Islam Verses On Pessimism
Adopted from the Book : Youth and Morals
The Holy Quran clearly counts pessimism and ill thinking among the sins and evil deeds and warns.
Muslims about thinking negatively of each other.
"O you who believe! Avoid most suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin."
The Islamic religion prohibits suspicion if decisive evidence doesn't exist. The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said:
"A Muslim is sacred to another Muslim: his blood, his property and (it is prohibited) for one to think negatively of another."
Tirmidhi. Clip. 18, Ibn Majah, Clip. 2.
Muslim, Chp. 32, Ahmad, v.2, p. 277 and v.3, p. 491
Therefore, just as it is prohibited to transfer the property of one person to another without sufficient evidence, it is forbidden to suspect people and accuse them of evil doings before proving them guilty with undoubted evidence. The Prince of the Faithful (A.S.) said:
"It is not right to judge the trustworthy only on speculation."
Nahj al-Balaghah p. 174
He then clarified the disadvantages and painful points of suspicion when he said:
"Be careful of suspicion, for suspicion ruins worship and makes sins greater."
Ghurar al- Hikam p. 154
He even describes suspecting the kind as being oppressive.
"Suspecting the kind (doer of good) is the worst sin and the ugliest type of oppression."
Ghurar aI-Hikam p. 434
He also says that suspecting the ones you love causes relations to worsen and finally to be cut off. Imam Ali (A.S.) states:
"He who is overwhelmed with suspicion does not leave any peace between him and his beloved one."
(Ghurar al-Hikam p. 698
Suspicion has adverse effects on the spirits and conduct of others as well as the suspicious individuals. Sometimes suspicion diverts the suspected persons from the straight path and leads into corruption and lowliness. Imam Ali (A.S.) said:
"Suspicion corrupts affairs and instigates evilness.'
(Ghurar al-Hikam.)Pg. 433
Dr. Mardin writes:
"Some business owners suspect their employees of stealing which, in turn, forces the suspects to become what they are suspected of. Although suspicion does not appear in words or actions, it influences the spirit of the suspect and leads him to perform that which he is suspected of."
Imam Ali (A.S.) also stated regarding suspicion:
"Avoid suspicion when not appropriate, for this calls the healthy to sickness, and the innocent to doubt."
Ghurar al-Hikam p. 152
He also declared that those who suffer from suspicion are deprived of healthy bodies and spirits,
"A suspicious person can never be found healthy."
Ghurar al-Hikam p. 835
Dr. Carl wrote about this subject:
"Some habits, such as complaining and suspecting people, reduce the individual's ability to live. These negative behavioral habits adversely influence the sympathetic order and the body's glands. They can also cause practical damage to the body.
Rah Wa Rasm Zindagi
Dr. Mardin adds:
"Suspicion eradicates health and weakens the behavioral powers. Balanced souls never expect harm, rather they anticipate goodness at all times because they know that goodness is an eternal reality, and that evil is not but the work of the weakness of the powers of goodness, just as darkness is the result of the lack of light. Thus, seek the path of light for it erases darkness from the hearts.''
Suspicious individuals fear people, as Imam Ali (A.S.) said:
"He who is suspicious fears everyone.
Ghurar al-1-Hikam p.712
Dr. Farmer is quoted as saying:
"Those who fear to speak out their ideas and viewpoints in public, where everyone clearly states their opinions, and Who seeks refuge on side streets and back alleys to avoid meeting their relatives on wide streets or in public gardens, are ruled by fear, suspicion and pessimism."
One of the factors which cause suspicion is bad memories which are concealed in man's spirit. Imam Ali (A.S.) said:
"Hearts have evil notions and hearts resent them."
Ghurar al-Hikam p. 29
Dr. Haleem Shakhter said:
"Those who lack self-confidence are overly sensitive, so They suffer from minor inflictions. The memories of such inflictions remain in their minds subconsciously and affect their actions, words, anthoughts. Soon they fall victim to depression and suspicion and do not realize the reason behind their sufferings.
"Painful memories conceal themselves beyond our feelings and do not easily manifest themselves to us. In other words, it is natural for man to avoid painful memories and eradicate them from his mind. This concealed enemy never stops inflicting evil and hatred on our souls, manners, and conduct. We sometimes even hear or encounter words or actions from ourselves or others for which we realize no justifiable explanation. Yet if we carefully examine them we find they have been caused by evil memories."
People with lowly natures elect themselves to be judges over other's actions, thus the misdeeds of others are reflected onto them. Imam Ali (A.S.) pointed out this fact when he said:
"Evil doers never think good of anyone because they see others with their own nature."
Ghurar al-Hikam p. 80
Dr. Mann is quoted as saying:
"Some people place the blame on others by complaining about their deeds while they, themselves, do the exact same thing; they do this to make up for their own shortcomings and as a type of self-defense. This behavior is described as a method of avoiding anxiety; comparing others with one's self is a resentful action. When this condition intensifies and the individual's self-defense increases, he reaches the category of being mentally ill'.
This defense can he caused by doing something socially unacceptable which in turn creates the sense of wanting to relate it to others."
When the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) entered Medina after migrating from Mecca, a man came to him and said: "0 Messenger of Allah, the people of this town are men of goodness, they are kind; you have done the right thing in coming here." The Messenger (S.A.W.) said to the man: "You speak the truth." Another man then came to the Prophet and said: "Messenger of Allah, the people of this town are evil, it would have been better if you did not migrate to them!" The Messenger of Allah then said: "You speak the truth." When the people heard the Prophet's reply to both the men, they questioned him. The Prophet answered them: "Each of them spoke that which was in his mind, therefore both of them are truthful". The Prophet (S.A.W.) meant that each of the men was truthful about himself.
The forbidden type of suspicion is clearly understood as misguided thinking and the inclination of the soul towards ill thinking and insisting of it. More prohibited than this type of suspicion is acting on it. Because the thoughts and notions which pass through the mind without any actual effects on the individual's conduct cannot be considered subject to jurisprudential legislation. These thoughts are involuntary, avoiding them is also involuntary; but it is the individual's option to manifest or not to manifest them in his actions.
The miseries of the pessimists stem from this terrifying disorder. Therefore, it is incumbent on those who can pinpoint the reason which caused them to be overly suspicious to treat their cases and rid themselves of such misfortunes.
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