(Show forgiveness, enjoin
what is good, and turn away from the foolish [i.e. don’t punish them].) (Qur'an
It is not right for you to
forsake your brother because of one or two faults that you find in him,
especially if the rest of his character is honorable. As we know, perfection
for any one of us is unattainable.
"How is it that you
want your friend to possess a specific pattern of characteristics when your
soul ------ which is the closest of souls to you --- does not always obey your commands.
What right do you then have to expect another person’s soul to follow your
(Even as he is now so were
you yourselves before till Allah conferred on you His Favors (i.e. guided you
to Islam)…) (Qur’an 4: 94)
(So ascribe not purity to
yourselves. He knows best him who fears Allah and keeps his duty to
Him.) (Qur’an: 53: 32)
It is enough for you that
you are satisfied with the main part of your brother’s character. Abu Darda
(may Allah be pleased with him) said:
"To reproach your
brother for something is better than to lose him altogether?
Some of the wise said:
"We are still not satisfied
with ourselves, so how then can we expect ourselves to be satisfied with
It has also been said:
Don’t remain aloof from
someone who impresses you with a good character and sound judgment because of
some minor fault that is surrounded by an ocean of virtues. You will not find,
as long as you live, a person so cultivated that he is free from blemish and
sin. Contemplate your own self and how it often errs and strays. This kind of
introspection makes your demand on others more balanced and makes you more sympathetic
to the sinner."
An Arab poet said:
"Who is the one whose
character is untainted, sufficient worthiness for someone is that his defects
can be counted."
It has been said that one’s
suspicions concerning one’s brother should not ruin a good mutual trust that
has been tested over time.
Ja’far ibn Muhammad said to
his son. "O’ my son, whoever among your brothers becomes angry with you
three times, and on each occasion speaks only the truth about you, take him as
a close friend."
Al-Hasan ibn Wahb said,
"From the rights of
mutual love is to forgive and overlook shortcomings?
(So overlook their faults
with gracious forgiveness.) (Qur’an 15: 85)
Ibn Roomi said:
"These are people and
the world, and there is no doing away with dust that irritates the eyes or
spoils the drink. From the lack of fairness is to expect refinement in the
world, while you yourself are unrefined."
(And had it not been for the
Grace of Allah and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure
from sins.) (Qur’an 24: 21)
A poet said:
"You seek a cultivated
person who is free from defects, but does the aloe exude a pleasant odor
(So ascribe not purity to
yourselves. He knows best him who fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him.)
(Quran 53: 32)