It’s that time of the year again: time to turn on the tap and wait a few more minutes before wudu (ablution) so that the water can warm up. There are few things in this world more difficult than performing wudu for Fajr (the morning/dawn prayer) in cold water. In fact, while many people may complete their wudu in cold water, their focus and enjoyment are both likely be lost in the process. Yes, the task is complete, but the complete benefit is lost. However, if a person turns on the tap and lets it run for a few moments, the cold water will eventually turn warm, and a person will find the perfect opportunity to perform wudu with ease.
Similarly, we are living in a cold climate. People are not as friendly to Islam nor as accepting of it as they once were. Rather than forcing Islam down the throats of others, if we merely give them some time and let the tap run — let them say what they have to say and feel what they have to feel without our overreacting — eventually they will begin to see the beauty of the deen (religion) through our actions, even if we remain quiet.
There is no compulsion in (accepting the) religion. Verily, truth has been distinguished from falsehood. (2:256)
Some of the brothers from our community informed me that last year they were involved in a gift-giving activity for our neighbors. Though there was a group of people who directly refused to accept this gift, many people did accept it and some people had their views of Islam permanently changed by this small gesture. Sometimes we just need to let the tap run a little to let things warm up.