18 October 2017 CE | 27 Muharram 1439 AH

Hadith Explanation

Give a Smile Instead of Chocolate

Ibn Jaz said: “I have not seen anyone who smiled more than the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam).” (Hasan) [Chapters on Al-Manaqib: Jami At-Tirmidhi]

What do you gain when you smile? When you smile, the actual movement triggers the brain’s pleasure points. Smiling causes endorphins, which are known as the body’s natural painkillers, to be released. Not surprisingly, endorphins are also released when laughing, exercising, eating chocolate, getting massaged, meditating, to just about anything that leaves a smile on your face. A smile makes a person feel as good as eating 2000 bars of chocolate.

Research shows that after being shown pictures of smiling people, the brain and heart activity of participants is equal to that when given 2,000 chocolate bars. So the next time you think of giving someone chocolate, give a smile instead – it will do 2,000 times better.

Research has also shown that women who showed an intense happiness in their smiles indicated a happier future. When we smile our voices project a warmer tone. So if you smile while speaking you are likely to have a better conversation. Smiling is also a ticket to better health. Numerous medical and psychological studies have found that through the triggering of certain hormones, a smile promotes good overall health. This leads to lower heart rates, steady breathing and the ability to smile through stressful situations.

Smiling has been found to boost levels of the neurotransmitter, serotonin. It is a vital part of regulating our moods, sleep, sexuality and appetite. Thus, serotonin helps to keep us healthy and happy which in turn produces more smiles. The physical act of smiling can use as little as 5 muscles or well over 16 and just like any muscle the more you use it, the stronger it is. Body builders shape their physique so their muscles are defined without even flexing. Similarly, maintaining a healthy smile will define an expressive, happy face. Smiling is contagious; when you smile it makes others smile, so you spread the happiness and well being around!

Jarir ibn Abdullah said: “I did not see the Prophet, since I embraced Islam, without a smile on his face. I saw him smiling when he could not see me and he would smile in my presence.” [Sahih Bukhari]

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