So having to work with any Islamic Organization, you find yourself having to meet a lot of new people. I still remember the point in time around when my ability to match the names with the faces was weakening, there were just too many new people! wa’alhamdu lillah
Now for sisters, we would complain (and some still do) that it’s hard because if the sister is not wearing hijab or does not “look” Muslim, then how are we supposed to approach her — I mean, what if she’s NOT a Muslim? (Guys, chill, worse things have happened lol)
Anyways, today I saw a girl waiting at a bus stop, she had a desi-look to her, and dare I say it, even though she wasn’t covered, she still had this “muslimah-air” to her. At first I was hesitant. I noticed a sister that I already know, waiting at the same bus stop, about a foot away from the other sister, so I went and spoke to her for a few, that got my mood a little up and ready. Then I turned, walked towards the desi-sister, stuck my hand out and smiled through my niqab and said “Asalamualaykum!”
She had a confused smile, and didn’t say anything at first, but I wasn’t backing down. I said it again “Asalamualaykum!” She gave in. “..Walaykumasalam?”
I decided to go with the straightforward approach. I asked her “you’re wondering how I knew you were Muslim, right?” (I don’t know what drove me to be that straight forward but I pray that she did not take it the wrong way, as Allah swt knows best what my intention was, but I did not mean to harm her with my words). And she smiled, still confused, and nodded.
And I just smiled back and said something like…”I can just tell… :) ”
Truth was that Allah swt just guided me towards her. This is what I truly believe, and same for all sisters. Allah swt is the One who allows me to notice them, where ever they happen to be when I walk past them.
So okay, I may be biased but the Muslims, (or I should say Muslimahs, for my case) they have this certain innocent air about them. Even if they’re not wearing hijab, or if they are wearing makeup, or are dressing in a way that the ‘very practicing’ sisters would not dress, it’s still there…and I just don’t know how else to describe it except as “innocence.” Like, maybe they just took a slight wrong turn somewhere, and are a little lost but they still have this feeling inside of them, that feeling that pulls them to Allah swt. Their hearts, inshaAllah, are still the hearts of a Muslim. And that feeling that allows them to still identify themselves as Muslims. It reminds me of a snippet by Dr. Mohammad Arifi, where he advised us to “expand the good.” MashaAllah the shaykh advises us, and in a humorous way:
And because these muslimahs believe in La ilaha ilaAllah, I love them for the sake of Allah. And may Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala guide them and me to what which is Most Pleasing to Him. Ameen
Reminds me of one of my favorite ayaat, the only way to explain this feeling in my heart:
Allah swt says: And He has united their (i.e. believers’) hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah has united them. Certainly He is All-Mighty, All-Wise. [Surah Al-Anfal: ayah 63]