This blog is published for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and the thousands of Muslims raised or reverts, or even non-Muslis, who might be living in areas where they are not able to experience Ramadan in a Muslim community; so we, at MWA, invite you to be a part of our community in Ramadan.

The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong) Al-Baqarah 2:185

Established in 2006, Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) is an internationally-based collaboration of Muslim women writers and advocates working together to counter negative and inaccurate perceptions regarding members of the Muslim community and the Islamic faith.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What is a good deed? Listening. A journal entry by MWA's Aishah Schwartz

وَلِكُلٍّ وِجهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلّيها ۖ فَاستَبِقُوا الخَيرٰتِ ۚ أَينَ ما تَكونوا يَأتِ بِكُمُ اللَّهُ جَميعًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلىٰ كُلِّ شَيءٍ قَديرٌ

اور ہر ایک کے لیے ایک طرف ہے جس طرف وہ منہ کرتا ہے پس تم نیکیوں کی طرف دوڑو تم جہاں کہیں بھی ہو گے تم سب کو الله سمیٹ کر لے آئے گا بے شک الله ہر چیز پر قادر ہے

And every one has a direction to which he should turn, therefore hasten to (do) good works; wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together; surely Allah has power over all things. (Al Baqara 2:148)

Today I did a lot of listening.

I listened to the sound of a skill saw outside my bedroom window from 8AM until 5:30PM:

And from the sitting room I listened to the sound of a tractor digging the stone ground for a new building foundation (the video is from when this all started in February 2012, but the sound is the same, just coming from the last empty lot):

As each hour of my second day of Ramadan fasting passed, I felt everything in my body become tense. My brain, my muscles, my tongue - which, in turn, relieves itself from time-to-time through my fingertips on the keyboard - woe to those on the receiving end, right?

Then I heard something from the stairs outside the door of my flat that gave me cause for alarm. I quickly threw the scarf attached to my prayer abaya up over my head, grabbed the keys, opened my door and rushed out to investigate the source of the sound.

At the bottom of the staircase to the floor above me sat a profusely trembling beautiful young woman, her long blonde hair pulled back in a pony tail, elbows on her knees, face in her hands; crying. On the landing place at her feet? The two carriers holding her twin, roughly 9-month-old baby girls.

Construction debris on the steps caused her to slip and she had slid down the stairs. Al-hamdulillah the babies appeared to be okay, peering up quizzically from the security of their carriers as if to say, "What is going on?" But their mother, surely imaging how devastating it would have been if her babies had been hurt, was unable to even move from the pure shock of what had just happened.

I sat on the step beside her and wrapped my arm across her shoulders to calm her trembling, pulling her close to give her comfort. After a few moments, raising her head up from the palms of her hands, she turned to face me; tears streaming down her flushed face. Then she hugged me back and said, still trembling, "Thank-you."

But the thank you wasn't just because I was sitting beside her; it was because she was so grateful that someone had heard what happened and actually moved to see what might possibly be wrong.

Yes. Moved.

You see, everyone else wandering out front and going up and down the stairs, just kept doing whatever it was they were doing, and not one person had come to her side. Not one.

I was the only one who heard and moved.

Together Leeza and I carried the babies the rest of the way down the stairs. I asked the security to call a taxi to come for her and we exchanged phone numbers. I told her to please call me any time she needed help going downstairs (our building doesn't have an elevator); needlessly reminding her that the babies weren't getting any smaller. 

So today I am grateful for the gift of hearing. Yes, even on days like today when everything I'd been hearing all day long pretty much served to only annoy me. Today, because I was listening, I was able to reach out to someone in need and lend a helping hand.

I'm not quite sure where our humanity as a society has gone...but we need to wake up. We need to stop refusing to see and looking the other way as if we didn't notice that someone needed our help. We need to be more God-conscious. We need, insha'Allah, to take this opportunity in Ramadan, to see beyond what and who is in front of us; with our eyes wide open vs. eyes wide shut.

Al-hamdulillah for Ramadan, and the reminders and opportunity it brings for us to re-evaluate our lives.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala guide and forgive us. May He accept our fasting, our worship and our good deeds. May we be moved in this, the holy month of Ramadan, to reach out to our neighbors.

May we be moved as well, to reach out to new Muslims, many of whom are experiencing their first Ramadan, or are passing through Ramadan alone; for whatever reason. Reach out to a new Muslim today, insha'Allah.

They'll be so glad someone heard their loneliness.


  1. Alhamdulillah, what a touching story and reminder. I'm so glad you were there!

  2. This was wonderful. I'm glad I was finally able to sit down and read it. I love you, my sister. <3


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