Posted on Jul 10, 2015
I hope this reaches you all in the best of health and faith inshallah.
So I sat for a while thinking about what my first blog post should be about…there’s so many topics I could discuss- Ramadan, hijab, islamophobia (the list is truly endless.) But I decided that I wanted to highlight one issue that I notice quite frequently, and that is our inclination to look at the world through a negative lens.
This is not something only the Muslim community does; I think this issue is prevalent throughout the globe. With the way our world works today, news circulates so quickly (thanks to social media) and it's often articles or videos of a horrible tragedy going on in the world - or something mean and hateful, that generates the most traction. When you’re constantly bombarded with things of this nature, it's no wonder the world can seem like such a gruesome place. It's all over our timelines, all of our conversations are riddled with it, and it continues to linger in our thoughts…so…what can we do?
I think it is time we change the narrative. It is time that we highlight the POSITIVES in the world, and bring our attention to all of the wonderful blessings that we have, and inshallah our worldview can get a little bit lighter.
Now I know this is much easier said than done, and it will take a lot of effort from a lot of people, but I put my theory to the test and I know that it works.
Earlier this summer I embarked on a small experiment. After our community was struck with the loss of our 3 beloved winners (May they be in the highest of heavens) in the Chapel Hill Shooting, a very somber tone was set in the months to follow. I really wanted to do something to lighten up the mood, if only for a minute. For a few weeks, with the help of a wonderful friend, I was doing anonymous random acts of kindness for the girls in our community. I never planned to “reveal” myself, because as a popular hadith tells us, “give charity in a way that the right hand does not know what the left hand has spent” (this is a rough translation). So to all of the Raleigh girls that may be reading this, I guess my secret is out :P
The concept was very simple and has been done many times before. Basically, I would think of something nice to give each week and leave it on the doorstep of my friends’ homes. They were small gifts, like personalized letters with a bag of candy, or a flower crown. Took very little time and very little effort, but it felt incredible.
My friend and I would drive around and pass by as many houses as we could in a given time period- she would stop the car and I would dart to their doorstep as fast as I could out of fear of being spotted. Somehow, nobody ever saw us haha. We even had a friend of ours say she looked through hours of security footage to find out who the culprit was, but she didn’t have any luck ;)
The response to this small act was overwhelming and far better than I had hoped for. For the days following, all I could see on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook was kind and genuine posts about these random acts of kindness. It was so heartwarming to see that such a small thing could generate so much positivity and happiness. I can't begin to describe how refreshing it was to see something light-hearted and cheerful circulating on the internet, giving us a break from the usual melancholy attitude we’ve grown so accustomed to seeing.
I learned many valuable lessons from this short experiment, and I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to share them with you.
- There is no greater joy than bringing happiness to another person’s life. In the words of the beloved prophet (S): “Give each other gifts and you will love each other.”
- A little bit goes a long way. We don't need a huge movement or a trending hashtag to make a difference, all it takes is you.
- If you change the frame of mind by which you choose to view the world, it becomes a much brighter place.
Ladies of Haute Hijab, it is time for us to make a change. Since we have entered the last 10 days of the blessed month of Ramadan, there is no better time than right now. I am challenging all of you to take it upon yourselves to make this change happen. Whether it be a random act of kindness, sharing positive articles online, or making some extra duaa tonight. I would love to see what all you wonderful people can come up with, so please comment on this post to show the world what a dedicated group of individuals can do!
May Allah (S) accept all of our efforts, and may he instill a love for each other in our hearts.