Whether openly or subtly, accompanied by our actions or our words, out loud or in our own heads, at one time or another, we’ve all made that face – the Judgey Judgeface. The one we make when we’ve convinced ourselves we are better. Not like others – inferior or mediocre.
The truth is, regardless of age, wealth, status or knowledge, the better person is the one who is better in the sight of God and that is one thing there is absolutely no way for us to assess.
So when you are feeling a bit judgemental, a bit mighty – a bit better than those around you, remember that our Beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: Verily, Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty. Arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people. (Sahih Muslim).
Have a read of this timeless advice from Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali and next time think twice. The assumption that you are better than others is pure ignorance on your part. Nay! It is recommended that you do not look towards another except that you see him as better than yourself and more blessed
Thus, if you see a child, tell yourself –‘This person has never sinned against God, but I have sinned, and so he is better than I.’
And if you see an older person, tell yourself –‘This man was a servant of God before me, and is indeed better than I.’
If he is a scholar, tell yourself –“This man has been given what I have not been given and reached what I did not reach, and knows what I am ignorant of; then how shall I be like him?’
And if he is ignorant, tell yourself – ‘This man has sinned against God in ignorance, and I have sinned against Him knowingly, so God’s case against me is stronger, and I do not know what end He will give to me and what end to him.’
If he is an unbeliever, tell yourself – ‘I do not know; perhaps he will become a Muslim and his life will end in doing good, and because of his acceptance of Islam something of his sins will be taken away, as a hair is taken from dough gently; but as for me – God is our refuge (God grant it does not happen) – perhaps God will lead me astray so that I become an unbeliever and my life ends in doing evil, and then tomorrow he will be among those brought near to God and I shall be among the punished.’
Aiysha Malik is a photographer, writer and award-winning designer. In 2016 she founded mamanushka.com, a popular lifestyle blog devoted to the experiences of being a mother and Muslim woman of colour. Originally from Canada, she now lives in the UK and has spent the last decade experimenting with how to build capable communities whilst maintaining the joy in life. Follow her work and inspirations on instagram @goodonpurpose