I Have A Confession To Make

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.

Peace.

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6 thoughts on “I Have A Confession To Make

  1. “Every son of Adam is a sinner, and the best of sinners are those who repent.”

    If we keep things like this at the forefront of our minds, even when we see something outrageous (short of oppression, which should be stopped), I don’t think it would be possible to become judgemental. Even without resorting to making illogical excuses.

    We need to be honest with ourselves. So somebody posed for Playboy; we all sinned today. In the moment that she comes to her senses and turns to Allah and takes that one step towards Him in sincere repentance, she’ll be the best of us; and Allah will be running towards her to accept it, even if every human and jinn has haughty disdain for her.

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    1. ashleybounoura

      As always, thank you for the insightful and thought provoking comment! I had never thought about it that way, but perhaps that is the reason I have such a hard time making excuses for people-because they do end up being highly illogical and my brain just says “yeah, ok…” But yes it is very true that we all sin every day, and definitely something that I need to work harder to keep at the forefront of my mind. I have also found that it is very helpful to surround myself with people I look up to or am inspired by, that way I keep myself occupied with looking up and thinking about what I could be doing better instead of looking down

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Masha’Allah, what an honest and thought provoking post. I, too, am consciously striving every day to lose my arrogant tendency to judge. Alhamdulillah, I can see a difference in myself, so it is working, although I’m nowhere near where I would like to be. One thing that I find really really helps me in this regard, is to remember the story of Umar ibn al-Khattab. He was awful to Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and had actually travelled to him with the intention to kill him. Never once was our beautiful Prophet (SAW) unkind or judgemental of him, even upon the receiving end of Umar’s bitterness and hatred, and instead our Prophet dealt with him in patience and kindness, which in turn subhan’Allah played a part in Umar doing a complete full circle and actually accepting Islam, and becoming one of Muhammad’s (SAW) closest companions. So now, when I feel myself judging another person without knowledge of their situation, I try to stop to remind myself everyone is a potential Umar; only Allah knows. Every sinner has a future and every saint has a past ❤

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    1. ashleybounoura

      Thank you for the comment, it is good to know that others can relate and struggle with the same thing. And mashaAllah, what a beautiful way to look at Umar’s story! I had never thought about it in the light of judgement and arrogance, but indeed everyone is a potential Umar. Thank you again for the reminder 🙂

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  3. Salaam. This post was recommended to me from another blog and I just want to say that I completely relate to your situation! I do the same all the time and I am hoping that I can stop being so judgemental too. Just like you I am open to everyone being who they want, and interpreting their beliefs how they want, and I will always make excuse for a person’s ‘misbehaviour’ if someone criticises them, regardless of whether I know them or not. But with certain people, usually people who I know are quick to make judgements, I can’t help but do the same (only in my head though) when they do something unusual for them. Like you, I hope I can overcome this constriction my mind puts on both my own and others’ behaviours. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ashleybounoura

      Wa alaikum salaam, I am glad to hear that you can relate! I think there are a lot of people that do relate but don’t want to talk about it, which is why I wanted to write about it and get it out in the open. I don’t know why it is such a difficult thing to overcome, but inshAllah we can all begin to work towards making fewer hasty judgements and just accepting people at face value 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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