Salaam Alaikum Everyone!
So I haven’t done the Friday Gratitude segment for a while but Alhamdulilah I am really glad that it’s back because more than anything I enjoy writing it.
My Friday Gratitude this week is on Good Character and Hospitality
This time last week I was at the FOSIS 53rd Annual Conference in Manchester which was another unforgettable conference and recap will be on the blog today. The conference was over three days and two nights and last year FOSIS provided accommodation in a mosque for that period. This year the arrangement was the same but fortunately I had the opportunity to spend one of the nights with a friend and her family who lived in Manchester. The family went out of their way to make my friend and I feel comfortable and welcome and I honestly cannot describe how touched I was by their hospitality, love and generosity. Plus I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much food for two people in my life! The etiquette of the family reminded me so much of the ayahs that Allah SWT reveals in the 24th – 28th Ayah of Surah Ad-Dhariyat about the hospitality of Prophet Ibrahim AS when he was visited by Angels who were on their way to the people of Lut.
One of the most beautiful things about Islam is the way our religion really motivates us to be better people, to be people of amazing character not only to family members, friends, relatives but also to complete strangers! The connection and bond that Islam gives us beautiful and we can never under-estimate the effect that great character can have on people. I changed so much in a year that I always refer to as the most significant year of my life partly based on the character of the people I met. In my first year of sixth form I started to going to a Turkish Halaqah with a couple of friends and I will never forget the feeling of awe and appreciation that I had the first time that I attended solely based on their character and hospitality. I kid you not, I left that gathering thinking to myself I have to know what the secret is and lo and behold it was Islam. It is moments and memories like these that I will cherish forever!
Good character inspires love between people and I am grateful that Islam places a lot of emphasis on character development. Lastly I am grateful to be surrounded by people whose characters not only amazes me but inspires me to do better and be better.
‘And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor] – Qur’an 14:7