Don’t judge based on one side of a story

Don't judge based on one side of a story

In the story of Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him), Allah is highlighting the scene from his life, when two people came to him wanting a judge for their dispute.

The first one came forward and presented his case, and Dawud gave his verdict without even listening to the second part of the story.

So Allah scolded Dawud that he should have listened to the other side of the story, instead of being hasty in his judgement.

Dawud realised his mistake, and he fell down on his knees and prostrated and repented to Allah.

In the dispute, one man was saying that his brother had 99 ewes, and was asking this man to give him his ewe too, even though he only had one.

Dawud said this was not fair. But he should have listened to the rest of the story: what if the first brother was not telling the truth? What if his brother wanted his one ewe because he was mistreating her, or not feeding her, or whatever scenario there might be.

But Dawud just jumped to conclusions, because he assumed that if one had 99 ewe he was just being greedy, asking his brother for another one.

If he had just listened, he might have seen a different side to the story.

I can tell you, from my experience over 25 years dealing with marital conflict the husband will tell you his story and you will think his wife is vicious. Then the wife will tell her story and you will think the husband is evil. It’s the same situation.

Everyone will tell their own side of the story, so in order to be fair you need to calm down and see both parts.

I listen to the first one alone, then the second one alone, and only then bring the two together. In this way you can see that there are many gaps in the story.

You might think it can’t be possible that both are telling the truth. But somehow it can, because everyone is looking from their own side.

It’s like the story of the blind men looking at an elephant. One man feels its tail and describes it as a rope, one man touches its ear and says it’s like a fan. No one is telling a lie, but everyone is looking from a different angle.

This story is teaching us to calm down when we have to make a judgement.

Don’t jump to conclusions. Don’t have your verdict already pre-judged before you hear the full story. This is not fair. Just be neutral. Listen, and then you can make your judgement. I know it’s difficult, but we need to learn this in Ramadan. Just to listen, and to be fair inshAllah.

Shaykh Haytham Tamim – Ramadan Night 3

Transcribed by Hana Khan


Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.