Criticism and Praise

Advice of Hadhrat Mufti Mahmood Hassan Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayh)[1]


Respected Mufti Sahib,

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-raḥmatullāhi wa-barakātuh

I am afflicted with various spiritual maladies. Among them is that if anyone praises me, I become elated and my ego is boosted. On the other hand if somebody criticizes me or I learn that somebody has spoken ill of me, I become enraged. Kindly guide me in this matter.


Respected Brother,

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-raḥmatullāhi wa-barakātuh

Generally there are numerous spiritual ailments that affect the heart. If an effort is not made to “treat” and rectify them, they could become much worse. If the praises of people causes your ego to be boosted, immediately reflect upon your shortcomings and think thus:

“This person is not aware of my sins, hence he is praising me. If he becomes aware of my sins, instead of showering praises, he will begin to hate and despise me. How greatly has Allah Ta‘ala favoured me that He has concealed my faults. If Allah Ta‘ala totally forgives

my sins and saves me in future from all transgression, this will indeed be my tremendous good fortune (and something to be elated and thrilled about).”

If someone criticizes you or speaks ill of you, you should ponder that a person whose inception is from a drop of dirty fluid is indeed most impure. Why then should I become enraged upon being criticized? Furthermore, if somebody has spoken ill of you whereas in reality Allah Ta‘ala has saved you from that aspect (that was spoken about), then the person who has spoken ill of you has erred. However this is much better (that people speak ill of you in error) than being praised for something which one is not worthy of!


[1] (Hadhrat Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi raḥimahullāh His life and works, Publsh. Ta’limi Board, KZN, Pg 247,248)