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Personal Reflections

Getting out of the comparison game | Eid Reminders

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I don’t know about your culture but in mine, we visit each other’s houses as an Eid celebration. And although we all know that Eid ul Fitr only falls on the first day of Syawal, our Eid visitings can last for the WHOLE month. Yes, talk about exhausting.

In the midst of socializing and mixing with friends and relatives, it becomes apparent where some are granted with more wealth and children. When we begin playing the comparison game, it is easy to forget the things that truly matter.

Displaying of wealth and children

Every time Syawal comes, people will knowingly or unknowingly display their wealth and children. You will see people wearing their best clothes, driving cars, opening their doors to their homes for visitors, with their children running around.

Maybe we can’t afford a car yet, maybe we are still living with our parents, maybe we don’t have any children yet. And it seems like everyone else has more than us.

Or perhaps, we have been blessed with more wealth and children as compared to others. And a tinge of arrogance begins to seed in our hearts. May Allah purify our hearts.

The world as a deceiving enjoyment

In the height of enjoyment, it is easy to get caught up and forget about our hereafter. We forget that all of these are indeed temporary. Whenever I think about all these, these verses from the Qur’an snaps me back to reality;

ٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّمَا ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَا لَعِبٌ۬ وَلَهۡوٌ۬ وَزِينَةٌ۬ وَتَفَاخُرُۢ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَتَكَاثُرٌ۬ فِى ٱلۡأَمۡوَٲلِ وَٱلۡأَوۡلَـٰدِ‌ۖ كَمَثَلِ غَيۡثٍ أَعۡجَبَ ٱلۡكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ۥ ثُمَّ يَہِيجُ فَتَرَٮٰهُ مُصۡفَرًّ۬ا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَـٰمً۬ا‌ۖ وَفِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ۬ شَدِيدٌ۬ وَمَغۡفِرَةٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضۡوَٲنٌ۬‌ۚ وَمَا ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَآ إِلَّا مَتَـٰعُ ٱلۡغُرُورِ

Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children, (it is) as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw. But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers, evil-doers), and (there is) Forgiveness from Allâh and (His) Good Pleasure (for the believers — good-doers), And the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment.” 

(Surah Al-Hadid: 20)

Whenever you see others having more or less of this worldly life, take a step back and ponder upon this statement of Allah. Exhausting ourselves to compete with others with regards to this world. Is it all worth it?

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “By Allah, this world is more insignificant in the eye of Allah than it (this dead lamb) is in your eye.
(Sahih Muslim 2957)

Competing for the hereafter

So where should we exert our efforts instead? Allah tells us in the next verse of the same surah I mentioned earlier.

سَابِقُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ مَغۡفِرَةٍ۬ مِّن رَّبِّكُمۡ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرۡضُہَا كَعَرۡضِ ٱلسَّمَآءِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ أُعِدَّتۡ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِۦ‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ فَضۡلُ ٱللَّهِ يُؤۡتِيهِ مَن يَشَآءُ‌ۚ وَٱللَّهُ ذُو ٱلۡفَضۡلِ ٱلۡعَظِيمِ

Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord (Allâh), and Paradise the width whereof is as the width of the heaven and the earth, prepared for those who believe in Allâh and His Messengers. That is the Grace of Allâh which He bestows on whom He is pleased with. And Allâh is the Owner of Great Bounty.”

(Surah Al-Hadid: 21)

Do not get caught up with competing with each other in collecting wealth and showing off our children. Those are all temporary. Instead, compete with each other towards the mercy of Allah, and you will get paradise which is far greater than whatever that is on this earth!

Keeping our hearts safe

Being a woman, we tend to feel things strongly. We are sensitive to words and it’s easy to let them get to us. Especially so, when meeting relatives during Eid, particularly the older ones who tend to be direct in their choice of words.

So my dear sisters, let’s keep our hearts safe and pure. Have good thoughts of others.

Maybe they are just trying to strike a conversation with us. Maybe they have no intentions of hurting us.

So do not be offended or saddened whenever you are asked;

When will you get married?
When will you have children?
When will you have MORE children?
When will you get a house?

Simply smile and say, “Make do’a for me insya’Allah” while remembering the verses of Allah in Surah al-Hadid.

Likewise, do not let our hearts be tainted with arrogance when we have been given wealth and children.

Keep our hearts pure and remember Allah always.

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي بِنِعْمَتِهِ تَتِمُّ الصَّالِحَاتُ

Praise is to Allah by Whose grace good deeds are completed.

 

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