The Front Cover (Judging Others?)

>> Tuesday, June 14, 2011


There is a slight problem, and it's posing major hindrance in my day-to-day life, with my university friends, with my family, etc etc. Some time back I came back to Islam, Alhumdulillah. Since then I have been reading alot, alot, alot about Islam. The problem is, that reading so much, albeit giving me knowledge and clearing my mind, has made me judgmental about other people at the same time. Like whenever I would see someone doing the slightest of wrong or putting a toe out of line, I would start forming judgement in my head- i will NOT say anything to that person however. But its very irritating. Sometimes when my mother will see me that i'm firmly adhering to my hijab and not making hairstyles like i used to or when my friends will see that i'm avoiding music, they will tell me to come back to being normal. I dont know what to do in such a situation. I mean, my own mother will tell me that I shouldn't be so strict in my principles and that i should slow down, loosen up a bit. And that's when i get the impression of myself as being some stubborn, hardhearted girl that everyone will want to avoid. And then I start judging my mother and my friends. I don't want that to happen!!

I mean, Allah loves all his creatures whether I perceive them as "good" or "bad" so who am I to judge someone so quickly? What follows next is subconsciously I restrict my conversations with that person and so this way, i grow distant, distant from people. I dont want that to happen. I dont want to judge anyone, whatever they are, whoever they are, whatever they do. I want to smile all the time, I dont want to sulk in the corner with the fear of hanging with (my own perceived) "wrong" sort of poeple. I want to be humble and kind and soft at heart - like you are!


Dear Not Wanting to Judge Others,

awww, sis. You caught me off guard with your last sentence, there! My sugar sprinkled fudge brownie- I'm not a perfect person and I do not have perfect thoughts. Life offline is a LOT tougher than online. I really don't WANT you to even want to be like ME, at all! In fact....guess what? I sometimes catch myself judging others, too...


And alhamdillah, at least, you are aware of your problem and want to work on that. Before I give you some tips (for you and for myself), I do want to clarify though that I think we have two separate issues here. We have the issue of 'judging others' and we have the issue of 'enjoining the right and forbidding the evil".


Let's start with Number One. How to NOT Judge Others.

Well, I think to do that, we have to remind ourselves that:

A. Guidance is not guaranteed to any of us. The next prayer is not guaranteed either. We are in need of Allah's guidance, just like anyone and everyone else. We are actually not in control of our hearts –we have to remember that we could easily ‘fall back into such sins’…

Remember, the prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam used to recite the following dua:

O, Turner of the Hearts, make our hearts firm on your din (religion).
B. We cannot 'see' what a person's ending will be .Think of Khalid bin Walid, Radiya Allah Anhoo. Think of the state he was in during the Battle of Uhud and how he was at the end of his life. Radiya Allah Anhoo. He became the Sword of Allah! You see?

On the other hand, we have a verse in the Qur’an of a story of someone who was ‘knowledgable’ but turned to his desires. There’s a very long story about who this man was but for now, I think the verse is enough: (that’ll be your homework to look up the tafsir, LOL :P)

And recite to them, [O Muhammad], the news of him to whom we gave [knowledge of] Our signs, but he detached himself from them; so Satan pursued him, and he became of the deviators. (175) And if We had willed, we could have elevated him thereby, but he clung to the earth (became interested in the adornment of this life and its delights) and followed his own [vain] desire. So his example is like that of the dog: if you chase him, he pants, or if you leave him, he [still] pants. That is the example of the people who denied Our signs. So relate the stories that perhaps they will give thought. (7: 176)

The truth is that we can never know a person's end...and that, terrifyingly enough, includes ourselves. We don't even what our own ending will be. How will we die? In what state?

C. We cannot see the person's heart. It is alright for us to judge the action itself as being correct or incorrect (using the Qur'an, Sunnah, and what scholars say as our guide, but we must always remind ourselves that we cannot see what is ‘behind the action’ (or the intention). A Qari of the Qu’ran could have no other intention but to show off….we could perceive him to be ‘perfect/ wonderful’ and his actions as pious but in reality they are worthless. We can NEVER see what is in the heart. 

D. Remind yourself of this hadith:
Hadith Qudsi 31:
A man said: By Allah, Allah will not forgive So-and-so. At this Allah the Almighty said: Who is he who swears by Me that I will not forgive So-and-so? Verily I have forgiven So-and-so and have nullified your [own good] deeds (1) (or as he said [it]).

And of this Name of Allah: Al-Haleem: The Clement.

This means that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is not quick to judgment. He gives time. He forebears and is patient to see His servant to return to Him.Not only is He not quick to Judgment, He has commanded the angels ‘to take their time’ when it comes to recording our bad deeds.

Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “The angel of the left raises [and holds] his pen for six hours from the Muslim servant of Allah who has wronged or committed a mistake. So if he regrets and seeks Allah’s forgiveness from it he returns it back, and if that is not the case then it is written as one.” [Mu'jam al Kabeer, Hasan according to Albani]
Think about that. When a person 'sins' or does something wrong Islamically (out of ignorance), are they sinning against you or Allah? So, who then, should 'judge'? If Allah gives them time, why can't we? :)


But sister,  now let's get on to Part II:

There is a difference between 'not judging others' and not giving 'nasiha to others'. If you truly love others, you would care about their Hereafter and you would want them to be in the highest place.

It is actually Allah subhanoo Wa’ Tala, the One who is Perfect, who commanded us to help each other ‘better ourselves’. He commanded that we watch over each other, take care of each other.

He has commanded us to correct each other.

When you see your friend doing something wrong, rather than internally thinking about her as being ‘less pious’ as you, for example, think about how you BOTH need help and how you can help her in this and maybe she can help you in something else.

We’re here to help each other, not stand against each other.

And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful. (3:104)
The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those - Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. (9: 71)

The reality is that Allah gives us a CLEAR warning against 'belittling ourselves' and that is not speaking up about something we should.

On the authority of Abu Sa'id (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

Let not any one of you belittle himself. They said: O Messenger of Allah, how can any one of us belittle himself? He said: He finds a matter concerning Allah about which he should say something, and he does not say [it], so Allah (mighty and sublime be He) says to him on the Day of Resurrection: What prevented you from saying something about such-and-such and such-and-such? He say: [It was] out of fear of people. Then He says: Rather it is I whom you should more properly fear.
It was related by Ibn Majah with a sound chain of authorities.

So we should give nasiha. Before you do it, though, just think about you would appreciate being told that you’re doing something wrong :

Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, "None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself."

And always ask your sisters to correct you, if you’re doing something wrong :)

Well, sister, this is my little advice….I hope inshaAllah the readers can add some more tips and stuff :D


6 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Aziza June 14, 2011 at 10:37 AM  

Oh my goodness I definitely needed this. This is some good stuff. :)
JazakAllah Khayr!! :)

Anonymous,  June 14, 2011 at 12:53 PM  

JazakAllah little Auntie for the advice! I so needed it. I will keep in mind what you said, esp the part that talks about not knowing the end of people. JazakAllah.. i hope i remember it all, InshaAllah. May you be rewarded immensely, Ameen. lots and lots and lotssss of love!

Anonymous,  June 15, 2011 at 8:08 AM  

Very beneficial. Little Auntie, you always give well-thought out advice.

Anonymous,  June 16, 2011 at 7:43 AM  

And as they say, "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future." We should remember that before judging others.

dunyatodeen July 18, 2011 at 9:32 AM  

I really wish you could get a 'like' button on ur blog! because I just super like the way you answer the queries. Masha Allah .. May Allah bless your good work!.. Keep it going sister! :)

Secondly, the (C) point here about how we donot know what is in people's heart and what their niyah is ... reminded me of the story in Surah Kahf of Prophet Musa(peace be upon him) .. a lesson for all of us as to how an action, though we perceive it wrong, can actually be right because of the reasons behind it!

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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