by Asma bint Shameem
We decided to meet for lunch. We were all excited. After all, we were getting together after a long time. As we sat at our table, we started talking, catching up on all that had happened in the past few years, when I noticed a bit of tension developing between two of my friends. Then, all of a sudden, right before my very eyes, before I knew it, it blew up into a horrible argument. Angry words flew between the two of them and before I could do anything to stop it, both my friends stormed out of the place, vowing to never talk to each other ever again!
“Subhaan Allaah! ….what just happened here?” I said to myself, trying to digest the horrible incidence that just took place. Two of my dear friends fighting with each other!
Many of us face something similar several times in our lives……our families and loved ones arguing over something so trivial, our friends not talking to each other over the littlest of things, people shunning each other and staying angry, even years after the matter took place, to the extent that sometimes they don’t even remember why they are fighting!
And we all know people who may not be openly fighting and arguing, yet we know that there is definitely some kind of either hostility or jealousy between them, or even some kind of misunderstanding amongst themselves.
So what’s a Muslim to do in such a situation? Stand by and watch?!!
What is required from us in such a situation is that we make peace between them for the sake of Allaah.
“The believers are nothing but brothers, so make peace between your two brothers and beware of Allah that perhaps you may be shown mercy.” (Al-Hujaraat:10)
And, noble, indeed is the act of making peace and reconciling between two arguing parties. In fact, it is superior to voluntary fasting and sunnah and nafl prayer.
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“Shall I not tell you of something that is better than fasting, prayer and charity?” They said: Yes. He said: “Reconciling between two people, for the corruption of that which is between the hearts is the shaver (destroyer). It is the shaver, and I do not say that it shaves hair, rather that it shaves religious commitment.”(al-Tirmidhi- hasan)
Subhaan Allaah! Better than fasting, prayer and charity! That just goes to show you how important it is for us to reconcile between people.
In fact, it is so important that, although lying is haraam in and of itself, yet, Allaah has permitted even lying in order to reconcile between people and to remove discord and conflict. This is because of the great negative consequences conflicts and arguments have, on the religious commitment of individuals as well as communities.
Umm Kalthoom said that she heard the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) say:
“He is not a liar who reconciles between people, conveying good messages and saying good things.” (al-Bukhaari, Muslim)
She also said:
“I did not hear him (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) grant any concession concerning anything that the people say of lies except in three cases: reconciling between people, war, and what a man says to his wife, or a woman says to her husband. (Muslim)
Reconciling between disputing parties is a means of earning great rewards. Allaah says:
“There is no good in much of their private conversation except for someone who enjoins giving of charity, good deeds generally or making good that which is between people. Whoever does that seeking the pleasure of Allah, We will give him a great reward.” (An-Nisaa: 114)
However, while making peace between disputing parties, do remember that Islam has a particular methodology and approach to this issue. It is not a matter of simple “conflict resolution”. We cannot simply negotiate and compromise until we reach something agreeable to both of them because it may very well be unjust or not in accordance to Islaam. As Muslims, we add Allah into the equation.
Instead of evaluating the two positions in relation to each other, we have to examine each of them in relation to what pleases Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala. For, it is quite possible for two Muslims to be in dispute with each other and yet, neither of their positions be acceptable according to Sharee’ah – even if the other side were to accept it. So when two Muslims or two groups of Muslims disagree or fight, it is upon us to call all of them to what Allaah says in that matter. Allah said:
“If two groups of believers get into a fight then make good that which is between them. Then, if one side transgresses against the other, fight the transgressors until they return to the order of Allah. If they so return, then make good that which is between them with justice and be equitable. Surely, Allah loves those who are equitable.” (Al-Hujaraat:9)
So, if you know anybody out there, arguing, not talking to one another, shunning each other, or simply having distrust and ill feeling towards some other fellow Muslims, go ahead and make peace between them. Do it for the sake of Allaah, remembering the reward and asking Him to accept it from you. Not only will it bring you immense reward and forgiveness from Him, but it will be one of the noblest things that you would do.
Ali ibn Abi Talib said: “One of the things which brings forgiveness is making your fellow Muslim happy.”
Anas said: “Whoever made peace between two, Allah gives him for every word the [reward of] freeing a slave.”
Abu Umama said: “Walk a mile to visit a sick person and walk two miles to visit your brother for the sake of Allah and walk three miles to make peace between two.”
Remind yourself and them that a Muslim should avoid division and difference completely. Avoidance, hatred, rejection and envy all destroy the Muslim community and render it vulnerable to all forms of fitna. If, however, someone does get into such situations of dispute, then they have a maximum of three days after which they should solve the dispute and end the bad feeling between them.
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“Do not boycott one another, do not turn away from one another, do not hate one another and do not envy one another. Be slaves of Allah, brothers. And it is not allowed for a Muslim to avoid another for more than three days.” (al-Bukhaari, Muslim)
“Whoever forsakes his brother for a year, it is as if he has shed his blood.” (Abu Dawood- saheeh by al-Albaani)
May Allaah remove all forms of enmity and ill feelings amongst us and enable us to love each other for His sake Alone. Ameen..