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Turning Away from the Faults of Others Part-2

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The following is the 2nd part of an article-format of a timeless khutbah given by Amjad Rafiq perhaps 15 years ago. It is a khutbah that keeps giving, may Allah make this a source of great reward for the brother.The advice contained therein continues to be relevant and important, more so today than ever before. Before criticism was a bit harder because you didn’t have the internet to log on and jump right away. So, without further adieu:

Part 1 | Part 2

PART 2

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So we have mentioned three points in Part 1

Firstly : Realizing that everybody is not perfect
Secondly : How we should view ourselves
Thirdly : How we should view other Muslims.

We should all individually view ourselves as deficient and see others as being better than us. Because we all know our own faults and weaknesses but we don’t know all the faults of others except out of suspicion and that is forbidden. Therefore every Muslim should see himself as the essence of deficiency and others as being much better than him.

But do we just stop there i.e. we realize these things in our minds and that is it. No we have to actively try and to remove them and this is done by reminding ourselves of our own faults and shortcomings or making each other realize our faults and defects with sincere advice.

That is we desire nothing but reward from Allah and that a defect in a Muslim is removed. Not that we put the Muslim down and make ourselves look better.

So the FOURTH point is mutually helping each other to remove from ourselves the bad characteristics and defects we all have. by informing each other, with extreme sincerity and concern for each other. The Prophet (saws) said

“The Deen is sincerity”. The Companions said “To whom?” so the Prophet (saws) replied “To Allah, His Book, His Messenger to the leaders of the Muslims and the general people.”

So part of being sincere to other Muslims is advising them with sincerity. Advising them with what will benefit them and this includes informing them of their shortcomings so that they can remove them.

There are two points to the fourth part.

Firstly how do you tell people of their weaknesses and Secondly how do you react to someone who informs you of your faults.

It was said to a wise man : “Do you like that a man should inform you of your faults?” He said “If a man comes to me and scolds me/rebukes me ie. begins to criticize me for my faults then no. And if he comes to me with sincere advice then yes.”

So this is how advice is given out of sincerity and this is how advice is accepted when it is sincere.

Imaam Shaafi’ee (rh) said in the form poetry:

Give me your advice when I am alone
And do not advise me when I am in a group
Because advice, when it is given in front of the people is a type of criticism/rebuke.
I am not pleased in hearing it
And if you differ from me and disobey what I have said
Then do not become saddened when you are not obeyed/followed.

So he is saying that advice should be given in private not in public. In order to hide the faults of a Muslim and not to publicise them and so that the person is more likely to accept the advise.

The Prophet (saws) said

“Whoever conceals the fault of a Muslim Allah will conceal his fault on the day of Judgment”. So we give advice out of sincerity and not to criticize and we give it in private not in public.”

Some of the salaf used to say, “May Allah have mercy upon a man who guided us to our faults and shortcomings”.

Do you see this attitude?

May Allaah have mercy upon a man who guided us to our faults and shortcomings

So the earliest Muslims loved that people should inform them of their faults so they can strive to remove them and therefore become more complete and more perfect and better in the sight of Allah.

Umar (ra) stood on the pulpit in front of all the people and declared: (Laa yal’lamu ur-rajulu minnee ‘ayban illaa ‘aabahu) – If any man knows of a fault in me then let him point it out/criticize it. So a man stood up and said: Yes O Ameerul Mu’mineen. I see in you two faults…

Yet in this day and age you cannot say a word to anyone sincerely, except that he will take it personally and see it as criticism. This is a big problem which all of us have and this is what causes ill-feeling and hatred and envy, because we are too proud to admit our own faults and weaknesses and to accept advise from others.

So whoever wants to get on with other Muslims, then he should do the following:

Firstly: Look at his own weaknesses and faults before he notices and looks at those of others and to deal with people always giving them a chance and making excuses for them.

Secondly: To accept with happiness and joy, the advice of his Muslim brother, just as the earliest Muslims did and

Thirdly: to offer his sincerest advice to his Muslim brother about his faults in private, not in public to humiliate him.

So whoever wishes that Allah should show mercy and forgiveness to him and that Allah should hide his faults on the day of Judgment. Then let him put this into practice.

And whoever does not want Allah to forgive him and show mercy to him and to conceal his fault on the Day of Judgment (that Allah should forgive him) then let him continue to be heard hearted and proud of himself, thinking he is better than others and let him always look at the faults of other people and not to accept advice from others. Allah will soon punish him with what he deserves.

O Allaah guide us the best of manners to which none can guide except you and turn away from us the evil characteristics. None can turn them away except you.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. emirzad

    April 23, 2009 at 8:05 AM

    subahan Allaah.

  2. Slim | MuslimWorker.com

    April 23, 2009 at 4:31 PM

    Some good advice here.

    So important nowadays for us to look within first than to look outward. To see the shortcomings in our own souls before that of others.

    Instead of pointing fingers and finding faults with those around you, know that your faults are many.

    JazakAllah Khair.

    Slim | MuslimWorker.com

  3. Samrina

    April 23, 2009 at 4:33 PM

    Really inspirational mashAllah!! And a great guide on how to deal with others and yourself! I was trying part one and I was a lot calmer, understanding, and felt peace within myself. I didnt feel any pressure or annoyed when things didn’t go according the way I wanted it too. I’m also trying to throw away the words “Why did you do this” from my speech, it takes effort but I’m sure it’s definitely possible. InshAllah I’ll start practicing part two as well. This is really Sadaqah-e-Zariyah. JazakallahX100! :)

  4. Pingback: Turning Away from the Faults of Others - LI Islamic Forum

  5. muslimah4good

    April 26, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    jazakAllah for great advice but recently i saw this video and find it really hard in my heart to find any mercy towards the guy who committed this crime, I can’t even make myself make dua for him and I don’t like feeling this. Sometimes some crimes just are so hideous that any human heart finds it hard to forgive.

    The video is in urdu (if you wish to watch it)

    http://vidpk.com/view_video.php?vid=22901

  6. anon

    April 29, 2009 at 7:15 AM

    Jzk very beneficial reminders

    but by the way is this the same amjad rafiq from salafipublications??

    • Amad

      April 29, 2009 at 9:50 AM

      I believe that this is the same Amjad.

  7. kam

    May 2, 2009 at 7:27 AM

    @Amad – can u tell us some more about the hay-days of essex uni and how the isoc is there now?

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