Humans like to judge other humans. It feels like it’s a part of our DNA. We judge people for almost every aspect of their lives, even if it’s silently in our minds. We judge people for their words, actions, clothing, behavior, etc. This is especially true in the Muslim community. We judge sisters for wearing hijab or for not wearing hijab. Within the spectrum of hijabis, we judge those for wearing makeup or showing their hair a bit or wearing in our opinion “tight clothing”. We judge brothers for hanging out with non-Muslim girls or for going to the bar. We judge other parents for what they are or are not teaching their children.
This is a trick of Shaytan (Satan). Judging others makes us blind to our own vices and sins. We must remind ourselves constantly that Allah is the Judge, not us. “Verily, your Lord knows better, who (among men)has gone astray from His path, and He knows better those who are guided.” (Surah Qalam:7) We really don’t know someone’s inner heart and what their future hold for them. If we see someone committing or doing something that we think is sinful, we can pray to Allah for guidance for them and ourselves. If we are close to them, we can voice our opinion but it must be done with tact and not in an all knowing way. We should come up with excuses for that person in our heart. Imam Jafar as- Sadiq said “If you find or see something you don’t like in a Muslim, try to find up to 70 excuses for them. And if you can’t find an excuse, say ‘There might be an excuse, but I don’t know it.”
Try to look inward at your own sins. How many of us can say we are sinless? Let us look inward at our own shortcomings and perfect ourselves and our own understanding of Allah and the deen first. You will find that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was the least judgmental person. No matter the person, they were all part of the creation that he invited to the deen of Allah with his perfect words and actions. This is how Islam spread, not by him criticizing his followers.
I write this out of my own experience and am definitely struggling with this. May Allah guide us and forgive us our mistakes.
“If sins had a smell, no one would dare sit next to me” Muhammad Ibn Waasi (R.A)