Judging Others

February 14, 2010

We live in a society that is based on judging others.  Often times, as Muslims, we tend to do the same thing in that we judge other people.  We think we know others’ intentions or we know where their heart stands.  We may look for a reason to pass judgment on a specific brother or sister or we may look for an excuse to consider them ‘off the manhaj’ as it is so often known as. 

However, in reality, ask yourself, “Who are we to judge others?”  As Muslims, we want and wish for the best for our brothers and sisters in faith.  They are a part of our family and thus we want nothing but the best for them.  What happened to making excuses and excuses for our brothers and sisters?  Who are we judge others?  No doubt, as Muslims, it is our duty to advise others and it is our duty to command the good and forbid the evil.  What would happen if we didn’t pass judgment on them, rather we just advised them instead?  Would something befall upon us?  Allah is the Judge and He will judge the people for indeed we do not know what is in the hearts of others, rather Allah knows what is in the breasts of mankind.

Imam Malik stated, “If I was given 99 reasons to declare a person deviant and one upholding their orthodoxy, I’d go with the latter!”  Imam al-Ghazali stated, “The hypocrite looks for faults, the believer looks for excuses.”  Al-Hafidh al-Dhahabi wrote, “I heard our Sheikh, Ibn Taymiyyah, d. 728 a.h, say towards the end of his life, ‘I will never declare anyone from the people of the Qiblah (Muslim direction of prayer) as an infidel.’”

Ask yourself, do you REALLY want the best for your brother or sister if you’re looking for an excuse to throw them outside the fold of Ahlus-Sunnah or worse yet, even Islam?  Oh Muslim, make excuses for one another.  Make dua for one another.  Love one another.  The Messenger (SAW) of God told us that we would not attain faith until we love one another.  He (SAW) also told us that one is not a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.  Therefore, O Muslim, attain faith, become a believer (Mumin)!  May Allah (SWT) allow us all to be believers.  Ameen.

got brotherhood?

February 21, 2009

Amongst one of my fondest memories in Egypt was one time when I was at a juice-stand on a street corner and I was drinking some juice (yes, I gave into this fad) with another brother from the USA.  Sitting right beside us were these two other brothers from Belgium.  Now one thing about being a foreigner in the Middle East is that you immediately recognize the other foreigners while you are there.  Anyways, the brothers from Belgium didn’t speak English (what language do they speak in Belgium anyways?) and they, like us, were relatively new to the Arabic language. We conversed for several minutes in broken Arabic before it was finally time to depart.  As we were leaving, one of the Belgium brothers said to us, “Convey our salaams to the Ahlus-Sunnah (People of the Sunnah) in America as the Ahlus-Sunnah in Europe give theirs salaams to the Ahlus-Sunnah in America.”

Subhan’Allah, the brother’s statement really got me thinking.  I started to think about the concept of brotherhood that exists in Islam and how fortunate we are to have such a unique blessing.  Indeed, this Muslim from Belgium with whom I share probably nothing in common with (not culture, language, race, ethnicity, etc) except Islam is my brother in faith.  Think about that for a moment.  He’s not my cousin or uncle or anything else, but my brother in Islam.  And this brother was able to group together millions of Muslims in Europe and tie them so closely with the millions of Muslims in the United States.  Instant love exists within our hearts for our fellow Muslim brothers and this phenomenal love cannot be explained, but only truly experienced.

Indeed, the Quran states, “the Believers are but a single Brotherhood” (translation of the meaning of the Holy Quran, 49:10).  The Messenger of God (SAW) stated, “None of you will have faith till he wishes for his brother what he likes for himself” (Bukhari).

Therefore, O Muslim, meet new brothers, spread the salaams, smile in the face of your brother and prefer your brother over yourself for indeed, we will see the fruits of such beauty in this life and the Hereafter, insh’Allah.

Related readings: Rights of Brotherhood in Islam and Islamic Brotherhood