The experience of attending the classes of Dawra-e-Quran this Ramadan taught me many things but one day I was truly humbled by Allah’s direct command for me!!
The weather was hot and humid and I was feeling quite bothered because of lack of space… it was a totally new experience for me to sit on the carpet with all the other students. I chose this position because I wanted to sit in front of the teacher and feel directly connected to Quran… but that day I was feeling really resentful that why didn’t I have more space to myself… To make matters worse, the girl next to me shifted her position and crossed her legs in such a way that her knee rested on me… now this was getting too much so I tapped her knee so she could move it back… but she passed me a chit with the apology that her legs were hurting… nevertheless she tried to move but there was no space… and I was full of resentment at this whole situation… what was I supposed to do with all her burden on top of my discomfort?
I am grateful to Allah that all of this distraction did not prevent me from listening to the Quran because after all that was my main concern… and THEN the very next ayat came like a flash of a powerful torch directly in front of my eyes…
“O you who have believed, when you are told to make space in your gatherings, then make space; Allah will make space for you…” (58:11)
At first I was just stunned and full of shame… that Allah is being cross with me for not being generous for that girl… But I asked Allah, “How could I give her space when there was none to give?”
And SubhaanAllah I got the answer immediately…!!!
I suddenly had this feeling as if she were my own daughter… and my heart melted… Surely if she was my daughter I would have gladly let her “sit” on my leg if she needed to!!! In an instant my heart opened up for that girl and I softly patted her knee to let her feel that she could relax and not worry about my discomfort because you know what, I stopped feeling hot, I stopped feeling uncomfortable, I stopped feeling compressed… simply by feeling ashamed of my attitude and changing it according to what Allah had told me in HIS command…
So I learned that day that being generous is basically an attitude of the heart… sometimes you might not have anything to give but just by “wanting” to give; and by giving space to others in your heart… Allah will make space for you… He will make you feel ease and tranquillity… and fill your heart with the joy of acting on His Quran.
The other thing I learned is that the reason why we all feel a lack of things is because we want everything for ourselves. The more selfish and self-centred we have become the more dissatisfied we feel. So if we want to come out of this cycle of complaints for lack of things… we will have to shift our focus away from our desires towards the needs of other people. The more we “give” the more we will receive… in sha Allah… and giving is not just in money and things… rather to make space for other people in our hearts is the biggest generosity.
Let others be comfortable… let others express their opinions… let others make their decisions… let them live!!
May Allah enable us to give space to others so that we can live in peace too… ameen.