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Do Not Reciprocate

Posted August 2, 2009

Filed under: Hadith |

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “If somebody reproaches you and makes you feel ashamed of any of your defects, do not make him feel ashamed of any of his defects.” [Abu Dawud]

Usually, when somebody points out one of our shortcomings, we immediately become defensive and start finding faults with them. But the advice of our beloved Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam), is that we should listen quietly and evaluate what we are being told. If there is something we can improve about ourselves, it is only to our own advantage to do so. If the criticism is unjustified, then we are rewarded for our patience and good behaviour in not retaliating in an adverse manner. The angels will take care of defending our honour. Starting a counter attack opens the door for Shaytan to come in and take over.

Once Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (radi Allahu anhu) was sitting with the Prophet (sal allahu alaihi wa sallam) when a man came and started to abuse Abu Bakr. Sayyidina Abu Bakr remained silent. Finally, he started to speak in his defence. At this point the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) got up and left. Abu Bakr immediately went after him and inquired if he had done something wrong. Rasul Allah replied that as long as he had been silent, angels had been speaking on his behalf, but when he started to respond, the devil came and sat down next to him. As the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) could not remain seated where the devil was sitting, he left. In other words, when someone is angry and we should not retaliate at that moment especially because that person is not in a position to listen to calm words. It is best to allow him his space to say his piece and then request him to cool off.

Wallahu ‘alam

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