Benefit of the Doubt

I began my blog writing about no matter how many deductions one makes, he/she’ll never really know a person. You can get to know someone, come up with your own conclusions—but it doesn’t change that you still don’t know what’s really going on in that person’s heart, you don’t know their struggle, and inevitably, you don’t know their true intention unless you ask them…and even that isn’t the whole story. So what does that mean about this Ummah? What does that mean about us when we’re interacting with our fellow brothers and sisters?

It means you better watch what you say and what you think about that person.

وَلَا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ عِندِي خَزَائِنُ اللَّهِ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ وَلَا أَقُولُ إِنِّي مَلَكٌ وَلَا أَقُولُ لِلَّذِينَ تَزْدَرِي أَعْيُنُكُمْ لَن يُؤْتِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا ۖ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ ۖ إِنِّي إِذًا لَّمِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

“And I do not tell you that I have the depositories [containing the provision] of Allah or that I know the unseen, nor do I tell you that I am an angel, nor do I say of those upon whom your eyes look down that Allah will never grant them any good. Allah is most knowing of what is within their souls. Indeed, I would then be among the wrongdoers.” [Qur’an 11:31]

Now obviously I am not an expert on tafsir, and I am almost certain that many of us aren’t, but that shouldn’t stop us from self reflection and reflection upon the ayaat of the Qur’an. Here we have a verse telling us very clearly the idea of assuming wrong in someone. Even the Prophet salAllahu alayhi wa sallam was taught to not believe that someone is the worst of people. Another example would be Musa alayhi as-salaam being sent to Firawn. This tyrant killed babies, tortured people, and Allah knows all the cruel things he has done. And yet, Musa alayhi as-salaam was still commanded to give Da’wah to this man. You can see how Allah subhana wa ta’ala wants us to implement the idea of giving someone the benefit of the doubt. Now Firawn is a huge example of a man who crossed limits that would cause hearts to cry, but if Musa alayhi as-salaam was taught to give Firawn the benefit of the doubt, what of our Muslim brothers and sisters in our own community? 

“Hamdun al-Qassar, one of the great early Muslims, said, ‘If a friend among your friends errs, make seventy excuses for them. If your hearts are unable to do this, then know that the shortcoming is in your own selves.’ [Imam Bayhaqi, Shu`ab al-Iman, 7.522]”

“Maybe just maybe.” Exactly. Maybe just maybe that person had a different motive. Maybe just maybe he had something bothering him that day that caused him to act irrationally. Maybe just maybe you’re in a worse position than they are. So watch yourself, watch your tongue and keep your judgments under control. Because maybe just maybe, Al Adl, the True Judge of All, can ask you about your assumption on the Day when all will be taken into account. May Allah subhana wa ta’ala protect us. Ameen.

Anything wrong I have said is from me and Shaythaan alone and Perfection and Greatness belongs to Allah subhana wa ta’ala.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. JazakAllahu Khayr for the necessary reminder.


  2. mahruzac says:

    : – )


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