Sukaina Khimji,

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

A judgement free world? Yes its possible…

“O you who have faith! Avoid much suspicion. Indeed some suspicions are sins.” [Surah Hujurat:12]

Well this Friday let’s try to ponder on ourselves, in this busy world of ours we tend to concentrate a lot on things that have nothing to do with us, and why is that? Simply because it’s much more easier pointing fingers at others, speaking ill of them and judging them. Thinking we carry an awesome clean sheet of deeds, but is that true? No its not, no one is perfect and we all carry flaws that we need to correct within ourselves first before judging and trying to talk ill or correcting others. As Muslims it’s our duty to help each other grow in all aspects of life; mentally, spiritually, physically and socially. But that is rarely seen especially in our generation, people would rather sit at a corner discussing faults in people rather than offering a helping hand or lending an ear to hear the individual out to know what actually is the person suffering from and thus such actions/ behavior that they exhibit. We should learn that everyone’s behavior is due to a particular experience, environment or upbringing and that you can’t just blindly accuse them of things.

Let’s leave that and try rectifying ourselves first, when was the last time we sat and assessed our deeds/actions? Concentrating on others, we have forgotten to see how much of a better/worse person we have become, you might as well be surprised to see how hideous of a personality we are behind a very pretty mask we try to wear. Hence it’s high time to actually be what we are, the same inside and out and avoid such double standards. Because judging people causes a lot of harm not just to yourself but the others around you too, it hurts the person who hears of it, you definitely don’t feel good about yourself as well; that guilty conscious bites you every single moment especially when you learn you were wrong, you spread negativity within the whole circle you carry I mean they won’t look at that person the same way they did, there will be a little misconception. Judging others makes you very conscious as well that means you are scared of being judged as well since you know you do it, you act a little harsh on yourself and spend a lot of time trying to avoid such judgements.

A recent example I just experienced a few days back, a friend of mine was going through a lot of emotional breakdown and she wasn’t willing to maintain any social contact with anyone because of that, she was being judged as being very proud and arrogant of the new job she just got. Whilst it’s a whole different story on her side, sadly we don’t really want to believe that something as such could even happen. We don’t like being positive anymore, there’s so much negativity we tend to posses within ourselves that actually leads us to hatred for one another. Our beloved Imam Ali(as) reminds one to find 70 valid reasons before accusing or judging someone for anything, this is one smart way of actually avoiding further judgments to any individual because you will never get to 70 reasons and before you can get to any negative conclusions you tend to calm down and look for an optimistic  approach of seeing things and trust me, that feeling of good thoughts is what really matters and then you realize you are even worse than the individual you were to speak/think ill of.

I love that feeling because it makes me realize how much negative thinking I carry myself and that I need to re-asses my own actions  before I do that with anyone else also that who am I to judge an individual, since when have I become so pure? Does judging others make me enough of an angel already? Are these the values and morals I have been  brought up with? These are the kinds of questions we need to ask ourselves everytime we want to have a negative perception of anyone or any situation. Psychologist and meditation teacher Tara Brach frequently tells this story: Imagine you are walking through the woods and you see a small dog. It looks cute and friendly. You approach and move to pet the dog. Suddenly it snarls and tries to bite you. The dog no longer seems cute and you feel fear and possibly anger. Then, as the wind blows, the leaves on the ground are carried away and you see the dog has one of its legs caught in a trap. Now, you feel compassion for the dog. You know it became aggressive because it is in pain and is suffering. Thus this leaves us with food for thought that could help us reduce with negative perceptions we often carry.

All in all a few tips that could serve as solutions to this problem, as Muslims we need to understand that Allah(swt) is the best of all judges and on the day of judgement everyone will be judged according to their actions. We are merely human beings who have little understanding of these matters, so we should focus on ourselves so that we are not judged harshly by Allah on that day, rather than spending our energy on judging others. Keeping in mind that any individual must feel secure from not only physical harm but also from the bad judgment of another believer – how beautiful and far-reaching is Islam’s scope of guidance for us! Also before any judgement try to; Monitor your thoughts– this will help you limit any wrong thinking that will come across your mind, judge yourself everytime you want to do it to someone else. Look for the positive– its easier looking for negatives hence challenge yourself and look for the positive in that person that will make you realize, one wrong deed cannot make you judge an individual with all the good traits he/she actually carries. Remember how it feels– we all have been through that judgement phase so before you do it for anyone else just think of how you would take it and you would stop. Focus on your own life– that’s the best way to divert all those negative thoughts coming in your head it will keep you busy as well and that would do you good without harming anyone instead it will elevate your status and thinking J Lets hope this little effort can help us rise within ourselves and become better personalities with lesser judgement.

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