Stop, Look & Listen
Rasul Allah (ﷺ) said: “If somebody reproaches you and makes you feel ashamed of any of your defects, do not make him feel ashamed of any of his defects.” [Abu Daud]
Usually, when somebody points out one of our shortcomings, we immediately become defensive and start finding faults with them. But the advice of our beloved Rasul Allah (ﷺ), is that we should listen quietly and evaluate what we are being told. If there is something we can improve about ourselves, it is only to our own advantage to do so. If the criticism is unjustified, then we are rewarded for our patience and good behaviour in not retaliating. The angels will take care of defending our honour. Starting a counter attack opens the door for Shaytaan to come in and take over.
Once, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (RA) was sitting with the Prophet (ﷺ) when a man came and started to abuse Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA). Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) remained silent. Finally, he started to speak in his defence. At this point the Prophet (ﷺ) got up and left. Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) immediately went after him and inquired if he had done something wrong. Rasul Allah (ﷺ) replied that as long as he had been silent, angels had been speaking on his behalf, but when he started to respond, the devil came and sat down next to him. As the Prophet (ﷺ) could not remain seated where the devil was sitting, he left.
By: @IslamicThinking (MW Contributor)