Is the statement ‘If Allah wishes goodness for a person, He keeps him busy with his own mistakes’ a hadith?

The Details of the Question

Is the statement ‘If Allah wishes goodness for a person, He keeps him busy with his own mistakes’ a hadith?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Yes, there is a hadith meaning like that: 

"If Allah wishes goodness for a slave, He gives him a preacher inside him. Thus, that preacher orders him what is good and forbids what is haram.” [see Munawi, Faydul-Qadir 1/ 272 (419); Ajluni, Kashful-Khafa 1/ 78]

We thank a person very much who informs us about a danger that threatens our deadly life. However, Allah informs us about our mistakes that threaten our otherworldly life. Therefore, it will be understood how good it is for us when He appoints a preacher inside us. Thus, it is very good and pleasing for us to have a preacher inside us that reminds us of good and nice things and leads us to them along with reminding us all haram and forbidden things and keeping us away from them.   

Allah grants this to the people He loves and whose goodness He wants. However, we need to lead a life that deserves it and work in this way. 

It is haram for a Muslim to spy on others behind their backs. The following verse states it clearly:

 “...And spy not on each other behind their backs...” (al-Hujurat, 49/12)

Another warning that we should be careful regarding the issue is the following hadith: “When you want to mention the mistakes of others, remember your own mistakes." [Munawi, ibid, 1/ 272 (419)]

Man needs to see his own mistakes first but he sees the mistakes of others. He sometimes hides his own big mistakes but he never overlooks the small mistakes of others. The Prophet attracts attention to this mistake of man with the following hadith and states that we need to see our own mistakes first:

"One of you sees a think stick in the eye of his brother but he forgets about (does not see) the rafter in his eye." (Mundhiri, at- Targhib wat- Tarhib 3/236)

This hadith states that it is a kind of oppression and confusion to see small mistakes of others and not to see one’s own mistakes.

A person who observes others to find their mistakes cannot see his own mistakes. A person who sees his own mistakes is a good person. We need to correct ourselves first in order to correct others. Besides, a person who is busy with his own soul and tries to correct his own mistakes will not have enough time to see the mistakes of others.   

Man needs to regard others’ mistakes as small and his mistakes as big; he should criticize the mistakes of his own soul instead of criticizing others.

We should see our bad deeds and our friends’ good deeds. Those who do not accept that they make mistakes are those that make the most mistakes.

In addition, a Muslim should accept the following hadith as his guide: “Glad tidings to the person whose own mistakes prevent him from dealing with others’ mistakes!" (Munawi, ibid, 4/281)

"The following three characteristics are enough as a shame for a person:

1. Not to see his disgraceful state but to see the disgraceful state of others.
2. Not to feel ashamed of his own state but pity others due to the same state.
3. To cause trouble to his friends."
(Munawi, ibid, 3/76; Tabarani, Mujamul- Kabir 2/168)

"Therefore justify not yourselves: He (Allah) knows best who it is that guards against evil." (an-Najm, 53/32)

The verse above should be our basic principle.

To be able to see one’s own mistakes is the pre-requisite of getting rid of them. If the problem is known, it is easy to cure it. We will be called to account for our own mistakes, not others’ mistakes. We should not do the things that we do not like and hate when others do them.

Questions on Islam

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