Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Stop being a part-time judge


We heard Shaykh Ninowy quoting Almarhum Shaykh Sayyid Alawi Al Abbas: "Those who know less, judge more. Those who know more, judge less."

During my younger days, I had met quite a few 'religious' men who judged me harshly and openly. None of them succeeded in attracting me to Islam. Then I met Baba Aziz and he spoke words of wisdom gently, disregarding my state at that time. Instantaneously I responded to his non-judgmental approach positively. Alhamdulillah.

Not too long ago I had the privilege to speak with a renowned shaykh and he in his wisdom too spoke gently and said "I don't judge. It's Allah who judge." Last night I listened to Habib Umar speaking to an audience in Australia. Someone asked him what his views were about a certain shakyh who's said to have committed fornication prior to becoming a shaykh, whether he should refrain from being a guide. Habib Umar said matter of factly that no one should label the shaykh or anyone with a sin that he/she might have committed e.g. adultery, unless you see it yourself and could produce four eyewitnesses. Even if you could do that, you/the witness should not be broadcasting a person's misdeed. The shaykh should just continue being a guide because according to Habib Umar there have been quite a few cases where people changed for the better and became knowledgeable persons from whom we could all learn.

Can you see the difference? There are people who become unnecessarily attached to another person's past wrong-doing and are overly concerned about making a judgment on people's actions. And there are truly knowledgeable people who think well of others. Habib Umar said to the person asking him for his legal opinion on the matter: "Only Allah can judge His creatures."

Habib Umar also mentioned the fact that most sahabah avoided giving fatwa (ruling). Instead of being quick to judge others, they would rush to perform the night prayers and other supererogatory worship. There were so few of them who's known to have given fatwa, that we could count them on one hand.

But at the present time, we know a little something and then eagerly put on our judge hat to catch others. We all have become a part-time judge at one point or another. We have our own business to care for and work as an unpaid part-time judge too. There are a bunch of people in Malaysia for example who are keen to judge another Muslim as kafir/kuffar. That if you do a certain thing you will end up in hell. They would speak as though they are the custodian of the heavens and the Islamic rulings. There are people who even dare call others monkey, donkey, pig etc.

I am reminded of a zen story which many of us must have heard before.
Two Buddhist Monks were on a journey, one was a senior monk, the other a junior monk. During their journey they approached a raging river and on the river bank stood a young lady. She was clearly concerned about how she would get to the other side of the river without drowning.
The junior monk walked straight past her without giving it a thought and he crossed the river. The senior monk picked up the woman and carried her across the river. He placed her down, they parted ways with woman and on they went with the journey.
As the journey went on, the senior monk could see some concern on the junior monk's mind, he asked what was wrong. The junior monk replied, "how could you carry her like that? You know we can't touch women, it's against our way of life". The senior monk answered, "I left the woman at the rivers edge a long way back, why are you still carrying her?" 

May Allah give us the strength to mind our own abaya or beard or whatever. May Allah keep us on the straight path. Ameen.

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Pic credit: http://almiskeenah.com/?p=14116

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