Who are You to Judge?
[Written by Amatullah]
In many ayaat of the QurŽan, Allah subhanahu wa taŽala calls the QurŽan a "huda", a guidance, for the believers. We may think this guidance refers to guidance in religion, but the QurŽan is a guidance for all aspects of our life, however itŽs up to us to extract these lessons and implement them. Many Muslims read the QurŽan with the intention of reward, yet we forget that the main purpose of the QurŽan is to guide us, to be our huda. From the richness of the Arabic language, we learn that huda or hidaayah has three meanings:
To show one the pathTo help them `walkŽ on that pathTo guide them until they reach their destination.
So this guidance, this QurŽan, contains innumerable lessons for the believers.One that I would like to share is from an incident that happened with the Companions, that we can extract many benefits from for our communities today.
Allah taŽala says, O you who have believed, when you went forth in the cause of llah,investigate; and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace, "you are not a believer," aspiring for the goods of worldly life; for with Allah are many acquisitions. You [yourselves] were like that before, then Allah conferred His favor upon you, so investigate. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. (Suratul Nisaa: 94)
Allah is addressing the believers who accepted Islam at the time of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam but did not declare their faith openly so they mixed with the people. Since one could not tell who was a Muslim or not, the way to recognize a believer was by the greetings of Salaam.
There are many Asbaab (reasons for revelation) for this ayah related by the Companions and scholars of tafseer. One of the main reasons that this verse was revealed after Rasul Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam sent a delegation led by Al-Miqdad ibn Al-Aswad radi Allahu anhu. Imam Ibn Katheer narrates in his famous work of tafseer:
"Ibn `Abbas said, "The Messenger of Allah sent a military expedition under the authority of Al-Miqdad bin Al-Aswad and when they reached the designated area, they found the people had dispersed. However, a man with a lot of wealth did not leave and said, `I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.Ž Yet, Al-Miqdad killed him, and a man said to him, `You killed a man after he proclaimed: "There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. By Allah I will mention what you did to the Prophet .Ž When they went back to the Messenger of Allah, they said, `O Messenger of Allah! Al-Miqdad killed a man who testified that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.Ž He said, Summon Al-Miqdad before me. O Miqdad! Did you kill a man who proclaimed, "There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah" What would you do when you face, "There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah tomorrow" Allah then revealed [this verse]. The Messenger of Allah said to Al-Miqdad, He was a believing man who hid his faith among disbelieving people, and he announced his faith to you, but you killed him, although you used to hide your faith before, in Makkah." (Narrated in Bukhari, Al-Bazzaar)
Allah taŽala says in the ayah, do not seek the " `arada of this dunya, which literally means: everything that doesnŽt have stability and anything that is transient. Allah is reminding us that anything from this dunya will leave us and nothing of it will be everlasting. But when it comes to the hereafter, Allah says with Him are " many magaanim which literally means: to obtain goodwithout any difficulty. Notice that this word is plural, while `arada is singular.The reason that the sahaabi killed the man was for his riches but Allah is telling the believers that He will provide them with riches. Allah reminds the believers, that before when they were in Makkah, they were also hiding their faith and they should,(notice this word is a command) investigate before they take action.
Now, fast forward to our times...what do we learn from this ayah?
Remember your Makkan period. Many of us, back in our "jaahiliyyah" days, had a time in our life where we might not have prayed, or wore hijaab/niqaab or had a beard. Yet, how come we act snooty to a brother or sister who is struggling with their faith, and we look down upon them, as if we were born saints? How come we treat others who may not wear niqaab, or who may not wear a thobe with disdain, like we are better than them? Many of us had a point in our
lives where we were embarrassed to say that we were Muslim, and we hid our faith, just as the Companions did in Makkah. Allah azza wa jal is reminding us in this verse, YOU were like that before and that He is Khabeer (All-Aware) of what we are thinking and that He is Khabeer (All-Aware) of what we are doing. If you treat your fellow Muslim differently because of their appearance, Allah Knows. If you snicker behind their back, Allah Knows. We were like that before brothers and sisters, until Allah "manna, conferred His favor" upon us-the favor of guidance, of baseerah (insight), of learning, of love for the QurŽan, of taqwa-we were in that same situation. He is the One who favored us, we did not will guidance for ourselves, so do not claim purity. Remember that.
We cannot base our actions on opinions or appearances.
Remind yourself the story of the pious monk Barseesah who ended his life in prostration to Shaytan. Looks can be deceiving, so know that only Allah is All-Aware of what is in the chests of mankind, and we do not have the right to say who is a good Muslim or a bad one.
The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, "I have not been ordered (by Allah) to search the hearts of the people or cut open their bellies.." (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim) In another incident when Usama ibn Zayd radi Allahu anhuma killed a man though he had confessed that there is no deity worthy of being worshiped but Allah, claiming that the man had said so out of fear of weapon, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him observed: "Did you tear his heart in order to find out whether it had professed that or not?" (Reported by Muslim)
We should not act without confirming and investigating. Allah commands us to do "bayyan" (to verify, clarify, investigate) in this ayah-we must find out both sides of the story, and confirm itbefore we act. Think through the times where we held a negative opinion about someone based on a little of what we saw of them. Did we go further and confirm with them or were we quick in judging them?
Taqwa is not in the length of your beard, or in the layers of cloth you wear. The prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, "Taqwa is here," and he pointed to his chest. (Reported by Muslim) Remember that the best in the sight of Allah is the one who fears Allah and is conscious of Him.
Allah is The Judge, so know your role. Verily, your Lord knows better, who (among men) has gone astray from His Path, and He knows better those who are guided. (Surah Qalam:7)
If we as an Ummah followed the simple command in this ayah, and surely Allah knows best, our situation may have been different. If we, ourselves, now implement this ayah into our lives, inshaAllah our community will be different. Be the change you want to be! The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said that ALL of the children of Aadam make mistakes! Who are we to take them to account? Who are you to judge?
And Allah taŽala knows best, O Turner of Hearts, make our hearts firm upon your deen, unite our hearts, beautify our hearts with taqwa and emaan and bless us with husn ath-thann (good thoughts) about our brothers and sisters. Ameen
And put thy trust in Allah, and enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs.(Holy Qu'ran 33:3)
Courtesy: This mail was received from Br Dr Benil Hafeeq K.P, Consultant Nephrologist, MIMS and IQRAA Hospital , Calicut , INDIA
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