Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "O you who have entered Islam with your tongues but whose hearts faith has not entered: do not slander people, and do not search out people's shameful points. Whoever searches out the shameful points of his brother, Allah will search out his shameful points, and if Allah searches out a person's shameful points, indeed He will disgrace him even if he should remain in the middle of his house." [Abu Dawud]
This hadith teaches us a number of things:
1. It points to the difference between being a Muslim and being a Momin. A person who has embraced Islam but not reformed his/her heart and inner self through it, is called a Muslim but not a Momin.
2. One characteristic that differentiates a Muslim from a Momin is that a Muslim may be on the look out for people's hidden flaws and shameful secrets: but a Momin would never waste his/her time in such a disgraceful activity. This is because a Momin knows that in the Final Reckoning he will be asked about his/her own faults and not the faults of others.
3. The punishment for someone who tries to find flaws in others is that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) will surely disgrace him/her by making his/her shameful deeds public. These may be things we considered done and hidden forever. But if Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) chooses to disgrace somebody, there is nowhere he/she can hide to escape the wretchedness of disgrace.
We waste so much time looking for and discussing the faults of others. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says, Believers, you are responsible for your own souls. Those who stray cannot harm you when you heed guidance. To God is where you will all return, and then God will tell you about what you used to do." [5: 105]
We need to focus on that which is our foremost responsibility and in our control -- Our own selves!!!
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