Sunday, 21 November 2010

Refrain From Holding Bad Opinions Of People.

Whoever believes in Allah and the last day should speak well or keep silent
- Muhammad. SAW.
[Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Some people get emotional satisfaction from talking about how awful other people are (So it’s best to go easy on bad-mouthing others because it may backfire anyway.).

When you blame someone remember that you are blaming them for something YOU don't like or for something YOU wouldn't do.

Everyone knows at least one person who believes that they are always right, whether the person is their brother or distant cousin on their father's side of the family. Family gatherings can become strained and difficult to get through when faced with this person's company for any length of time. But how do you get along with someone in the family who believes they are always right? A "know it all" does not just believe that they are right about everything that they say. While they think that they are never in the wrong, they also believe that it must be others who are mistaken in their views.

"You are blaming them for not being you"

You are blaming them for all the things you like and don't like.

When you blame yourself, you are in denial. You are denying that you did your best that you did as you thought was best given the information you had.

Blame means a non acceptance of someone or some situation.

I blame someone else...

We blame other people for lots of things, even on a daily basis. We blame people for doing things or for not doing things... we blame people for thinking too much, or for not thinking at all...

They are not you.
Do not expect any one to act, think or do exactly as you would.

When you blame someone for something, all you are pointing out is that you have intolerance for something.
Be that an opinion, a behavioral trait, or simply; for who they are.

Because it is easier than having to look at, and possibly change themselves.  By blaming somebody else, the person can continue his false assumption that he is perfect and everybody else is flawed. It's an infantile way of going through life.

There are the following words;

"It's YOUR fault!"

It's also known as a "victim mentality".

 'He NEVER considers my opinion.

You ALWAYS interrupt me.

She ALWAYS tells me what to do.

I have to do ALL the work. I NEVER get a break.

EVERYBODY picks on me.' Watch your language for 'never, always, should, everybody, 'I can't stand it and I can't take it anymore.'

They are especially good at asking for advice, instead of making their own decisions, so they can blame the adviser if it goes wrong. And with a victim it always goes wrong.

When people do this it's because they are either to afraid or to ashamed to take responsibility for what ever has happened. Most of the time it seems to them that if they take responsibility especially in the job arena for a mistake that people will see them as less than capable. What they don't really understand is that people would see them as more mature and would be more likely to want to work with them.

We all have irrational thoughts, which keep us caught in anger and neurotic behavior. Erroneous beliefs are beliefs and defenses we build up and replay with anger so we do not have to know the truth about our self they are called errors of thought or cognitions. These errors in thinking are defense mechanisms that we have learned at an early age, but do not work as we grow older. When people impose rigid expectations on themselves, other people, and the world because of their beliefs, they are likely to experience unnecessary emotional distress.

Irrational thoughts are crazy making! They keep us in victim mode and chaos. They cause us to avoid responsibility for our own actions. Happiness in life can be achieved when you learn to break into your negative thinking. Errors in the way you think perpetuate depression, helplessness and anger keeping you from being at peace. So first, learn about your own erroneous beliefs, and then you can learn to help your child interpret the world in realistic ways.

Catch yourself saying things that are illogical. Talk about your inaccurate ways of thinking with your family. Show them how happier your family would be if you break these bad habits of thinking and talking. Then you can challenge your children to point out crazy-making words. Tell them, 'you can catch me in my own words when I think in absurd ways and I'll try to catch you.'
The tongue expresses what is in the heart. If a person’s heart is good you see it in their saying.

If the tongue is used correctly then it has its blessing but if used incorrectly it has its dangers. Allah (Subhanahu WA Ta’aala) has given us this tool (the tongue) to communicate and it is a blessing form Allah (subhanahu WA Ta’aala) which must be used correctly.

The gratitude we should show for this great blessing should include, using it for the obedience to Allah (subhanahu wa Ta’aala), for reading the Quran (and good Islamic materials), for speaking good, such as, enjoining good and forbidding the evil and in teaching the ignorant, in Dhikr, in worship, in sincere advice to our brothers and sisters and in many other things which enable us to get closer to Allah (subhanahu wa Ta’aala). It is true that ONE saying may enter a person into the fire and one saying may save a person from the fire and enter one into paradise.

The prohibitions of the tongue are that you do not tell lies, abuse, use foul language, backbite, and do not slander.

The tongue is protected by the teeth and then the lips which should act as a prison when indulging in loose talk. Allah (subhanahu WA Ta’aala) says in the Qur'an:

Successful indeed are the believers. Those, who offer their prayers with all solemnity and full submissiveness, and those who turn away from Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allah has forbidden)
[Al-Muminin 23:1-3]

Here Allah (subhanahu wa Ta’aala) mentions the words "turn away from" not "leave" which shows that, refraining from vain talk is a characteristic of the believers.

Imam Shafi r.a. said, "If you wish to speak then it is upon you to think before you speak. If you think there is good in it then you should speak and if not then do not speak."

One searching for salvation against vain talk should ask themselves:

Will this saying of mine please Allah (Ta’aala)?
Will this saying of mine bring me closer to Allah (Ta’aala)?
Does this saying earn with it obedience to Allah (Ta’aala)?

If so then speak otherwise on should keep silent.
Sahl ibn Saad (radiyallaahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu alayhi Wasallam) said: "Whoever guards what is between his jaws and legs, I will guarantee him paradise."
[Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim]

This is one of the open paths to paradise. It is calling the people to come to paradise with the guarding of their tongues.

As people of Faith, we have the duty of commanding good and forbidding evil. We thus engage ourselves, as social beings, in improving ourselves and working towards being instruments in improving the world we live in. Our Faith behooves us not to search for faults in others and we would do well to heed the advice of our Beloved Prophet: "Part of being a good person is minding your own business."

While the purpose of commanding good and forbidding evil is to correct and restore; fault-finding inevitably leads to undermining the character of people and sometimes to destroying relationships. Prophet Muhammad said: "The worst of people are those engaged in slandering others, those who ruin relationships between dear ones who try to find fault with innocent people."

The Prophet also admonished us that "when you pursue the faults of others, you corrupt them" and warned that "those who unduly pursue the shortcomings of others will have their own faults exposed."

Fault-finding is the habit of the miserable

Confucius said: "the great person calls to attention the good points in others while the miserable person calls to attention the defects in others." (Analects 12:16). That is perhaps why losers can easily say, "something is wrong" and winners usually say, "How can I correct it". Why losers say, "why don't you do this?" and winners usually say, "Here is something I can do."

Fault-finders normally tell others about someone's faults and rarely have the guts to face people; fitting the description of dhul-wajhayn (two-faced) which the Prophet Muhammad assigned to troublemakers and hypocrites. Fault-finders also tend to be miserable themselves, lacking self-esteem; and since they focus so much on blaming others, they become resentful; and rather than cherish people, tend to develop a desire to undermine and discredit people.

Negativity consumes a person.

The negative feelings that a fault-finder harbors regarding others eventually consumes the person and this negativity eventually becomes part of the fault-finder's character. Prophet Muhammad therefore advised us "Refrain from holding bad opinions of people."

Deflecting one's own shortcomings

One of the common ways through which people deflect their own shortcomings and do not face up to their own faults is to blame others. The faults we see may well not be in what we are looking at, but rather in our looking. Prophet 'Isa/Jesus is reported to have said, "Why do you look at the little speck in your brother's eye and forget the plank in your own eye". Hadrat 'Ali said: "The worst of people is the person who searches for faults in others while being blind to his own faults". Martin Luther King rightly said: "the highest form of maturity is self inquiry".

Watch your Heart, your Emotions and your Tongue
'Abdullah b. Umar said that Rasulullah saw said: "The Muslim is he from whose tongue and hand a Muslim is Safe and the muhajir he who gives up what Allah has prohibited for him ". (Bukhari, Muslim).

Speech is projection of thoughts and emotions; the content of speech reflects the culture of the heart, so consider carefully how you feel about others, why you feel the way you feel and what you say about people. Prophet Muhammad said: "None of your faith is correct unless your heart is upright and your heart will not be rectified until your tongue is in order". That is why Allah states in the Quran "speak what is correct, your actions will be rectified and your sins will be forgiven". Since virtually all fault-finding is conveyed verbally, we must be careful of the power of the tongue since wise people caution the fact that affliction caused by the tongue is more severe than the harm caused by the sword. The Prophet also provided a basic rule of good character when he responded to a question regarding salvation. He replied: "It is necessary for you to control your tongue and weep for your own faults".

The prayer of the Prophet is the most appropriate expression for one who introspects and genuinely wishes to be a catalyst for a better world: "O Allah, forgive that which I did secretly and what I did publicly; What I did inadvertently and what I did deliberately; What I did knowingly and what I did out of ignorance".

Always reflect on this advice of the Prophet: "glad tidings to the person more concerned about his own faults than bothering about the faults of others".
The words we speak are neither meaningless nor without affect. As we exercise our freedom, by speaking as we please, we consequently affect others and therefore ourselves. This affect can be positive or negative, depending on the intention and the words sent forth.

Everything we say and do in life has consequences. Just like throwing a stone into a pond, sends ripples across the water affecting all around it. We are free to say and do as we choose but the consequences of our words and actions are our responsibility.

How many times have hasty words been spoken making a wedge between once loving friends or spouses?

Sometimes we think something bad about a person and in anger or when emotions are high, we make those thoughts vocal. If we could have waited a little, these negative thoughts may well have been replaced with more kindly ones.

To speak or act while in a state of anger is really a mistake. It is a good idea to bite your tongue and wait until the next day. If the same levels of emotions are present, then speak out, but chances are you will have forgotten why you were angry.

“The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allah ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly), then verily! He between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.” (Sura Fussilet 41:34)

1 comment:

Nan said...

Masha'allah. I see some of myself in your words. You're right that it's so easy to judge others while forgetting that one day we too will be judged.

I didn't really realize the impact of back biting until recently when it almost broke my family apart. Words actually go a VERY LONG way and we have to be really careful.

Now I try my best to keep my mouth shut if I have nothing positive to say about another person.

Thank you for the beautiful reminder, and for adding me as a friend, :)