We grew up hearing, “all that glitters is not gold”. However, we didn’t pay much heed to it. We still think that all that glitters is gold. We persisted in being superficial. It’s just too deep to actually think the real story behind the scenes could be different. Who would put in that much effort?
And thus, the preference for superficiality took root in us and we started judging everything just based on appearance.
“A beautiful girl must be my daughter-in-law, who cares about the character”.
“She always puts these romantic statuses on Facebook, she must be so happy and I’m oh-so-jealous”.
“My friend from school has such a beautiful house and car, I wish I had a life exactly like his”.
Yet, often the reality is very different from what we know. A poor person could be way more peaceful at heart than the one who is financially secure. Not only does this include not judging based on appearance but also not judging based on hearsay.
Friend A: “I saw him in the market with a girl in his car and I think she was his girlfriend”.
Friend B: “Really? And I always thought he was a pious man. How fake!”
What just happened in this situation here? Person B believed person A in a trice without even thinking that his friend could be wrong. The girl in the car could very well be the guy’s sister, niece, aunt etc. We believe whatever anyone tells us and love to spread it around, as long as it highlights something negative. If only we had adopted the opposite course and conveyed what good we know of others, how much love would there be in this world today.
Mother-in-law: “My daughter-in-law does so and so…”
Neighbour: “Oh my! Does she really? Poor you”.
Who knew what was the other side of the story? We make a judgement after listening to only one side of the story. You can never know the whole unless you know both sides. To be sure, even then you sometimes don’t know the exact reality.
Persist as we do in our unwise attitudes, Allah tells us through various stories, signs and miracles that don’t be quick to judge and don’t say things hastily.
Here’s an interesting story.
Sahih Bukhari, 3436:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “None spoke in cradle but three: …….. (The third was the hero of the following story) A lady from Bani Israel was nursing her child at her breast when a handsome rider passed by her. She said, ‘O Allah ! Make my child like him.’ On that the child left her breast, and facing the rider said, ‘O Allah! Do not make me like him.’ The child then started to suck her breast again. (Abu Huraira further said, “As if I were now looking at the Prophet (ﷺ) sucking his finger (in way of demonstration.”) After a while the people passed by, with a lady slave and she (i.e. the child’s mother) said, ‘O Allah! Do not make my child like this (slave girl)!, On that the child left her breast and said, ‘O Allah! Make me like her.’ When she asked why, the child replied, ‘The rider is one of the tyrants while this slave girl is falsely accused of theft and illegal sexual intercourse.”
This doesn’t mean that no matter what one does, you start wondering what would be the real story behind this. No! Rather don’t be hasty in wishing things that might not be as they seem and avoid being judgemental. Deal with people on the apparent but don’t judge based on their appearance and hearsay.
Make your own life and the life of others easy! :)
P.S. To read about the other child who spoke in his cradle, click here.