CommUnity

 

The Prophet Mohamed, peace and blessings be upon him, has said: “The believers are like mirrors for each other…” (Abu Dawud).

The arguement goes something like this:

“Why didn’t the fundraising dinner start on time? I wasted two hours just sitting and watching organizers set up tables and chairs.”

“The meeting was so disorganized! Why can’t we get our act together?”

These types of comments can be heard in many Muslim communities and why point out the weaknesses of other Muslims and our institutions, especially publicly? Criticism is bound to deflate enthusiasm. Why be critical when it will only turn Muslims away from each other instead of unifying them?

Why do we look into the mirror? To check out our appearance and how it can be improved. Similarly, we must give each other constructive criticism so that as a community we are constantly improving.

Some Muslims take a position that public criticism is harmful for Muslim unity. I wonder what unity is out there which will be destroyed by public criticism?

The aim of criticisms is  to shed light on our challenges for further improvement.  A commUnity is supposed to work for a change and whether it be issues pertaining to the family like domestic violence and the difficulty many couples face in the first years of marriage or problems that touch all members of the Muslim community such as racism or inadequate money due to extenuating circumstances. Granted, some criticism defeats itself when it is characterized by harshness, rudeness and a lack of balance.

Personally, criticism doesn’t harm unity. Instead, it makes it stronger because Muslims then work together to solve problems for the benefit of the community.

The early Muslim community’s dynamism and unity were not harmed by constructive criticism, partly because we had leaders who were open to questioning of their actions and willing to accept criticism. As well, Muslims were not afraid to point out weaknesses in a frank, open and respectful manner in the interest of Islam and the Muslim community. Our leaders and the managers of our institutions today must remember that criticism is part of the leadership territory.

It is time for all of us to try to enjoin the good and forbid injustices.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by adikbongsu on November 24, 2007 at 3:20 am

    Assalamu’alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakahtu,

    Agree that only true criticism…positive ones that is can help our community to move forward. Sadly, most would take ciriticism as a personal insult….and thus our community always get stuck by such thinking. The “I” in our community is much much BIGGER than the “OURS”. This we have to change….and as a first step, we can start by talking and discussing the issues …just like what you’re doing sister….great job!

    🙂

    Jazakillah for sharing….

    Reply

  2. Ya , i agree with u.

    Reply

  3. Asalaamu alikum,

    Such a important issue- I enjoyed reading your post.

    I love the hadith you mentioned.

    May Allah grant us the wisdom to criticize constructively* and to first look at ourselves before pointing at others.

    Jazak’allah khair

    Don’t be sad

    *in Medicine there is something known as Pendleton’s rule. When feeding back tom someone- (1) mention what was good (2) mention what could be improve and how it might be improve and encourage that improvements are possible (3) reiterate what was good to sum up. Insha’allah if we criticize so, more please will take it on board.

    Reply

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