Do not let a chance pass you by. It is so easy to be proud, harsh, moody, and selfish, but we have been created for greater things. Not to mortify others, making them feel ashamed and embarrassed, while they try to change themselves for good or to achieve something good. Humiliating people can’t be the Islamic approach and doesn’t make you pious or close to Allah.
Prophet Muhammad (A.S) uses to give people regard, respect, and honor. He uses to give people hope till the last breath, no matter how much err they had committed or opposed against him or his blessed mission and teachings. This methodology of our adored Prophet (A.S) has given us a generation of pre-eminent and God-fearing people and great leaders of Islam like Umar ibn Al Khattab and Khalid ibn Walid and many others who were earlier against him.
Moreover, what is significant is not what we may have done in past, but what we plan to do in future. As there is a beautiful quote from Imam Ibn Tamiyyah “What really counts are good endings, not flawed beginnings”. Remember Iblis was once pious but ended up as a devil.
The first wrong action ever is the belief in superiority. When Iblis made the statement of supremacy, when he said I am better than him (Adam), he didn’t reject the existence of Allah. And today we have a lot of people with this mindset and behaviour, so if you are aware of Allah and have his Marifah (recognition and consciousness of Allah) you can’t be in a state of pride and look down upon the people. And note, what Allah said to Iblis, you are not better, you are the worst because of your pride. Adam (A.S) too misreckoned due to Iblis but repented to Allah.
As they say, every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. So be humble. This is what nature teaches us, the branch of the tree laden with more fruit always bends down, unlike the branch with fewer or no fruit. So be meek and be merciful to the people as Allah is merciful to his creation.
This is the basic teaching of Islam which most of our people lack be it some so-called religious preachers or so-called practicing Muslims, who have taken this mission to demotivate people and declare every opposite person out from the mercy of Allah.
We have some great scholars in Islam, in the past and present who were prone to err, later they changed and became great scholars and mentors and died as our best and most noble people.
As our Beloved prophet A.S says; “Every son of Adam commits sin, and the best of those who commit sin are those who repent.” (Sunan Ibn Majah 4251)
Allah Says in the Quran “Say, “My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins) do not despair of the Mercy of Allah: verily He forgives all sins. Truly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (39:53)
And there are several verses, hadith, and events in this context.
So don’t try to close the door of mercy for the people who have done wrong and want to change and repent. The door of repentance and mercy is expansive, even if the sins are many and great. “And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterward seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (4:110).
You want to correct people or advise them, there is a particular methodology for that mentioned in the Quran. As Allah Says "Call people to the path of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation and argue with them in the kindliest manner. Your Lord knows best who strays from His path and who are rightly guided" (16:125)
"Wisdom demands that one should keep in view the intelligence, capability, and circumstances of the addressees and convey the message in accordance with the requirements of the occasion. Moreover, one should refrain from applying one and the same method to each and every person or group but should first diagnose the real disease of the addressee and then cure it by appealing to his mind and intellect.
Admonition should be administered in such a manner as to show sincere concern for and the welfare of the addressee. Nothing should be said or done to create the impression that the admonisher is looking down upon him and taking pleasure in his own feeling of superiority. On the contrary, he should feel that the admonisher is filled with the strong desire for his reform and welfare. “(Imam Syed Maududi)
The moment you start to feel superior to others, your good deeds become worthless without you even realizing it. Your wrong approach may disappoint and demotivate the people and lead them far astray and will put them deeper into the dark and eventually into the lap of this merciless and materialistic world. This is what happened to Western and European cultures, where there is no room for God and God-fearing people.
So appreciate a person who has started practicing even a bit of Islam, this will motivate and encourage them to do more.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.