Learn from the right traits!

The Commander of the faithful narrated from the Holy Prophet,

إنّ ابغَضَ النّاسِ الى الله تعالى مَن يَقتَدي بِسيئَةِ المؤمِن و لا يَقتَدي بِحَسَنَتِهِ

The most hated people in the sight of Allah is the one follows a believer in his bad traits but does not follow him in his virtues.

One can tell in his various interactions that every human being has multiple good qualities and praiseworthy attributes as well as weak points and flaws in their character. A rational person knows to learn from an individual’s strong points and positive qualities. For example, he sees someone who studies very well, or someone who has excellent time management skills, or is very precise, clever and works hard. An intellectual will examine these traits and learn from them. However, there are others who do the opposite and try to imitate the negative qualities. This is a general problem which has affected the backwards Islamic nations both before colonization and after. The Muslims looked at the European and Western lifestyle and, even though they have positive qualities, the Muslims ignored those points and copied the negative qualities instead. For example, suppose that the Europeans are people who are precise with time, cautious with regards to matters of public safety, and follow through with tasks and assignments. These are some of the traits of the people of Europe and the West which allowed them to progress. However, the Muslims did not learn from these traits and take them as examples. Rather, they learned from their sexual promiscuity, deceptiveness, hypocrisy and their inattentiveness towards religion and human and moral perfections. Instead of taking a lesson from their good attributes which was the cause of their progress and success, they looked at the corruption and immorality of the Westerners and imitated them in that arena alone.

After all, Allah has given everyone and every group positive qualities and has blessed them in different ways, just as He says in surah isra’,

لًّا نُّمِدُّ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ وَهَـٰؤُلَاءِ مِنْ عَطَاءِ رَبِّكَ ۚ وَمَا كَانَ عَطَاءُ رَبِّكَ مَحْظُورًا

To these and to those—to all We extend the bounty of your Lord, and the bounty of your Lord is not confined. (17:20)

The Europeans are persistent risk takers, who are adamant on reaching their goals and as a result of these qualities, they readily faced all the risks of crossing the seas and oceans to reach India. These traits are to be examined and learned from. However, our own Muslim and Arab nations became reckless women worshippers, aimless strayers, drunkards and slaves of their animalistic carnal desires. They took the Europeans’ suits and ties, and other cultural souvenirs, but left behind the true perfections and successes that those in the West had achieved. These are the most hated people in the sight of Allah. Now, in this narration, the Prophet specifically mentions the word “believer” and the above example was that of the disbelievers. This narration holds true for both groups. You’ll find someone who is lazy and tells lies but is still a smart person who prays and thus, some people will look at those negative traits and follow him in that regard alone, and completely ignore the other brother who is pious and has a lawful income.

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