People often praise you when they are inspired by any of your great qualities or due to some eye-catching belongings in your possession. Sometimes this praise is a token of appreciation, while on other occasions a person praises for flattery in order to gain worldly benefits or to avoid an unjust person’s mistreatment.
“You are so generous!”, “You are very kind hearted!”, ” You are a genius”, “You are a practicing Muslim”, “You’re pious”, “You are very intelligent”. These are some of the praising quotes that many of us hear from our colleagues, peers, disciples, subordinates, servants, friends, etc.
The desire to hear such praise from people around us is itself a spiritual disease which one should always avoid. This inner feeling that people should praise me ruins the soul. As a result, the person starts doing good or bad deeds for fame. The element of sincerity in the relationship with Allah swt weakens. On the contrary, when people bad mouth about them or even when they just doesn’t praise a praise-thirsty person, he becomes depressed and his heart starts sinking.
So what should be our response when people praise us.
My Shaikh Hazrat Maulana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar sb RA used to say that whenever people say kind words about you, always thank Allah taala that He has made our evil deeds hidden from the eyes of the people and revealed our good deeds to them, which are themselves gifted by The Almighty.
He used to say that on such occasions, unless the praise is for flattery or other ill-purpose, do not try to silence them. Just talk to yourself that this is a blessing from Allah taala that He has hidden my vices from my brother’s eyes. This increases the faith and love of Allah taala.
That can best be understood by following dua of Prophet Sallahoalaihewassallam.
It is important to elaborate that supplicating to make myself small in my own eyes is obvious but supplicating to be great in other’s eyes is not a wanting of fame. Rather, it is a request to have a good repute so that it becomes easier to present deen to the masses.
He would also say about رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ that the hasanah of this world includes, but not limited to, good repute among the people.
He used to say that there are four categories of praises: Creator praises Himself, Creator praises His creature, Creature praise their Creator, Creature praise other creatures. All of these types of praise actually praise the Creator because any praise of the creatures is actually the praise of the Creator.
May Allah swt give us His love that everything we see and everything we hear increases our faith in Him.
Difficult times are from Allah swt to test the believers if they would like to keep their promises under all circumstances.
But, one should always supplicate Allah swt to spare us from hardships. My Shaikh, Hazrat Maulana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar sb RA used to frequently supplicate that ‘O Allah, always bring us happiness and please let us not have to face any hardships and worries.’ He used to say golden words “اللہ تعالی سے مانگو تو بریانی اور راضی چٹنی روٹی پر بھی رہو” means one should supplicate to Allah swt for the best and should be delighted with whatever He bestows us from His Ultimate wisdom.
A hadith provides us clue as to what should one do in order to receive help from Allah swt in case of testing times. What else does a person need if he receives Devine help when he is worried and helpless.
تعرَّف إلى الله في الرَّخاء، يعرفكَ في الشِّدَّةِ
Don’t forget Allah swt in your peaceful and affluent days, He will remember you in your difficult times.
It is a common practice that we turn towards Allah swt when we are in misery and when all hopes are lost. And, we just forget Him when we are celebrating parties, casting evil glances and advances, illicit activities while on Internet and when no one else can see us, etc..
If we keep Him in our hearts and refrain from evils while we enjoy happy moments of our lives, He will come to our rescue when we will badly need Him.