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Much that in appearance is harmful is in fact a blessing

William James said:

“Our handicaps help us to an extent that we never expected. If Dostoyevski and Tolstoy had not lived painful lives, they would not have been capable of writing their ageless journals. So being an orphan, blind, poor, or away from home and comfort are all conditions that may lead you to accomplishment and distinction, to advancement and contribution.” Read more

Overlooking the faults of one’s brothers

Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish [i.e. don’t punish them].  (Qur ‘an 7: 199)

It is not right for you to forsake your brother because of one or two faults that you find in him, especially if the rest of his character is honorable. As we know, perfection for any one of us is unattainable. Al-Kindi said:

“How is it that you want your friend to possess a specific pattern of characteristics when your soul____________ which is the closest of souls to you – does not always obey your commands? What right do you then have to expect another person’s soul to follow your orders?”

Even as he is now, so were you yourselves before till Allah conferred on you His Favors [i.e. guided you to Islam]…  (Qur’an 4: 94) 

So ascribe not purity to yourselves. He knows best him who fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him.  (Qur’an: 53: 32)

It is enough for you that you are satisfied with the main part of your brother’s character. Abu Darda (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“To reproach your brother for something is better than to lose him altogether.”
Some of the wise said:

“We are still not satisfied with ourselves, so how then can we expect ourselves to be satisfied with others.”

It has also been said:

“Don’t remain aloof from someone who impresses you with a good character and sound judgment because of some minor fault that is surrounded by an ocean of virtues. You will not find, as long as you live, a person so cultivated that he is free from blemish and sin. Contemplate your own self and how it often errs and strays. This kind of introspection makes your demand on others more balanced and makes you more sympathetic to the sinner.” An Arab poet said:

“Who is the one whose character is untainted,
Sufficient worthiness for someone is that his defects can be counted.”
It has been said that one’s suspicions concerning one’s brother should not ruin a good mutual trust that has been tested over time. Ja’far ibn Muhammad said to his son. “O’ my son, whoever among your brothers becomes angry with you three times, and on each occasion speaks only the truth about you, take him as a close friend.” Al-Hasan ibn Wahb said,

“From the rights of mutual love is to forgive and overlook shortcomings.”

So overlook their faults with gracious forgiveness.  (Qur ‘an 15: 85) 

Ibn Roomi said:

“These are people and the world, and there is no doing away with dust
That irritates the eyes or spoils the drink.
From the lack of fairness is to expect refinement
In the world, while you yourself are unrefined.”

And had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure from sins.  (Qur ‘an 24: 21) 

A poet said:

“You seek a cultivated person who is free from defects, but does the aloe exude a pleasant odor without smoke.”

He knows best him who fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him.  (Qur’an 53: 32)

Do not be sad – Do good to others

Being of service to others leads to happiness. In an authentic hadith, the Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon him) said:

Verily, Allah will say to His slave as He is taking account of him on the Day of Judgment, `O’ son of Adam, I was hungry and you did not feed me. He will answer, how can I feed you and you are the Lord of the worlds! He will say, did you not know that my slave so and so who is the son of so and so felt hunger, and you did not feed him. Alas! Had you fed him you would have found that (i.e. reward) with Me. O’ son of Adam, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. He will say, How can I give you drink, and you are the Lord of the worlds! He will say, did you not know that my slave so and so, the son of so and so felt thirsty and you did not give him drink. Alas! If you had given him, you would have found that (i.e. reward) with Me. O’ son of Adam, I became sick and you did not visit Me. He will say, How can I visit you and you are the Lord of the worlds! He will say, did you not know that my slave so and so, the son of so and so became sick and you did not visit him. Alas! Had you visited him, you would have found me with him.” Read more

A Lord who wrongs not

You should feel reassured in that you have a Lord who is just.

Allah, the Exalted, admitted a woman into Paradise because of a dog and another into the Hellfire because of a cat. The first was a prostitute from the children of Israel; because she once gave drink to a thirsty dog, Allah forgave her and admitted her into Paradise. This was a just recompense for her sincerity in doing a good deed, for her sincerity to Allah. The second was a woman who confined a cat to a room. She neither fed it nor gave it drink; by confining the cat, she prevented it from eating insects in the fields, and so Allah made her enter the Hellfire.

The story of the first woman is one that brings coolness to the heart, because it makes one know that Allah gives great rewards for small deeds.

So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom for a small ant] shall see it. 
And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom for a small ant] shall see it.
(Qur ‘an 99: 7-8)

Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds [i.e. small sins].  (Qur ‘an 11: 114)

So help the grief-stricken, give to the poor, aid the oppressed, visit the sick, pray over the dead, guide the blind, give comfort to the afflicted, guide the misguided, and be generous to both guest and neighbor. All of these are deeds of charity, deeds that not only help the receiver of your kind acts, but that also help you by giving you comfort and peace.

The days rotate in bringing good and bad

It has been related that Imam Ahmad visited Baqi ibn Mukhalid while he was sick and said to him:

“O’ Baqi, rejoice in Allah’s reward. The days of health are devoid of sickness and the days of sickness are devoid of health.” Read more

Beneficial knowledge and fruitless knowledge

And those who have been bestowed with knowledge and faith will say: `Indeed you have stayed according to the Decree of Allah, until the Day of Resurrection, but you knew not.   (Qur’an 30: 56)

There is knowledge that is useful and there is knowledge that is harmful. As for the knowledge that is useful, the believer’s faith strengthens as a result of it; on the other hand, the disbeliever does not reap any benefit whatsoever from gaining this kind of knowledge; though the information acquired is the same, the results are very different. Allah says of His enemies:

They know only the outside appearance of the life of the world [i.e. the matters of their livelihood, like irrigation or sowing or reaping, etc.], and they are heedless of the Hereafter.   (Qur’an 30: 7)

Nay, they have no knowledge of the Hereafter. Nay, they are in doubt about it. Nay, they are blind about it.  (Qur’an 27: 66)

That is what they could reach of knowledge.  (Qur’an 53: 30) 

And recite [O’ Muhammad] to them the story of him to whom we gave Our Aayaat [proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.], but he threw them away so Satan followed him up, and he became of those who went astray. And had we willed, we would surely have elevated him therewith but he clung to the earth and followed his own vain desire. So his description is the description of dog: if you drive him away, he lolls his tongue out, or if you leave him alone, he [still] lolls his tongue out. Such is the description of the people who reject Our Aayaat [proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc]. So relate the stories, perhaps they may reflect.  (Qur’an 7: 175-176)

Allah said about the Jews and their knowledge of the truth:

The likeness of those who were entrusted with the Torah, but who subsequently failed in those [obligations], is as the likeness of a donkey that carries huge burdens of books [but understands nothing from them]. How bad is the example of people who deny the Aayaat [proofs, evidences, signs, verses, etc.] of Allah?  (Qur ‘an 62: 5)

They knew the truth from the Torah, yet they were not guided by it. They distorted its words, and if that failed to work, they distorted the meanings of the words. How could people who treated knowledge in this despicable manner ever have found happiness? It was certainly not possible in their case, for they always tried to eradicate the truth using any means at their disposal.

…hut they preferred blindness to guidance… (Qur ‘an 41: 17) 

And of their saying: our hearts are wrapped [with coverings, i.e. we do not understand what the Messengers sav] – nay, Allah has set a seal upon their hearts because of their disbelief, so they believe not but a little.   (Qur’an 4: 155) Read more

Thus we have made you a just nation

Thus we have made you a just nation. (Qur ‘an 2: 143)

Both your conscience and your Religion demand that you be just, which means that you should neither exaggerate nor understate, neither go into excess nor do too little. Whoever seeks happiness should be just, regardless of whether he is in an angry, a sad, or a joyful mood. Exaggeration in our dealings with others is unacceptable. The best course is the middle course. Whoever follows his desires will likely magnify the importance of any given situation, always making a big deal out of nothing. He will feel jealousy and malice toward others. Since he lives in a world of exaggeration and imagination, he will envisage everyone else to be against him, even to the extent that he feels others to be always conspiring to destroy him. Because of this, he lives under a dark cloud, constantly overcome by fear and apprehension. Read more

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