Hello everyone! As you may have guessed from the title, I have something I want to get off of my chest. This post is inspired by yet another random meeting with someone who really got me thinking about myself and my own personality pitfalls, and though it was not something I really planned to talk about in this way, I think it can be a beneficial subject to get out in the open.
I HATE being judged. I hate the way people look at me with disapproval in their eyes for something they have never even talked to me about. I have when people speak to me very harshly or chidingly without so much as asking about my situation or circumstances.
But you see the thing is, I am myself so judgemental. Not in the same way—I will never, ever come up to you and tell you about all the things that you should be doing my way instead, but I will sit and silently judge people all day long.
The Prophet (pbuh) said […] I swear by Allah – there is no God but He – one of you may perform the deeds of the people of Paradise till there is naught but an arm’s length between him and it, when that which has been written will outstrip him so that he performs the deeds of the people of the Hell Fire; one of you may perform the deeds of the people of the Hell Fire, till there is naught but an arm’s length between him and it, when that which has been written will overtake him so that he performs the deeds of the people of Paradise and enters therein.
Reported in Bukhari and Muslim
And what makes it it worse, is it is not even people I know; it is people on the street, whose circumstances, journeys, and lives I know nothing about.
I know, it is an issue with arrogance in my own heart.
This was brought to the forefront of my mind again recently with all of the backlash against the Noor Tagouri piece in PlayBoy. My gut reaction was to think “why would a woman who tries to follow a modest, Islamic lifestyle even consider posing for such an obviously racy, womanizing magazine!?” but I had to pause and try to follow those wise words and make 70 excuses for her.
But halfway through my inner demon started to whisper…
“You know she knows darn-well what she is doing, she doesn’t even care, she just wants exposure etc. etc…”
According to Imam Jafar as-Sadiq: If you see something you don’t like in a brother, try to find 1-70 excuses for him. And if you can’t find an excuse, say ‘There might be an excuse, but I don’t know it.’
I don’t know why this is such a difficult thing for me, because intelectually I am all for every individual deciding what is best for themselves. I also firmly believe that you should never judge someone without even knowing their circumstances, and even then, is it really your job to be passing judgment?
Yet I can’t seem to help where my own brain goes when I see someone doing something I don’t agree with, or acting a certain way.
That being said, I will make the excuse for myself and tell you that people that I know, am friends with, or even just women that smile at me on the street, will find no better excuse maker and fault-overlooker than me.
I guess it just comes down to someone being nice enough to me to get my brain to drop the walls.
Anyhow, thank you for taking the time to read through this. I wanted to share this firstly so you could see that I don’t write this blog from an “I’m perfect and you should all follow my example” place, but rather a place wanting to share the things that I do know and growing and learning together.
Secondly, I wanted to share this so that I can keep myself accountable and humble. This awful habit is something I try to work on every single day, and God willing, I hope with time, practice, and prayers I can turn it into something more positive such as a drive to help and educate others from a place of love and care, and a daily reminder to myself that I am entirely flawed and still have plenty of work to do on my own self.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this; I know there is such a huge issue with judgement within the community (I am simultaneously someone who contributes to it and is affected by it) and and I would love to hear how it impacts you and how you deal with it.