Criticising people who only worship during Ramadan
As Muslims, it is very important for us to avoid and discourage the criticising of other Muslims who practise their religion more in the month of Ramadan than during the rest of the year. This criticism is not in line with the attitude and behaviour that Islam promotes, so it should not be something we engage in.
This kind of criticism is what causes Muslims who practise their religion more in Ramadan to feel discouraged. Criticism may actually lead them away from Islam and they may eventually not feel as motivated to continue doing good deeds because they will become so worried about the criticism they will receive and the way in which others will judge them.
Being judged and criticised for practising their religion more in Ramadan than the other months is also something will push them to think more about what other people think of them, instead of focusing on pleasing Allah.
This is a danger for them as we know that our focus should always be on Allah. Our intention when we are doing something good, or our fear that makes us avoid bad deeds, should purely be out of our consciousness of Allah, not other people. Decisions we make should be based on how Allah will judge us, not what other people will think of us.
These criticisms also give people who practise Islam more in Ramadan the impression that in Islam they should either do every good deed with no mistakes, or do no good deeds at all. This is not what Islam teaches us. We know that we have all made mistakes before, and we also know that we have a duty to repent and seek forgiveness from Allah. Criticising people will make them feel as if there is no hope for them and that Islam is only for a certain kind of person, when that is not the case. The danger of criticising people in this way is like telling someone who is struggling to pray Fajr that they may as well not pray Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha prayers either. We can clearly see how detrimental this would be.
Judgements are also dangerous for the person who is passing the judgement, as they are becoming too focused on the deeds of others rather than their own. Arrogance is something which we are taught to avoid, as it will cause our downfall.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in hadith that:
“One will not enter Paradise if one has an atom’s weight of arrogance in his/her heart.” (Tirmidhi)
We should understand that for some people, Ramadan is what they had been waiting for to give them the extra push they needed to help them better themselves as believers. They know in their hearts about their level of Imaan and sincerity of their belief in Allah. They could be struggling and trying their hardest to improve. Criticism will only make their journey more difficult. We must always remember that we have a duty to help others, not discourage them. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“I swear by the One in whose Hands is my soul! none of you will believe until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” (Bukhari and Muslim)