Title of work
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Let everyone speak out their opinions, let everyone criticize. Why is there the need for curses, for defamations? Curses burn out those who curse. They would have their hearts torn out. They would lose their happiness and joy. They would lose the radiant light in their faces. That would give them pain.
One has a mistake or a flawed aspect in his personality, he confesses to it yet still goes on to act on it. Alright, you might have a flaw, but you need to fight it and get rid of it. One keeps on saying, "I am ignorant, I wouldn't know." Well, increase your knowledge then. One says, "I have a jealous personality." Well, remove that jealousy and educate yourself. Or one says that he has cowardice. Be brave then.
If there is criticism, it means that a country is free. If it is not possible to criticize anything, it is not possible to live in that country. There should be a lot of critics. That is a sign of health, a sign of beauty and liveliness. If no one makes a sound, it means death; that is a sign of death. Opposing journalists, opposing television stations should all be able to voice their opinions loudly.
One would fall into heedlessness if he sees himself as self-sufficient. Criticizing one's self is one of the most acceptable acts of worship, it is one of the most beautiful characteristics of a Muslim that opens his mind. Those who do not criticize themselves become insane and lose their minds; they would be ruined. Those who criticize themselves find relief.
Have a look at some people around you, at those who do not let anyone say a single word about themselves. They come up with an explanation to every single thing they are told. They do not even accept something that should certainly be criticized about. That kind of attitude would create heavy damage and cause a very significant problem in one's psyche. Look around you and you will see; but those who criticize themselves are very lenient. Such people are very stable and very consistent. You can see that around you as well. That is a miracle of the Qur'an.
In order to be stable and reasonable one should certainly criticize himself. Even if it is once in a while, he should certainly criticize himself and one should do so when he is in the company of others. Only then one could become a stable, reasonable person. That is a miracle of the Qur'an. A solid, tangible miracle.
If one does not criticize himself and sees himself as sufficient and above criticism, he would become insane. A Muslim should certainly criticize himself and have others criticize him. This is necessary for one's sanity or else one's mental health would be disrupted; his judgment and reasoning would be impaired. His foresight and perception would be blocked. Have a look at those around you, you will see. Avoiding criticisms would cause instability and would prevent one to be reasonable.
The best attitude that can be adopted against egocentricity and haughtiness is to be submissive towards God, to put trust in God, to be patient and humble and to avoid being egocentric. The shortest remedy to that in the Qur'an is self-criticism. One should criticize himself both while he is alone and while he is in the company of others.
An egocentric person couldn't even endure or tolerate a justified criticism. He becomes purple, flushed of face, he starts to have a stomachache, high blood pressure and he becomes insane. That is because criticism offends his ego, because his whole body becomes his ego, that creates an immense allergy in his body. But when he criticizes himself, his ego would be shuttered and would stop assaulting his body. His body would be soothed and calmed. He would regain his mental balance. After that he will be able to think and talk rationally and reasonably.
Being criticized by another is like looking into the highest quality mirror. How nice it is. You can preen yourself, tidy yourself. Finding someone to criticize you is as valuable as gold, it is a great blessing. But criticisms should be honest and sincere, and should not be done to disturb and offend. Criticisms should be justified.
One would not know himself otherwise; in that respect criticism is a perfect blessing. However satan has turned it into a spiral of disaster and pain. Criticism has a very devastating impact on some people. They are devastated and almost lose their human feelings. Look at the pain satan inflicts. Look at how satan manipulates something that is actually in one's favor, how it shows such a beautiful blessing.
Without criticism, the lower-self makes one insane, it makes one crazy. A Muslim should criticize himself and have himself criticized by others. When one does that, he would turn into a very well-balanced, reasonable, normal person. If he has mental instability, that goes away. That insanity dissolves, that aggression goes away. His inconsistencies, his tormenting himself goes away.
God has given very nice secrets that would keep one's mind sane. Before all else, one's commitment to God would keep away all immorality, all abnormality. Putting one's trust in God would take away the torment one does to himself. When he becomes patient, he would become friends with everyone around. When one is loyal, he would attain a personality everyone would love. When one criticizes himself, he keeps his sanity intact. When one is criticized by others, he becomes a rational, stable and loveable person.
Fiercely defending one's own desires is a mental illness. One should get a grip on himself in this situation and take refuge in God. He should ask himself, "How did I turn into such an abnormal person?" He should listen to what others have to say in a reasonable manner. A Muslim is open to 'al-amr bi-l-maʿrūf wa-n-nahy ʿani-l-munkar' (enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong). Therefore, he becomes wiser with ease.
Of course, a believer should be open to advice. A Muslim might make a mistake, there is nothing wrong with this but he should always pay heed to advice of others: In other words, a Muslim shouldn't be arrogant, disrespectful and snobbish, right? Even though he won't follow the advice, he should politely listen to it within the limits of the Qur'an and say, "I will try hard to do so."
It is quite natural for a Muslim to make a mistake. People should not be afraid of making mistakes. Even if it is a big mistake, it can be solved by giving advice. But reacting angrily to advice is not normal. You could say, "Okay, I will consider this. May God bless you. I will try my best." That's it. But angry overreaction to advice is abnormal behavior.
I wish for people who are on the wrong path to correct their ways and not get deeper in their errors so that they are won over. To correct those who are on the wrong path, I respond to misdeeds with good. My tone is always reconciliatory and compassionate. I want to win over people I criticize, not humiliate them.
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