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The Academy Blog
20 Sep 2017

Did You Hear What He Just Said?

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In these days and times, we find that there is a mindset that has become normal to most people, which must be dealt with immediately. It is destroying us, and we don’t even realize it. This is the issue of wanting so bad to find fault in one another, that judge our brothers and sisters for what they said, before even attempting to gain an understanding about what they meant by their statement. It is almost as though some people want so bad to be the individual that discovers the next person to talk about, that they tend to reach far just to find an excuse to make a claim. What ever happened to the situation of thinking good about one another? Isn’t this the basic principle that we are supposed to be acting on, when it comes to dealing with one another?

Look at the statement which was narrated from ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said,

“Do not think badly of any word uttered by your brother when you can find a good interpretation for it.”

Can we not see that they second Khalifah of the Muslim Ummah was upon something other than what many of us are upon today? All of this is true, yet we claim to be trying to implementing what they implemented, and practicing what they practiced. Is it not befitting that we adopt this as a way of life as well? This should hold especially true when we consider the importance that Allah and His Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) gave to the issue of brotherhood in Islam.

A step further would be the situation of hearing something bad about them from someone else. You have some that couldn’t be happier than to hear something that could be used against one of the brothers. Can you tell me that this is not true? Can you tell me that there are not some of the brothers and sisters that would like nothing more than to have a reason to humiliate one of the other Muslims? It even happens when there is nothing known but good about the individual and the one telling us about them is the one who’s statement is not always reliable. Is this what the Pious Predecessors were upon when it came to their brothers and sisters? Let us take a look at a few of their statements. Muhammad Ibn Sireen said;

“If something reaches you about your brother, then search for an excuse for him. If you do not find an excuse for him, then make an excuse for him.”

As well, it was reported that Ja‘far ibn Muhammad had said,

“If you hear something about your brother that you dislike, then look for excuses for him, from one to seventy excuses; if you find an excuse for him (all well and good), otherwise say: Perhaps he has an excuse that I do not know.”

[Reported by Imam al Bayhaqi]

Now, this was for the situation of that is a bit different, yet it still is applicable. As a matter of fact, when we look at it, we see that it is actually a step beyond what we were just discussing. Its not just about hearing them say something, rather it is about hearing something about them. You should notice though, that the underlined topic is the issue of making excuses for your brothers and sister, and not just assuming the worse about them. We see that the default is not just believing bad about our fellow Muslims. Again, if we are claiming to be following Islam the way the earlier generations followed Islam, why is it that we refuse to implement this aspect that they seemed to deem very important?

Then, we have those other individuals that choose to take things even a step further. They decide to actually do their best to find fault in the statements of their brothers and sisters. They want to try to find something that they can hold against them. This is something that we have all probably witnessed at some time or another during our lives. Some even go as far as to try to set a trap just to catch them saying or doing something, desiring to be able to show their weaknesses or mistakes. I know that this sounds bad, but what is worse, is that they try to make it seem like what they are doing is from the deen. How is this? This was not the way of the first generations of the Muslims, nor of those that stuck to other way as much as they could. Abdullah Ibn Muhammad Ibn Manaazil was reported as saying;

“The Believer seeks excuses for his brothers, and the hypocrite seeks the mistakes for his brothers.”

 

This is especially true when we look at what was reported from the statement of Fudayl Ibn ‘Iyad, when he said,

“Whoever seeks a brother without faults would never have a brother to be his friend.”

In conclusion:

We need to understand from all of this, that we are brothers and sisters to one another. The last thing that we need to be doing is looking for reasons to destroy one another’s reputations and drag one another’s names through the mud. When something comes to us, as we see from that written above, that we need to be trying to understand it in the best way possible. We should believe that, even if we see that they are wrong, that they made a mistake or possibly even misunderstood the issue. Our first stop should not be that the person is trying to do something wrong, devious or attempting to lead people astray. As long as there are excuses that we can make for our brothers and sisters, it is more befitting that we do this as appose to falling into suspicion. Look at what Allah tells us about suspicion in terms of our brothers and sisters.

{O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting) . And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.}

[(49):12]

May Allah rectify our affairs, cure the sicknesses in our hearts and make us more loving, forgiving and just with our brothers and sisters. May He over look our shortcoming and forgive us for our sins, and allow us to be of those that enter into the Jannah on the day of Resurrection with no reckoning. Allahuma ameen.

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