Updated: Oct 4, 2021
My haters range from people who stigmatized me to just the bully voices in my head that taunt me. They all hate for one reason or another and over the years, I’ve come to love them and especially what they say to me.
You see, when you have an enemy, like someone who really really wants to and actually will do anything to harm you, ruin your reputation, tear you down, destroy all your relationships or steal any of your possessions, then there is actually something amazing that happens.
However, to see that opportunity, you need to travel (I won’t say “rise” because that might suggest a level of superiority over the haters) to a different level almost a different realm where the hate is no longer hate.
The criticism hurled at you becomes gold.
The insults become a gem because you use them to look inwards and see where the “lies” could be true, not would be or are are but could be. It’s the space where you pause all the bickering, the fighting, the bullying and accusing and just look at the hate speech, the gossips and lies and see how they could have some benefit to them. Of course, there is no merit or goodness in them because they did hurt you. Of course they did! Why else would you and I be talking about this then!?
The benefit of this hateful speech is that they give you an opportunity to grow. You can take the accusations and observe them. If they ring with some truth, then you need to make a change and improve in that area. If they are so far-fetched, then you need to move away from them and become better than that.
When they go low, you go high.
That’s the famous Michelle Obama quote but trust me it ain’t so easy to practice, especially if the “they” is a whole bunch of people or a community. And it’s especially tough to go high when you are actually high in mania lol
Now there’s a catch to taking your hater’s bullets and turning them in to opportunities for growth: you cannot join them. You know the saying, “If you can’t beat them, join them?” Well, that doesn’t apply here my friend!!
I know it’s very tempting and actually might be very very easy when the tables are turned but there’s a big reason why you can’t do what they did to you.
Abu Sa’id al-Khadimi reported: A man said to Hasan al-Basri, may Allah have mercy on him, “Indeed, someone has backbitten you!” Hasan sent a dish of sweet dates to the backbiter and he said, “I heard that you have given me your good deeds as a gift, so I want to repay you for it, but please excuse me for I am unable to completely repay you.”
Source: Tanbīh al-Ghāfilīn 1/164
In Islam, when someone backbites about you, it is actually a gift because you get their good deeds. That’s reason enough to drop the hatred, forgive them and move on. Look how I just wrote that! In one mere sentence. But because it’s just you and I talking here, lemme let you in on a lil secret:
This “forgive and forget” business can take a moment or a millennium. It’s basically up to you.
Whole wars are based on a hate incident generations ago. That’s why I love being a Muslim. I actually have a goal or a big reason to let go of the hate, learn from it and move on. That big motivation is that I’m actually conducting my “transactions” with Allah.
I can’t really give you anything and you can’t give me anything either. The ultimate reward and punishment are really with Allah. He is the One we need to please.
Our Protector is really The Only One we need to care about.
“What others think of us” can become a very dangerous god, very quickly. This false deity has the potential to tear us down. After all, Satan felt humiliated when he fell from grace and his hatred for us led him down the worst path.
None of us are perfect, including me. We make mistakes just like “they” did. Be easy on yourself and the naysayers. Forgive them and seek their forgiveness if you’ve wronged them too. Use their actions as an opportunity to grow and come nearer to Allah.
Ain’t that what it’s all about ma friend? Going Home to our One True Friend…