Such is Man

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Creation Plan of God | Al-Risala, April 1987

In the present age, man is at once extremely keen-sighted and almost totally blind. How are we to explain such a paradox? It is quite simple. When attention has to be focussed on the faults of others, his keen sightedness is very much in evidence. But when he has to look at his own shortcomings, his blindness is more than apparent.

The most common enigma in the world of today is man’s readiness to take others to task while refusing to take stock of his own shortcomings. It would appear to make no difference that some are religious, and some are not; that some bear aloft the standard of Islam and some that of anti-Islam, for their common denominator remains the same: all have a better insight than is called for into the failings of others, while lacking any basic perception of their own.

Why is it that people are so fond of alluding to others’ mistakes? It is because, in doing so, they give a boost to their own egos, and lull themselves into a state of complacency. They feel that their ‘goodness’ is thrown into sharp relief by the badness of others, and once having dubbed others blameworthy, in some strange way, they feel themselves entirely blameless.

People fail to realize that their own inadequacies should be their prime concern – not those of others. The only time they feel con­cerned with themselves is when their comforts, convenience, safety, etc, are threatened. Then they make strenuous efforts to see that these aspects of their lives should never be prejudiced in any way. But just as a hungry man thinks first and foremost of his own hunger, so should a moral, social being think first and foremost of his own conduct, and not of his own convenience, or of the faults of others. It will only be when the Day of Judgement is upon us and the Truth made plain, that this realization will come to man.

Today, Hellfire seems remote and that is why man feels that he can vent his fury upon others with impunity. But on the Day of Judgement, this fury will be turned back upon himself, and he will find himself standing before a blazing inferno. All that will matter to him then will be how to gain redemption for his sins – how to be saved from the Fire of Hell. It is only the truly moral man who can now see the coming of that day and, before it actually arrives, begins to make a thorough self-appraisal.