I found something to wear and some bangles to match:
The sister who was hosting prepared a beautiful lunch for all of us with lots of dishes, some Pakistani style and some Gujarati style.
I have now and again received e-mails from sisters saying that they are isolated or new to a place and have struggle to make friends and find a place in their local community. The sister who hosted has been a virtual master class in how to do this. She moved to this area with her family about three months ago after her husband made enquiries locally about the area and particularly the masjid and what the environment was like for practising Muslims.
Once they had moved here, she made an effort to attend the sister’s circle linked to the masjid. She got to know the sisters and always took time to say salaam to us even though she is about my mum’s age. When a jamaat/dawah group visited she would cook for them and where they were women, she would come to meet them and join in their halaqah’s (study groups). She hosted a meal for all of the brothers for the masjid and the lunch that I attended was for their wives.
Within the space of a very short time, she became quite beloved to us. Of course it help that she is humble and always smiling, you feel safe with her knowing that she would never be rude or saying something unkind (I really do like good natured people).
If all this sounds like hard work, it can be. It take some effort and coming forward rather than waiting for others to make the first move. But Alhamdulillah this sister made the effort and I have nothing but love and admiration for her. May Allah (SWT) accept her good efforts, multiply the blessings from them and reward her copiously insh’Allah.