Wish Well, Be Honest

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Speaking Tree Blog | October 10, 2022

In the chapter Al-A‘raf (The Heights) of the Quran, it is mentioned that when the Prophet was assigned the duty of prophethood, he came to his community and said:

I am conveying my Lord’s messages to you and I am your well-wisher and your honest adviser. (7:68)

The Prophet said this in the context of his divine mission. But this declaration also has a greater application in that it gives us two basic principles upon which to build a healthy society, that is, well-wishing and honesty. If you want to have a better society, these two principles should be adhered to, for there is no better formula for social re-engineering than the inculcation of the spirit of well-wishing and honesty in all members of society. When the majority of the individuals making up society possess these qualities, that is the best guarantee of a better society.

What is well-wishing? Well-wishing means that every member of a society is free of hatred for others, and is able to remain detached from the bad experiences which are the fault of others. He is able to love other members of society in spite of grievances.

Grievance is an unavoidable part of social life, so a member of society can wish others well only when he is able to downplay his grievances sufficiently to be able to maintain good relations with other members of his society.

What is honesty? An honest person is one who is a trustworthy person. This quality is also vital to the betterment of social living. The best society is one whose members are entirely trustworthy and responsible.

Trustworthy individuals make trustworthy societies, and trustworthy societies make trustworthy nations, and trustworthy nations provide the basis for better international relationships.

The criterion of well-wishing and honesty has a two-fold impact. On the one hand, it is the only source of individual development; it reflects the best individual character. Individuals for their own benefit need many qualities, but the essence of all these qualities can be summed up in these two words: well-wishing and honesty.

The other aspect of these two qualities is that they are the sole basis on which a better society may be built. This is the only right starting point, if you wish to have a better society. Start the process from the individual character, try to condition individuals along the lines of well-wishing and honesty, and you will find that on the culmination of the process, you will have reached your social goal.

Well-wishing and honesty are both positive qualities. If negative thinking is the source of all evil, positive thinking is the source of all kinds of goodness. So, well-wishing and honesty are not just two qualities: they include more than two thousand qualities. One who has the qualities of well-wishing and honesty will certainly possess all kinds of other good qualities.

Well-wishing and honesty are two pillars of character building and it is on these two pillars that the whole edifice of social uplift can be founded. If these pillars are weak, the whole structure will prove to be weak, but if these two pillars are strong, the whole structure will have everlasting strength.