How to Think Well of Others in Order to Relieve the Heart

Thinking well of others not only relieves the heart but also makes one happy. By thinking well of others, the heart becomes free and becomes at peace and this protects the mind and body from worrisome thoughts. The love among individuals becomes strengthened and the heart becomes free from hatred and abhorrence which leads to a sound heart. The Prophet, SAW, said:

“Beware of assumptions, for assumption is the falsest of speech, and do not be inquisitive, and do not spy upon one another, and do not vie with one another, and do not envy one another, and do not hate one another, and do not shun one another; be fellow-brothers and slaves of Allah.”

A Muslim can think well of others by engaging in supplication. Supplicating to Allah SWT is the gate to every goodness. The Prophet, SAW, would ask his Lord to grant him a sound heart.

We can also think well of others by putting ourselves in their place when they do or say something. Allah SWT directs His slaves to this meaning in the verse where He Says:

“Why, when you heard it [the falsehood against ‘Ai’shah, may Allah be pleased with her], did not the believing men and believing women think good of one another?”[Quran 24:12] In another verse, Allah SWT makes the believers feel as if they are one single entity, to the extent that when one of them meets his brother and greets him, it is as if he is greeting himself. Allah SWT Says: “But when you enter houses, give greetings of peace upon yourselves – a greeting from Allah.” [Quran 24:61]

Furthermore, we must try to interpret the words of others in the best possible way. This was said by  ‘Umar may Allah be pleased with him: “Do not think ill of a word that your believing brother utters as long as it can be interpreted in a good way.” We should also try to make excuses for one another. Whenever someone says or does something that upsets or grieves one, he should try to find excuses for him and think of the status of the righteous who used to think well of their fellows and make excuses for them. They would say,

“You should make seventy excuses for your brother.” Ibn Seereen may Allah have mercy upon him said, “If you come to know that a brother has harmed you with either a word or a deed, you should make an excuse for him; if you did not find one, you should say, ‘There may be an excuse that I do not know of.’”

We must also abstain from judging the intentions of others as abstaining from this is one of the main acts that can help one think well of others. We must leave the intentions to Allah SWT who knows truly what’s in the breast of men. Avoiding judging others intentions is to avoid harbouring ill-thoughts about them. Evil assumptions such as accusing others along with thinking well of oneself is one of the evil consequences of thinking ill of others. This is one way a person may be guilty of ascribing purity to oneself that Allah SWT forbade in His Book. Allah SWT Says:

“So do not claim yourselves to be pure; He is most knowing of who fears Him.} [Quran 53:32]

In another verse, Allah SWT criticizes the Jews when they ascribed purity to themselves. Allah SWT Says:

“Have you not seen those who claim themselves to be pure? Rather, Allah purifies whom He wills, and injustice is not done to them, [even] as much as a thread [inside a date seed].” [Quran 4:49]

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