Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover


Bassam Zawadi


Unfortunately today we see many people judging others just by their appearance and outward actions. They don't know anything about them, yet that doesn't stop them from going ahead and judging a person after just looking at them for 5 seconds. Many of us might judge a woman not wearing hijab as a woman who does not care about her religion, while in reality she prays all five of her prayers and fasts on all the compulsory days, but is struggling to put on the hijab. But if we were to see a woman putting on a hijab we might rush to the conclusion that she is a strong practicing Muslim woman, while in reality she may only be putting it on for a show or because she was compelled to do so by her parents. We cannot rush to judging people just by observing their external actions, for people could be performing good deeds only for a show for the people. This is what the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said...


Saheeh Muslim

Book 001, Hadith Number 0206.

Chapter : Suicide is the gravest sin.

It is reported on the authority of Sahl b. Sa'd al-Sa'idi that there was an encounter between the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and the polytheists, and they fought (against one another). At the conclusion of the battle the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) bent his steps towards his army and they (the enemies) bent their steps towards their army. And there was a person (his name was Quzman and he was one of the hypocrites) among the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) who did not spare a detached (fighter of the enemy) but pursued and killed him with the sword. They (the Companions of the Holy Prophet) said: None served us better today than this man Upon this the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) remarked: Verily he is one of the denizens of Fire. One of the people (Muslims) said: I will constantly shadow him. Then this man went out along with him. He halted whenever he halted, and ran along with him whenever he ran. He (the narrator) said: The man was seriously injured. He (could not stand the pain) and hastened his own death. He placed the blade of the sword on the ground with the tip between his chest and then pressed himself against the sword and killed himself. Then the man (following him) went to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and said: I bear testimony that verily thou art the Messenger of Allah, He (the Holy Prophet) said: What is the matter? He replied: The person about whom you just mentioned that he was one among the denizens of Fire and the people were surprised (at this) and I said to them that I would bring (the news about him) and consequently I went out in search of him till I (found him) to be very seriously injured. He hastened his death. He placed the blade of the sword upon the ground and its tip between his chest and then pressed himself against that and killed himself. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) remarked: A person performs the deeds which to the people appear to be the deeds befitting the dweller of Paradise, but he is in fact one of the denizens of Hell. And verily a person does an act which in the eyes of public is one which is done by the denizens of Hell, but the person is one among the dwellers of Paradise.


Now does this mean that we are to be suspicious of everyone and be skeptical of the world? No absolutely not. What you are supposed to do is first judge your self before you even think about judging others. If you are close to a friend and you know he is doing wrong, then advise him. Sure, it is unavoidable (due to human nature) that you will form a personal opinion about a person based on his outward actions, however this does not justify that you go backbite or jump to conclusions about people unnecessarily and start judging whether a person will be going to hell or heaven since you don't know what is inside their hearts. 

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