Goodness In Us All
Sometimes seeing the best in people isn’t easy. Sometimes you have already made your mind up about them. Maybe they aren’t in your good books. And sometimes it can be for a very good reason. But maybe once or twice [or thrice] they have been put in there for an irrelevant reason. And you might have not noticed. Yet you know deep down that there is at least a little bit of goodness in them.
In the Quran, Allah [SWT] has always told us to respect our parents, carers and even our siblings. And I know for a fact that respecting your siblings is VERY hard. Trust me - I know. However, Allah [SWT] wouldn’t have given us a task that is impossible. You know, haven’t you ever heard the saying ‘nothing is impossible.’ Don’t parents always bang on about it?
Well, in this case, it's true. Nothing is impossible. Including seeing the best in people.
Nothing makes the heart more relieved and makes one happier than thinking well of others. It protects many from the harm of worrisome thoughts that disturb the peace of mind and exhausts the body. Thinking well of others leads to a calm heart and strengthens the ties of pleasantness and love. Oh, and it frees the heart from hatred and rancour. Allah [SWT] says inSurah Al- Hujurat chapter 49, verse 12: ‘’Believers, avoid making too many assumptions- some assumptions are sinful- and do not spy on one another or speak ill of people behind their backs: would any of you like eat the flesh of your dead brother? No, you would hate it. so, be mindful of God: God is ever relenting, most merciful.’’
There are certainly many ways for a Mumin to think well of others. Here are a few:
1) Supplication: Praying to Allah [SWT] is the key to every gate of goodness. The Messenger of Allah [SWT] would often ask the All Mighty to grant him a sound heart.
2) Putting yourself in their shoes: Maybe today one of your friends come up to you all mean and grouchy. Perhaps they shouted at you. But before you shout back at them, stop for a minute, and think. What if they had a bad morning? Or what if they were just grumpy? Who is it going to hurt if you just say okay and walk away? Or you don’t even have to do that. Just let it go because we don’t know what is going in their mind.
3) Interpreting the words of others in the best possible way: This was the ways of one of our rightly guided rulers of the early years of Islam: Umar [RA]. He said, ‘’Do not think ill of a word that your believing brother utters, as long as it can be explained in a good way.’’ Imam Ash-Shafi’i was once ill. Some of his brothers came to visit him; one of them said ‘’May Allah [SWT] strengthen your weakness.’’ Ash-Shafi’i said ‘’If Allah strengthens my weakness, it would kill me!’’ The man said ‘’By Allah, I intended nothing but goodness.’’ Ash-Shafi’i replied ‘’Even if you had insulted me, I know that you sought goodness.’’ Thinking well of others is true brotherhood so we should try and follow it.
4) Making excuses for others is not easy letting someone simply of the hook. Some people usually hold grudges amongst many. However, we should remember those who used to think well of their fellows and make excuses for them. They would say, ‘’You should make seventy excuses for your brother.’’ Surah Al-Hujurat chapter 49, verse 11: ‘’ Believers, no group of men should jeer at one another, who may, after all, be better than them; no group of women should jeer at one another, who may be after all better than them; do not speak ill of one another. How bad it is to be called a mischief-maker after accepting faith! Those who do not repent of this behaviour are evildoers.’’
5) Abstaining from judging the intentions of others: This is one of the best things that can help one to think well of others. We should leave the intentions to the only One who knows them: Allah, the Almighty. He didn’t ask us to go around checking each other's hearts and intentions, did He? In our normal daily life, if we were asked to something extra [like washing the dishes] we would make up some excuse. So, instead of using our energy to think bad of someone, let us use it in a more productive manner, like praying to Allah [SWT] or reading the Quran.
Thinking well of others requires a considerable amount of training and time. This is because, as humans, we all make mistakes. Every single one of us has been caught in the devil’s trap and at least once. He never stops his attempts to cause mayhem and despair. However, if you are a true believer, you have nothing to worry about since Allah’s [SWT] mercy will
always shine upon you.