GUIDE POSTS FAULT FINDING (Bashir Ahmad Orchard) There is a difference between finding fault and constructive criticism. No doubt drawing the attention of another to a fault in aid of his betterment is a meritorious act providing he is approached in the proper manner. Here however attention is being drawn to those persons who find fault for the sake of fault-finding. It is they who should not throw stones in glass houses and bear in mind the words of Jesus: “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thy own eye? , _ (MathV.3) On this matter God says in the Holy Quran: “O ye who believe! Let not one people deride another people, haply they may be better than they, nor let one group of women deride other women, haply they may be better than they.” (49:12) Gossip is a very common fault. It would not be so bad if we speak of people in a charitable manner; but often we do not. Our eyes and ears are keener to pick out blemishes than features of beauty; and our tongues like to talk of other’s shortcomings. The Holy Quran instructs us not to be censorious and adversely critical of others. God commands: “O ye who believe! avoid much suspicion, for suspicion in some cases is a sin. And spy not on one another, neither backbite one another.” (49:13) Nobody likes to be the subject of unkind fault-finding and censorious criticism. We like to be judged fairly. We like others to show forbearance and charity in our shortcomings. That being so we should show charitable forbearance in our attitude towards them. We would resent and abhor unfair and unkind fault-finding levelled at us. It is strange how unaware we may be of our own faults and yet how 4 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS clearly we see those of other people. We see a speck in the eye of another while being apparently oblivious of a large beam in our own eye. We observe and criticize the smallest fault in another while a much greater fault lies in us. We have been well advised: In speaking of a person’s faults Pray don’t forget your own; Remember that those with homes of glass Should seldom throw a stone. If we have nothing else to do Than talk of those who sin, Its better to commence at home And from that point begin. It is a fact that hose who talk about the faults of others usually have far greater faults in themselve. This truth should make us extremely careful before voicing the faults of others. We would do far better to speak well of them and remain silent regarding their faults. The Holy Prophet of Islam said: “Do you know what backbiting is? He was answered: Allah and His Messenger know best. He said: Your saying of your brother that which he would he would dislike. Someone said: But if my brother should be as I say? The Holy Prophet said: If he should be as you say then you have been guilty of backbiting and if he should not be as you say you are guilty of calumny.” (Muslim) God directs that we should not involve ourselves in exposing and discussing the faults of others but, rather, we should strive to prevent and mend our own. We should be so attentative to improving ourselves that we have no time to backbite, fault-find and criticise others. If we want to enjoy the sweet peace of God within ourselves then we should strive to keep our minds free or all bitter criticism.