Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Who am I to judge?




 "O you who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of any people make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do. " [Sûrah al-Mâ'idah: 8] 

A really important topic that I most definitely need to address is the one that we all commit with or without knowing! For most of us, it comes naturally and it is only after we realise it, that we must remind ourselves that what we are doing is not right! I am talking about judging others. Many of us do it and again, I am no exception. In fact, I was brought up in a culture that did nothing but judge. Judged the amount of wealth you had, judged one based on their waist size, judged one by their abilities so on and so forth. I really can't blame people for judging but I do not encourage it either. Living in a Western society where media often promotes "bigger, richer, stronger" to its people, we are programmed to compete with each other and look down on others if they do not have something that we have. The media dictates to us that being the best requires one to have the top most luxurious brands in the world and if you are rich, then you are successful and everybody wants to be friends with the successful. We can't just be happy for people, we need to judge them. We are taught to have a sense of selfishness and that we are BETTER than everyone because we have something they don't have.

The (modern) Chinese culture is very materialistic and based mainly around status and wealth. They judge you based on what you have and don't have and they love to gossip about it behind your back. I never liked the Chinese culture and I always tried so hard to stay as far away from it as possible. But because of family members, it was hard to stay away from this mentality even if I tried. Judging people just turns you into a shallow human being who is  closed-minded and selfish. Judging people will never make you grow as an individual because you are too busy worrying about putting other people down! If we keep judging people and forgetting to worry about ourselves, then we will never succeed as an Ummah! 

Alhamdulillah for Islam, which has taught and continues to teach us how to live life as a good human being. Our beautiful deen always teaches us to focus on how to better ourselves and to learn how to follow the manners of the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Getting rid of old bad habits is something that we all should strive to do, especially if it causes harm between you and your sisters and family! 

So, the reason why I wanted to write about this subject is because it was something that I had really fallen into and I wanted to share with everyone how it destroyed me and was making me into someone that I really did not like to be. I became Muslim to exit out of all the bad habits but I found myself naturally falling into judging others. It started off with these reminders from the Qur'an and Sunnah : 

“You (true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad and his Sunnah) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allaah” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:110] 

 The Prophet (peace and blessing
be upon him) said:  if one sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand [by taking action]; and if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart [by feeling that it is wrong] – and ths of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever among youat is the weakest of faith.” (Narrated by Muslim, 49) 

“The Prophet(SAW) said, (three times), “The Religion is naseeha (sincerity and sincere advice).” We said, “To whom?” He said, “To Allaah, His Book, His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and the general people.”  [Saheeh Muslim No.55] 

and it began with pure intentions to really enjoin the good and forbid the evil. I really wanted others to be aware of their sins and faults so that they could change for the sake of Allah. I am sure that most of us begin with these intentions (and try to stick to them) but there is an art and etiquette on giving advice without seeming judgmental. I would worry about judging others while forgetting myself and my own sins. This can come off as arrogant (audhubillah) and definitely the person whom you are advising will not pay any attention to your words. I thought that I was doing something right but I later realised, because of all the negative feedback I was getting (from people who did not know how to advise either! lol) I knew that this way was not correct and it did not bring love amongst me and my sisters (for the sake of Allah) and I was not respected because I was not respecting others. I felt in my heart, this was not correct and I didn't want to continue like this because it could be potentially earning the Wrath of Allah (Audhubillah!) 

Alhamdulillah, Allah guided me to the correct understandings and I realised I needed to make many changes (hence why I stopped blogging for a long time). It really made me into an ugly soul and I really felt that this is not what Islam teaches. This is not the Muslim that prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) tried to be. I made excuses that I was allowed to be harsh because he (peace and blessings be upon him) would be harsh to some of his companions and to the people when it called for it! ! 

We really need to be careful and mindful on how to give our sisters advice, without coming off as arrogant. We should not abandon them either! And we should never call them kafirs and treat them like one (astughfurAllah!) as this is forbidden in Islam! 

1732. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "When a person calls his brother (in Islam) a disbeliever, one of them will certainly deserve the title. If the addressee is so as he has asserted, the disbelief of the man is confirmed, but if it is untrue, then it will revert to him.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Just because they sin openly or privately, it does not give us the right to call them kafirs. How do you know what is in their hearts? What if they have repented over and over to Allah and they are struggling so hard to change their ways? That is for Allah to Know and for us to leave! If we see a sister who wears too much makeup and she is advertising her beauty online, we should keep her in our duaas and advise her gently in private. She may not take heed initially, but it may get around to her eventually. Maybe your good manners will speak to her and she will consider what you have said! I know for a fact that most of these sisters get a LOT of hateful, rude, judgmental  comments on a daily basis and if those comments really worked as advice, then they would obviously stop what they were doing ! These judgemental comments can even cause a sister with weak faith to leave Islam completely (audhubillah!!!!!!) Of course, I do not support tabarruj (beautifying oneself in public for non-mahram) in any way, shape or form (as you all know lol) but I also do not think that being harsh and being a keyboard warrior would help either. They are still our sisters in Islam and WE TOO started somewhere. We were not perfect with hijab or niqab when we first became Muslim and even if we were, it does not give us the right to look down on others because they do not dress the same way as us. We all had that one sister who helped us along our journey and who never judged us, why not reciprocate for the sake of Allah and be that sister ? Maybe these ignorant sisters are just looking for a friend who does not judge them with everything and who is just looking for support!

I never truly understood "every body is at different levels of faith" until I came across some sisters who were extremely kind and even though could improve on their outward appearance, they still believed in the Oneness of Allah and were trying their best to be a good Muslim. So until I actually came across sisters who may not outwardly show their dedication, they still had better character than I did! 

O you who have believed, when you went forth in the cause of Allah, investigate; and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace, “you are not a believer,” aspiring for the goods of worldly life; for with Allah are many acquisitions. You [yourselves] were like that before, then Allah conferred His favor upon you, so investigate. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. (Suratul Nisaa: 94) 


Everybody starts somewhere and at the end of the day we are judged according to our own deeds. So wouldn't it be better to be judged for being kind and gentle to our sisters in Islam rather than being judgmental and rude? Another problem I noticed is that we all (and I am included) like to judge who is more righteous and knowledgeable than others! A lot of us judge each other based on the length of their beard (or no beard, and  lets not forget some men are not able to grow facial hair as easy as others, like my dad!), the colour of hijab, the niqab style etc...Just because one wears the niqab or has a beard DOES NOT mean that they are more righteous or religious. I have seen with my own eyes on many social networks, sisters in niqab claiming they are "salafi", mock others and post things that have explicit language ! So you can not judge someone just because of their outer appearance and claim them to be more righteous just because of the way they dress! And lets not forget the ones who claim they are more on the Sunnah than others! Many put others down because they think they have more knowledge than others. Knowledge is a BLESSING from Allah and we should be humble with it and never use it to flaunt to others because just as easily as Allah gave it to us, He can take it away. I will not go into full detail with this one because insha'Allah I want to dedicate an entire post on this issue! But I think we must be very careful in judging others just because they don't do certain acts of worship the way you do! Again, every one will be judged according to their own deeds and and surely, Allah is the One who knows who is righteous and who is not! 

Verily, your Lord knows better, who (among men) has gone astray from His Path, and He knows better those who are guided. (Surah Qalam:7)

Subhan'Allah this Hadith pretty much sums up everything about WHY we should not judge others. 
Narrated Abu Hurairah رضي الله عن ه: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) say: “There were two men among Banee Israa’eel, who were striving for the same goal. One of them would commit sin and the other would strive to do his best in the world. The man who exerted himself in worship continued to see the other in sin. He would say: ‘Refrain from it.’ One day he found him in sin and said to him: ‘Refrain from it.’ He (the other man) said: ‘Leave me alone with my Lord. Have you been sent as a watchman over me?’ He (the first man) said: ‘I swear by Allaah, Allaah will not forgive you, nor will he admit you to Paradise.’ Then their souls were taken back (by Allaah), and they met together with the Lord of the worlds.
He (Allaah تعالى) said to this man who had striven hard in worship; {Had you knowledge about Me or had you power over that which I had in My hand?} He said to the man who sinned: {Go and enter Paradise by My mercy.} He said about the other: {Take him to Hell.}”
Abu Hurairah said رضي الله عنه: By Him in Whose hand my soul is, he spoke a word by which this world and the next world of his were destroyed.
[Sunan Abu Dawood (4901) and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee]


I can't stress this enough, but our Ummah is becoming more and more divided because we are becoming more and more judgmental. YES , we should not mix with everybody (i.e- the extremist sects who's shirk and extremism brings them outside the folds of Islam) but we should not abandon those who dress differently or do things differently because we should be the ones helping them and trying to show them that they are still our sisters in Islam and we should maintain respect and kindness among each other! We should try our best to think good of our sisters in Islam and we should not be judging them and making them feel uncomfortable. It will not please Allah and it is something that causes division and we are in a time now where we should be sticking together and helping each other. Islam is being criticized too much and we are not doing anything to show that Islam is the perfect religion! If we claim that we follow the Qu'ran and Sunnah then we really should start acting like it insha'Allah! We need to STOP judging one another, focus on working on our own selves and remembering that Allah will judge us all according to our own deeds. If you want to advise a sister, do it with kindness and wisdom and try to put yourself in their shoes. How would you like to be advised?  

the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Avoid suspicion, for suspicion is the greatest of lies in talk and do not be inquisitive about one another and do not spy upon one another and do not feel envy of one another, and nurse no malice, and nurse no aversion and hostility against one another. And be fellow-brothers and servants of Allah.” (Sahih Muslim, No: 2563)

May Allah grant me the ability to take my own advice and put it into practice and may He continue to guide us all and give us the ability to follow the proper teachings of our prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) AMEEN!! 

7 comments:

  1. Assalamualaikum.. Jazakkallah for this post.. I love you sister.. And I totally agree with you that our ummah is divided and torn apart because of the judgemental mind. We keep on judging others but forgetting that Allah is judging us too.

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    1. walaikumassalam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu!!!! thank you my dear sister <3 may Allah beautify our characters ameen!

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  2. JazakAAllah,, indeed the very true lines..

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  3. To avoid to be thrown to hellfire, do not judge other people if you are not a learned. certified,qualfied and offially appointed qadhi judge.
    Book 24, Number 3566:
    Narrated Buraydah ibn al-Hasib:

    The Prophet Muhammad(peace_be_upon_him) said: Judges are of three types, one of who will go to Paradise and two to will go to Hell. The one who will go to Paradise is a man who knows what is right and gives judgment accordingly; but a man who knows what is right and acts tyrannically in his judgment will go to Hell; and a man who gives judgment for people when he is ignorant will go to Hell.

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  4. Love you sis!! <3 May Allah bless you always and thank you so much for sharing what you have come to learn with us. That is another one of the innumerable gifts of Islam, we can constantly learn and improve ourselves by the grace of our Lord. May we all act upon the good advice and earn His pleasure.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. ameen my dear sister! love u too for the sake of Allah!!

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Assalamualaikum, please be mindful about what you are about to write. Think about it before writing and make sure it is something positive and beneficial, otherwise it will be deleted and ignored. JazakiAllah kheyr ! Sisters ONLY! xo