Life Is Complicated
The Prophet (pbuh) said :
“From the beauty of Islam is that one leaves that which has no meaning for him.”
(Narrated by Tirmizi)
There’s a Simpsons episode in which Homer strangles Bart after losing a game of Monopoly. The whole family (except Maggie) gets involved in the fight and when the police arrive to break them apart, they say, “Another case of Monopoly-related violence. How do those Parker Brothers sleep at night?”
In our lives, we do get the thinking, don’t we? How can this or that guy sleep at night after knowing what he’s done? How can the big guy in the office live with all that filthy money he earned so dishonestly? How can so-and-so still be in the tobacco business with all the deaths in the world he could be responsible for?
But the thing is — life is complicated. Stepping back from our anger, we frankly don’t know what goes on in other people’s heads. Everyone, every single person has their own storms to go through. Every single one of them. Just as you do. Maybe they can’t sleep at night. Maybe their guilt consumes them every day and we don’t know. Maybe they struggle so hard to change themselves and we don’t see. Maybe the world would be in a far worse state if they hadn’t stayed in the business they’re in. We don’t know.
Today, suddenly all of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s hadith about not slandering and not backbiting have become more relevant, haven’t they? Gossips and empty conversations used to be something people have in their leisure time, in the kitchen or while smoking a cigarette out on the porch. Now there are multi-million dollar TV shows, social media profiles dedicated for that purpose — discussing about how ridiculously an actress dressed, who’s getting married, who’s having a rift with who, who’s getting divorced.
How does knowing all of that make your life any better? — Are you a better person because of that? What meaning does it carry for you? What does it mean to know the trivial things that happen in another person’s life? —Nothing. Well, sometimes it does leave you something — bad impressions of other people. Impressions, no matter true or not, that can be so ugly that they might forever affect how you see that other person.
This is what the Prophet (pbuh) meant when he said “leave that which has no meaning” — to leave what doesn’t concern you. Drain all of the meaningless things out of your life. Don’t join the old folks in wasting precious time on silly politics and gossips. Who cares about the wrong things that someone has done? That’s his problem. Who are you to say such things about him?
Care only about what you do. You have your own problems to attend to.