This is an advice and a reminder to all of us.
A few days ago, I had a chat with one of my friends. We ended up discussing a matter that has differences of opinions among the scholars. She is actually a student of knowledge and an active dawah member tirelessly calling girls to the right path in lectures and halaqas she conducts (may Allah reward her). Amidst the call, she told me her view on the subject based on her research. Now, during this chat, a third person sitting next to her was also speaking to both of us. They were over talking each other at many points that I didn’t clearly hear what was being said. In short, I completely didn’t pay attention to the part when she said her opinion on the matter.
The following day, I sent her my response to the issue we were discussing. The response was actually directed to a third person involved in this discussion. It was mainly a response to that person in question. I mentioned how I don’t find it acceptable for certain things to happen and that’s based on my gut feeling as well as research that I’ve done earlier.
Two days later, she messaged me saying that she was saddened. She was upset with me. This took me aback! “Why, what did I do?” I wondered.
Now pay attention to this.
She told me that she was mad that I heard her say her opinion, and then I deliberately said that it is unacceptable and that this was meant to offend and embarrass her and question her integrity and piety among the other people involved in this discussion.
Right there… right there I immediately sensed the ugly work of Shaitan and the influence of his evil the whispers!
I told her to seek refuge in Allah from the accursed devil and to not allow Shaitan to get between us first, and then I explained how what she said wasn’t my intention and didn’t even cross my mind- and Allah is my Witness.
This incident made me pause and think. I was really astonished. The way she linked and connected what happened was completely not true, not even in the slightest. I didn’t even hear what she said about her opinion, besides my own response was to that third person, not a comment on what she said in any way shape or form.
SubhanAllah. How many times shaitan whispers in our hearts and minds matters that are not true and not real in order to create animosity and discord between us.
I immediately remembered this verse:
“And tell My servants to say that which is best. Indeed, Satan induces [dissension] among them. Indeed Satan is ever, to mankind, a clear enemy.” (Qur’an 17: 53)
Allah Almighty in His infinite Knowledge told us to pay attention to how Satan could manipulate our perception of words and events in order to create dissension among people– just like he is an enemy to us, he wants us to be enemies to one another.
And we find in Sahih Muslim a hadith where the Prophet ( peace and blessings upon him) explained to us Satan’s ugly work and mission.
Jabir reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:
“Iblis places his throne upon water; he then sends detachments (for creating dissension) ; the nearer to him in rank are those who are most notorious in creating dissension…..” [Sahih Muslim]
This is why we see in a beautiful hadith how Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) encourages us to do the following.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: Shall I not inform you of something more excellent in degree than fasting, prayer and almsgiving (sadaqah)? The people replied: Yes, Prophet of Allah! He said: It is putting things right between people, spoiling them is the shaver (destructive). [Sunan Abi Dawud]
So brothers and sisters, please pay attention. Please have good expectations of your fellow brothers and sisters and do not assume the worst of them. Do not link and connect and interpret words and events in a way that makes you despise one another. Be wary. Don’t let Shaitan win over us. He only wins when we are not paying attention.
As Allah told us
” O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin….” ( Qur’an 49: 12)
So please, let us not have bad assumptions of one another.
On the one hand, we need to pay attention to our words and try to choose the best of them to close all doors for shaitan and not give him the chance to start magnifying matters.
On the other hand, we need to be more patient and more willing to give each other the benefit of the doubt and to forgive and let go… just like Allah told us:
“…and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” ( Qur’an 24: 22)
So pay attention of the ugly whispers and stop them before they stop you from loving your brother.