The other day my sister and I attended a baby shower for a friend, may Allah swt grant her a righteous daughter. We got there around 3:30pm, or later. Come maghrib time, I started to wonder when we’re going to pray, and if I should go make wudoo’ now.
I wait… and wait…
I look up and see one of my friends standing far away. She meets my gaze and gestures to me, raising her hands and placing them on her chest, mouthing the words “pray.” So I understood: it’s time to pray, they’re going to pray in jam’aah, hurry! I rush to get up and make wudoo’, since I have to make it after the time of salah (that’s not for everyone, just for me, I have a bit of a condition). I walk quickly to the bathroom and get ready to make wudoo. I didn’t lock the door, because I knew there were only females and because I was only making wudoo, so I didn’t think it was worth it to bolt the door. An older lady walked in, looking very apologetic. “Ana asfaa, I’m sorry!”
“It’s okay,” I explained to her my reason for not locking the door so she would understand that it was intentional and that she didn’t have to be sorry.
“Do you have to use it?” I asked her. “Yes…” she answered.
So I said okay, and I left. I waited outside.
Finally, I got my chance to make wudoo. I completed it and walked back to my sister, sitting at the table. We both got up to try to find the sisters who were praying. We walked through the crowd of girls and found 3 sisters at the end of all of it, all three of them praying separately. We tried to make room to pray near them by moving some shoes around, but we eventually decided to pray somewhere else.
So we walked all the way back to the back, grabbed some napkins to lay on the dirty floor, and stood feet-to-feet, shoulder-to-shoulder. I lead the prayer, and since it was maghrib, I recited out-loud…in the first rak’ah, at least. It was so loud in the room, I could barely hear myself recite, and I was sure my sister was having trouble hearing me recite, as well. In the second rak’ah, I became so distracted, I didn’t even remember to recite out-loud, until I was towards the end of Al-Fatihah. I went down to sujood and I felt a lollipop, that was flung by a child, land next to my face. I could smell its flavor, and I remember being very thankful that it didn’t hit my face. My sister and I finished praying, and then we laughed about the lollipop.
We went back to our seats, only to find that, apart from one sister we saw, no one was getting up to pray. They seemed to be right where we left them. I felt a mixture of disappointment and annoyance, but I was careful to say anything about it in front of my sister. My sister asked, “How come no one else is praying?” I don’t remember what I mumbled back.
She must have thought about it on her own for a little while and then she came to a conclusion. “Maybe they’re ALL Not praying!” Indicating that they were all on their monthly cycles.
There are about 50 guests in the room. Yeah…I really don’t think that’s it…, I thought to myself.
She continued, “No really, maybe some of them are on their first day, some are on their second day, it could happen.” As skeptical as I was, I couldn’t help but be amazed at how she had been so quick to make a legitimate excuse for them, rather than assuming the worst, as I found myself doing. Subhanallah, what a humbling experience.
To further emphasize the error of my ways — the only person I made an excuse for, when I didn’t see her praying, was the righteous pregnant sister (the one they threw the baby shower for). She was the only one for whom I said, “She’s probably not praying [because of her monthly cycle].” My sister pointed out that that makes no sense, since she has no more monthly cycles. Oh yeah, my bad.
And after this whole incident, I thought it was amazing that as much as we think we’ve stopped assuming things about people and judging them without knowledge, we [or rather, I] still find ourselves doing it.
May Allah swt protect us from this, and may He remove from us every trace of arrogance, for it truly ruins the good that is inside of you.
Remember that it is the sincere and humble person, the one who truly assumes the best of her sisters, that will be the most successful at steering them away from destruction, bi’ithnillah.