The teachings of Islām not only guide us to the ways of attaining success in the next life, they also encompass the principles that show us how to achieve success in this life and improve our society. One clear principle from amongst them is the honouring of Muslims, due to which, certain things such as swearing, slandering, backbiting and fault-finding, etc. are prohibited in the Sharī’ah (Islamic Law). The disease of fault-finding is spreading like a virus within the society. It is becoming the norm for people to forget themselves and instead search for faults in others. Whereas, Allah Almighty has prohibited us from finding faults in others:
وَّ لَا تَجَسَّسُوْا
And do not search for (hidden) faults
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 26, Surah Al-Hujurat, Verse 12)
Commenting on the above verse, Sadr Al-Afādil Sayyid Muftī Muhammad Na’īm al-Dīn Murādābādī رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states: ‘Do not find faults in other Muslims and do not seek to know of their hidden matters which Allāh Almighty has concealed due to him being The One Who Veils (matters)’. (Khazā’in al-‘Irfān, pp. 950, summarised)
The virtues of veiling others
The Beloved Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم has prohibited the action of fault-finding and mentioned the virtues of concealing (the faults of) others on several occasions. The Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم said: Whosoever witnesses someone’s hidden fault and conceals it, he will therefore be like the person who takes out a child who was buried alive in the grave and saves its life. (Musnad Ahmad, vol. 6, p. 126, Hadīth 1733) In another place, it is stated: The one who conceals the matters of a Muslim, Allāh Almighty will conceal his matters in this world and the Hereafter. (Muslim, p. 1110, Hadīth 2699, abridged) Meaning, he should not reveal his concealed faults; on the condition that concealing it will not result in harm to the religion or people - otherwise, he should definitely reveal it. He should have the spies amongst the non-Muslims caught and reveal the hidden matters of those who plot! He should inform the one who is being plotted against and is to be killed unjustly. Good character is one thing; affairs and politics are another. (Mir’āt al-Manājīh, vol. 1, p. 189)
The harms of fault-finding
*Fault-finding is extremely disliked by Allah Almighty and His Beloved Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم .
*The one who finds faults in others is never held in high regard by the community.
*Fault-finding causes bad character.
*Fault-finding makes one narrow-minded.
*The knowledge of a fault-finder is removed and he is overtaken by ignorance.
*Fault-finding is a means of causing harm and insulting believers.
*Fault-finding results in a person exhausting their efforts in useless matters.
*Fault-finding destroys a person’s peace of mind; he cannot live in peace and puts his honour on the line.
Ways of saving oneself from fault-finding
*If a person focuses on his own faults, then he will not be concerned with the faults of others.
*He should contemplate over the worldly and religious harms of fault-finding.
*He should always keep the sayings of Allah Almighty and His Beloved Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم in relation to fault-finding in his mind.
*He should spend time in the company of pious and God-fearing people.
*When he is alone, he should ask himself: If someone was to expose my faults, then how would I feel?
May Allah Almighty keep us protected from fault-finding and other repulsive acts like it. اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم