Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) way of correcting people's mistakes

We live in an age where judging others has become the norm and mocking people for their mistakes has become a huge pastime. While some of us might do it unintentionally, others might fall into this out of ignorance or even arrogance. Calling ourselves the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) comes with certain responsibilities. One such responsibility is correcting people’s mistakes.

It is important to understand and realize that this deen is easy and beautiful, and correcting people’s mistakes should also be done in a beautiful manner. The Quran says,

There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern (example) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and (who) remembers Allah often. ~ Quran 33:21

Therefore, let us look at how our Prophet (pbuh) used to correct people’s mistakes. [Source]


Anas ibn Maalik (ra) said, “Whilst we were in the mosque with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), a Bedouin came and started urinating in the mosque. The Companions said, “Stop it! Stop it!’ But, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “Do not interrupt him; leave him alone.” So they left him until he had finished urinating, then the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) called him and said to him, “In these mosques, it is not right to do anything like urinating or defecating; they are only for remembering Allah, praying and reading Qur`an, or words to that effect.” Then he commanded a man who was there to bring a bucket of water and throw it over the (urine), and he did so.” 

While correcting the Bedouin and pointing out his mistakes, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not speak rudely to him, tell him off or humiliate him in front of others. Rather, he allowed the man to finish what he was doing, was patient the whole while and made him understand why he was wrong, softening the Bedouin’s heart and cooling the rising tempers of his companions at the same time. How often have we softened others’ hearts with kind words while correcting their mistakes?


Narrated Anas (ra), “While the Prophet (pbuh) was in the house of one of his wives, one of the mothers of the believers sent a meal in a dish. The wife, at whose house the Prophet was, struck the hand of the servant, causing the dish to fall and break. The Prophet (pbuh) gathered the broken pieces of the dish and then started collecting on them the food which had been in the dish and said, “Your mother (my wife) felt jealous.” Then he detained the servant till a (sound) dish was brought from the wife at whose house he was. He gave the sound dish to the wife whose dish had been broken and kept the broken one at the house where it had been broken.”

This is a very important quality to develop while trying to correct people’s mistakes. More often than not, we tend to push our values and preach excessively without understanding why or what led that person to behave in such a manner. In the aforementioned hadeeth, we learn a mighty lesson. Prophet (pbuh) understood that jealousy run’s in a woman’s mind when she is given a dish prepared by her co-wife. He didn’t chide her for it nor did he yell at her in front of the other companions. He made her replace the broken dish with a new one. The matter was done and over with!


Anas (ra) reported that a group of the Companions of the Prophet (pbuh) asked the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) about what he did. One of them (in an effort to become more religious by neglecting the world and increasing acts of ibadah) said, “I will never marry women.” Another said, “I will never eat meat.” Another said, “I will never sleep on a bed.” (When the companions left, the wives reported the incident to the Prophet). The Prophet (pbuh) praised and thanked Allah, then he said, “What is the matter with some people who say such and such? But, as for me, I pray and I sleep, I fast and I break my fast, and I marry women. Whoever turns away from my Sunnah has nothing to do with me.” 

Did you notice how Prophet (pbuh) used a vague description “some” rather than calling names while correcting their mistaken believes? He also made it a moment to teach them that Islam is all about moderation and balance between dunya and akhira. Giving dawah is an obligation upon us Muslims. So, the next time you see someone making a mistake, a sister not fulfilling her duties in wearing the hijab modestly or someone gossiping, instead of shouting “astaghfirullah”, grab your ‘dawah moment’ and let them know what Islam says about certain things.

But ensure that you do not force your belief and opinion on someone. More on this here.


Allah has preserved the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) for centuries, so that it could reach us. There is a reason for this. We are supposed to make Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) our role model and emulate him in whatever we do. He (pbuh) used to smile often, so let’s remain chirpy and exude positive energy towards others. He (pbuh) was soft and kind when dealing with laymen and his companions. The Prophet (pbuh) did not allow extremism in any form. Let us be soft and kind to our own families and friends.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was extremely kind to Non-Muslims. He (pbuh) won people’s hearts with his character, leading to the rapid spread of Islam, so much so that even his staunchest enemies accepted Islam and died for the cause of Islam!

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