Do We Transmit Good Health?
No, we do not transmit good health, but transmit ‘decease’. Spreading of disease brings nothing but harm. How better would it have been if we could transmit ‘good health’ instead?
It is not just the case with good health – all good things are non-contagious. Those won’t get rooted fast. How quickly the wrong deeds are spreading in the society! Good mentions about individuals, institutions or organizations will never reach masses. On the other hand, negative criticisms and allegations will spread very quickly. The hastiness to find, criticize and publicize even negligible shortcomings while having numerous good things to talk about, will only create troubles all over the society. It’s a very great fortune to own an eye that sees only goodness. Those who are reluctant to promote merits will not show any reluctance to spread the vices. To such people, Allah said: “O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another…. (Quran 49: 12)
What we should spy about is our own life and in it we should find out flaws and rectify. Even if we pardon wrong doings of others, we should never pardon our own wrong doings quickly. Our strongest criticisms should be against ourselves. Prophet (PBUH) once said “Felicitations to those who did not see others’ shortcomings because they were busy searching for their own!” (Shuabul Imaan 10563)
Ibnu Abbas (RA) said: “Whenever you feel like sharing your friend’s shortfalls, think about your own” (Ibnu Abiduniya : Sumut 178). A’mru Bnu Uthba (RA) says : “Guard your tongue from futile conversations and your ears from hearing those. Because, talking or hearing forbidden wordings is an evil act.”
There are examples from Prophet (PBUH) on how to correct others’ faults. His way was to convey affectionately to that person in private. Once Prophet (PBUH) strongly questioned a companion for his remarks on another companion as “slumberous”. He also questioned the Swahaba who was listening to this comment and did not discourage it. Prophet (PBUH) adviced them to not to speak of any one except in respect of his prestige. We all are still left with many shortfalls to be rectified. In every Salah, we supplicate to Allah in our sitting between ‘Sajadas’ “O Lord, rectify me my shortfalls”. We don’t see any shortcomings within us, but only virtues. The one who knows about our shortcomings the most is Allah.
Prophet (PBUH) even warned us to speak only to say something good and to keep quiet otherwise (Bukhari). There is a saying from Umar ibnu Abdul Azeez “I refrain from many of the conversations because I dread there might occur any boasting or ranting. (Thwabkathubnu Sa’d 5:368)
Imam Hasan ul Basri (RA) teaches us: A wise man’s tongue will be in his heart. When he intents to talk, he wiould seek permission of his heart. If allowed, he will talk; otherwise he’ll keep quite. A scatterbrain’s heart will be behind his tongue. It will never look in to the heart and that tongue will utter whatever comes in it. (Kithabussuhud 389).
A single exhortation of prophet (PBUH) is adequate to bridle our tongue. “Whoever’s talking is increased, his fallibility will increase. When fallibility increases, vices will increase. If vices increase, he will become an heir of Hell fire.” (Thwbraani-Aousath 73)
Prophet (PBUH) warned us: “Do not derive pleasure from your brother’s misfortune, for God may well cure him and test you with a tribulation (Tirmidhi 2506). He also gave the glad tiding that if we sheathe others’ shortfalls even after we knew it, Allah will sheathe our shortfalls. This is the best way that the prophet (PBUH) of mercy taught for the protection of the society.
Even our criticisms should be affectionate advices. Otherwise, when we talk about someone else’s shortfalls, our own shortfalls will chuckle inside. We know ourselves the most. And we know clearly that the rectification is required within ourselves. Therefore, let our fingers be pointed towards ourselves!