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Urgency of reconciliation between contending Muslims

Urgency of reconciliation between contending Muslims

The enforcement of the Muslim Brotherhood is the greatest social ideal of Islam. On it was based the Prophet Muhammad’s sermon at his farewell pilgrimage in Makkah. Islam cannot be completely realized until this ideal is achieved. It should be borne in mind that everything that jeopardizes and threatens the Islamic Brotherhood is regarded as Haram (prohibited.)  A Muslim should not whatsoever part company with his fellow Muslims without any sound reason.

According to Ibn Hajar, severing relations and breaking off from Muslims is among the major sins in Islam. And it becomes graver when the person you forsake is your immediate relative. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: “The believers are but a single Brotherhood: so make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy.” (49:10)

Brothers and Sisters in Islam, turning your backs on your Muslim brothers and sisters without any sound reason, will delay your forgiveness from Allah. And if you die before reconciliation and making amends, you will go to hell (may Allah keep us away from it.)  It was narrated by Abu Huraira (may Allah have mercy on him) that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The gates to heaven are opened every Monday and Thursday then Allah forgives everyone who does not associate partners with Him, except two brothers who harbor grudges against each other. About them, Allah orders His angels saying: “Give these two a respite until they reconcile with each other.” (Reported by Imam Muslim)

Brothers and Sisters in Islam, keeping away from your brothers and sisters without any sound reason may be a reason for you to be cast into the hell fire on the Judgment Day, especially if you die before repenting to Allah (SWT). It was narrated by Abdul-Lah ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with both of them) that the messenger of Allah said: “It is haram (forbidden) for a Muslim to forsake his brother for 3 days. If they meet and one of them takes the initiative to break the ice and as such says “salaam” to his brother, to which if his forsaken brother replies, both of them will share the reward of reconciliation. But if he takes the initiative to greet his brother and the latter refuses to reply, then the former will be absolved from the sin of deserting his brother and the later will bear the sin.” In another narration: “… If both of them die before making amends, they will not meet in paradise.” (Reported by Al-Tabarani in Al-Awsat and Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak)

If your contending brother takes the initiative to great you with the Islamic greeting (Assalamu Alaikum) after parting company with him for three days or more, you should readily accept it, otherwise you will be following in the footsteps of the Devil. It was narrated by Abu Baker ibn Abi Shayba that the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is not permissible for Muslims to forsake each other for three days. If they do that then they won’t meet in paradise. And whoever takes the initiative to seek reconciliation will be forgiven all his sins (except the major ones), and in case he greets his contending partner with the greeting of Islam (Asaslamu Alaikum) and the latter refuses either to answer the salam or to accept the former’s attempt towards reconciliation, the devil will commend him and Allah will send an angel to answer the salam of the former.”

In his attempt to get as many companions as possible with him in the hellfire, the devil always works tooth and nail to set people against each other so that they miss the mercy and forgiveness of Allah. Muslims should try all possible means to avoid falling into that trap. It was narrated by Jabir ibn Abdallah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the messenger of Allah said: “Indeed the devil has despaired from being worshipped by performers of prayers in the Arabian peninsular. However, he still has not despaired from sowing the seeds of discord and dissension amongst them.” (Reported by Imam Muslim)

 

* Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said the aforementioned statement after Islam was fully established in the Arabian peninsular. It should be understood that one of the greatest loopholes that Satan capitalizes on is to set people against each other by employing various ploys and techniques. We should preclude those attempts by strengthening our relationships with each other and to reconcile with each other if we happen to have some misunderstandings or grudges. It is really very dangerous for a Muslim to forsake his Muslim brother for a year or so. It was narrated by Al-Sulamiy (may Allah be pleased with him) that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Whoever parts company with his brother for a complete year will be regarded as though he spilled his blood.” (Reported by Iman Abu Dawud and its chain is regarded as sound and authentic.)

It is normal that misunderstandings will happen between brothers – even companions of the Holy Prophet – were not immune from misunderstandings and quarrelling. However, they addressed them rationally rather than emotionally. It was narrated by Abul-Hasan Al-Madaini that once Al-Hasan and Al-Husein (grand children of Prophet Muhammad), quarreled with each other – as a result they forsook each other for three days. Hardly did the third day end than Al-Hasan approached Al-Hussein, leaned on his head and kissed him while he was seated. This initiative prompted Al-Hussein to comment thus: “Indeed, what prevented me from taking the initiative of breaking the ice between us was that you have priority and preference over me; so I hated to contend with you in something in which you are far superior to me.”  (Masaweil-Akhlaaq by Al-Kharaaitey)

Parting company with your Muslim or blood brother can sometimes be imperative if he continues to be stubborn and obstinate in committing sins – particularly if you are pretty sure that by employing this technique that person will come back to his senses. In the illustration taken from the Tabuk affair that took place during the 9th year from the prophet’s emigration to Medina, there were some Muslims who actually failed in their duty, not from contumacy or ill will, but from thoughtlessness, slackness, and human weakness. They actually failed to obey the Holy Prophet’s commandments and were naturally called to explain, and were excluded from the life of the community. There mental state was described graphically in verse 118, chapter 9. Though the earth is spacious, to them it was constrained. In their own souls they had a feeling of constraint. Allah says: (He turned in mercy also) to the three who were left behind; (they felt guilty) to such a degree that the earth seemed constrained to them, for all its spaciousness, and their (very) souls seemed straitened to them – and they perceived that there is no fleeing from Allah (and no refuge) but to Himself. Then He turned to them, that they might repent: for Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.” (9:118)

The people referred to in the aforementioned verse were: Kaab bin Malik, Marara Ibn Rabei and Hilal Ibn Umayya. These noble companions of the Prophet, although they had actively participated in many battles, they thoughtlessly slackened from participating in the Tabuk expedition. They had all means any one could need in order to participate in such an expedition but out of slackness, thoughtlessness and human weakness they kept postponing until they couldn’t participate at all. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) ordered his companions to break off from them for 50 days until Allah declared that He had forgiven them. They repented and Allah accepted their repentance. Their postponement should not whatsoever be deemed as contumacy or ill-will. They sincerely repented to Allah and He accepted their repentance.

It is allowed in Islam to part company with a Muslim who out of stubbornness insists on committing sins and engages in a lot of bidaa (innovation in Islam.) However, if you deem breaking off from that person will keep him farther away from Islam and righteous people, then you should try your utmost to engage him perchance he may get back to his senses and follow the right path. It should be noted that the Islamic Law is about spreading benefits and well-being and not about spreading evil and mischief.

Following are among the dangers of forsaking one another:

1-      It is the reason as to why Allah’s mercy is delayed His servants.

2-      Parting company with each other for three days and more is prohibited in Islam and is bound to cause social disintegration and breakup.

3-      It is a bad habit that brings Allah’s wrath to the concerned parties.

4-      It is one of the ruses and ploys of the Satan in his attempts to sow the seeds of dissension and discord amongst Muslims.

 

 

 

References:

 

1-      Holy Qur’an

 

2-      Sunna (sayings, acts and approvals of Prophet Muhammad – PBUH)

 

3-      Al-Nadrat Al-Naeem

 

 

 

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