By embracing a smiling disposition, Prophet Muhammadsa set a powerful example for his followers, encouraging them to uplift the spirits of others, bring cheerfulness to their surroundings, and foster an atmosphere of love and harmony.
SHALINI NASIRA THAHIR, QADIAN
AUGUST 21, 2023
Are you aware that you have the power to present your loved ones with the most valuable gift without spending a penny? Are you aware that you possess a weapon capable of fostering peace in your environment? You may be curious about the meaning behind these statements. I am referring to the act of smiling — a valuable gift one can offer to others.
Now that you comprehend the significance, allow me to pose another question. Were you aware that Islam encompasses teachings on even the simplest of gestures, such as a smile? Indeed, it does, and this exemplifies the beauty of Islam.
Islam recognizes how smiling is a universal language that transcends barriers of culture, language, and religion; how it has the power to bridge gaps, ease tensions, and convey warmth and kindness; and thus encourages its adherents to employ it as a means of spreading goodwill and fostering a sense of unity among people.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammadsa, the esteemed Messenger of God, possessed a profound understanding of this concept, which resonated deeply in his everyday actions and demeanour. The Prophet Muhammadsa always adapted and also taught his followers to embrace this small but impactful gesture. Prophet Muhammadsa was known for his radiant smile and cheerful demeanour. He believed that a warm smile could brighten someone’s day and create a harmonious atmosphere. His companions often spoke of his beautiful smile, which had a comforting effect on those around him.
The Holy Prophetsa once said, “Smiling in the face of your brother is an act of charity”. This simple act of spreading happiness through a smile was considered an act of kindness and generosity. The Holy Prophet’s smile was not superficial; it emanated from genuine compassion and kindness towards all individuals, regardless of their social status or background.
In various narrations, companions of the Holy Prophetsa described how his face would light up with laughter, filling the atmosphere with an infectious sense of joy. He would often engage in light-hearted conversations, share jokes, and play with children, making everyone feel comfortable and at ease in his presence. His ability to find humour in everyday situations and his inclination to spread laughter among his companions showcased his pleasant and jovial nature. By embracing a smiling disposition, Prophet Muhammadsa set a powerful example for his followers, encouraging them to uplift the spirits of others, bring cheerfulness to their surroundings, and foster an atmosphere of love and harmony.
However, Islam also emphasises the importance of balance in all aspects of life, including laughter. Too much laughter can lead to heedlessness and hardening of the heart, diverting one from the remembrance of God and neglecting one’s spiritual duties. The Holy Prophetsa cautioned his companions against indulging in immoderate laughter, reminding them to strike a balance in their pursuit of joy.
The Holy Prophetsa is reported to have said, “Do not laugh a lot. Much laughter kills the heart”. This profound statement urges us to reflect on the consequences of unchecked amusement. When laughter becomes excessive and detached from the remembrance of God, it can numb our spiritual sensitivity and lead us away from the path of righteousness.
It is important to understand that Islam does not discourage laughter altogether. Islam promotes a balanced approach to life, where joy and laughter are celebrated, but within the framework of mindfulness and spiritual awareness. The Prophet Muhammadsa himself would smile and laugh, but he emphasised the importance of maintaining a connection with God and fulfilling one’s responsibilities.
By embracing a moderate approach to laughter, we ensure that our hearts remain soft and receptive to Divine guidance. Islam encourages us to strike a balance between enjoying the blessings of this world and fulfilling our obligations to our Creator and fellow human beings. It reminds us to find joy in the permissible and beneficial aspects of life while being mindful of our ultimate purpose.
By reflecting upon the Holy Prophet’s teachings and his smiling nature, we can appreciate the significance of a smile in fostering harmonious relationships and promoting a sense of unity in the diverse fabric of society. Let us strive to emulate his smiling nature and contribute to a world where every encounter begins with a heartfelt and genuine smile.
The author holds a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication and a Postgraduate Diploma in Print Journalism. She serves as the Secretary of Outreach for Lajna Imaillah, the Ahmadi Muslim women’s auxiliary, in Qadian.
 Jami at-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Birr was-Sila (Book on Righteousness and Maintaining Good Relations
 Al-Adab al-Mufrad, Kitab al-Isbat ilan-Nas (Book on Cheerfulness Towards People)