Philosophers have often held certain essential qualities to be ideals for what exists in the world. A mirror is something that presents qualities. It does not bring about any distortion to the essence of the person whose image it reflects.
This is why Muslim scholars encourage people to adopt the mirror’s qualities into their behavior.
Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) says, “A Muslim is the mirror for his fellow Muslim.”
In this article, I would like to highlight some of the mirror's qualities and then explore the implications of the Prophet's statement.
The Mirror…at a Glance:
A mirror presents you with your real form, without any embellishment or omission.
It does not hesitate at all in doing its job. It provides its services promptly, and immediately presents you with your reflection.
It does not take any wages for the services that it renders. It remains sincere to you by showing you how you truly appear.
A mirror shows you your actual appearance at the precise time when you stand in front of it. It erases your image as soon as you move away. This means that after your departure, it will not show your image to anyone else. Equally important, it will never reveal anyone else's image to you or expose their faults to your gaze.
Since it always shows you your current form when you stand in front of it, it never makes any comments about your previous appearance or former defects.
It judges only what you disclose to it and never delves into matters that are hidden.
It does not insult you; rather, it mobilizes you to act for your own betterment.
You can study what you see in a mirror with confidence. You can put trust your in a mirror.
If you use it once to beautify yourself, you can always come to it again and see your face in it.
In this way, we can see that a mirror holds only qualities. No deception is found in its nature. What the Prophet said – about a Muslim being like a mirror to his fellow Muslim – is logical because the teachings that he brought from Allah realize for humanity an ideal to be reflected in society. The teachings and cultural values put forth by Islam are flawless and incorruptible. This is how the light of Islam dispels darkness. It enlightens us with the light of humanity where we find peace, kindness, tranquility and non-violence.
Unfortunately, today most Muslims are facing serious problems. They suffer under dire circumstances. Yet, have you ever paused to consider why this is the case? It should be easy for us to realize that we are not cultivating the right qualities and habits. We are neither exemplary in our own conduct, nor do we present a proper example to others.
Today we feel no solidarity towards one another. Sometimes, Muslims hate Muslims and even feel happy to see their brothers and sisters plunging headlong into darkness.
How can we take pride in our identity and move forward to find the solutions for our day-to-day problems? Why are we falling short in guiding others to Islam? When we look at ourselves, do we find that our characters reflect the qualities of Islam? Or does Islam teach its followers to cultivate bad habits like cheating and telling lies? Can such a deviation from Islam on the part of its followers motivate others to embrace the faith?
In my opinion, the answers to all of these questions can only be found in the qualities that our religion, Islam, teaches us to inculcate in ourselves for the benefit of humanity. Therefore, like a mirror, if we as Muslims start off by exhibiting the qualities that Islam calls us towards, then, Allah willing, the day will not be far off when we, on our own, will be able to solve our problems.
The undeniable fact is that Islam becomes the strongest force in the world when its followers exhibit the noble and virtuous qualities that it calls us towards. Terrorists will hang their heads in shame before the qualities found in the fertile garden of authentic Islam. Today, the downtrodden Muslims should take a lesson from their ancestors in how they found success in the world through their good and virtuous qualities. This is the perspective that we need. A mirror is nothing but an ideal reflector of qualities, for in all situations, we find it competent in influencing others with what it reflects.
In brief, we Muslims should be as steadfast as a mirror and influence others by always reflecting in our conduct the best qualities and virtues for the promotion of peace on Earth.
by Tariq Sohrab Ghazipuri