(28) Only pass comment on what is good
Some people are overzealously in making observations and passing comments. They do not seem to ever stop praising or being complimentary. However, as the old saying goes, “When something transgresses the limits, it becomes its opposite”, or “whoever hurries for something before its due time, is often punished by being deprived thereof.”
Do praise things that are beautiful and charming – things over which a person feels happy when they are noticed, where he expects admiration and is moved upon hearing words of praise. As for things that people usually feel embarrassed about, or feel mortified upon noticing, then close your eyes to those.
For example: you enter your friend’s house and notice that the chairs are very old. Be careful that you do not become an irritating person who cannot cease to offer his unwanted advice.
Be careful and do not let your tongue slip by saying: “Why don’t you buy new chairs? Half of the chandelier is not functional.
Why don’t you buy a new one? The paint on your wall is peeling! Why don’t you paint the wall?”
Dear brother, he did not ask you for your advice. You are not a professional decorator whose advice should be sought.
Remain silent. Perhaps he is not able to change the decoration.
Perhaps he is financially restricted, and so on. None is more cumbersome than a man who embarrasses people by noticing things that humiliate him, and then rouses the topic and begins to pass comments.
Similarly, if his garments were to be old, or his car air-conditioner was not working, then either speak good, or remain silent.
They say that a man once visited his friend. His friend, being the host, gave him bread to eat with oil. The guest then said, “If only there was thyme with the bread!” The host then went to his family and asked for some thyme, but found out that they had none. He then went out to buy some, but he did not have enough money. The shopkeeper refused to sell it to him on credit. Thus, he came back home, took his utensil with which he made ablution and gave it to the shopkeeper as a deposit, so that in case he was not able to pay for the thyme, the shopkeeper could always sell the utensil to recover his money. He then took the thyme and returned to the guest and gave it to him.
When the guest finished eating, he said, “Praise be to Allah who fed us, quenched our thirst and made us content with what He has given us.”
The host, upon hearing this, sighed in pain and said, “If Allah really had made you content with what He has given you, then my ablution utensil would not have been given as a security!”
Similarly, if you were to visit a patient, do not say to him, “Oh!
Your face has gone yellow! Your eyes seem to be wandering!
Your skin is dry!” How strange! Are you his doctor? Speak good, or remain silent.
It is said that a man once visited a patient and sat next to him for a while. He then asked him as to what was ailing him.
The patient told him what was wrong, and that his illness was serious. The visitor, upon hearing this, screamed and said: “Oh no! So-and-so, a friend of mine had the same illness and he died because of it! My brother’s friend also caught this disease, and he remained bedridden until he died! My brother-in-law’s neighbor also caught this disease and died.” All the while, the patient listening to this was about to explode!
Then, when the visitor finished what he had to say and decided to leave, he turned to the patient and said, “By the way, do you advise me with anything?” The patient said, “Yes! When you finally leave, do not bother ever coming back to me!” If you visit a patient, then do not mention death to him.
It is also said that once an old woman’s friend, who was another old woman, fell ill. The old woman would ask her sons, one by one, to take her to her ill friend for a visit, but they would continue to make excuses, until one of the sons finally agreed
to take her. So he took her in his car. When they arrived at the house, the old woman got out of the car whilst the son waited.
The old woman then visited her friend to find that she was completely beset by her illness. She greeted her and prayed for her.
When she began to leave, she walked for a while in the lobby with her friend’s weeping daughters, and said, innocently, “Unfortunately, I cannot come to you whenever I want. Your mother is severely ill, and it seems that she will die. So let me say to you now, ‘May Allah grant you all befitting patience over her death!’”
Hence, be careful, O intelligent person! Only pass comment on things that are a source of joy, and not depressing.
A problem…
If you were ever forced to comment on something bad, such as dirt on a garment, or a bad odour, then do so tactfully. Be clever and kind while doing so.