Don’t Make Hatred Your Foundation

Over the past twenty years, I have studied with a variety of scholars from many different schools of thought. During this period, I have noticed multiple trends that helped me identify good teachers. One of those trends is to look at the basic emotion the teacher inspires. When choosing a teacher, I am careful to avoid teachers whose primary purpose is spreading hatred of others.

Unfortunately, the internet has revived this culture of hate. It is easier for a young student of knowledge to gain a quick following by making hateful videos about other Muslims, than to actually teach the religion. As a result, we are once again flooded with messages of hate, refutations, and an unhealthy obsession with other people’s faults. In the process, we create a culture of hate and suspicion, devoid of spirituality and reflection.

Why People Love To Hate

This trend is nothing new. Every generation of Muslims produces a group or two that make hatred their foundation. The majority of deviant sects begin at a position of hatred; whether it is hatred for the companions, hatred for sinners, or hatred of other groups. Hatred is often the foundation of deviation and the beginning of a new cult. There are many reasons why people are attracted to cultures of hate, but in this modern age of individualism, one reason stands out; self-piety.

The various person is unaware of how much individualism has impacted their understanding of the world. Because of this, they fail to see how individualism impacts their understanding of Islam too. Islam in the eyes of such people is not seen as a system of purification and spiritual development. It is simply a tool through which one can profess one’s own piety by looking down upon others.

Individualism creates within a person a need to justify oneself constantly, a need to feel validated and better than others, and a need to be more famous than others. This leads to an obsession with refuting those who are more popular than oneself. The result is a culture of refutation and constant anger.

A Better Usage of Time

None of us will be on earth forever. We all have limited time on earth. Instead of wasting it in hatred, anger, and fault-finding, let’s use our time instead to worship Allah and purify our souls. Let us focus on doing good positive work that benefits the ummah and improves our own spiritual state in the process. Life is too short to waste on obsessing over other people and their faults.

My words don’t mean much, so I will leave you with a few hadiths to reflect on. These hadiths show us the importance of having a clean heart, and not holding ill-feelings towards other Muslims.

Abdullah ibn Amr reported; I said, “O Messenger of Allah, who are the best people?” The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “One with a clean heart and truthful in speech.” We said, “O Messenger of Allah, we know truthful in speech. What is a clean heart?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “One that is mindful of Allah and pure, in which there is no sin, nor aggression, nor envy.” We said, “Who shows a sign of it?” The Prophet said, “One who hates worldliness and loves the Hereafter.” They said, “And who shows a sign of it?” The Prophet said, “A believer with good character.

Shu’ab al-Imān 4457

Anas ibn Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to me, “Young man if you are able every morning and evening to remove any ill-feelings from your heart towards anyone, do so.”

Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2678

Anas ibn Malik reported: We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and he said, “Coming upon you now is a man from the people of Paradise.” A man from the Ansar came whose beard was disheveled by the water of ablution and he was carrying both of his shoes with his left hand. The next day the Prophet repeated the same words, and the man came in the same condition. The third day the Prophet repeated the same again, and the man came in the same condition. When the Prophet stood up to leave, Abdullah ibn Amr followed the man and he said, “I am in a dispute with my father and I have sworn not to enter my home for three days. May I stay with you?” The man said yes.

Abdullah stayed three nights with the man but he never saw him praying at night. Whenever he went to bed, he would remember Allah and rest until he woke up for morning prayer. Abdullah said that he never heard anything but good words from his mouth. When three nights had passed and he did not see anything special about his actions, Abdullah asked him, “O servant of Allah, I have not been in dispute with my father nor have I cut relations with him. I heard the Prophet say three times that a man from the people of Paradise was coming to us and then you came. I thought I should stay with you to see what you are doing that I should follow, but I did not see you do anything special. Why did the Prophet speak highly of you?” The man said, “I am as you have seen.” When Abdullah was about to leave, the man said, “I am as you have seen, except that I do not find ill-feeling in my soul towards the Muslims and I do not envy anyone because of the good that Allah has given them.” Abdullah said, “This is what you have achieved and it is something we have not accomplished.”

Musnad Aḥmad 12286

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Posted by Ismail Kamdar

Ismail Kamdar is the Founder of Islamic Self Help, author of over a dozen books, faculty manager of IOU, and a freelance writer.

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