Overlooking faults and see only good in people

`Abdu’l-Bahá said that we must try to find these qualities in others and as soon as we see them, think that we just saw God. We try to see God in them because these qualities are reflecting the same attributes of God. So, on a daily basis, we are finding God. All creation reflects light. If something does not reflect light at all, you cannot see it. If something is of a certain color, you can see that color because it is reflecting a part of light, a partial light that is seen as that color. All of creation reflects God to some degree but the human being reflects Gods attributes a lot. That is why `Abdu’l-Bahá likened us to mirrors. Mirrors reflect all light. But sometimes, mirrors reflect less light because it is so dusty and so on. The purpose is to polish that mirror, and enabling it to reflect more light. Whenever someone is doing something good, they are showing a quality, an attribute of God, they are reflecting an attribute of God. The key is to look for the qualities in others. You will find that God is everywhere. For instance, wherever there is kindness, there is God.

`Abdu’l-Bahá says that if someone has ten good qualities and one bad, look at the ten good qualities. He also says that if someone has ten bad qualities and one good one, focus on the good quality and ignore all the bad qualities.

There is this story from Islam about Christ and His disciples who one day came across a dead dog that had started to decompose. One after another disciple said that it looked awful, smelled terribly bad and so on. But Christ said, look at its teeth, how white they are. `

Abdu’l-Bahá says that bad qualities really don't exist. They are just absence of good qualities. Consider the sky at night. When we look at the sky, we don't look at the dark space between the stars, we don't look where there is no light. We focus on the stars, we notice the stars and we focus on the light. The dark space is just absence of light and in similar way, we must ignore the bad qualities of others.


Hear no evil, and see no evil, abase not thyself, neither sigh and weep. Speak no evil, that thou mayest not hear it spoken unto thee, and magnify not the faults of others that thine own faults may not appear great; and wish not the abasement of anyone, that thine own abasement be not exposed. Live then the days of thy life, that are less than a fleeting moment, with thy mind stainless, thy heart unsullied, thy thoughts pure, and thy nature sanctified, so that, free and content, thou mayest put away this mortal frame, and repair unto the mystic paradise and abide in the eternal kingdom for evermore.

(Baha'u'llah, The Persian Hidden Words)

One must see in every human being only that which is worthy of praise. When this is done, one can be a friend to the whole human race. If, however, we look at people from the standpoint of their faults, then being a friend to them is a formidable task.


All religions teach that we should love one another; that we should seek out our own shortcomings before we presume to condemn the faults of others, that we must not consider ourselves superior to our neighbours! We must be careful not to exalt ourselves lest we be humiliated.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 148)

Read it and consider: One prisoner, single and solitary, without assistant or defender, a foreigner and stranger imprisoned in the fortress of 'Akká writing such letters to the emperor of France and sultan of Turkey. Reflect upon this how Bahá'u'lláh upraised the standard of His Cause in prison. Refer to history. It is without parallel. No such thing has happened before that time nor since; a prisoner and an exile advancing His Cause and spreading His teachings broadcast so that eventually He became powerful enough to conquer the very king who banished Him.

His Cause spread more and more. The Blessed Perfection was a prisoner twenty-five years. During all this time He was subjected to the indignities and revilement of the people. He was persecuted, mocked and put in chains. In Iran His properties were pillaged and His possessions confiscated. First, banishment from Iran to Baghdad; then to Constantinople; then Adrianople; finally from Roumelia to the prison fortress of 'Akká.

During His lifetime He was intensely active. His energy was unlimited. Scarcely one night was passed in restful sleep. He bore these ordeals, suffered these calamities and difficulties in order that a manifestation of selflessness and service might become apparent in the world of humanity; that the Most Great Peace should become a reality; that human souls might appear as the angels of heaven; that heavenly miracles would be wrought among men; that human faith should be strengthened and perfected; that the precious, priceless bestowal of God, the human mind, might be developed to its fullest capacity in the temple of the body; and man become the reflection and likeness of God, even as it hath been revealed in the Bible: "We shall create man in Our own image."

Briefly; the Blessed Perfection bore all these ordeals and calamities in order that our hearts might become enkindled and radiant, our spirits be glorified, our faults become virtues, our ignorance transformed into knowledge; in order that we might attain the real fruits of humanity and acquire heavenly graces; although pilgrims upon earth we should travel the road of the heavenly kingdom; although needy and poor we might receive the treasures of life eternal. For this has He borne these difficulties and sorrows.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 223)