By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam
19 Feb, 2015
A general weakness of us humans is that we think that the good things that we have are because of our own efforts, and we blame others for us not having the things that we do not have but want. A disastrous consequence of this is that we fall prey to false pride in our abilities, on the one hand, and to false complaints against others, on the other.
Actually, we should consider the good things that we have as gifts from God, and should attribute the lack of the things that we do not have but want to our own shortcomings. In this way we can really help ourselves in character-development. It can make us positive-thinking people. There is nothing in the world, we must remember, worse than a negative-thinking character.
To help us become positive-thinking people we need to work on increasing our awareness of ourselves through study, reflection and contemplation. A hadith quotes the Prophet as asking God: “O God, grant me the ability to see things as they are.”
A major problem with us is that we do not see things as they really are. And so, typically, we overestimate ourselves and, at the same time, underestimate others. This unrealistic way of thinking is really very dangerous. People who fall prey to this mentality will possibly fail in this world as well as in the next.
How, then, should we think of ourselves and of others?
The proper way is to be modest in our estimation of ourselves, and, along with this, to acknowledge the goodness of others.