It’s not my fault that I’m different

How many a times have great organisations been destroyed when those within them forgot the beauty of diversity? When we forgot that Allah ‘azza wa jal created us differently?

That… I cannot be you and you cannot be me?

We may not be alike,
We may not see the world the same way,
What might be fun for me, for you it may be cliché,
We may not look the same.
What may be right for me, for you it may cause shame.

Neither do we all feel the same emotions as the other,
I may be a sister, and you may be a brother.
We may not respond the same way to a trial or a moment of happiness,
As you may persist and I may lose focus…

You may pass in one trial and me in another,
And guess what – Something may annoy you, but for me it causes no bother…

Neither do we come from the same backgrounds,
You may be loud, whereas I usually don’t make a sound.

Yes, our standards of what is right and wrong may differ in specifics,
I may go with the flow, whereas you may be a critic.
Or the way we carry ourselves is unique to us,
You may be an actor! And I may be an actress!
The response to an email or the coolness of oneself on a conference call,
…It may make me say wow, whereas when you receive it, it causes you to… Stall!

may not do what you envision me to do,
And at times I may stop, but you continue to argue.
Nor may you do what I believe you should do,
You may be great! But me, I need to constantly review…
I may not agree with how you work,
…So you may be patient, yet I go berserk…

But one thing stands…

We all love Allah ‘azza wa jal and His Messenger, salAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam!

Hence, regardless of what happens – we should be there for each other no matter what! Whether this is a helping hand, advice or just offering support and more importantly we should be protected from each other’s tongues, actions and negative thoughts.

Because… I cannot be you and you cannot be me.

This da’wah is built on thinking good of each other, as our thoughts become our actions and the way we treat each other is a reflection of how we perceive one another. So if we don’t keep this under control, it can affect the productivity of the organisation you’re involved in.

“Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or your possessions; rather He looks at your heart and your deeds.” – Sahih Muslim

Judge as you wish, think as you will, but don’t forget… That strangely enough we judge others by their behaviour, yet when it comes to ourselves we make a point to judge us by our intentions. So you can never judge the lives and actions of others, nor can you say or believe they can’t do it – because each person understands their own troubles and the extent of what they’re facing. Unless you go through it, you can never understand what made them do it and what led them to it… May Allah protect me and you, aameen.

Something I’ve learnt is; our actions may hurt another, whilst we may remain cool. Yet Allah may forgive them, and we are not aware of it.

What should you do when you feel like you’re judging someone?

[dropcap2]1[/dropcap2]Analyse your own self and contemplate your imperfections.

If you’re protected from a sin it’s only  by the guidance of Allah ‘azza wa jal – and many times we see people sinning, perhaps Allah puts them through these trials where they fail and then strive to pass, because Allah is testing them as He knows they will  get through it. And perhaps Allah is not putting you through this test, because He knows you won’t be able to pass it.

Hence, people are being tested and this is between them and Allah, it is your job to hate the sin and not judge them based on it, as perhaps Allah really does love them more than you – even though their state is worse than yours on the outset. In regards to you – it’s all that goes on in the inside.

[dropcap2]2[/dropcap2]Talk it out…

Islam encourages us to be honest with each other, in fact I was listening to a lecture by a prominent Shaykh and he mentioned, if the Sahabah radiAllahu ‘anhum disagreed with someone; they discussed it intellectually with good adhab. Hence, at times the solution can be a misunderstanding and you won’t know if you don’t be honest and discuss it. What’s the worst that can happen? Yes, they may not talk to you again! : Pun intended: Though, if this is something that is in disobedience to Allah ‘azza wa jal, then you need to enjoin the good and forbid the evil in a manner that is beautiful.

If you do not agree with something they do, you have various options:

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  • Either advise them directly with wisdom, care and concern.
  • Or advise someone who is close to them and knows about what you may disagree with. If you do this, you have to ensure you’re sincere and the person knows, as you have to be wary of not falling into backbiting.
  • Not say anything, but make sincere du’a for them.
  • Understand that you’re both diverse and the individual may hold a different opinion to you, as long as it’s not a major or minor sin.

[dropcap2]3[/dropcap2]You need to be a beautiful mirror

Rasoolullah salAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “A believer is a mirror for a believer.” Abu Da’wud.

A mirror is so wondrous, as it has to be clean and clear itself to give a clear reflection, hence when it is full of marks, the reflection at times is imperfect. You need an external force to come and clear it and in this case it was the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam through the Qur’an and his sunnah.

Turn to the Qur’an and Sunnah and use this as a means of gaining more knowledge and understanding the diversity permitted in Islam, this can be a means of stepping up!

What do you do if you feel like you’re being judged?

Simple… When people criticise you, it’s not about stepping down! Rather it’s about stepping up! …Not by retaliation, rather by the determination in your ‘ibadah!

Bismillah to another day – to show Allah how much you love Him!

The Author

Alima Ashfaq is the founder of I am Alima and hopes to transform it into the forefront of assisting women come closer to Allah (swt). She is the author of a number of publications, most notably Du’as of the Superstars.

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