Making A Default Positive Assumption about People

I have been troubled by some people being in a hurry to make negative conclusions about others and judge them. I find them guilty of double standards while they judge, since they would talk about applying rules when it concerns others, while asking for understanding their intentions when it concerns themselves.

 I was taught that Islam asks us to avoid suspicion of people, and the Quran says that some suspicions are sinful. Scholars have asked us to think positively of an apparently sinning person when possible, so that “the hearts are free from resentment and that people will be brought together and will cooperate in doing good.”

 Umar (RA), among the best of Muslims,  said: “Do not think badly of a word uttered by your brother, when you can find a good interpretation for it.”

 I would make a default assumption of the good nature of people, and try to work with the assumption that people are good and do no wrong, even in the face of actions that seemingly fly in the face of their professed good nature. I would think in terms of excuses and explanations, and refrain from rushing to negatively judge someone’s  character. Faraz Rabbani, a Canadian scholar recently quoted one of our pious predecessors, Hamdun AlQassar as asking us to make seventy excuses for an apparently sinning person, putting it metaphorically.

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