General admonitions on the Minbar or website apply to me?!

In The Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

If I heard general admonitions or read them on a website and thought that it applies to me, I wish that Allah grants me the Tawfeeq – at the time – to sincerely and honestly ask myself the following questions, “Do I have a clear conscience?” “Have I said or done anything in private or public that would be tantamount to evil plotting and must have been reported?” “Have I refused to acknowledge a manifest error of mine?” I would also wish that Allah grants me the Tawfeeq to ponder upon the following:

Allah said:

بَلِ ٱلْإِنسَٰنُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِۦ بَصِيرَةٌ
وَلَوْ أَلْقَىٰ مَعَاذِيرَهُۥ

Rather, man, against himself, will be a witness, though he may put forth his excuses (to cover his evil deeds). [Surah Al-Qiyaamah. Ayaat 14-15]

“Rather, man, against himself, will be a witness” – Meaning, a person is clear proof against himself based on what he does or does not do, and if he comes up with every excuse to exonerate himself of his wrongdoing, it will not benefit him. (1) “Though he may put forth his excuses”– Mujaahid [may Allah have mercy upon him] said, “Even if he disputes it, he remains a witness to it (i.e. his guilt)”. (2)

Allah said:
وَأَسِرُّوا قَوْلَكُمْ أَوِ اجْهَرُوا بِهِ ۖ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ
أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ

And whether you keep your talk secret or disclose it, verily, He is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts (of men). Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves) All-Aware (of everything). [Surah Al-Mulk. Ayaat 14-15]

If you believe that He is your Creator and the Creator of your hearts and all they contain, how can (anything) be concealed from Him when He made them?! And the statement [بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ – what is in the breasts (of men)] includes what the breasts carry in terms of beliefs, intentions, love, and hate. (3)

Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] said:

[مكر -plotting]: It is to deceive people by displaying to them the opposite of what you conceal. You show them that you are sincere and truthful to them while actually being the opposite in order to harm them. Plotting is the act of causing harm to another person in a way that (the person being harmed) is unaware of. This is not permissible. (4)

Imam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allah have mercy upon him] said, “Fujoor Fil Khusoomah is of types: rejecting what is obligatory upon you (to fulfil, give, etc) and claiming what one is not entitled to”.

If I am guilty, I wish that Allah grants me the Tawfeeq to discover this reality, then I hope that Allah grants me the Tawfeeq to repent as well as apologise to the people I have harmed. Allah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] said: “All of the children of Adam are sinners, and the best sinners are those who repent”. [At-Tirmidhee 2499]

If am not guilty, I hope that Allah grants me the Tawfeeq to be at ease. And if people continue to criticise me, I hope that Allah grants me the Tawfeeq to preoccupy myself with other affairs, as Imam As-Sadi’s statement: “Among the beneficial affairs is knowing that the harm done to you by others, especially evil speech, does not harm you; rather, it harms them unless you preoccupy yourself by giving it priority and allowing it to dominate your emotions, in which case it would harm you as it harms them. Indeed, if you ignore it, it will not harm you in any way”. (5)

Finally, regardless whether I am guilty or not, I hope that Allah grants me the Tawfeeq to be a better person and that I constantly ask Him: [اللهم كما حَسَّنْت خَلْقِي فَحَسِّنْ خُلُقِي – O Allah! Just as You made my external form beautiful, make my character beautiful as well].

Ref 1: An Excerpt from Tafseer Muyassar

Ref 2: Tafseer Ibn Katheer

Ref 3: An Excerpt from Badaa’i At-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) 3/173

Ref 4: It’haaf At-Tullaab Bi-Sharhi Mandhoomah Al-Aadaab. page 101

Ref 5: Al-Wasaa’il Al-Mufeedah. page 30

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