It is human to judge others, but the most worrisome aspect of it is how often we do it. Today, it is quite difficult to live without having some form of judgmental thoughts either physically, verbally or unconsciously. We certainly can not be blamed for these actions, although that doesn’t give us the free will to be quick at forming judgments or criticizing whenever, however or to whoever we choose. As muslims, we are meant to understand that yes, we have flaws but that doesn’t mean we should use it immorally. Rather, we should find a way to control our actions because islam teaches good morals. There are many reasons muslims shouldn’t be swift at passing judgment or criticizing other people; ranging from social to religious. However, this article focuses only on the religious aspect. Below are a few reasons why we must put ourselves in other people’s shoes.
A person’s outward actions Its true that most of the times, we can not see beyond what our eyes see. Human intentions can not be seen nor read, its between a person and his creator. All we see, are actions done by individuals and have no idea what they might do next or the intention of their actions. One can do a very good act of charity worthy of emulation and ruin it the next minute by the slightest intention for fame and vice versa.
Hadith of Imam Nawawi Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“I swear by Allah – there is no God but He – one of you may perform the deeds of the people of Paradise till there is naught but an arm’s length between him and it, when that which has been written will outstrip him so that he performs the deeds of the people of the Hell Fire; one of you may perform the deeds of the people of the Hell Fire, till there is naught but an arm’s length between him and it, when that which has been written will overtake him so that he performs the deeds of the people of Paradise and enters therein.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim,Narrated by Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud]
What this hadith clearly means is that, our actions are not by our will, it is solely by the will of our creator as such we must avoid judging too swiftly. It is better if we focus on our lives and pray that Allah (SWT) makes us better people. Learn to ask yourself why?
Most times, we see our close relatives or friends put up some kind of behavior or attitude and we quickly want to criticize or mock them. Imam Jafar as-sadiq was quoted saying:
“If you find see something you don’t like in a brother, try to find 1-70 excuses for him. And if you can’t find an excuse, say ‘There might be an excuse, but I don’t know it.”
If every human should always remember this, then we would think twice before passing a judgment and will go a long way in helping us control how often we do it. Imagine having to come up with 70 excuses for every misconduct that catches our attention.
The story of Prophet Musa (RA) and Khidr This story was narrated in one of the most important surah in the holy Quran surah Al-khaf form verse 60-82. In brief; Prophet Musa followed a learned man called Al-Khidr to get guidance. He kept seeing Al-Khidr do actions that to Musa seemed wrong and Musa would speak up and point out that they were wrong. In the end, it turned out that Al-Khidr’s intentions had been good all along, and though his actions seemed wrong he was actually doing them to benefit the people. This shows us that there are things of which we have no knowledge and should not think that we do.
Being harsh to non-Muslims
It is true that all the attention and phobia that the beautiful religion of islam has acquired overtime is due to behavioral misconduct, lack of knowledge and misconceptions on the part of some muslims themselves. The Quran and hadith, serve still, as one of the best source for good moral conduct in the world. Yet islam is being tagged as a religion which encourages violence and terrorism. All these stem from the way we treat our non-believing counterparts- calling them “infidels, kufaar” (a harsh term that is translated as ‘Infidels’ but really means someone who hides or covers, in this case, they are covering up the truth from their Lord by denying it) simply because of their religion or lifestyle, which is contrary to the teachings of the prophet peace and blessing be upon him. We must remember that only Allah (SWT), chooses who becomes a muslim and who will convert to islam. We ought to be thankful that we were born muslims and pray to die as muslims.
Calling muslims Kaafir It’s a common thing to hear muslims calling other Muslims “kaafir” (disbeliever). The prophet (SAW) said:
“If a man addresses his brother as, ‘O’ Disbeliever’ (Kaafir) it returns to one of them; either it is as he said or it returns to him.” Sahih Bukhari 10/427 and Sahih Muslim 60, Narrated by Ibn Umar
Usually, this happens when a muslim sees a fellow muslim dressing, acting or is seen doing something considered Islamically immoral, with the intention of making them desist from. This is contrary to the way muslims where ordered to correct one another.
All judgment belongs to Allah. This is a very important fact I would like to highlight in this article. The day of judgment, was made clear in the Quran for a reason and on this day, all humans will be judged according to their actions. Although we are merely humans with little understanding of these matters, we would be better off focusing on ourselves rather than exhausting ourselves judging others.