Peace

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Assalaamu Alaikum! Numerous times daily we greet one another with this wonderful greeting. Unlike the hollow or even meaningless greetings of “Hi,” “Hello,” etc., Assalaamu Alaikum is a profound dua of peace and safety for the person being greeted. When one exclaims “Assalaamu Alaikum” to someone, it is as if one has assured him thus: “You are in peace and safety from me in every way whatsoever — word, deed or even thought.” Hence we spread the message of peace numerous times daily to everyone we meet.

 

 

          Peace is something that is certainly cherished by every sane person. No sane person desires to have enemies, or loves harbouring ill-feelings or being involved disputes. However often disputes do occur due to various reasons. At times the disputes are severe, resulting in much bitterness and ill-feelings. This further leads to malice and hatred and a host of other evils. The greatly cherished peace is completely shattered.

PERSONAL DISPUTES

The disputes referred to here are those of a personal nature, whether pertaining to money, status, position, dignity, etc. Such disputes occur due to many reasons. It is either merely a misunderstanding that has developed into a severe dispute, or it could be a deliberate wrongful action of one party. It could also be a careless utterance which, though not said seriously, was nevertheless hurtful. Many other such aspects could lead to disputes.

           We are thus faced with a dilemma. Everyone cherishes peace. Yet disputes which occur so often destroy the peace. How does one avoid the dispute, or if it does occur, resolve it amicably before the peace can be shattered?

          Our Deen has given us guidance in all aspects. It also has given us guidance for the different situations that we could find ourselves in. Firstly, we have been taught not to be the oppressor. Rasulullah(Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “A Muslim (in reality) is one who other Muslims are safe from (the mischief and harm of) his tongue and hand” (Sahih Bukhari).

NO MALICE

Thus we should be careful not to cause any difficulty to the next person by word or deed. In fact, not even by thought — i.e. by not wishing ill for the next person or harbouring malice for him, etc. Rasulullah(Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) once said to Hazrath Anas (R.A.): “O my beloved son! If you could pass the morning and evening free of malice for anybody, then certainly do so.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then exclaimed: “O my beloved son! Verily that (keeping the heart free of malice) is from my Sunnah. The one who loves my Sunnah has loved me. The one who loves me will be with me in Jannah”(Mishkaat).

           Among the various aspects that lead one towards becoming the cause of disputes is jumping to conclusions without having verified the facts. This must be totally avoided. For instance, Zaid telephoned his friend Yusuf. Yusuf could not take the call. Zaid tried again and got the same response. Hence he now jumps to the conclusion that Yusuf is avoiding him. As a result Zaid severs ties with Yusuf. Yet there could have been a genuine reason why Yusuf could not take the call at that time. Had Zaid adoptedhusn-uz-zann (having good thoughts about the next person and not entertaining suspicion without a firm basis) the dispute would not have occurred. This is a simple example that could be extended to many other similar situations.

LOVE FOR EGO

Another core aspect that we must cleanse ourselves of in order to avoid becoming the cause for disputes is the maladies of hubbe jah (love for the ego) and hubbe maal (love for wealth). Love for the ego will make one feel aggrieved upon anything that one deems to be against one’s status or honour. Perhaps one was not invited to a family function, or not given the V.I.P. reception that others were given at a social gathering, or not respected according to one’s special standing, etc. If the love of the ego is not removed, such trivial aspects can lead one to serious disputes. Similarly, love of wealth will lead one to usurp inheritance, cheat customers, defraud people and various other crimes. All this could cause severe problems.

         Apart from the above, there are many other aspects that we must refrain from. However all these aspects have been summarised in the aforementioned Hadith:“A Muslim is one who other Muslims are safe from (the harm of) his tongue and hand.”

SEEK FORGIVENESS

While we must do our utmost to avoid any dispute arising, humans are nevertheless created weak. We do err and commit some excesses. As soon as we realise our fault, we should humbly seek forgiveness and make amends. Humility for the sake of Allah Ta’ala elevates one in this world and the Hereafter.

           Secondly one could be oppressed and aggrieved. Indeed, people will sometimes ignore all the abovementioned teachings of Deen. Hence they will

cause one financial harm, physical injury or mental anguish and torment. This will generally result in a dispute. When one has been subjected to any injustice, one has a right to seek compensation or retribution. Yet the first encouragement of the Qur’an and Sunnah even in this situation is to forgive and overlook those who harm us. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) declared: “Join ties of kinship with those who sever ties with you, forgive those who oppress you and show kindness to those who have harmed you.”Thus to whatever extent possible, forgive and overlook.

REWARDS OF SABR

Some disputes pertain to dignity and status only. There is nothing one can really claim in this world (where Islamic Law is not enforced) from the wrongful party apart from making him admit his wrong and making him tender an apology. Perhaps it may be a harsh or insulting word uttered by somebody, or one could have been subjected to backbiting, slander or even physical harm, or one was treated in an inappropriate manner — in all such situations one should readily and whole-heartedly reap the rewards ofsabr (patience) and forgiveness.

          Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)  is reported to have said: “He who abandons a dispute despite  having a valid claim, a home will be built for him in the middle of Jannah” (Mishkaat). One should also take guidance from the exemplary life of Rasulullah(Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It is reported that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)  never took revenge for himself (Shamaa’il).

BOUNDS OF SHARIAH

In disputes where large sums of money are at stake or any other tangible benefits could be accrued in this world by demanding one’s right, if one is in the position to forgive, forgiveness is still the first choice. The benefits of forgiving in this world and the rewards in the Hereafter are unimaginable. However, if one rightfully claims what is due to one, this is perfectly in order. However, it is necessary that the correct procedure be adopted and that one remains fully within the bounds of Shariah in making one’s claim. All irrelevant personal issues should be ignored. Advice must also be sought from an experienced Aalim as to what is the Shar’i ruling regarding the validity of one’s claim. Then pursue the claim with dignity. Insha-Allah an amicable solution will be reached.  

          The aspect to always keep in mind is moderation in all affairs. Sometimes a dispute occurs in some matter. Eventually it is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. However during the period of the dispute, both parties stooped to personal insults, vulgar language, etc. Hence, though the dispute has been amicably resolved, the personal insults and vulgar language remain a thorn in the relationship for a long time.

DUA FOR OPPOSITION

There are many things that can be done in order to amicably resolve a dispute. This short article cannot even cursorily discuss all. One essential aspect isDUA — dua for oneself and for one’s opposition. Sincerely beseech Allah Ta’ala to guide both parties towards the truth. Also make dua that Allah Ta’ala grants both parties complete guidance and the best of both worlds. If one’s ego is not the issue, or there is no evil intent, one will find no difficulty in making thisdua. Resorting to dua in the above manner will also help to restrict the dispute.

          Often when a dispute occurs, some people associated to either party, fan the flames of conflict rather then encourage an amicable solution. This is indeed regrettable. Striving to create peace between people is a tremendously great act. Rasulullah(Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)  once asked: “Should I not inform you of an act that is more virtuous than (optional) fasting, charity and salaah?”(Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)  said: “Making peace between people. As for quarrels and disputes, it shaves off (destroys Deen)” (Mishkaat, Pg. 428). The Sahaaba (R.A.) replied: “Certainly tell us.” Rasulullah

           Undoubtedly many disputes are extremely complicated and there is no quick-fix solution. However, perhaps the majority of disputes could be amicably resolved if we adopt the above guidelines. May Allah Ta’ala bless us all with peace —Assalaamu Alaikum.

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