It's hard not to be critical these days. No one likes to be critical because it saps one's energy. As we were trying to get some rest from a series of debate, we seeked refuge in Al-Fath Ar-Rabbani and as always, the page we flipped by chance, offered an answer, Subhanallah, miracles of Ghawth Al Azam, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jailani lives on!
"You should criticize yourselves and others on account of the sacred law (shar') not because of the passions (hawa), the lower self (nafs) and natural inclinations (tab'). When the sacred law is silent on a subject, you must observe a corresponding silence and where it has something to say, conform to it in respect of what it has to say. O young man! Do not criticize others because of your lower self and your passions, criticize them rather on account of your faith. Faith is the critic (munkir), while certitude (yaqin) is the eliminator (of faults), and the Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He) is the Helper (Nasir) who helps you to succeed and glories in your success. As Allah (swt) has said:
"If Allah helps you, none can overcome you." (Quran 3:160)
"If you help Allah, He will help you and will make your foothold firm." (Quran 47:7)
If you are critical, of something blameworthy out of zeal for Allah (swt), He will assist you to get rid of it, supporting you against those responsible for it and making them submit to you. But if you are critical of it because of your own lower self, your passions, your devil and your natural impulses. He will disappoint you and fail to support against the people concerned, and you will not be able to to get rid of it. Faith is what is entitled to criticize (al-iman huwal-munkir), so any critic whose criticism does not stem from faith is no critic at all. Criticism regardless of your personal wishes, must be for the sake of Allah, not for the sake of His creatures; for the sake of His religion (din), not for your own sake; for Him, not for you."
May Allah make us stand up and voice out for Him alone.
Credit: Al Baz Publishing/Allahyarham Muhtar Holland