“A Muslim is a mirror to another Muslim” – Five points of reflection

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Last Updated on 8th April 2022

Hazrat Mir Muhammad Ishaqra

المسلم مراة المسلم

“A Muslim is a mirror to another Muslim.” (Kanz-ul-Ummal, Vol. 1, Hadith no. 742)

What is this hadith? It is such a complete picture of a Muslim’s relationship with another Muslim that not a single relationship has been left out of it.

1. Just as by looking at a mirror, one sees all the spots and blemishes on their face and every kind of dirt and the position of their hat etc., in the same way, a Muslim must perfect their actions, behaviour and manners in such a way that by looking at them, other Muslims can instantly rectify their own wrong practices and habits. Just as a person recognises their faults by looking at a mirror, in the same way, a Muslim should be such that by looking at their qualities, others become mindful of their own weaknesses.

2. As a mirror only reveals the faults of the person looking at it and does not show them to everyone […] in the same way a Muslim must show another Muslim brother their faults with the same secrecy so that they may reform themselves. But it is not permissible for him to begin publicising those mistakes and telling others of their faults.

3. Some people do not show true sincerity and compassion to their brothers who have a fault and never act with love and softness. […] It is the duty of a true Muslim therefore to indicate to their brothers – with complete privacy and secrecy and while having true sincerity for their reformation – their errors, so that they can reform themselves.

4. A mirror informs what needs correcting, but it also shows beauty. It is not so that a mirror reveals how a hat has been put on incorrectly but does not reveal when it is put on correctly. Or that it shows the blemishes and spots on one’s face but does not show a face that has clear skin, is beautiful or has no blemishes. As a mirror informs one about negative aspects, it also shows the positives.

In the same way, it is not only the obligation of a Muslim to be a mirror for the faults of his brother; rather, he should praise his qualities as well. And as he injures his brother’s heart by revealing to him his faults – with the intention of his brother’s betterment and reformation – he also must mention his Muslim brother’s qualities so that his Muslim brother’s heart is given happiness and he progresses on those qualities further. Otherwise, a child who is always reprimanded for their faults and is never praised for their positive progress in education can never be successful.

5. As a mirror only shows the faults of one’s appearance when they are in front of it and when they leave the mirror removes them, in the same way whenever a Muslim meets another Muslim and sees in them a fault or error, they should silently, like a mirror, reveal those faults to them. However, it should not be that when they leave that Muslim and go home, those faults of the Muslim remain instilled in their heart. Their heart should be completely clean of any blemishes, like a mirror, for their brother.

This quality was most manifest in my shaikh and teacher, Nuruddin the Greatra [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I]. He used to say “When I am about to go to sleep, I completely empty my heart of all hurt, anger, enmity and malice [toward anyone] and then fall asleep. And no matter how angry or hurt I am due to someone during the day, when going to sleep, I completely remove all such feelings toward that person.”

Holy is Allah! How unique was my shaikh! […]

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu in Al Fazl, 30 January 1941)

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