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Discovering Flaws: A Vital Step in Your Journey to Allah

(Ibn Ata’s Words of Wisdom: Part 11)

“Trying to discover the flaws within you is better than trying to discover the spiritual worlds hidden from you.”

This feeling might make the person proud or feel self-righteous. And this is a problem and an obstacle on the way to Allah Almighty.

As individuals and communities, sometimes we have this self-righteousness. We feel that we have all the good and others are not good and so forth; and we are blinded from seeing our flaws and our problems.

But the sheikh here is teaching us that when you discover your flaws, that is better than discovering any hidden dimension that you can’t see.

If you feel that you don’t have flaws, then you have a major problem. Because Allah Almighty said:

Allah wants to lighten your burdens because humans are created weak. (Quran 4:28)

We are created weak and we have our flaws. And at this stage of the journey we should strive to discover our flaws before mending them.

How can I discover my flaws?

There are a number of ways, one of them is criticism from others.

Accepting Criticism

When people criticize you, don’t be upset. Reflect upon the criticism and see if you can discover one or two of your flaws because of the criticism.

Your friends when they joke with you about something about you, or they tell you about a flaw that you have, then be happy with that.

Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said that he is happy when people gift him his flaws. Because he considers this to be a valuable gift to know your flaws. And therefore, if you’re sincere enough, to go and try to fix the flaw and the mistake that you made.


When you’re tested in life with difficulties in any way is another way of discovering your flaws. Because when you are tested you are put under pressure. So if there is a bit of greed, selfishness, or anger problem, procrastination, hesitation.

If there is a weakness in one way or another in your character, then under the pressure of the tests, you’ll be able to see the weaknesses if you are looking for your flaws.

Therefore it is the step of discovering your flaws so that you try to fix them and mend them, and accepting that everybody has flaws. But accepting that everybody has flaws doesn’t mean to accept that people could live double lives.

There is a difference between flaws or mistakes and thinking that it is ok for people to have a double life, because they are human and they can make mistakes.

No. It is not acceptable for a believer. A believer will have as less flaws as he or she can ever can, and they’re always working on fixing their flaws, not living a double life and claiming that they’re just flaws that they are having.

No. They should deal and take care of their flaws.

And this is the next step in the journey.

May Allah Almighty guide us to know our flaws and repent from them and change them.

A Journey to God (Folder)

About Dr. Jasser Auda

Jasser Auda is a Professor and Al-Shatibi Chair of Maqasid Studies at the International Peace College South Africa, the Executive Director of the Maqasid Institute, a global think tank based in London, and a Visiting Professor of Islamic Law at Carleton University in Canada. He is a Founding and Board Member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, Fellow of the Islamic Fiqh Academy of India, and General Secretary of Yaqazat Feker, a popular youth organization in Egypt. He has a PhD in the philosophy of Islamic law from University of Wales in the UK, and a PhD in systems analysis from University of Waterloo in Canada. Early in his life, he memorized the Quran and studied Fiqh, Usul and Hadith in the halaqas of Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo. He previously worked as: Founding Director of the Maqasid Center in the Philosophy of Islamic Law in London; Founding Deputy Director of the Center for Islamic Ethics in Doha; professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada, Alexandria University in Egypt, Islamic University of Novi Pazar in Sanjaq, Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, and the American University of Sharjah. He lectured and trained on Islam, its law, spirituality and ethics in dozens of other universities and organizations around the world. He wrote 25 books in Arabic and English, some of which were translated to 25 languages.

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