyone, do not look down upon any good work, and when you speak to your brother, show him a cheerful face.” [Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith 1889]
The beautiful nature of smiling is that it is contagious. Sunnah isn’t only associated to clothes and a long beard. Unfortunately, many of us forget smiling is Sunnah. I mean, wait till the media hears about how we follow a religion that encourages smiling. “They do it to intimidate us!” *sigh*
To clarify, I’m going to remind you to be careful who you stretch your lips at. And I’m not just referring to every Taufeeq, Danyaal and Hanzalah (DON’T!). Because you also have to watch out for the old aunties. One smile, and before you know it you’re nodding along, going “Jee, I am 18. 23 year old grandson? Oh, he’s completed with his studies? And he’s a Haafiz? Masha-Allah”. I’m kidding. You just have to keep smiling, and wait it out quietly. You started it by smiling at her too much. Good Luck.
The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) is reported to have said: “Your smile for your brother is charity.”
The essence of charity is to give, and when you smile at another person, it is as though you are giving to them good will or affection. The nature or the restricted meaning of charity is that it divides people into wealthy people who can give and those who receive. Smiling, on the flip side, is free and can be bestowed on anybody (Remember: Taufeeq, Danyaal, and Hanzalah don’t make the cut).
Jarir ibn Abdullah (R.A) said, “The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) never refused me permission to see him since I embraced Islam and never looked at me except with a smile (on his face).”
Strange fact- Everybody knows the Mona Lisa, right? And we all try to figure out exactly why that portrait is quite so famous. Nobody really knows. However, one of the possible solutions is the detail of her having a unique smile. Somehow, I expected more out of that story, but hey, you take what you get.
Remember, you take one step towards Allah, Allah takes ten steps towards you.
May Allah protect us all and grant us the ability to overcome our Nafs.
Love and Duas,