Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Foul Smell from Those Mouths

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

اللهم صل على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم

The Foul Smell from Those Mouths
By Nadia Hanim AbdurRahman

The sweet smile was still on her face although harsh words were being thrown on her. She seemed normal with no defects on the outside whatsoever. That’s what I thought. “It’s the brain that spoils her outer decent sweet looks. Don’t be easily deceived by that”, said a friend. “Deceiving me on what?” I asked. This girl was a hot topic among the friends. She’s not considered as one of us for she never joins us. Not that she didn’t want to but the friends didn’t dare to befriend her. “She’s pure crazy. Observe her for yourself and you’ll understand what I mean”, said another friend and I believed her. I too didn’t want to be associated with someone crazy and felt safer in this circle of friends. I was new to this place and I didn’t want to be left alone with no friends.

It has been only a month since I first arrived in this new environment where I’ll be seeking knowledge in a total different condition. Within this short period of time, I’ve managed to blend in myself with the friends. It’s not at all difficult to do so. Just mixed around and joined in their topic of interest by showing your attentiveness towards it. With them were various topics, from general knowledge to personal information. In our meetings, we would talk and the interaction bonded the friends. I was already part of the friends.

“Hey girls, I saw mad-smiley doing it yesterday. I think it’s like what you all saw. At last I got to witness it with my own eyes. It was scary. I am confident that she has some loose screws up that head”, said one of the friends laughing. Others joined in the laughter upon hearing the latest news on mad-smiley, the name which they had given the crazy girl. The friends were together again, talking and laughing. At present mad-smiley has been their best topic. They would exchange stories about her and make jokes on her. It was said that mad-smiley always smile but seldom talk. “She does talk but to no one. Nobody is near her but her lips keep on moving and miming words, which never vibrate any sound waves. When asked to whom is she talking to, she will only smile. At times, she will be seen crying while her lips are still moving. That’s what I saw yesterday, for the first time. Its hard to make out what sentence is she trying to form. Its like she’s in her own world”, said the same friend again. “I think she is from another planet and people on her planet speaks the way she does, just by moving their lips without sound”, said another friend, making a jest out of mad-smiley. We laughed again and continued.

That day, we were having discussions among all the students. We discussed on strong and serious topics. Together we brainstormed to find solutions for problems, which the communities particularly in our country are facing. “The Muslim youth in our country is at a breaking point. Their behaviors are worsening and they have been influenced by indecent cultures and lifestyles. It is our responsibility to nurture these generations with what we have learned here so as to safe them from blindness”, began a friend with much charisma. Soon, others joined her with their own convincing statements. The topic was interesting and the students kept on interacting and giving out ideas. The friends were very impressive themselves, giving out bombastic statements. These are the future dynamic nurturers and all of them talked and presented themselves confidently. “I doubt that we are ready to take up the responsibility. They are blind but we too are no different from them. We are also blind. How can a blind help a blind out of the darkness?” an unfamiliar voice could be heard in the midst of their hot discussion. Everyone was in silence upon hearing that. They were now staring at the person who has voiced out suddenly from the far end of a corner.

Surprisingly, she was mad-smiley. Mad-smiley stood up and continued, “I apologize for interrupting and I have no intention to take over this discussion. I am standing here in front of these great future nurturers to remind myself as well as all of you. This is my first responsibility before taking up greater responsibilities in the future. In The Name of Allah The Most Gracious The Most Merciful. All Praise to Him for giving us the opportunity to gather in a good state and InsyaAllah in His redha. This is one of His uncountable Ni’mat bestowed upon us. Allah has created us in the best form. We can talk, discuss and giving out ideas at this moment for we have mouths and brains. The problem is that, we are so proud of what we can do with those mouths and brains that we tend to over exceed in using them. We talk and talk until we over exceed in talking without us realizing it and that is how ghibah, fitnah, kizb and kalam fadhi come about. With our brains, we think of solutions for so many problems faced by other people but what about ourselves? Do we ever think of finding solutions for our own shortcomings? Especially in getting rid of the foul smell from those mouths made by ghibah, fitnah, kizb and kalam fadhi. With this, I am reminding myself and all of you to repent before asking others to repent. May Allah’s Redha and Rahmah be blessed upon us and May He forgive us and guide us to the light. Again, I apologize”. Mad-smiley ended her speech with a doa for everybody and returned to her seating position with a smile.

Nobody felt like speaking afterwards. They started to ponder. I could see the expressions of guilt from the friends’ faces. They began to realize their mistakes. I turned to look at Mad-smiley and wondered, “How could she be crazy if she could speak up in that manner?” That was the first time I heard her voice. She had spoken in a relaxed tone and posture but her words were somewhat true. I decided to confront her later but first, I have to know her name. I was so ashamed of myself for calling her names like mad-smiley and crazy girl instead of finding out her real name. “Her name is Balqis”, said somebody, answering to my question.

“Assalamu’alaikum Balqis? I’m Faqirah in first year Usuluddin”. “Wa’alaikumussalam Warahmatullah”, Balqis answered my salam with her usual sweet smile. She kept quiet, leaving me feeling awkward. “What year and in what course are you in?” I was trying hard to start a nice conversation with her. “In the final year Usuluddin InsyaAllah”. A very brief answer from her. She smiled again and her lips began to move. I assumed that she wanted to say something and so, I positioned my ears nearer but nothing came out from her mouth. The friends have been mentioning about this and now, I was experiencing it myself. I didn’t want to jump to conclusion like the friends did by saying that Balqis was crazy just because her lips moved without words. “Excuse me Balqis, if I ask you something regarding yourself, will you answer? I asked. “InsyaAllah”, that’s all she said. I continued with the question which has been loitering in my head, “Are you talking to yourself every now and then?. “What makes you think so?” asked Balqis smilingly. “Well, you’re lips are always moving but you are not talking to anybody. So, I just assume. I’m sorry for thinking that way”, I said frankly.

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: من كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فليقل خيرا أو ليصمت
The Messenger of Allah –PBUH said: (Whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak what is good or keep silent).

Balqis read me this hadith which all of us have heard of and learned before but rarely put into practice. Na’uzubillahi min ghadabillah. She then said, “this tongue which is in each and every mouth has the ability to drag us to the hellfire. The hadith from our beloved Prophet has taught us clearly on how to control the tongue. It looks easy but rarely we practice silence should there be nothing good to say and to talk about. We will start to talk and follow our nafs until the conversation becomes ghibah and worst still, fitnah when we start making up stories on other people. We do aware that in the quran has been mentioned that fitnah is worst than killing but people just love to make up stories so that they can win over other people’s attentions to their stories. wal’iyazu billah. These fitnah, ghibah, kizb and kalam fadhi bring forth foul smell from the mouth. The Malaikat will stand hundreds of yards away when jotting down the deeds prior to the foul smell. As was told, Saiyidina Abu Bakar Assiddiq RadiAllahu ‘anhu had been seen putting a small pebble in his mouth and when wanting to talk, he would think first and only if its necessary to have that conversation would he then brought out the pebble from his tongue and mouth. Subhanallah!”, Balqis cried as she finished her story and her lips began moving again. I waited silently for her to cease crying. So, this was what the friends had been mentioning about. She cried while her lips were moving and they thought she was crazy. I doubt so although I didn’t get the answer for my question on why were her lips moving. Eventually she ceased crying and continued with a verse from the quran and a hadith qudsi.

قال الله تعالى: الذين آمنوا وتطمئن قلوبهم بذكر الله* ألا بذكر الله تطمئن القلوب
(Those who believed and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah. verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest).
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: يقول ربكم تبارك وتعالى: يا بن آدم تفرغ لعبادتي أملأ قلبك غني, واملأيديك رزقا. يا بن آدملا تباعد مني فأملأ قلبك فقرا وأملأ يديك شغلا
(The Messenger of Allah-PBUH said, Your Lord, Blessed and Glorified be He says: O son of Adam, devote yourself to worshiping Me and I shall fill your heart with contentment and your hands with provision. O son of Adam, do not go away from Me for if you do, I shall fill your heart with poverty and your hands with occupation).

“I’ve been yearning for peace in this heart. By remembering Allah will I find that peace. In order to remember Him, I chose to mention Him and by busying myself with mentioning Him will make me not opting to talk unless necessary like the speech which I had given previously”. Explained Balqis in her soft voice. She looked straight at my eyes and smiled her sweet smile, “You need not worry my dear sister. You can be rest assured that I am just as normal as all of you. Only that my lips move in response to my heart which has Allah remembered and mentioned in it. Cleanse your heart first and InsyaAllah you’ll find your acts in par with the purity of the heart. It needs mujahadah and lots of doa. Keep us also in your doa”.
اللهم حققنا بمعنى السير إليك وأعنا على أنفسنا بالتقوى واجعلنا من أهل الصدق معك يا عالم السر والنجوى.اللهم اسلك بنا مسالك الأحباب واجعلنا من أهل الاقتراب.لا تحرمنا خير ما عندك لشر ما عندنا يا أرحم الراحمين.
Balqis ended our conversation with this doa. “I forgive all that has bad-talked me”, she said smilingly and walked away.

“Faqirah’s been talking to mad-smiley. What did she say to you? We never thought that she could voice out like that. We were wrong about her weren’t we?”, said the friends in guilt after realizing their mistakes.

“Yes, we were very wrong. Balqis has forgiven us. We have to repent and May Allah accept our repentance and forgive us too. He is The Most Merciful. We couldn’t let the foul smell stays in our mouths. Cleansing them begins from these hearts”. Faqirah touched her heart which is now yearning for Allah’s Redha.

يا إلهنا أنت مقصودنا ورضاك مطلوبنا فاحفظ ونوّر قلوبنا وألسنتنا حتى لا نظلم ولا نؤذي إخوةنا بها

بقلم الفقيرة الى الله راجية لمغفرته ورحمته
نادية هانم بنت عبدالرحمن
جامعة الأزهر بالمنصورة