Tabassum was busy preparing breakfast for her husband Firoz. He hardly shows any change in attitude on seeing hot paratas; gulps them as he reads morning paper; says salam and leaves to office. Tabassum replies walikumsalam habitually as Firoz shuts the door. It was just a year since they got married. She thought, how blessed she was to be married to humble Firoz. Seven years back her father had died in an accident. She was grief struck for days. Her mother seemed lost. Life seemed to change so much since. No one seemed to like her anymore! Relatives seemed happier to visit other rich relatives. Friends! Hardly can they be called friend. She had embraced her loneliness and learnt to be as independent as a girl her age possibly can be. Having Firoz as “her hubby” was something she cherished. “Someone there just for me. Someone I can trust. My blessing indeed” , she thought. “Why is he so silent? Men are. Couldn’t he have complemented those parathas? May be he was busy. He is so used to tasty food. If only he had smiled, his salam would have been better. I know – he was busy. Wasn’t he so for the past few months? Ummm something is missing. Ah! We are not newlyweds anymore.” Having finished her chores she casually switches on laptop with hope of seeing her mom on skype. “Sweety, Soon it will be month of zul haj. Do you remember dear your dad used to feed orphans this month? I am going to withdraw from account for the same purpose. I can’t chat today. Take care.” pops the message. Tabassum thinks, “I should also give charity on my father’s behalf. Yah Allah grant my dad high levels of paradise. Ameen. Mom is feeding orphans, what else can I do? Let me browse to find.” She types words “HADITH different CHARITY” on her search engine casually. She scans through the results in one of the site. she reads through headings: DON’T DELAY GIVING IN CHARITY THE IMPORTANCE OF CHARITY EVERY MUSLIM MUST GIVE IN CHARITY SMILING IS CHARITY “???????!!!!!!…. must read that.” Abu Dharr narrated that the Messenger of Allah said : “Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, commanding good and forbidding evil is charity, your giving directions to a man lost in the land is charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity for you.” – Jami` at-Tirmidhi,
“Smiling is a charity!!! It has been stated in hadith even before enjoining good!? Why?
I like seeing Firoz smile.” Firoz’s pleasant smiling face pops in her head. How he had smiled when he had come to see her after nikkah!! It was so warm and comforting. It had melted her fears away. What an effect it had on her! No one ever looked more easily approachable than him. And how she stared back at him controlling her smile, trying level best to hide what she felt. She wondered, “Why didn’t I smile back? When did I last smile at him properly?” She just couldn’t remember she was just doing things for him on time. That’s no excuse to smile so less. She hated to question this but inevitably question pops in her head, “when did I last smile at anyone properly?!” Now with tears in her eyes she wonders, “When I don’t even bother to smile, how could I expect people to be nice to me?” She remembered though silent how she used to smile in her school days prior to her father’s death. Ah! Back then girls just wanted to be around her. And later she had built an iron fort around her. “Why? Was it to defend myself from pain of loss? But alas, all I managed to do is keep happiness at bay. My loneliness is fruit of my isolation. I clung to the incident of my father’s death all this years.” She remembered how happy her father made her. “I should have associated Abba with these memories and not to his death. May be that’s why my relatives started avoiding us. Abba was always nice to them and would have expected me to nice them too. My poor Firoz, I’m afraid I’m slowly distancing myself from him too. I hope we find peace in one another. “Our Lord, grant us from among our spouses and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.”(Quran 25:74)” She was lost in her thoughts. She heard zuhar azan “Yah Allah there is so much to do.” She does wudu and performs salah. In sujood she asks seeks Allah’s forgiveness for her shortcoming and asks Allah to help her improve her life for better. “Yah Rahman(Most Gracious), I had been ignorant; Ignorant of seeing the love and blessings You have blessed me with, and incapable of sharing love. I had been over precautious to save myself from a broken heart. I am afraid due to this I had been rude and disassociated with people. Yah Wadood (Loving) I had forgotten that You are there to take care of me when I fall. Still You have always been Kind and Patient with me. Forgive me yah Allah – Help me be nice to my Hubby and my Relatives. Help me overlook people’s fault. May each and every smile on my face be a means to please You and a step towards improvement. Ameen.” Firoz would soon be there for lunch and she was working fast. Few minutes later, she hears a ring. Tabassum opens door and greets with a big smile,”Assalam Alikum wa Rahmathullahi wa barakathahu.” Firoz with even bigger smile just stares for few seconds. Then “Walikum Salam wa rahamathullahi wa barakatha hu. You seem very happy today. Did you cook me a feast?” “Sorry dear just lemon rice with boiled eggs.” “If that could make you so happy, that’s all I would love to eat for many more days.” Whole day, things seem to look brighter. Within a week, she had befriended a neighbor; received reply calls from relatives she had called up. She thought, “My Abba would have been proud of me. All my relatives will make dua for him seeing how well he has brought me up. Insha Allah I’ll always be good to them.” Now Feroz spoke so much more too! She felt liberated like never before. Just like charity, smile cleansed her and eased her path to do good. Who knew a small SMILE could make so much difference? ADD SMILE TO SWEETEN YOUR LIFE TOO. (But ladies don’t smile at non mahrams)