Islamic Character Prophet Muhammad Reflections

Be Happy times, I like to close my eyes and imagine his face, (peace be upon him). I like to imagine what he looked like, the shape of his eyes and the color of his skin. Without fail, one thing always finds its way into my imagination, and that is his beloved smile. Never have I imagined him without it on his face, and it’s always one that is purely genuine. He was a man of truth, and his inner state was the same as his outer state. He smiled, because he was happy.

Today, everyone wants to be happy, but we don’t always realize that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) wants us to be happy too. We don’t realize that the Prophet ﷺ encouraged genuine happiness. When someone begins to become “religious” often times the people around him or her start to notice a loss of something very essential: their smile. The person may begin to dive deep into texts and rulings, they may begin to look around and see all the injustices that surround us and that we ourselves commit and find no choice other than grief and sadness. Yes, there are sad things in this world, devastating actually, but that doesn’t mean we need to be constantly in grief. The Prophet ﷺ himself said, “The best of all deeds is that you bring happiness to your Muslim brother, pay off his debt or feed him bread.” With that being said, how can someone who is constantly unhappy, bring happiness to anyone else?

We know that we should constantly look up to our beloved messenger to see how we should be living our lives, so let us take a moment and ponder:

  • The Prophet ﷺ said “When you smile to your brother’s face, it is charity.”
  • Jareer Ibn Abdullah said, “I have not seen the Prophet, since I embraced Islam, without a smile on his face. I saw him smiling when he could not see me and he was smiling in my presence.”
  • Abdullaah Ibn Haarith said, “I never came across a person who smiled as much as the Prophet. The Prophet regarded smiling with a brother as an act of charity.”

Now, we know that this religion is a religion of truthfulness not hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is a discrepancy between the inner and the outer. Truthfulness, on the other hand, is inner and outer harmony. Thus in seeing that our beloved constantly smiled and encouraged us to do the same, we know that he is asking us to exercise more than simply our facial muscles. He wants our hearts to smile. When our hearts smile, so much more happens than simply curled lips. Through a smile that comes from the heart, happiness is spread. Through a smile that comes from the heart, many pains can be forgotten. This religion wasn’t sent down to us to make us robotic and cold. Rather it was sent down as a benefit to us, a benefit to those around us, and to liven our cold hearts and encourage happy hearts. And when one’s heart is happy, so many of the tasks we deem difficult or stressful begin to become easy and fruitful.

So next time you find yourself slipping into a downward slope of sadness, stop. Close your eyes, and imagine his face. Imagine his beautiful eyes and his soft skin. And once you have done that, imagine his beautiful heartfelt smile. Open your eyes, and rather than focusing on the dreary side of things, pick out smile-worthy things that are right before your eyes. And be happy, genuinely happy. It’s Sunnah!

About the author

Reehab (Ramadan) Aref

Reehab (Ramadan) Aref

Reehab (Ramadan) Aref grew up in a small Texas city and was unexpectedly uprooted to Cairo, Egypt. The shift of countries precipitated a shift in her outlook on life; this, with her enriching experience in community activism—specifically social service, youth work, and Qur’anic Studies—provides for a rather enlightened perspective. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Counseling Psychology. Thankfully, her main outlet and therapeutic tool is to write, write, write! She keeps her own blog, contributes regularly to various publications, and – most importantly – you’ll find her entries on this site.


  • Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow……mashallah I love it! It’s soo true… and the world will smile back at you…….outside my window I can see the sun shining on the blossom trees….oooops did I say shining, I meant smiling 😀 alhamdulilah ala kuli hal !

  • sA, just smile it’s sunnah 🙂 🙂

    May Allah Always bless you for your wonderful notes like this one.

  • Jazakallahu khair. I really like it. Subhanallah, a beautiful post that brings happiness in your heart 🙂

  • Salam

    How do we be happy? I mean beside all the crap the world has and our personal personal problems. I worry about my end; will I make to heaven, will i have pains in the grave, or on the maidan e hasher? The only thing that gives me escape is books and tv; where for some brief moment of time I’m totally involved in a fictional world and forget my own. I don’t think I have truly ever been happy since I started school. So from age 5 to now at 35. I have fleeting moments of happiness but I could count them on my fingers and I’m still better than 99% of the world( the poor in Africa, Asia, people who have disabilities, being raped or brutally disfigured, stuck in a war zone, people who have AIDS or similar terminal illness, stuck in a 3rd world country) etc. Any ideas from the Koran to make us happy? I heard about reading Ya-Seen to cheer you up. I tried it and it does work somewhat but only for like an for small while. And I have a very hard time getting through it. My Arabic reading sucks.



    • Salams Brother, The most important point with respect to your arguments mentioned above for being sadistic in nature and that is – “This world was never 100% free of sorrow, grief, disease, injustice, etc. and will never be”. This is how Allah Subhanahu Taala has made it and it his hikmaah around it. Let us not try to play God and try to implement 100% happiness in this world. Just that how you respond to the adversities in society around you should make you happy or sad. If you act responsibly and do what you can possibly do (possibly do) to remove the odds, you must be happy. Just don’t be sadistic person. Hope this helps.

    • wsalam!

      Thank you for your honest question/comment. Honestly, it’s easy to get stuck in sadness and heartache–because there are many pains in this world and many hardships. There are times when we need to experience grief–because it is through experiencing grief that we learn to be happy and learn what happy really is.

      I believe the first thing is that in order to be happy one must connect to the Messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa salam and one must get to know Allah. When one truly tries to get to know Allah and His Messenger, inner peace and happiness come naturally. The heartaches and pains that are in this life tend to be less and they have a beauty behind them. When we see oppression in this world, we feel pain for the oppressed but also feel a joy in knowing that we have a Lord who is always with the oppressor and who is always Just. When we are subjugated to that oppression, yes we still may feel sad but there will be an underlying sweetness, knowing that Allah is with us at that time. When we learn about His mercy, His beauty and etc—the world will become a lighter and happier place. Also learning about the Prophet, who he was and how he dealt with people and hardships becomes a lifeboat in the midst of strong and violent waters.

      Happiness is a choice. They say that it is not Happy people who are thankful–rather it is thankful people that are happy. Try sitting down one day and writing down all the things that you should be happy for…and think outside of the box…to the tiny things that make the world go round…your eye site your sense of smell…your ability to type even! And imagine how your life would be if these things were taken away from you—then rejoice, because Allah has blessed you with such amazing things that we tend to so easily overlook.

      Read the seerah of the Prophet and the Prophets before him. They had such hard times yet they were genuinely happy. See how they did it. You’ll find it was because their hearts were attached to the creator.

      And of course dua 🙂

      Hope that helps iA,


    • Asalamualaykum! I agree with Reehab. I neglected learning the seerah of the Messenger of Allah and found that after taking time to do this over the years my outlook on life has been much more positive, clear, and full of thankfulness. May Allah guide us.

  • SubhanaAllah…..In addition to all th beautiful things said…Smile…makes you always avoid the wrinkles—stay younger…Alhamdulillah

  • There is great wisdom in the statement that Islam is the religion of the middle way. There’s so much of paradox in our religion. That we are sent to and are of this world, *yet* this isn’t where we belong. That we are to devote ourselves fully to God’s worship, yet this is expected to mostly take place *within* civilisation and community interaction, not outside of it. That to realise the purpose of our existence we must achieve awareness of the reality of this world and all its imperfection, normally eliciting grief and despair, and *yet* the outcome should be that we can and must nonetheless smile. How can that be, right? I would say it’s impossible, except that we *know* it has been achieved, by a considerable number of people whose diversity spans human variation, and there are still those who continue to achieve this state.

    I think this is why the Qur’an repeats so often, that we must think. When we can understand/accept/embrace/solve these riddles, get ourselves to that sweet spot from where these dichotomies suddenly make sense, that’s where our deen is.

    humans’ mistake (not just in religion, but in a lot of things) is that we tend to believe when something isn’t going right for a long while, trying ever harder is the answer. locally, our preachers are of two kinds, the minority like imam suhaib, but the majority the opposite – somehow believing that since the condition of the people is not getting better by their own measure, lecturing louder, being stricter, etc. will fix it. but i find that oftentimes in such cases, not trying hard enough is not the issue – not trying *smart* is. kind of like pushing on a ‘pull’ door, huffing and puffing, possibly even irreparably breaking the door, when if one were to pause a minute and consider that maybe the understanding of the problem was wrong, one might realise the little ‘pull’ sticker by the handle, and then only a little effort is enough.

Leave a Comment