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16 Dec. 2011

Allah (swt) said: “Thinking well of people is part of worshipping properly.” (Abu Daud) 

All human beings have been created with a natural inclination to do good, even though there is some inclination to do evil due to the whispers of Satan. Allah (swt) said: “(Adhere to) the fitrah of Allah with which He has created all people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah.” (Ar-Rum: 30) 

 

Fitrah is the natural inborn inclination of humans to worship their Creator prior to the corruption of this nature by external influences. Thus, Islamic monotheism is described as the religion of the fitrah and this fitrah is part of the inherent good nature of humankind. 

Similarly, the Prophet is reported to have said that every human child is born with the fitrah, in a natural state of goodness. The Prophet (saw) said: “No child is born except with the fitrah (of pure Islamic monotheism), and then his parents convert him into a Jew or a Christian or a Magian (fire worshipper).” (Bukhari) 

As such we should always look at the positive qualities of our fellow human beings and think well of them. After all, we are all human beings and in that respect all equal in the sight of Allah (swt). Allah (swt) said: “O humankind! We created you from a single (pair of a) male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (the person who is) the most righteous of you, and Allah has full knowledge and is Well-Acquainted.” (Al-Hujurat: 13) 

Therefore, there is no good in being overly suspicious or spying on one another. In most cases, suspicion only leads to backbiting, gossiping, rumour mongering, jealousy, and envy, all of which consequently lead to enmity of each other and the weakening and break-up of the community. That is why these actions were forbidden by the Prophet Muhammad (saw). The Prophet (saw) said: “Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the falsest of speech. Do not seek out one another’s faults; do not spy on one another. Do not compete with one another (in negative thing); do not envy one another; do not hate one another; and do not turn away from one another. O servants of Allah! Be brothers (and sisters to one another).” 

It is really counterproductive to seek out people’s private faults and afterwards spread news of them in public, since no one is perfect. The Prophet (saw) said: “All of Adam’s descendants are prone to error, and the best of the error-prone are those who repent often.” (Ibnu Majah) 

Thus, if we concentrate on having good thoughts about people and cease from looking and seeking for their faults, we will benefit from the good that Allah (swt) has placed in them through the mutual cooperation in good works which will naturally develop among us. 

With this approach of looking for the good side of others, we will not waste much of our precious time on useless idle talk about our fellow human beings that can eat up our righteous deeds. Instead, we will reflect on our own selves and how we will fare in our graves and in front of Allah (swt) for judgment on the Day of Resurrection. Allah (swt) said: “O you who believe, fear Allah and let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow-and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is acquainted with all that you do. Do not be like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves: such are the rebellious transgressors.” (Al-Hashr: 18-19)

Privacy of people’s personal affairs is as highly regarded in Islam as it is in most man-made systems of government, if not more so, because it is a part of man’s nature to regard certain things as personal and confidential. 

Hence, the invasion of human privacy is opposed by Islam from every conceivable angle. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) advised his followers to stay out of other people’s business by describing the practice of minding one’s own business as being among the qualities which complete a Muslim‘s Islam. It was reported that Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said: “Among the things which complete a person‘s Islam is his leaving that which is of no concern of his.” (Tirmidhi) (Prepared by Abdul Muhaemin Karim)