In this week’s edition of Real Talk, I will reflect on the pervasive act of judging others, something we struggle with constantly. No one is free of this sin. It is critical that we realize when we judge others, we are doing so in order to curb ourselves. Judging has a significant effect on the victims of the act.
Realizing who the True Judge is
So then why do we do it? Why do we involve ourselves in other people’s business? How come we justify it? Though I’m not really sure of the answers to these questions, it is good to reflect upon them.
In the Qur’an, God says, “Is not Allah the most just of judges?” (95:08).
It is important to understand how the context of this verse relates to us judging others. In this verse, along with many others in the Qur’an, Allah is saying that He is the Most Just Judge of all. From His perspective, those who are obedient and follow His path are not equivalent to those who are disobedient. Therefore, out of His fairness, He will dole out rewards to those deserving and likewise punish those deserving.
In another verse He says, “Or do those who commit evils think We will make them like those who have believed and done righteous deeds – [make them] equal in their life and their death? Evil is that which they judge” (45:21). Once again He is reiterating the idea of being just and fair in His judgment.
We’ve got to realize that if we truly believe that God is the Most Just and is indeed the best of judges, then we need to leave the judging up to Him. It is His job to do, not ours. Trust me, He really doesn’t need our help/expertise. He’s got it covered.
This is a point we need to hammer home. Whenever our minds wander and we want to judge someone, we should first think back to how it is not our job (and a lot of times not our business).
Looking in the mirror
If we are really insistent about judging someone, then we should look at ourselves in the mirror first. Yes, we’ve heard and said this multiple times, but it’s true. We are so good at looking at others and picking out their faults when we have our own issues to worry about. We somehow convince ourselves that we are righteous saviors and we should get involved in their business by claiming that our objective is to help.
Acting with kindness
Yet, if that is our objective, we should realize that help can come in multiple forms. It means that instead of admonishing someone in a rude manner—which is completely void of any Islamic character—we should be polite to him or her.
Maybe that act of kindness is what stays with that person and in the future he or she change for the better. Or maybe it isn’t. Or maybe from the beginning nothing wrong was being done and you were just sitting on your high horse judging.
Allah is the One who guides and thus, we should leave it to the Judge – Allah, the Most Just.
Zeyad Zaky is a first year master’s student in mechanical engineering. His current occupations include being a student, a (former) high school quarterback, and full-time boss/baller. His columns are published every Wednesday. Read full bio here.