Joining Of The Hearts
The Arabic term “Islaah Dhaati Bain”, which literally means “to make good or to rectify those (souls) with something (or distance) between them,” Its application is to strive to remove the effects of dispute or disagreement between two Muslims when it leads to enmity, avoidance, harboring of ill will or other problems detrimental to the smooth functioning of the Muslim community. This disagreement may have arisen out of issues of blood, wealth, honor, religious differences or other issues which cause division and hatred between Muslims. If a Muslim finds himself in such dispute, it is important to seek an end to it as quickly as possible because it can prevent his sins from being forgiven as we will see shortly. Also, any Muslim who is aware of his brothers or sisters being in such a predicament should seek all proper means to help them out of their impasse and this is a good deed which carries a very great reward from Allah. Finally, it is important to learn and understand that Islam has a particular methodology and approach to this issue and we cannot merely take the disbelievers understanding of “conflict resolution”. We must understand the Islamic methodology of solving differences between our brothers and sisters.
وَلَا تَجْعَلُوا اللَّهَ عُرْضَةً لِأَيْمَانِكُمْ أَنْ تَبَرُّوا وَتَتَّقُوا وَتُصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
“And do not make Allah’s name an excuse in your oaths preventing you from doing righteousness, practicing piety or making good that which is between people. And Allah is the Hearer and the Knower.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 224)
The meaning here is that if you swear an oath which involves cutting off family ties, or not giving charity, etc., do not make this oath a barrier between you and the doing of good. Rather, expiate your oath and do what is pleasing to Allah instead.
لَا خَيْرَ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِنْ نَجْوَاهُمْ إِلَّا مَنْ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوْ مَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ إِصْلَاحٍ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ ۚ وَمَنْ يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا
“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.” (Surah An-Nisaa 4: 114)
Most of what people do in private or secret conversations has no good in it – except when they involve the three items mentioned.
1) Sadaqah: Giving of charity is something where more secrecy is better than less. Rasulullah (SAW) said that the best charity is the one given by the right hand such that even the left hand does not know about it. This is a good purpose for a private or secret conversation to inform others about some one who need help but may not be showing it and is better than doing it publicly.
2) Ma’roof: (good deeds generally) is an all-inclusive word which includes all forms of righteous action, especially those involving helping others.
3) Islaah baina an-naas (“making good that which is between people”) means bringing Muslims in dispute back to Islam to resolve their differences. So, if their dispute is about worldly issues like money, business or contracts then the Islamic ruling must be found and both parties called upon to accept and implement it. Likewise if it is an issue of personal insult or violation of honor – the wrong must be identified and the dictates of Islam followed in terms of apology, restitution, etc. And, in issues of religious difference, the issue must be submitted to those knowledgeable in the Qur’an and the Sunnah and the way of the early generations to find the correct Islamic teachings. Whoever does these things “seeking the pleasure of Allah” is eligible for the great reward from Allah. If anyone does these things for other reasons such as worldly gain or fame and to get the reputation as a doer of good then they are not of those to whom Allah has promised reward and in fact may get a sin for their actions based on their intentions. Umm Habiba reported that Rasulullah (SAW) said: “All speech of the sons of Adam is against them and not for them except for enjoining right and forbidding wrong or remembrance of Allah, Mighty and Great.:
وَإِنِ امْرَأَةٌ خَافَتْ مِنْ بَعْلِهَا نُشُوزًا أَوْ إِعْرَاضًا فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا أَنْ يُصْلِحَا بَيْنَهُمَا صُلْحًا ۚ وَالصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ ۗ وَأُحْضِرَتِ الْأَنْفُسُ الشُّحَّ ۚ وَإِنْ تُحْسِنُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا
“If a woman fears hatred or rejection on the part of her husband, there is no sin upon them if they reach a mutual agreement. Agreement is good but stinginess has been made present in the souls. If you do good and practice piety, surely Allah is fully aware of that which you do.” (Surah An-Nisaa 4: 128)
One of the major impediments to agreement is the stinginess which is part of human nature. In the case at hand, men tend to be stingy about fulfilling their obligations toward their wives such as kind relations and providing well for her. Likewise, the tendency of women is to resist fulfilling her obligations toward her husband.
The cure for this ill is focusing on doing good or Ihsaan and fearing and being aware of Allah or Taqwa. Both the husband and the wife must use remembrance of Allah and knowledge of Islam to struggle against the stinginess which Allah has made part of their nature. Society at large must not give either husband or wife free reign and power over the other without checks on that power. Obviously, if this were to happen, the stinginess which Allah has made part of our nature would lead to oppression in such a situation. Finally, we must realize the different approach of Islam to dispute resolution. The disbelievers view disputes as differences between people. In this view by taking their two positions as starting points, we can negotiate and compromise until we reach something agreeable to both of them and that is viewed as a successful resolution.. As Muslims, we add Allah into the equation. Instead of evaluating the two positions in relation to each other, we must first examine each of them in relation to what pleases Allah Most High. It is quite possible for two Muslims to be in dispute and have neither of their positions be acceptable – even if the other side were to accept it. Allah says:
وَإِنْ طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اقْتَتَلُوا فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا ۖ فَإِنْ بَغَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى الْأُخْرَىٰ فَقَاتِلُوا الَّتِي تَبْغِي حَتَّىٰ تَفِيءَ إِلَىٰ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ ۚ فَإِنْ فَاءَتْ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا بِالْعَدْلِ وَأَقْسِطُوا ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
“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. The believers are nothing but brothers, so make peace between your two brothers and beware of Allah that perhaps you may be shown mercy.” (Surah Al-Hujurat 49: 9-10)
When two Muslims or two groups of Muslims disagree or fight, it is upon the Muslims to call all of them to Allah’s ruling in the matter under dispute. If one side does not accept the ruling of Islam in the issue, it is upon the Muslims to fight that party as long as they reject the Islamic ruling. If both sides accept Islam as the criterion on which to solve their dispute, then it is upon the Muslims to judge fairly and equitably without and bias – even toward the side who at first rejected the Islamic solution.
NOT RESOLVING DISPUTES CAN KEEP ONE FROM PARADISE!!
Disputes not only destroy the community and our ability to work together for self-defense and to promote good and prosperity among us, they also may block those in dispute from paradise. Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Deeds are reviewed everyday and Allah forgives everyone who does not associate any with Allah in worship except for one who has an ongoing dispute with another about whom Allah says: Leave these two until they make peace.” A Muslim should avoid division and difference completely. Avoidance, hatred, rejection and envy destroy the Muslim community and render it vulnerable to all forms of fitnah. If one falls into this level of dispute, then they have a maximum permission of three days after which they are obligated to solve the dispute and end the bad feeling between them. “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-Bukhari) The act of bringing peace between Muslims in dispute, when done only seeking the pleasure of Allah Most High is superior to voluntary fasting and sunnah and nafl prayer. Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Should I not inform you of something higher and superior to fasting, prayer and giving charity?” They said: Yes. Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Making good that which is between the hearts for the corruption of that which is between the hearts is the destroyer.”(At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah) Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA) said: “One of the things which bring forgiveness is making your fellow Muslim happy.” Anas (RA) said: “Whoever made peace between two, Allah gives him for every word the (reward of) freeing a slave.” Abu Umamah 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.”
“O Allah! Make us among the people of peace and the people of good. Those who do good for Your sake and foster peace among the Muslims be calling them to Your order in all of their affairs. Aameen Thuma Aameen”.