How did our Prophet (pbuh) and Hz Ali (ra) correct people ? :
When living within a community, you may see an action by someone that needs correcting. Your Shaykh has commented, “You should be soft and kind [as our Prophet and Hz. Ali were]. You should not be trying to find someone’s mistakes so you can correct them. This is not your job.”
Let’s say you are working with other people. Now why should you be soft and kind, even when you don’t have to? What is the advantage of being soft and kind? If there weren’t an advantage to this, our Prophet (pbuh) would not have set such an example.
As Sufis, we should ask ourselves: it may be pleasing to Allah, but how does it benefit us to be soft and kind?
1. You create – to the best of your ability – positivity.
2. When you are talking about a subject, maybe the person will hear it better, rather than responding to the negativity.
3. They won’t think you are trying to put them down, but rather that you are not happy with what is happening.
How to be more like the Prophet (pbuh) :
Now we all have our own style. Some of us come across stronger when we are trying to correct others. We are always working on saying things in a nicer way, so that the person hears the message. But what is the benefit to us? We don’t want to be viewed as brittle or cruel, because that is not our intention. For Allah’s sake, you intend to be a better person. As soon as you have this intention, what will Allah do? If you take a step to Allah, He’s going to walk to you. So you also create positive energy for yourself when you think of Allah’s pleasure and are soft and kind. No matter how much we fail or succeed in this, the point is always, “What can I learn out of what is happening, so that I can get closer to Allah?”
Perform amri bil-ma’ruf wa nahyi ‘anil-munkar (the condition of enjoining righteousness, or what is fair and equitable, and forbidding indecency, or what is morally repugnant) according to your means and station. The part [from Chapter Seven of Ahmed er Rifai’s book “Guidance to Mysticism” in Grand Masters of Sufism, Ansari Publications, 2008] that I would like to expand upon a bit is why should we don’t go around and check for everyone’s faults?
1. You don’t have time to concentrate this much on other people. Our first job as Sufis is to concentrate on ourselves and find out what we are doing that is stopping us from getting closer to Allah, not what other people are doing wrong. What we are doing wrong is going to make us further away from Allah. If we learn from that, then that is what is going to get us closer to Allah, inshAllah.
2. You should mind your own business and use your heart. For Sufis, the heart is most important. Why is the heart important? Because Allah resides in your heart, because your connection to Allah is in your heart.