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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Miraatu” (مرأة) is Arabic for the word “mirror”.

The Last Messenger of God, Prophet Muhammad , is recorded as having said:

المؤمن مرأة المؤمن

The believer is a mirror for (another) believer. (Adab al-Mufrad, Bukhari)

Mirrors are our private little judges, they show us where we’re wrong, so that we can fix ourselves. And so believers in God – as mirrors to one another – should be comfortable looking to each other to improve their own selves. They neither mind being shown the mirror, nor do they mind showing it. Because they care about each other.

This was one of the first things that I picked up when I came across this Hadith. Of course, there is much more to it than that, especially the part about helping correct each other unobtrusively, and in private, but the word “miraatu” stuck with me.

In addition, as a society and as an ummah, in particular the well-educated lot of us, I think we really need to be looking in the mirror a bit more often. Not out of vanity, but because of all the proverbial spots we see in certain other people and ideas around us, we might just find them on our own faces if we’re honest enough to look carefully. And we can’t give ourselves a good cleaning, nor can we shine our best, unless we know they’re there.

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