A’ishah, the Mother of the Believers, (may Allah be pleased with her) stated that she once asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), “O Messenger of Allah! I have two neighbors. To whom shall I send my gifts?” He said, “To the one whose gate is nearer to you.”
The other day, we went for a walk. As usual, my son reached home before the rest of us, and as I turned the corner I saw an older woman speaking to him. Immediately, my defenses went up. Was she a solicitor, was she a neighbor coming to complain about his incessant drumming of the soccer ball against the wall? I strode up behind her and with ostensible politeness asked, “May I help you?” She turned around, put out her hand and said, “Oh hi! I’m Miss Hall, your neighbor. I’m so sorry I haven’t welcomed you to the neighborhood sooner!” SubhanALLAH! I was equally touched and embarrassed by her gesture.
I had allowed my timidity and uncertainty to get in the way of my duty to the neighbors. Instead, this 85-year old woman had crossed the street to come to me. Small acts of kindness are often immense in their effects. Remember that you have a duty to ALLAH (SWT) to be good to your neighbors. I’m sure an unsuspecting neighbor would love to find flowers from the garden, a special note, or a sweet treat from you.
I love the story told by this Muslim woman on her blog— perhaps it will give you inspiration as well:
Remember that EVERY deed you do is taken to account by ALLAH. If you don’t have time to bake like she did, remember that even a smile is charity. ALLAH gives us so many opportunities to do good in this world through his commands. And by His mercy, we reap benefits not only in this Life, but in the Hereafter, and leave a legacy that Muslims can be proud of.
Miss Hall called me yesterday and left a message, thanking me for “the gorgeous flowers.” My kids ran home after giving them to her, and they said she was so happy… my kids were happy too!