Don't Let Naysayers Bring You Down
I felt compelled to write this post because it's disheartening when I see negative feedback and comments directed towards others who are making an effort to help. This also encompasses Muslims who use their time to spread dawah by sharing and writing informative articles for the ummah, yet get criticized by the naysayers. Recently, a Muslim blogger I follow nearly shut down her wonderful site because of the constant criticism she received by others, namely her fellow Muslims! Alhamdulillah she overcame the negativity of the naysayers by the positive support of others. It seems a naysayer gains enjoyment by tearing others down. Most of these naysayers do little to help the ummah, instead they spend precious time bashing those who are trying to do some good in society. I always wonder why they don't use their spare time commenting and rectifying negative and distorted views against Muslims or Islam - at least then they'd be making a positive difference. Alhamdulillah I don't get a lot of negative feedback on Muslimommy, mainly because I don't delve much into controversial issues. However I do get the occasional judgmental comment which I know is inevitable.
One time I received a rather unfair comment from a reader after I had written an article about how kids should use less screen time. My intention was to help kids find fun alternatives, instead of using screens throughout their day. I guess the reader felt inclined to judge my intention by stating that I was not actually helping society much - you know... the naysayer comment.
"We Muslims have been deceived by the devil in regards to our Deen. You acknowledging that the problems stem from deep sources yet choosing to ignore it is like a person putting band aide over a cancerous tumor or a person who is occupied with sweeping the doorsteps and painting the outer walls while the house is burning down with raging flames. May Allah give u vision and give u taufeeq to do work that will yield fruit for the sake of Allah, not for the sake of maintaining our make belief world. We need to set intention for the sake of Allah and work towards establishing Islam. May Allah SWT give u, ur children and all of us ikhlaas ameen." - Naysayer
My definition of a naysayer? The one who says you're not really helping the ummah and you need to do more. The one who hides behind their words doing nothing to change the situation, yet judges another so easily and fails to look inward to fix themselves first. The one who uses religion or niceties to soften the blow of their criticism.
To the naysayer I say... Please learn some compassion and empathy like our beloved Prophet saw who was never harsh. Please learn how to talk to another human being with kindness and intention to guide them not judge them in order to make yourself feel higher. And please make an effort to fix something yourself, especially when you don't think it's being done right by others.
Naysayers think they know a person's intention when no one can know what is in the heart of another human being, except Allah swt. Constructive criticism is appreciated, but complaining with no solution is useless. When I get comments like these, I re-focus my intention towards Allah swt and use it as a wake-up call to be more humble. If I took this personal, negative comments would affect me, make me doubt my efforts, and eventually stop my work. The comment I received was mild compared to what I've heard other brothers and sisters receive, so I'll take the good from it and say ameen to their duas.
Naysayers are all around, especially on social media. Most people come across them as they usually have the biggest voice. If you've met any, don't let their negatively affect you because your good is rewarded by Allah, He swt is Al A'dl -The Utterly Just. We should keep our focus aimed towards the straight path and want for our brother what we want for ourselves. It really doesn't matter how many fans, friend connects, social media likes, or email subscribers one has - it does not compare to the reward of doing something purely for the sake of Allah swt.
I dedicate this post to all my brothers and sisters who spread dawah and help the ummah. Taking time away from their careers and family to research and share helpful messages for the benefit of others. May Allah Reward you immensely, ameen.