A Heartfelt Plea
A young man considered going overseas to work. He was invited for an interview for a role abroad. Arriving at the office, he saw many people leaving the office, disappointment clearly visible on their faces. Although slightly unnerved by this, he did not become discouraged. Eventually, his name was called. He got up, put on a smile, and headed to the interview room. As he walked down the corridor, he noticed some extra lights that were on, so he switched them off. Coming across a few misplaced chairs, he moved them neatly to the side. He didn’t think much of it as he would do this even at home. He knocked on the door and went inside. After completing basic formalities, the interviewers confirmed, in writing, that he has been given the job. ‘You didn’t ask me any interview questions other than my name,’ he asked them, feeling rather perplexed, ‘how did I get the job?’ Pointing towards the monitor, one interviewer answered, ‘Do you see that? We saw everything that you did on the way to the interview room; that was your interview. We were seeking someone who recognises these things. The people before you did not see the extra lights switched on or anything else that was out of place. How could they possibly work for us!’
The young man got this job because of the etiquettes and habits he learned from his parents. Some habits are good and some are bad. Everybody should adopt good habits and refrain from bad habits. Bad habits and traits are toxic and affect us and those around us. Let us read about some good and bad habits below:
Habits of the tongue and limbs
The limbs of a person say to the tongue: ‘If you remain upright, we will remain safe. If you become rebellious, we will suffer the consequences.’ For example, the tongue swears, but nobody beats the tongue for it; it’s the other body parts that are beaten. In such instances, the tongue hides away but the body suffers the consequences on its behalf.
Some folks seem to have a natural tendency to cause trouble for others: For example:
1. They buy items on credit but do not pay the credit on time, unnecessarily delaying payment.
2. Some people will hire builders and then refuse to pay them once the project or job is complete.
3. Some people announce that they will be spending money on the Masjid etc. but when someone goes to them to retrieve the money, they needlessly mess him around and delay paying up claiming, ‘I’m busy right now, come later.’ The majority of the time they have the money with them, but they purposefully do not give it. Not fulfilling the rights of a person is a serious matter; a person’s rights should be fulfilled immediately. Similarly, be grateful to those who come to take charity from you because they are using your money for a good cause.
Procrastination is an Achilles heel for many people. They delay every task, big or small. They will pay their bills on the very last day, pay tuition fees on the deadline, and so on and so forth. Some people only realise the urgency of a task at the last moment. In fact, some people are so overcome with procrastination, they pray salah after the time has ended. Going somewhere, doing something, sleeping, waking up, whatever they do, they delay it. This is a deadly habit.
We attended a meeting with an important individual. After the 45 minute discussion that was scheduled, we concluded and left. The person who arranged the meeting was impressed because we had left promptly. When you meet someone, leave immediately after the task or businesses is concluded. Loitering without purpose will waste everyone’s time. Value your time; those who don’t value their own time cannot value other’s time.
Some people have a habit of forgetting; they forget where they put their pen or keys, etc. Similarly, some people have a habit of not listening to anyone; as though only their opinion and way is the correct way according to them – this is nothing but conceit. Dawat-e-Islami has taught us that whenever we offer a suggestion, to always preface it as a humble suggestion (naqis mashwarah), implying that the other party may or may not accept it. One should not consider it to be a shortcoming in his status if the other party doesn’t proceed according to his suggestion.
Borrowing a car
Some people have a habit of borrowing other people’s cars or motorbikes. They will use it for their purposes but not have the courtesy to refuel it. Even if the tank was full, add some fuel anyway. Firstly, you’ll make the other person happy, and if you need it in the future, he won’t mind giving it to you.
Some people have made their cars into offices with papers scattered everywhere, mountains of oily crisps heaped under the seats, and crumbs sitting deep in every crevice and crease of the interior. Take the initiative to clean your car regularly.
Lack of self-care
Although unbelievable, many are complacent when it comes to basic self-care. They refuse to shower daily, trim their moustache, and neaten their beard. There is no excuse for unkempt hair, untrimmed nails, and foul-smelling clothes or socks. Take care of yourself and your home.
Islam and cleanliness
Cleanliness is a central teaching of Islam. As unfortunate as it may be, the recent pandemic has made people think carefully about hygiene. The hygiene measures which are being preached today, our Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم taught them, and more, 1400 years ago.
If the mother keeps the child clean from a young age by applying oil on his head, combing his hair, and teaching him to pick up his dishes, clean up after himself, and keep a tidy appearance, the child will develop the nature to keep clean. But if kids are not taught this, how will they learn about cleanliness?
A good habit
When some people receive food from a friend or loved one, they do not return the utensil empty. Instead, they put something in it and then return it. This is a good habit. Even if they had just returned it after washing it, they would not mind, but these people return it by filling it up. Similarly, if a guest comes to your home, refine your manners and habits so that the guest returns with a good impression of the family.
It is a humble plea from myself that you forego bad habits and adopt good habits. If you have good habits, you will find success in the world and the Hereafter اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه.