Evil thoughts of others are extremely harmful. Once Junaid Baghdadi R.A was walking through the streets of Baghdaad where he found a young person begging. He immediately thought to himself, he is a young man that is capable of earning, why is he begging? He didn’t give it much thought and passed by. That night, two angels came to him in his dream and gave him rotten pig meat to eat. He said, “How can I eat swine, and it is rotten.” The angels replied, “You have eaten it during the day, what is the problem if you eat it now?” Then he found out that it was a great Buzurg, not a beggar, so he went in search of this person.
Again, he found him begging. On Seeing Junaid Baghdadi R.A, he said, “You have come seek forgiveness.” He was convinced that this is certainly a great personality, and he was informed of the thoughts of Junaid Baghdadi R.A.. He then asked the Buzurg, “Why are you begging?” He said, “So that pride does not enter me.”We see people in different conditions but never entertain evil thoughts of anyone.
Unfortunately, we are too quick to point fingers at people. We give evidence even before we are actually asked to give evidence, we give Fatwas even before being asked for a Fatwa. Our Sheikh R.A. says that there are many people that had evil lives in the past, we also had friends during student days and we know what they were. Today, where haven’t they reached? We don’t know when someone has made Tauba and gained the closeness of Allah c. We are still thinking of him as the friend that we knew during student days, how he would abscond from classes, etc. Due to his past, we have written him off, but Allah Ta'ala decides on a daily basis whom He wants to push ahead, and He decides whom He wants to pull back.
Allah Ta'ala informs Rasulullah Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam in the Quraan Sharif, “If We desire We will certainly snatch away whatever we have revealed to you, after which you will not find a helper against us.” If this is the condition of Rasulullah Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam, where do we stand? Where can we write any person off?
When Shaytaan was expelled from Jannat, Jibraeel n, Michaeel n, and others stood shocked for years. Seeing their condition, Allah c asked, “Why are you people like this?” They replied, “There isn’t a span of ground where Shaytaan didn’t make Ibaadat, he was such an Alim that he knew the Shariat of all the Ambiya with the finer points, he was an Aarif, yet he was expelled from Jannat. Our Sheikh writes that he wasn’t an Aashiq (lover) of Allah Ta'ala. A lover doesn’t follow logic but simply does as he is told. Allah Ta'ala told them, “This is the attitude that you should adopt, be afraid of your end result.” Never think that you are accepted by Allah Ta'ala.
Therefore we cannot write any person off and look down upon him particularly if he has sincerely repented. Rasulullah Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam advised Hadrat Anas R.A, “Cleanse your heart and mind every morning and evening of malice, hatred, jealousy, etc. for others, and this is my Sunnat. This is a bitter Sunnat. The only Sunnat that we are aware of, is it Sunnat to eat sweet before or after meals? We are such great commentators of Ahadith that we gather both narrations, that is, we eat sweet before the meal as well as after the meal. No one asks, “Is it also a Sunnat to remain in a state of hunger?”
During the battle of the trenches, the Sahaaba R.A had complained of extreme hunger. Some Sahaaba had fastened stones to their bellies due to such pangs of hunger. When Rasulullah Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam lifted his Kurta, he had 2 stones fastened to his blessed stomach. This Sunnat is never heard of. Anyway, cleansing the heart is a great Sunnat. It is possible that people have spoken ill of you, they are conspiring against you and you are aware of it, but you are still commanded to keep your heart clean. May Allah Ta'ala grant us the ability to practice on this Hadith of Rasulullah Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam. Ameen!