Dear Muslim(ah), you have been raised in status; Allah has named yours the best of generations, your prophet has been chosen to intercede for mankind, your book – the Qur’an – has been called the book of guidance.
If Shaytaan was envious of the generations that toiled this earth before yours, then you should expect him to be eating his hearts out and green with envy over the status Allah has afforded your own generation; it is therefore not unanticipated that he would attempt to make you forget the virtue by which you were made the best of generations, but it is unbecoming of you to forget. A prince who knows not the worth of a crown, and thinks that he has been braced for it just because his head fit the size of the crown will end up misplacing such crown.
“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and FORBID WHAT IS WRONG and believe in Allah.”
Each time a Muslim brother or sister attempts to correct or caution you – with convincing evidence – it is simply because they want to uphold that which has made ours the best of generations.
Correcting others is not born out of arrogance, pride or feelings of one’s infallibility, rather, it is out of desire to be in Jannah with you. It is because they remember what made the People of Israel cursed.
“They used not to prevent one another from wrongdoing that they did. How wretched was that which they were doing.”
-Sura Al-Ma’idah, Ayah 79
Warning Is Different From Judging.
When Allah sent The Prophet Nūh to his people, he said:
“Indeed, We sent Noah to his people, [saying], “Warn your people before there comes to them a painful punishment.”
-Sura Nuh, verse 1.
Apparently, Nūh had to warn his people to desist from wrongdoings and spook them with the promise of Allah’s punishment descending upon those who did not adhere to his warnings – as Allah had ordered him to warn them; yet this was not regarded as JUDGING the people because he himself would later say – probably after his people directed towards him the same rant: ‘don’t judge’
“I am only a clear warner.
Their account is only upon my Lord, if you [could] perceive.”
-Sura Ash-Shu’ara, verse 113-115.
This makes it clear that when someone warns us, telling us our Hijaab is supposed to be longer, that the cusp of any trouser that falls below the ankle is in Jahannam, we should simply try to appreciate the efforts they put into making us desist from these acts; we should not feel hurt or judged, we should only feel grateful that they so much want us to be saved from the heat of Jahannam.
And if they have their apparent shortcomings too, then we should appreciate them even more; we should appreciate the fact that despite the fact that they are still struggling to save themselves from Allah’s punishment, they love us enough to still care about us and want us safe and saved from the torment they themselves aren’t assured of safety from.
And If They Actually Feel Infallible
It will be hard to meet someone who feeds off criticising others; for it is not enjoyable having so many people despise you; most of those who constantly correct others often do so because they want to uphold that which has made us the best of generations, however, there are those who actually correct others because they feel superior or better, when we meet such people what then should be our stance? Should we be quick to remind them of their shortcomings too while asking them not to judge us? Should we tell them that even we, who do not use the hijab, may be better than them?
Allah says: “The repentance accepted by Allah is only for those who do wrong in ignorance [or carelessness] and then repent SOON AFTER. It is those to whom Allah will turn in forgiveness, and Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.”
-Sura An-Nisa’, Ayah 17
This verse shows that when one is corrected and aware of his mistakes, then he should be quick to repent, and should be least concerned about the personality or reason behind the correction before it is effected.
He also says: “And HASTEN to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous”
-Sura Aal-E-Imran, Ayah 133
Hastening to forgiveness means taking no time at all in seeking it when we realize that we have made a mistake, this is nullified by asking questions such as – are you infallible too? – from the one warning us.
He also says: “THE ONLY STATEMENT of the [true] believers when they are called to Allah and His Messenger to judge between them is that they say, “We hear and we obey.” And those are the successful.”
-Sura An-Nur, Ayah 51
The only statement when one is corrected with sound and convincing pieces of evidence – irrespective of the manners in which the correction is presented – should be: We hear and we obey. Being too concerned about the manners or personality of the one correcting us nullifies this also.
And also, Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “He who has, in his heart, an ant’s weight of arrogance will not enter Jannah.” Someone said: “A man likes to wear beautiful clothes and shoes?” Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah is Beautiful, He loves beauty. Arrogance means ridiculing and rejecting the Truth and despising people.”
Arabic/English book : Book 1, Hadith 612
Riyad us Saliheen
The Prophet clearly stated in the Hadith that arrogance can be measured by how ready one is to accept that they are wrong when they are confronted with plain evidence against their wrongdoings.
It can be measured by one’s reply when corrected – do you tell them to eff off? Do you tell them to go correct themselves instead? Do you tell them that you may even be better than them despite the atrocities they are accusing you of? Do you accept, even if you have yet to change, that you are wrong? Do you ask them to keep praying for your steadfastness?
Even if we find it hard to effect the change instantly, we should not add the load of arrogance to our burden. Repentance has three pillars, one of which is regretting one’s action and another is making up one’s mind to not return to the action.
The one who replies: Don’t Judge! has failed to bring either of these pillars, while one who accepts his mistakes, even if he finds it easy to change, has at least come forth with one of the pillars – regretting – and saved himself from the problem of arrogance.
Our dearest love and prayers go to those brothers struggling to earn from that which Allah has made acceptable, to the sisters using the jilbaab despite the hurdles they face, those keeping away from forbidden relationships with the opposite sex, those standing up at night to pray and seek forgiveness, those swimming against the tides of liberal beliefs.
(Un)fortunately, our love encompasses those who still find it hard to engage in all those things too, but whose hearts wish they could, and that is why we cannot stop warning them to desist from whatever would get them hurt; whatever would make them liable to tasting the torment of Jahannam even for a second.
That is why, despite the fact that we cry to Allah at night unsure of what ending would be ours, we still feel obliged to warn them. Our burdens suffice us, but our love for you won’t allow us watch you toil the path to Jahannam while we keep quiet.
Our love won’t allow us watch you become of those who, on the day of Qiyaamah, it is said of them: “And the companions of the Fire will call to the companions of Paradise, “Pour upon us some water or from whatever Allah has provided you.” They will say, “Indeed, Allah has forbidden them both to the disbelievers.”
-Sura Al-A’raf, Ayah 50
Who took their religion as distraction and amusement and whom the worldly life deluded.” So today We will forget them just as they forgot the meeting of this Day of theirs and for having rejected Our verses.
-Sura Al-A’raf, Ayah 51
Lan Rey Hasan