And your Lord knows what their breasts conceal, and what they reveal.
This ayah reminds me of so many aspects of people. At first I used to think that this ayah was directed towards hypocrites only. People who were two-faced in their deeds and actions. Who said one thing, and did another. Held and preached some set of beliefs and when their turn to practice came, they would do what was in their own interests, shoving aside the same beliefs they preached. This ayah reminded me of people who were liars, sinners, kufar of the yore, every one else except for me and the people around me.
But today I realized that this ayah was much more than all of this. It was not speaking just about the kufar and the hypocrites of that time, it was talking directly to me and about all the other hypocrites of Muslim Ummah today.
As I read it again and again, I realized this ayah was speaking to me of a certain trait we have in our nature, something we are consciously or sub-consciously; a strong tendency of being judgmental. We live in a world where what is apparent has become a yardstick for knowing a person. Many a times when we see a sister without hijab, in skinny jeans wearing make up, our mind straight away judges her as being one of the disobeying slaves, the modern Muslims or the worse a bad Muslim. We see a bearded brother smoking and we jump on him,on his beliefs outcasting him as a hypocrite. Without a second thought sometimes, no, most of the times to be honest, we don’t even know this brother or sister and we have already put them in a circle outside of our Ummah.
Why do we do that? Who are we to judge them so severely, who are we to place them as sinners, as a disobeying lot, when we know nothing of their heart. And believe me, I have seen people do it, sometimes so mercilessly that you wonder how good a Muslim they themselves are? Praying five times a day, studying Quran, observing hijab and the Sunnah, is that all what being a Muslim is about? Does that make us a complete and a perfect Muslim?
If we observe all Obligations and Sunnah of our deen but are deprived of the subsequent mercy and love for people, can we say we are better Muslims? Scoffing others, looking down upon them, scorning their behavior, does it make us a better person? Do you know their level of Imaan, can you read their intentions, can you know their heart? No, you can’t! Allah alone is the knower of their hearts. He knows what they reveal and what they conceal.
The Prophet said, “He will not enter Hellfire who has the weight of a seed of faith in his heart, and he will not enter Paradise who has the weight of a seed of arrogance in his heart.”
Source: Sahih Muslim 91
How we can help this short coming?
Reminding ourselves of the mercy of Allah. You being a better Muslim is not something you have earned, it is a mercy from Allah Swt that He guided you to the Straight path. What if, Allah forbid, tomorrow Allah leaves you to yourself. Where will you stand then? What can you do about it? He guided us and He can lead us astray any day. May Allah protect us from all sorts of misguidance. May He swt never leave us to ourselves, even for a blink of an eye. Ameen.
Show some Empathy!
Were you always a good Muslim? Did you always pray 5 times a day? Do you never feel a little low in you Imaan? Cut the poor sister and brother some slack. They might be struggling with their ‘lows’. The sister might be striving to wear a hijab, she might be praying more than you, but still might not have the courage to give up on her fashion addiction. She might, in sha Allah, in future, turn out to become a better Muslim than you are. The brother might be in some rehab group to quit smoking. It might be hard on him to rid himself of it, but he might be trying. He might give it up completely, in sha Allah. Put yourself in their shoes! Remember the times, when you were trying to replace a good habit with a bad one. It is never easy. Be emphatic!
How can you help them?
Speak to them, try to find out what hurdles they are faced with in obeying their Creator. Why can’t the sister put on the hijab? Listen to her. She might be scared, she might be worried whether or not the hijab looks good on her. She might be worried if she does put it, she might not be able to continue with it and would become a subject to ridicule.You are her sister in Islam, give her your heart of trust and understanding to lean upon. Walk together with her in the beautiful journey of Islam that we are all on, and help make things easy for her. Your kind encouraging words might just be the push she needs. Poke them, dear brothers and sisters but with encouraging helpful words and not with taunts!The least you can do, is not judge them or mock them.
We are one Ummah,one huge family and it is only by moving along side by side, helping each other, that we can be successful. We are all on this journey to Allah, to our final Destination. Some might be ahead of you, some might be walking with you and yet there will be some who are behind you, but sooner or later, they are all on the same Path to truth, and will, in sha Allah, reach their ends.
It is all up to you, Whether you become a hurdle on their path or a torch bearer, the choice is completely yours!