Judging someone is so easy. The choices that people make, the things they do, the clothes they wear, the friends they choose, the sins they commit whether openly or secretly, are at the end of the day, choices that only those people will be held accountable for. However, when we look down upon people instead of the action itself and begin judging them, then it stops being about others and rather, becomes our problem that needs deep introspection in the first place.
“I’ll never do that” is such an arrogant statement to make especially when we do not even know if we will stay alive tomorrow. Life has a funny way of proving us wrong. They say, “Never say never.”
I remember claiming the same that I’d never ever do a certain thing when I had seen others guilty of it. Of course, those were undesirable habits, spewing out hurtful words, demeaning actions or just sinful activities. I remember wondering how someone could possibly indulge in such a universally-accepted-cringe-worthy thing. And I remember feeling proud to have better standards than them. It was easy for me to reject- reject the idea of doing bad, reject hanging out with them, or simply reject that I could be tested with the same trial that they were facing.
But, each time I said “Never“, it happened. One after the other, I found myself sinking in the same holed boat as all those people whose morals and actions I had once questioned and made a big deal about.
When I ask myself: Why am I doing what I am doing despite knowing that it’s wrong?
I cannot answer it. I really can’t. I just know that I need to get out of it as soon as possible before it pulls me down any lower and takes me away from my faith, my beliefs, my principles and my connection with Allah.
While pondering about it a little more, I got reminded of a dua’a that our Prophet Muhammed (صل الله عليه وسلم) would make when he saw someone afflicted with a calamity or an illness.
The messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Whoever sees an afflicted person and says:
“Praise be to Allah who had saved me from what He had afflicted you with, and for honoring me over many of his creations.”
….He (or she) will never by afflicted by it (this particular affliction).
(Sources: At-Tirmidhi No# 3431, 3432 , Ibn Majah No# 3892)
I love this dua’a. We do not know when Allah decides to put us through trials, either to test us or to bring us back to him after we have sinned. This dua’a at least gives us the assurance that we won’t be tested with what we see others being tested with.
Judging someone and backbiting about them are one of the major sins in Islam. It is tempting indeed and perhaps, satisfying too, to choose a person and discuss their faults and have everyone agree on it. Or, just slander another to turn the listeners against him. But, who is free of faults? And who wants to be associated with a sin they didn’t commit?
I have come to a point where I can no longer continue this way. I rather be selfish in this regard and care about my own soul. When there’s so much that needs fixing and my soul is screaming for help, why would I bother what others do or think? There’s one dua’a that I now make sure I ask after Tashahhud and even out of prayer because it encompasses everything that needs fixing at the moment and always. And only Allah can fix it for me.
“(O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the torment of Hell, from the torment of the grave, from the trials of life and death, and from the evil of the fitnah of the Dajjal).”
[Narrated by Muslim, no. 924]
The trials of this life are real. I need to do my little part in staying away from them. And also pray that I do not become a source of trial for others.