When Allah (SWT) created human beings, He bestowed them with countless blessings and attributes that we do not find in other creatures. However, He (SWT) also made it clear that He created man with specific weaknesses and shortcomings for which he will be tested in this life. “…man is created weak” (Al-Quran: 4: 28). While Allah commands us to do good deeds to achieve a place in Paradise, He also repeatedly warns us against doing specific acts that can potentially take us away from our desired destination. looking for faults

A matter is so dangerous! looking for errors

One of these harmful acts is finding flaws with fellow human beings. This is such a serious matter that even prophets were commanded to refrain from it. For instance, when Allah commanded Moses to meet Firon, He told him to speak with him in a gentle way (Al-Quran, 20:44). That means even Moses was not supposed to find faults with the pharaoh, for that would have undermined the former’s mission.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has also apparently instructed us to desist from finding faults with fellow beings.

“…do not look for others’ faults, and do not spy, and do not be jealous of one another, and do not desert (cut your relation with) one another, and do not hate one another; and o Allah’s worshippers! Be brothers (as Allah has ordered you!).” (Saheeh al-Bukhari, Vol. 8, No. 6064)

Can a society function with such abomination?

A society can only function peacefully and adequately if people learn to live together respecting one another, without prejudice or ill-feelings. Of course, no one is perfect, but ordinary human beings like us have more weaknesses and faults than we think. Are we permitted to expose the liabilities of one another? Of course not. Whenever we feel like doing it and looking for flaws in them, we should remember Allah’s statement equating backbiting with eating the flesh of your own dead brother. (Al-Quran, 49:12) What an abominable thing to do!

A disease really!

Looking for faults in a fellow brother or sister is a disease that has plagued us all. Not just ordinary Muslims, but even some scholars have fallen into the evil trap of exposing others. What we fail to see is that it is so dangerous a matter it can deplete our good deeds without us realizing.

Is there a solution?

What can save us is acting upon the knowledge that Allah has not made human beings perfect, so they are bound to show deficiencies and limitations. That is part of the test we all are going through in this life. Therefore, while we may help a fellow person overcome his or her weaknesses and stop looking for faults in them, we are in no way allowed to expose them or insult them or look down upon them. We really have to exercise extreme caution and care while dealing with this matter so that we do not hurt a person’s self-esteem or dignity. The safest thing to do is to prove ourselves and spend our energies on correcting our own behavior and fixing our own faults so that we do not have any time for deliberating on others’ mistakes and maligning them.

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