We shouldn’t expose our sins, or the sins of others.
Abu Hurairah RA reported: Messenger of Allah ﷺ(sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Every one of my followers will be forgiven except those who expose (openly) their wrongdoings. An example of this is that of a man who commits a sin at night which Allah has covered for him, and in the morning, he would say (to people): “I committed such and such sin last night,’ while Allah had kept it a secret. During the night Allah has covered it up but in the morning he tears up the cover provided by Allah Himself.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
I don’t know why but sometimes we have the urge to confess. Confess shortcomings or wrongdoings, faults…maybe it is an attempt to be self-deprecating or not to get a big head. When discussing life we often feel the urge to not boast. Okay. But we must also not uncover our sins. We need to repent and keep it private. This is not something I would have thought of as obvious, but there it is.
Similarly, if we see someone doing something that we think is bad, we should try to make excuses for them. If they do something that we know is definitely wrong, we should say something – to them, and not to the rest of the world – we’re often quick to gossip but find it hard to tell the person to their face what we think they are doing is wrong…and in the end we end up wronging ourselves and maybe them too.
But if we are uncertain, or if they have made a mistake, we need to find an excuse for them and not judge.
And then, forgive. This is especially hard for me. I tend to write people off forever for some real or perceived wrong that they have done to me or others. But this is baloney – if I can’t forgive others, how can I expect Allah to forgive me.
As always, trying to find that delicate balance between hope and fear. But there is always love.