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1. How well can you ever know a person?

2. Is it wrong to form any opinions about a person (contrasted with a person's particular action)?

3. Though potentially wrong, is it, in a practical sense, dangerous to not form opinions about others?

 

 

 

 

 

Background

This discussion is an outgrowth of the Lazy Islam Thread and the gentle patience of a family member who God sent to me, alhamduliAllah, when I needed him most.

 

The original idea comes in the context of forgiveness. Basically: to what extent can I allow myself to not forgive someone based on one particular incident, especially with limited knowledge of their life? Will this prevent me from hating Serbs, other varieties of rapists, Hitchens, &c.? Should it?

 

In general, I am accustomed to viewing people as we are introduced to characters in a book: one or two line descriptions followed by chapters of confirming evidence. But I am starting to believe that my opinions of people are all wrong, though some opinions are less wrong than others. Instead of saying, "He/she is this type of person," I'm starting to find it more reasonable to say, "He/she is this type of person, on this day, and with many influencing variables about which I have very limited knowledge."

 

I just don't know if this is a safe way of approaching the world. I also don't know if letting my anger and resentment go is some sign of weakness--of avoiding confrontation when I should (?) retaliate with treatment similar to what I have received. Is this avenue to compassion just an admission of weakness (have I no pride? no self respect?)? Is it honesty? Deference? Stupidity (not having the ability to retaliate)? Or is it something more practical, like trying to prevent my dissatisfaction from distracting me and pulling me away from my family?

 

Why I Think We Might Judge People

 

We have a view of ourselves that we believe is stable and then project that belief of stability in personality to others. Since others are viewed to have stable personalities, we think that our observations of those people are indicative of who they are.

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2. Is it wrong to form any opinions about a person (contrasted with a person's particular action)?

 

maybe. i dont think they should be judged on a particular action (good or bad) unless you know their intentions.

 

 

3. Though potentially wrong, is it, in a practical sense, dangerous to not form opinions about others?

 

dangerous in what way?

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Having no information/opinion is somehow more dangerous than operating on admittedly wrong information?

Disagree.

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1. How well can you ever know a person?

This isn't an easy one. You can know, or think that you know a person, even after years and years and years but there will come a time when they will do something that will make you wonder just how well you know them. How well do people know themselves really?

 

2. Is it wrong to form any opinions about a person (contrasted with a person's particular action)?

Forming an opinion about a person is something that is inevitable. Thats how you decide whether you like someone or not innit? I would say that judging someone without knowing anything about them, or their circumstance would be wrong. Well judging them whether you know them or not is wrong. If you don't like someone for whatever reason, and you cannot find a way to like them or improve their state in your mind then try and ignore them unless you have no other choice. We've got to remember that as Muslims we have to try and find 70 (?) excuses.

 

3. Though potentially wrong, is it, in a practical sense, dangerous to not form opinions about others?

As I said, its pretty near impossible not to form an opinion of someone :/

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being socially constructed animals requires we make judgements all the time everywhere. its how we decide where we fit in the group, what our roles are. it is a reflex to carry that over to the higher moral context and would be a natural precurser to prejudice.

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  • How well can you ever know a person?

There is only one person you will ever actually know, yourself. Sometimes you will even find that you don’t know how you really feel about things. I say this to Allah all the time, “You now better than me what my real intention was, or how I truly feel”. I believe you can get to know people very well, especially if you put the time an effort in. However, you will never be able to know them as well as you do yourself. Plus, when you think that you have them all figured out and could even guess what they will do next, this is when the curve ball comes in. So, my advice don’t try and figure out what someone will do or how they will react. Get to know the person mentally. Try and find out what’s important to them. Often things are important to a person, but they are too scared to be honest about it or are embarrassed to admit it. Take a huge football player that loves ballet, but can’t tell his friends.

2. Is it wrong to form any opinions about a person (contrasted with a person's particular action)?

Form your opinion, but don’t judge the person from their action. Unless a person does a certain action repeatedly then it isn’t their behavior. Maybe there were external and internal variables that might have caused the person to react the way they did. I am sure you can think of a time when your actions where completely out of character. Meaning it was everything around you that was going on that caused you to react the way you did. I don’t drink after other people. It is a germ thing, not even my own children. So, one day I am at an Eid dinner with my Indian friend. She asks if I want to share a bottle of water cause she didn’t want to waist any. I said no sorry. She laughs and takes a drink of my bottle of water. I am so shocked, I didn’t know what to do. Normally I would share anything at all. I went the whole dinner without drinking, cause I didn’t want to offend her. I really wanted to get up and go get another bottle of water, but had I did that this lady would probably think I was rude. Any place else I would have went and got a bottle, but I didn’t because she said the reason she wanted to share was not to waist. She miss understood me is why she took a drink. So, another time we are at Mosque, she knows I keep a bottle of water in my briefcase she asks to share. I hand her a bottle and I have my own. I know explain to her how I don’t share drinks. Here she thought it was ok, but it wasn’t with me at all. A person’s action unless repeated several times and forms a pattern can’t be construed as their behavior.

3. Though potentially wrong, is it, in a practical sense, dangerous to not form opinions about others? It is a natural reaction to form opinions, just remember to evaluate those opinions and do your best not to judge the person. Often people get confused with opinions and judging a person. Opinion is your personal choice to decide what you think of something. You go through a process to form this opinion. Your own personal life and knowledge helps you form this opinion. Remember, IT IS YOUR OPINION. So, it can’t be wrong. But if you start judging, taking your opinion and making it fact, then you have a problem. Remember this only Allah will judge people, not you. You can have your opinion and when someone asks for it, you choose to give it or not give it. Once you share your opinion you have taken something innocent and turned it into judging a person unless you can take out your personal factors that caused you to come to that opinion. Seriously, I do my best never to judge and yet I do it. I often have to go back an apologize for my reactions.

Gr, is this another study of yours?

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1. How well can you ever know a person? - Islamically speaking events such as when you sleep with him (i.e. you slept in the same house for a good enough time), when you eat with him, when you hang out with him etc then you'll know him well enough.

 

2. Is it wrong to form any opinions about a person (contrasted with a person's particular action)? - Islamically speaking you must think good of others when people tell you otherwise, if you see them doing wrong advise them privately and expect the best from them. Remember the case of Pharaoh, Allah knew what he was going to do and that he chose the path of Hell but what did Allah tell Prophet Musa? "So speak to him in soft words. May be, he accepts the advice or fears (Allah)” Surah Ta-Ha, Verse 44.

 

3. Though potentially wrong, is it, in a practical sense, dangerous to not form opinions about others? - give an example of a context to elaborate.

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1. How well can you ever know a person?

2. Is it wrong to form any opinions about a person (contrasted with a person's particular action)?

3. Though potentially wrong, is it, in a practical sense, dangerous to not form opinions about others?

 

 

 

 

 

Background

This discussion is an outgrowth of the Lazy Islam Thread and the gentle patience of a family member who God sent to me, alhamduliAllah, when I needed him most.

 

The original idea comes in the context of forgiveness. Basically: to what extent can I allow myself to not forgive someone based on one particular incident, especially with limited knowledge of their life? Will this prevent me from hating Serbs, other varieties of rapists, Hitchens, &c.? Should it?

 

In general, I am accustomed to viewing people as we are introduced to characters in a book: one or two line descriptions followed by chapters of confirming evidence. But I am starting to believe that my opinions of people are all wrong, though some opinions are less wrong than others. Instead of saying, "He/she is this type of person," I'm starting to find it more reasonable to say, "He/she is this type of person, on this day, and with many influencing variables about which I have very limited knowledge."

 

I just don't know if this is a safe way of approaching the world. I also don't know if letting my anger and resentment go is some sign of weakness--of avoiding confrontation when I should (?) retaliate with treatment similar to what I have received. Is this avenue to compassion just an admission of weakness (have I no pride? no self respect?)? Is it honesty? Deference? Stupidity (not having the ability to retaliate)? Or is it something more practical, like trying to prevent my dissatisfaction from distracting me and pulling me away from my family?

 

Why I Think We Might Judge People

 

We have a view of ourselves that we believe is stable and then project that belief of stability in personality to others. Since others are viewed to have stable personalities, we think that our observations of those people are indicative of who they are.

.

 

 

 

1. I think you cant ever know a person well enough.

 

2. I used to judge people a lot an most of the times it turned out that the person was quite opposite. So Irealize Im noone to judge them cuz I really dont know them completely. It is not wrong to have an opinion imo but you should constantly question yourself about it.

 

3. No idea, sorry.

 

 

 

3.

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Malicious judgment is always wrong; Islam also warns us about being suspicious about one another

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1. How well can you ever know a person?

 

I think you can know a person pretty well, but you should not assume that you know them fully. People are full of surprises.

 

2. Is it wrong to form any opinions about a person (contrasted with a person's particular action)?

 

No. I dont think it is wrong. However, I think it is wrong to base bad opinions about people based on one/a few bad actions. Nobody is perfect and if you expect people never to make mistakes then you need to have a long hard think about yourself and about the world.

 

3. Though potentially wrong, is it, in a practical sense, dangerous to not form opinions about others?

 

Maybe it can get you into certain situations that you could have avoided if you formed an opinion based on facts. But dangerous? Not really unless you can get swayed by others really quickly.

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Nobody can claim they know a person inside-out. It's pretty easy for people to be influenced by things around them, thus throwing everything someone preconceived about them out the window. But we can't help but think or feel certain things about others. That's simply a part of getting to understand them and figuring out what they are to us. Categorizing people is something we all do, whether we admit to it or not.

 

As for not having an opinion at all on a person, I don't understand why that would be "dangerous". It might be a bad thing for them, however, since it implies that they're so woefully boring they can't even create an impression. :P

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^^Very Wise^^ B)

 

*bdm112 throws a soft toss to Enigma** Then she say lets talk...

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