The Footprints You Leave behind
“Do not consider any act of kindness insignificant, even meeting your brother with a cheerful face’’ [Sahih Muslim]
by sister Khowla
It was one of those days where everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I was drowning in frustration and anger. My muscles tense, jaws clenched, and tears ready to escape.
However, it was at that very moment when I thought I was about to have a physical and mental breakdown that from the mercy of Allah SWT, the All-Seeing and Hearing, who saw and heard my desperation, caused a change in my heart. In that shallow moment, I remembered a memory of someone that instantly changed the chaos around and within me to a moment of peace.
It was a memory of an old friend that brought a smile to my face and had put my heart at ease. I remembered her generous act of kindness towards me. I remembered the way she would always smile no matter what situation she was in and how she would always make the best of everything. In particular, I remember the way she would actively listen to me, often reminding me of how the Prophet PBUH would look to his companions and how he made each of them feel special. She would leave gifts for me when she sensed I had a bad day, take me out for dinner, and always offer a helping hand. The most beautiful thing about her was that she did not expect to get the same back; she would never wait for a ‘thank you’ nor did she ever complain.
From her, I learned and appreciated the value of kindness.
“Kind words and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury” [Quran – 2:263]
SubhanAllah, little did she know that even in her absence, her memory was like a switch that changed my bad moments to good. This reflection had made me realise the impact our actions and words can have on individuals and, ultimately, the impressions we leave behind.
Are you someone that if you were gone tomorrow, people would remember your kindness, your smile, or your laugh? Or would you be remembered for your pride, your arrogance, or your cruelty? Or maybe your presence or absence didn’t make a difference because you never benefited anyone around you. The prophet PBUH said:
“Make things easy for people, and do not make it difficult for them, and make them
calm (with glad tidings) and do not repulse (them)”- [Sahih Al Bukhari]
Tell me this: what benefit is there in someone who fulfils the commandments of Allah SWT in praying, fasting, and paying their zakat but treats everyone around them with bad manners? I’m pretty sure we have all met someone like this, or worse, been that person! However, with every day that Allah SWT gives us is a chance to change ourselves and our behaviours.
Tell me this: what benefit is there in someone who fulfils the commandments of Allah SWT in praying, fasting, and paying their zakat but treats everyone around them with bad manners?Click to tweet this gem
Just take a moment and reflect on the way you treat people. Are you always greeting people with a smile? Are your head and body turned to the person talking like the Prophet PBUH would do when anyone would speak to him, or are you fixated on your mobile device? Are your words kind, even when you are in a bad mood? Do you send gifts to others, whether it’s a simple box of chocolates to make them smile or a meaningful gift they would cherish forever?
Seriously! Take some time out to reflect, and try creating a list of actions (even just one!) that you can start implementing to create a better and more positive impact on those around you. The footprints you leave behind rarely fade away, and will inevitably lead the goodness back to you.
Imagine if you were the reason that someone’s bad day changed to goodness. What if that person was close to tears, but your act of kindness made them smile? And what if that person makes du’a to Allah SWT to send abundant blessings upon you because you made them feel better?
The footprints you leave behind can lead people to better places.
And so, I want to ask you again:
What will you be remembered for?