Heart Soul – Episode 24
Channel: Lauren Booth
File Size: 18.83MB
Welcome to out and soul with me Lauren booth, your place to reflect. Joining me today is Elizabeth wood PR and marketing coordinator at Qatar Foundation's pre university education office. Elizabeth is a life coach for ladies in Qatar, hosting regular sessions on personal development and well being. Peace and blessings be upon you, Elizabeth family can learn while it can Salaam. Our subject today are the manners and the rights of society and loved ones in the Islamic narrative. Now, the way we live with one another, shapes our entire concept of what it is to get through the day. In the modern narrative, we want to either give away our time save time, we're rushing from place to place,
and we forget our manners. How would that be different if the Islamic narrative was really to come to the fore? Well, as you know, Lauren, in all walks of life and cultures and religions all over the world. There are beautiful manners that are we're talking today about the rights of society and loved ones from the Islamic viewpoint. So how would our daily lives be changed? If we interacted with
the manners of the Prophet Muhammad peace upon him? Okay, so Lauren, as a Muslim, we're taught to
have wonderful manners from the moment that we will wake up until the moment that we go to bed. So no, no good deed, even as small as it may seem, or as little as it may seem, goes unrewarded, so to speak. So if your intention is to wake up with a positive vibe and outlook, it's very likely that your day will go smoothly. And there are so many
non Muslim practices out there that
also use the Islamic narrative. But don't necessarily know that this is an Islamic practice as well. It's from the Sunnah, the ways and teachings and etiquettes of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. So as Muslims, what we can do is from the moment we wake up, we can say our daily, we call them daily supplications, or daily reflections about how positive we want to be in our lives, as well as giving thanks and gratitude. And at the same time, how we interact with others around us, whether it be the the bellboy that we meet first thing in the morning, or the people on the street, who he allowed to go in front of us, in the in the traffic or whatever, that's considered a good deed for
Muslims. So imagine we implemented all of that in our life in our lives. For 24 hours of the day, I think that we will be on track. The Prophet peace upon him said, God has sent me to perfect good manners and good deeds. Good manners, is how we treat one another how we speak to one another. Even the tone of the voice matters, isn't that right? Yeah, absolutely. Because you can have someone who's not really selling it, right. You might have someone who's had a really bad day. And they're saying good morning, but they don't actually mean it. So what we're supposed to do is why don't we embody that? Why don't we embrace the way that we speak to others, even if we're having a bad day,
we can turn it around with
you know, a higher level of energy. Whatever you've got going on in your life, if it's somewhat negative, you put it behind you and you greet your, your colleague or your sister or whoever, and you say, Good morning, and you really mean it. That's also considered positive energy and good manners. You know, it's not even having a bad day, if you're if you're having a bad day. And you've had some catastrophe that's extremely hard to overcome that that's a an exceptional situation. And what most of us are struggling with, is just being busy, and having things glued to our hands that are screens that we look at. And when we perhaps order something in a shop, or we walk past somebody
at a reception, we're actually looking at the screen and not at them. Does Islam have anything to say about how we should you know, have those even minor interactions? Well, yes, in fact, you can relate it back to one of the beautiful etiquettes of the Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, whereby when he would talk to someone and give them their Give, give
When Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him would talk to someone who would give them his full, entire attention. So one of the body language etiquettes, in fact, which is from an Islamic viewpoint, is that he would make sure that his shoulders were square on to the person in front of them in front of him who he's talking to. And nowadays, sadly, we we all fall prey to ignoring the person that we're talking to, by, as you said, maybe looking down at our phones or not, or not facing them square, with our shoulders facing their shoulders, and it eye contact, and so on. So maybe that is something that we can implement in our lives just to be more polite, and encourage etiquette between our
fellow colleagues, brothers, sisters, whoever it is that we're talking to, I noticed that I used to sit with my right leg crossed over my left leg. And this would mean a lot of times that the person on my left would be looking at the underneath of my right shoe, which is maybe not the best view to have all the time. And we know in the Arab culture and understanding that the bottom of the foot, you really shouldn't have it showing. But for all of us, we do notice when people are, if you cross your arms, it closes off what what other people or other cultures understand is energy positivity, and facing each other is really important. What are the etiquettes to the Prophet peace be upon him
teach, which obviously can be transferred to the modern day, one of the things that I find really beautiful, in fact is how Islam encourages us to be very benevolent to our neighbors. And
we've lost that sense, even in the Western society. Sadly, nowadays, we've lost that sense of connecting with our neighbors, because many of us don't actually know them, or someone moves in or someone moves out. And in the in the olden days, he could say, you used to know everyone in your street. And it's just I don't know if it's the modern day, civilization that has taken over this beautiful etiquette, but it's actually an Islamic practice whereby
named neighbors have the rights upon us. And that's quite interesting to say, because one might say, well, how does my neighbor who I don't even know have a right over me? Well, from an Islamic point of view, and what Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him used to teach was that every neighbor within I think it's 40 doors from your actual House have a right upon you to be comfortable. That seems a lot. It does. Yeah, it does. But can you you can imagine that in those days, it will be large communities, neighborhoods of people, but then again, that means you have a responsibility to know who's in your community who's loving, who's not eating, for example. So one of one of the beautiful
ahadeeth was that problem hermosos lm said,
the one who has not from me is the one who goes to sleep contentedly, knowing that their neighbor is hungry, let's just take a moment to, to take that a step by step, if you're going to sleep at night. And your last thought, as many of us, God forgive us is probably about work, not even about family, about issues relating to money, or what we want or about stuff, or about ourselves. Try to remove that. Try to give yourself some space. When you lie down, to think about other people's problems around the world. How are they doing? Pray for them, ask for them. Put yourself in a situation of peace, where you appreciate what you've had during that day. And your sleep will be more peaceful
and you will wake up God Willing as a, with a more caring heart. I mean, these are things that purify how our heart works, which then affect our limbs and our interactions. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, one of the most beautiful things I can, I can recall is not only to be good to your neighbor necessarily to go over and ask how they're doing or just be polite, or maybe send them a small, very small gift as a as a token of, Hey, I'm here. If you need anything you can come over. It's also the hospitality of serving your guests and welcoming your guests. One of one of the beautiful Hadeeth that I love is the Prophet Mohammed, Salah, send them peace be upon him said he, he believes in
Allah and the Last Day, let him show hospitality to his guests. And he who believes in Allah on the last day, let him maintain good relation with kins and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him speak good or remain silent. There's so much information there that we are going to come back after this short break and look at those beautiful knowledgeable words step by step please.
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You're listening to heart and soul on Qatar foundation radio with me Lauren booth sharing some gems of knowledge with us today is Elizabeth would welcome back Elizabeth. Thank you, Lauren. Before the break, you introduced a beautiful saying of the Prophet peace upon him. Could you repeat it for us so we can really digest it and work through it. Okay, so one of the beautiful Hadith that I love is narrated by Abu huraira. The Prophet peace be upon him said he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him show hospitality to his guests. And he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain good relation with kins. And he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak good
or remain silent. We have there a way of greeting people into the home advice on how to be with the family. And advice on what to say in the public sphere. Let's go to the hospitality part of that Hadeeth. Okay, so one of the things that moved me about Muslims and Islam in general, was the sheer
beauty of how they welcome the Muslims and the Arabs welcomed me into their homes many, many times and hosted me and made sure that I was eating, eating very well, making sure that I had a place to stay and so on. So one of my personal interactions or early interactions with with Muslims, was in fact, when I was invited to Qatar, in 2009, by one of my Qatari friends from from England. So we studied together and she told me, please, Elizabeth, come stay with me and my family. We'd like to treat you to knowing more about our country, and our
Culture and perhaps you'd even you never know your life might end up here one day. And that's exactly what ended up happening. Little did I know at the time that that would actually be my let's say journey and where I would end up.
But I was just moved by how her and her entire family welcomed me and didn't really know me that well, yet they constantly wanted to know if I was eating well.
They gave me everything, as if I was just like their daughter. So I'm talking about from clothes, to, to outings, activities.
Just, there's just so much to say like, I don't even know what to say. So so much of life, yes, can be spent with a feeling of loneliness that we are inside our own heads and going through this passage from cradle to grave, with a sense of I have to cope with this on my own, and then you're transported to another country, and you really are physically on your own. And, and yet, if somebody shows you that level of generosity, it changes the aspect of your everyday life and your outlook. Oh, absolutely. Because I didn't know what to expect, actually, when I moved here, because I moved here alone, straight after university, I didn't know what to expect, just like what you said, I
didn't have any friends. Because I was new in the country, except this one, lovely girl friend of mine. And I was literally welcomed with open arms into their family, to eat with them, to sleep with them, to cry with them, whatever it is that they were doing, I was doing. And even to the point of when I I finally you know, I got a job here at Qf, and they didn't even want me to move out. So there's a lovely feeling of genuine
want for me to be in their lives. And that that that by itself is enough for someone to feel comfortable and confident that they are wanted and respected. So that element of our heart, our homes not being castles where we pull up the drawbridge, but rather places of comfort for everybody who crosses our paths that we can help. I think that is a very beautiful tenant, and it's something that certainly touched me. The second part of the handys talked about good relation with kin. Now, we know that our families are
trying, you know, we are a test on one another, we have our issues and problems and we're thrown together and we have to deal with them and often that causes conflict. How can we um, through the understanding of the Prophet Muhammad's words, peace be upon him do better in this relation? Well, one of the beautiful quotes from the Quran itself, and I love his Bismillahirrahmanirrahim and we have enjoyed on enjoined on man to be good to his parents intervale upon travail did his mother bear him. And in two years was his weaning, show gratitude to me. And your parents, to me is your final goal. So that's from the Quran, Chapter 31 verse 14, and I just love that because it's a reminder
that your parents brought you into the world. Yes, we have conflicts with parents with kin, it's inevitable. But at the end of the day, we cannot
thank them enough or other thank Allah enough for for them to have raised us and taking time and bad bad as in pain on Mother's bed us and pain, so to speak.
So we are indebted to them. And doing good to our parents is actually part of our faith, a very, very high, strong part of our faith to the point where if you've noticed, the Quran states that we've enjoined upon man to be good to his parents, so therefore, it's actually part of our faith. It's, it's amazing. And with an aging population in large parts of the world, this really is a big demand upon us. And it's something to consider, of course, that we are all going to age, how is that going to come upon us the rise in dementia, and Alzheimer's causes a real long term need on the elderly upon younger relatives and we will all reach that if God wills and how is that going to be
for us? My time in Qatar has changed my outlook about dementia and Alzheimer's care
immensely. Because I have been into homes where I have obviously sat with the women of the family. And I've seen elderly really ladies, so old, you have no idea of that age, comforted and enjoying what they can understand of their life because that they're the
The mothers and the granddaughters, and the sisters all have fun with them. So for example, I met one elderly lady. And she clearly didn't know her daughter's name didn't recognize anybody. But she liked to play a game of jewelry. So she would take the jewelry from the daughter, can I have your jewelry? Please? Yes, no problem. And what's your name, and she tell her her name. And that's heartbreaking. This is these are real heartbreaking situations when your own mother doesn't know your name. Is this the time when you give them over to the state, you know what this person doesn't know me, this person is really a hardship upon me. They can't use the bathroom, right to give them
to a home or point of having them there. At the end of the day. They don't even recognize me that could enter your heart. But I'm not seeing this, specifically in areas of the Muslim world like Qatar, and this elderly lady would take the take the jewelry, then she'd give it to the lady who was working in the house, and they'd all laugh and then the next day, they repeat the same process and it was like a childhood. You know, Shakespeare spoke about the seven ages of man, and you eventually returned to sons teeth, son's eyes on everything, second childhood. And I really appreciate that, about the Muslim way of treating parents. That also reminds me of a Quranic
ayah or chapter where it says, Allah says whether one or more of your parents attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor, and out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility and say, My Lord, bestow upon them your mercy, as they have cherished me in childhood. So it's just it's just a wonderful Quranic. That's from the chapter 17 verse 23, to 24. Does the Quran actually mentioned a sound off? Oh, I've heard about that. Yeah, apparently, we're not even supposed to say off to our parents. And it's, it's considered a very, you know, rude way of addressing them. And I've even heard, I don't know which narrative it
is. But I've heard that
the one who, who even addresses their parents like that will not see paradise. So it's quite a big deal, you know, to take care of your parents and to make sure that they're not upset by your words, let alone your actions. I wonder what advice we can all take away with us today, to change the way we interact with one another. From an Islamic perspective, I'm going to give you an example of an error I made the other day. I'm staying in an apartment block. And I was arriving late at night with my bags. So I parked in somebody else's parking spot in the parking area in the basement. And I rushed up and I thought, you know, I'm a woman, it's midnight, I'm tired. And the next morning I
came down in a rush to go to work. And the person whose parking bit was had completely blocked me in. So now I've got a problem. Now I'm going to be late for work. And I know I've done something wrong, the security went to knock on the person's door. Now it was seven o'clock on a Saturday. Now the man who had then blocked me in, came down grumpily I had done something wrong, he had compounded it by doing something mean, we were both he had to get up early on his day off, the whole interaction was so unpleasant. And I tried to then make it better by greeting her with Salaam, where are you from is from New Jersey. I hope you have a good day. And I apologize, because these small
errors add to our difficulties every day. So for me, I'm going to take away from this today. Apologize quickly and don't make those selfish mistakes, I could have come down and move the car and it would have made his day better, right? That's very good. Because all of us fall into mistakes when we are rushing around or feel flustered. And the important thing is to admit, yeah, admit your mistake and move on. And hopefully you might even get a very positive experience from it, they might see that despite your initial mistake or intrusion, or
they might have had a different and different idea about you, as their neighbor, it could positive it could even turn into a positive interaction. Now they know you, it might have come from an awkward start. But then now there's no need for you to not interact with that person again, and say good words. Maybe tomorrow if you meet the same manual, say Salaam Alaikum, you'll utter a good word and one of the beautiful heads is also about how uttering a good word is, in fact, charity is considered charity in Islam. So that's a very wonderful thing to reflect on. Some people don't have enough money to give charity in terms of financial charity. So Islam gives away out for that those
types of people and and all of us
In that, the prophet said, it's also charity to utter a good word. So what kind of good word? Okay, how does that work? Well, for example, none of us are forced to interact with people that we don't know. You can go about your daily life and get in the car and get petrol and then go to work and you don't even have to talk to anyone. However, it's no
no extra effort on your part to for example, put the window down and say I would like this type of petrol or whatever and then ask the man who's pumping your petrol How are you have you had a good day? Because you don't know how he feels okay? And you're very small, basic good deed can change his whole day, and you've done something good and similarly, you can treat the the teller in the petrol station or the doorman opens the door for you in a seminar manner. And they these might seem like very small, insignificant good deeds, but they're not so we should never get tired of doing good deeds no matter how small they are, as long as they're frequent.
The frequent small good deeds is better than the big burst of enthusiasm and then falling into forgetfulness in every area of our lives. That's all we have time for today. We ask Allah, the provider to guide us all to good manners and kindness to one another, to be generous with our smiles and our good words. And to receive them back with graciousness. We'll be back tomorrow. With more heart and soul. The producer for this series is a have a Salaam Alaikum