Bismillahi ‘rahmani ‘raheem
One of the key things our religion teaches us is modesty; not just in our clothes but in our manners. Virtues such as retaliation, soft spoken speech, and gentle movements among others prominently feature in Islam.
In modern society, this way of living seems backward and even oppressive to some. Aggression seems more powerful in this day and age, especially in metropolitan nations. Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on this. What mental image do you see when the word ‘power’ is mentioned?
Do you see big muscles or the ability to lift very heavy weights?
Do you see sharp suits and a big office?
Or maybe even a king that issues whatever commands he desires at any time he chooses?
I totally appreciate how empowered this society has become, especially in terms of education. Though there is a place where exuding physical strength is a necessity, it is important for us to get acquainted with the power of our softer side. This is especially important for us Muslims because Allah has made it clear to us that He does not like aggression.
How is softness powerful? Let us imagine this. Have you ever seen a baby smile and end up feeling so happy as a result? Have you ever felt the wind blow against you making you feel like following it to wherever it is going? Have you ever seen a beautiful flower whose colour and scent you just couldn’t ignore? Or a river flowing slowly, making you want to sit there and watch it all day?
Allah has granted us so many signs through His creation to show us that gentleness is a powerful form of strength. Many times we feel the need to struggle and fight to have our way or have our opinions voiced. But what if we could achieve the same results in a more peaceful way?
We can make simple changes in our lifestyle that can help us be in touch with and express our softer side. We can condition ourselves to be aware of our softer side and proceed to express it.
Here are some practical things we can do today to achieve this;
- Move closer to someone while speaking instead of shouting from a different room
- Smile more (when the situation allows)
- Be vulnerable and present in our conversations
- Treat people with kindness and politely express displeasure
- Control our tone of voice when speaking
- Take time away from business and noise to be quiet and to reflect
This could be difficult for some of us to do because of being accustomed to aggression, and that is fine. Whenever we forget or fall back to aggression the best thing to do is to turn to Allah and ask for forgiveness. He is the Most Merciful and able to grant us ease in our efforts to be softer. When done with the primary intention of seeking Allah’s pleasure, it will be a rewarding experience inshallah.
May God increase us in guidance. Ameen.