ne morning, when my parents were up for Fajr, my father saw the lights go on in the house across the street. Someone had recently moved in. My father wondered to himself: this family seems to be Muslims as they are up so early for Fajr MashAllah. Whatever little doubts he had disappeared when later in the day he saw his neighbour leave his house right around Jummah time and when my father got back from Jummah, he saw his neighbour drive back home as well.
Now my father was sure that his neighbours were a good muslim family who were particular about their prayers, so he decided to go and meet with them and introduce himself. When he got to their door, a man came out. The two of them got to talking. He was very polite and invited my father inside. My father told him about his observations and asked him where he was from. The neighbour, ever so kind, replied that he was from Kenya and was an “Agha Khani” by religion but did not even believe in that faith much.
The reason he woke up that early was because his wife had to get to work early that day and he usually goes out for lunch to a restaurant on Friday afternoons.
Appearances can be so deceiving!
We form opinions and judgements, good or bad, on the basis of what we see. And our perception is influenced by how we were brought up, our culture and people around us.
Something appearing to be good may not be as good, similarly something appearing to be bad may not be bad at all. If we really think about it, our knowledge of the world around us will always be very limited. No matter how many questions we ask, how many books we read and how many degrees we may have under our belt, we will never know the whole story!
As Shakespeare rightly said, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players”
And it seems like Allah Subhana utala is the writer and audience of this play.
That is the reason why judgement is left to Allah alone. Justice can only be served if one has the knowledge of what really happened. And that knowledge includes the information that lies in the hearts of heart.
Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Verily actions are by their intentions, and one shall only have that which one intended.” [Bukhari & Muslim] .
A scholars says, “Through intentions habits become worship.” ( bi’l niyyaat tanqalibul `aadaat `ibaadaat)
If we can grasp this concept in its entirety, we may just stop complaining about the world around us. In fact we will be so hung up on correcting our own intentions for all our actions, good or bad, that we wont have time to pass judgement on other people’s actions.
Oh what a blessed life that would be!