While re-looking through my notes in preparation for class next week, this passage from "The Forty Rules of Love" inspired me. As a background, this was the time when Shams first arrived in Konya to meet Rumi. On the way, he perchance upon a peasant who gave him a way of passage and spoke highly of Rumi. It is worthwhile to quote the passage verbatim et literatim here, as follows:
*startquote* Shams asked:"Tell me, what is so special about about Rumi's sermons?"
The peasant fell quiet and squinted into the vast horizon for a while. His mind seemed to be everywhere and nowhere. Then he said: "I come from a village that has had its fair share of hardships. First the famine, then the Mongols. They burned and plundered every village in their way. But what they did in the big cities was even worse. They captured Erzurum, Sivas, and Kayseri and massacred the entire male population, taking the women with them. I myself have not lost a loved one or my house. But I did lose something. I lost my joy."
"What's that got to do with Rumi?" I asked.
Dropping his gaze back to his ox, the peasant murmured tonelessly, "Everyone says if you listen to Rumi preach, your sadness will be cured." *endquote*
Islam come into this world to provide Hope for mankind. Its message is beautiful and uplifting, its teachings are simple and direct, its ways are inspiring and enabling, and it is manifested by prophets who are noble and charismatic. Muslims, as Allah's khalifas, must demonstrate and embody these foundational characteristics of their Faith, to the best of their abilities. They do so through their deeds, their speech, their writings, their WhatsApp, their Facebook or Twitter entries - and the opportunities are endless.
Our Beloved Prophet (s.a.w.) said in a hadith: "On every person's joints or small bones, there is (an opportunity for) charity, for every day that the sun rises." [Bukhari & Muslim] Giving happiness and joy to others, helping them see things with a positive outlook, uplifting their spirits, encouraging them to carry on living - are all manifestations of charity.
I am convinced that by cheering someone else, we are in fact embellishing and planting the seeds of happiness for our own famished souls. If someone is happier today because of you, then you have lived a fruitful day.
Make someone happy today, and by the Grace of The Almighty, you will be happy tomorrow.