If you do something in someone’s absence, however small, which negatively affects that person (even if stepping on his other shoes by mistake – but out of carelessness/negligence) but he may never find out that you did that, might you ever be taken to task, maybe in the day of judgement where I believe all truths will be disclosed?
This is one of the issues due to which I have found myself spending extra time in worrying about- e.g. in making sure I leave the bathroom basin perfectly rinsed (for the next person to use) etc. I sometimes wonder whether shaytan is making me do these things to make the deen look difficult to me as well as to those that see me doing these things.
And is there a difference if there is malicious intent involved, in doing the action, whatever it may be?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
The beloved of Allah, the best of creation, our beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) has set a perfect example for all of us. His character, manners, behaviour and his life in general is a milestone for every Muslim male and female.
Thus, lying, deception, misleading, backbiting, hatred, jealousy, enmity, evil suspicion, harming with intent, breaking a promise, breaching a trust, not fulfilling a covenant, slandering, vulgar language, tale-bearing, breaking of ties, deserting a fellow Muslim, pride, arrogance, miserliness, unlawful taking of someone’s wealth, etc… are all sinful acts and must be avoided.
Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “A (complete) believer is he from whose mouth and hand other believers stay safe.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Amr (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Four traits, if found in an individual, then he will be a complete hypocrite (munafiq), and if an individual possesses one of these four, he will have one portion of nifaq: When he is given a trust he breaches it, when he speaks he leis, when he makes an agreement (ahd) he is guilty of treachery and disloyalty (gadar), and when he disputes he is fouled mouth.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 34)
On the other hand, qualities such as: Good manners, good character, humility, politeness, kindness, assisting others, mercy, respect of others, gratefulness, generosity, forgiving others, modesty, etc are a hallmark of every Muslim.
Therefore, one must ensure that the former-mentioned sinful acts are avoided, and implement the good qualities mentioned latterly as mush as possible. If one does so, then Insha Allah, one will see the fruits of this in this world and the hereafter.
As far as what you have mentioned about stepping on someone’s shoes, in normal circumstances you don’t have to disclose this to the owner. However, if some damage was done to the shoes, then you should reveal this to the owner of the shoes.
Leaving the bathroom, basin, etc clean is surely commendable and included in the good qualities one should aspire to achieve. However, don’t get too paranoid about this, for this could have an adverse effect, and distract you from your other obligatory duties. Thus, refrain from the unlawful and sinful acts (mentioned in the first list) and try your best to gain the good the qualities.
And Allah Knows Best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK