In any community or sub-community, there will always be conflicts between two people or more, be it in school, college, masjid, work place. There will be someone who you might not get along with. You may try to get along with this person, but there might be something that keeps cropping up that keeps grating at your relationship with this person. I have seen and experienced this, and being someone who doesn’t like conflicts or confrontations and would be bothered by it for days or weeks on end as long as it’s not resolved, I have to say this is not something pleasant.
So, subhanallah, when Sr. Taimiyyah ended the lesson with this message, I thought I would share it because it struck me so. The ayah is this:-
And thus We have tried some of them through others that the disbelievers might say, “Is it these whom Allah has favored among us?” Is not Allah most knowing of those who are grateful? [An’aam 6:53]
She mentioned this part of the ayah “وَكَذَٰلِكَ فَتَنَّا بَعْضَهُم بِبَعْضٍ”, and said that when you don’t get along with someone, realize that this is something Allah has placed for you as a fitnah. That person is a fitnah for you and YOU are a fitnah for that person. Sometimes, no matter how much you try to reconcile, the conflict remains and you just can’t get along. Remember that this is a test from Allah and we are supposed to focus on the blessings rather than complain about the person or anything related.
Of course, on our side, what is in our control, we should always try to make amends, and if we have tried our best, at the very least, we should clear our hearts of any ill feelings towards this person, avoid talking bad about this person, and spread the salaam when we are in close vicinity of this person. Yes, that person may not even look at us, or acknowledge our presence, but, we are only responsible for what is under our control. Remembering that we are also a fitnah for this person, should make us more empathetic towards him/her, because as difficult as it is for us, it may be equally difficult or more for this person.
Islam has laid out many things in terms of maintaining good relationships with people. Surah Hujuraat lays out manners with each other along with manners with the Prophet salllallaahu alayhi wasalam. We are not to assume negatively of someone, which would lead to spying and which then lead to backbiting or even slander. Sometimes, our emotions run high, and even though we know these things, we still do them. Subhaanallah, at this moment, we are then being an ignorant, for someone who is disobedient to Allah’s command is being ignorant. And what is worse, we are submitting to our desires. That emotional state is our desire. Maybe desire to take revenge, or desire to hate, or desire of feeling assumed injustice, or just desire to vent. When we start venting, we are at the risk of backbiting or slandering and our time is thus spent focusing on others instead of ourselves, even if we keep saying to ourselves that we are minding our own business.
This life is a test and tests comes in many different forms. The thing is, we are supposed to be on our guard ALL the time, because blessings are also a test, and shaytaan is always at work, even on holidays.
May Allah cleanse our hearts of ill feelings, negative assumptions, revenge, hatred, unforgiving nature, especially for our fellow Muslims. Ameen.
And when those come to you who believe in Our verses, say, “Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy: that any of you who does wrong out of ignorance and then repents after that and corrects himself – indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.” [An’aam 6:54]
Regardless of conflicts, when we see our fellow Muslims, salaam should be said.
And I will end with this:-
“A scholar said: ‘To have patience means that one’s common sense and religious motives are stronger than one’s whims and desires.’ It is natural for people to have an inclination towards desires, but common sense and the religious motive should limit that inclination.
The two forces are at war: sometimes reason and religion win, and sometimes whims and desires prevail.
The battlefield is the heart of the man.”
[Imam Ibn al Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah RahimahuAllah]