The ummah is not in need of fault finders, online shuyukh and keyboard warriors.

28 Sep

I am sure I have probably written about similar topics before. But hey, it seems like some things need saying…over and over again.

There are times when I think that Muslims are sometimes our own worst enemy.

Recently, especially with the Olympics going on and the presence of Muslims competing, I am seeing way too many Muslims who are way too worried about the ibaadaat (worship) of others.

Now I can understand if someone is genuinely worried. But it seems that alot of the time, seeing someone do something you PERCEIVE as wrong gives the green light to gossip about them. It is as if the wrongs of others are a talking point. Something to discuss. Which ends up benefiting no one. When people discuss their brothers and sisters in public, whether or not the sin was done in public, it could potentially cause fitnah in the minds of people. You could be encouraging someone to think badly of another person. This to me, is straight up mischief-making and exposing your brother or sister in Islam.

“Do not indulge in backbiting. Nor should you pry into or publicize the failings of others. Whoever is guilty of it will be treated likewise by God- and he is bound to be disgraced publicly” ~ Prophet Muhammed, Peace and blessings be upon him. (Abu Dawood)

Abdullah said: “The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘A believer is not a defamer nor a curser nor coarse nor obscene.’” (Bukhari)

I am not saying that we should not be concerned about one another. I am not a fan of these ‘only God can judge me’ or ‘worry about yourself’ mentalities, as these statements are often used as excuses, besides, it’s our duty to help eachother:

Abu Hurayra said: “A believer is the mirror of his brother. When he sees a fault in him, he should correct him.” (Bukhari)

Abu Hurayra said: “The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘The believer is the mirror of his brother. The believer is the brother of the beliEver. He protects him against loss and defends him behind his back.’”

Throughout the Quran and the Sunnah, we see mistakes being corrected without the person who made the mistake asking for advice. Therefore, there is huge importance placed on giving advice to one another.

If you are genuinely concerned, you have 2 options:

1. Advise with adab

and/or

2. Make duaa for them if you cannot give advice.

People seem unaware of the fact that passing judgment is different from advising. Passing judgement, quite simply offers nothing, as the minute you begin to assume or think badly of someone, in your eyes they are already a ‘bad Muslim’ or below you. Condemning, passing judgement, harshness, ‘indirects’ and backbiting will not get you very far at all, and to be honest shouldn’t even be an option. They will not ensure that your Muslim brother or sister is safe from your tongue.

“Those of you who have excellent conduct will enjoy my company, but those with ill-manners and a sharp, reproaching tongues will be kept away from me.” ~ Prophet Muhammed (SAW) (Bayhaqi)

Abdullah b Amr said: “The Prophet (SAW) was neither coarse nor loud. He used to say, ‘The best of you is the one who has the best character.’”

Advising offers kindness, softness, mercy, an eye opener to the problem and help with finding the solution. As a community, we often lack mercy and gentleness when dealing with people.

Jarir b Abdullah said “The Messenger of Allah, SAW said, ‘Allah will not show mercy to someone who does not show mercy to people.’”  (Bukhari)

A’isha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “Some Jews came to the Prophet (SAW) and said, ‘Sam (i.e. death instead of Salam i.e. peace) be upon you.’ A’isha said: ‘And upon you, and may Allah’s curse and His anger be upon you.’ The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Be patient, A’isha, you must be gentle. Beware of harshness and coarseness.’ She said, ‘Didn’t you hear what they said?’ He said, ‘Didn’t you hear what I said? I returned it to them and what I said about them will be accepted and what they said about me will not be accepted.” (Bukhari)

Aisha said: “I was on a camel that was somewhat troublesome and I began to beat it. The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘You must be gentle. Whenever there is gentleness in some matter, it adorns it and whenever it is taken away, that disfigures it.’”(Bukhari)

The most important point here is manners. Courtesy when advising is key, and unfortunately many of us do not hold this key. Scholar of Fiqh and Hadith, Hafidh Ibn Rajab writes, “When the righteous predecessors intended to give naseehah to someone, they admonished him privately, to the point that some of them said, “The one who exhorts his brother between him and himself , then it is naseehah. The one who exhorts him in front of people, then it is merely scolding!”

Fudail Ibn Ayyadh, one of the pious scholars from our predecessors, said, “A believer covers up and gives naseehah, whereas an evildoer exposes and humiliates.” Ibn Rajab commented on Fudail’s saying, “It is naseehah if it is with a cover, while humiliating is with broadcasting.” (Last two quotes: sunnahonline.com)

Sa’d b.Malik said: “The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Reviling a Muslim is erring behaviour.’”

Even before you advise, ALWAYS find out the full story before jumping to conclusions. Too many times a person’s actions have been misconstrued because the entire situation has not been taken into account. Suspicion comes into this. People are overly suspicious of their own brothers and sisters. Suspicious that so and so is not fasting. Suspicious that so and so is lying. Suspicion is not fact, and you cannot always act on a hunch:

Mu’awiya said: “I heard some words from the Prophet (SAW) by which Allah helped me. I heard the Messenger of Allah say, ‘If you delve into suspicions about people, you will corrupt them.’ I therefore do not delve into my suspicions about people so that I may not corrupt them.” (Bukhari)

When suspicion enters, and is talked about, it could result in slander or accusation. As I said, suspicion is not fact. And what you are talking about could not be true. How serious is this in the deen?

Asma bint Yazid said: “The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Shall I tell you who are the best among you?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Those who, when you see them, bring you to remembrance of Allah.’ He went on, ‘Shall I tell you who are the worst of you?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Those who go about slandering, making mischief between friends to serperate them, and desiring to lead the innocent into distress.’” (Bukhari)

Abu Dharr said “I heard the Prophet (SAW) say: ‘If a man accuses another man of deviance or accuses him of disbelief, that (accusation) will return on him if the one whom he accused is not as he said.’”

Twitter has become a prominent platform for behaviour like this, where Muslims get at eachother without basic courtesy, airing suspicions and acting on hunches. If you are tweeting about someone’s mistakes, are you doing it to defame them, or to seek the pleasure of Allah? When advising someone, our intention should always be first and foremost to please Allah.

A good friend of mine, @munirahonline tweeted: “Sometimes people are so desperate to condemn other muslims their tweets don’t even make sense.”

This rang true to me. People are very very quick to condemn in public spaces, not realising that others can read what they write and can share it and discuss it, potentially taking it to another level, adding insults or gossip:

Ali b Abi Talib said: “The person who says something indecent and the person who spreads it are equal as far as the sin is concerned.” (Bukhari)

Let’s take this type or scenario as an example:

‘You could be doing (insert ibaadaat here) instead of wasting your time doing (insert anything else here).”

What’s wrong with this tweet? Let us analyse.

1. I’m sure you could be doing (insert ibaadaat here) instead of TWEETING about other people not doing (insert ibaadaat here)!!!!!

2. Unless you live with this person, it is highly unlikely that you know what they do 24 hours a day. This goes back to knowing someone’s situation. You can’t jump on someone because they tweeted that they are watching Eastenders. Yes, maybe they could be doing something better, but they may have been worshipping all day for all you know. Tweets are merely snippets of someone’s life. Yet this type of condemnation is rife. There are a number of ahadith about fault finders, those who are very quick to point out what others are doing wrong.

Ikrima said: “Ibn Abbas spoke about the words of Allah, the Mighty and Exaulted, ‘Do not find fault with eachother’ (49:11), and he said that these words mean, ‘Do not attack eachother.’”

Even if someone publicises that they are doing something like watching TV, for example, it is then assumed that they are not doing something good, or did not do some good before. This is fault-finding, you went out of your way to assume something bad about someone else.

3. Props due, Maa shaa Allah, for trying to advise your brothers and sisters. But please understand that indirecting them is not encouraging. It’s discouraging. And makes you sound ‘not-very-nice’. How about tweet some ahadith or ayaat from the Quran, some eemaan boosters, with the intention of occupying people’s minds with the deen instead of things that are of no benefit?

My intention when writing this is not to insult or anger anyone. It is merely a reminder to myself and whoever wishes to be reminded. I am not exempt from this, infact I am guilty of much of this, and I have seen how it can put bad feeling between people. I do not enjoy pulling my brothers and sisters up in this way. But I feel it needs to be said. We cannot change outside perceptions of us until we change how we interact with eachother. Effective dawah to non-Muslims cannot take place until we can call eachother with love, mercy and manners to that which is good for us. If we want to be standing together on yowm-al-qiyaamah, if we want to see Allah together, then we need to work together. Only then will we prosper together.

I’ll leave you with these last two ahadith to ponder:

Abu Hurayra said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “By the One in whose hand my soul is, you will not enter the Garden until you submit. You will not submit until you love one another. Extend the greeting to one another and you will love one another. Beware of hatred, for it is the razor. I do not tell you that it shaves the hair, but it shaves away the deen.” (Bukhari)

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-’As reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The souls of two believers should meet in the course of a day even if they do not actually see each other.” (Bukhari)

May we submit to Allah by loving eachother, and may our souls meet by the Mercy and Love of Allah, ameen.

*All ahadith are from ‘Daily Wisdom’ (Abdul Raheem Kidwai) and Al Adab Al Mufrad (Imam Bukhari).

~ Zara

Click here to read more about Zara

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: