Could you give information about hatred and resentment among Muslims?

Details of the Question
Could you give information about hatred and resentment among Muslims?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Human beings have to live within communities because of their nature. Their happiness and tranquility are related to the community’s happiness and tranquility. Personal tranquility and happiness is almost gained through communal tranquility and happiness. Human beings feel the need for sharing the problems they have encountered with the other members of the community. They may not be able to get over some of the problems they have encountered with their own endeavor and abilities. At this point, the members of the community, which Allah adorned with different abilities, like a garden of flowers, step in.

A community is like a body that consists of organs which own different mission and abilities. Though the organs’ functions are different from each other, it cannot be said that one of them is inferior to others. The organs may have a meaning only when they come together for a mutual specific purpose and aim. Coexistence may have a meaning only when the community displays “oneness” with all groups of it- scholar and ignorant, the rich and the poor and so on.

In this sense; the Prophet’s following hadiths: “the believers are like the parts of the body in relation to each other in matters of kindness, love and affection. When one part of the body is afflicted, the entire body feels it; there is loss of sleep and a fever develops.” (1) and “A believer to another believer is like  a building whose different parts enforce each other.” (2) are the main arguments which can shed light upon our understanding of community.

Every believer should revise again their point of view on other Muslims under the light of the Prophet’s sayings above. We think that Muslims who break the relations off with their Muslim brothers/sisters for the sake of simple interests with corrupted and almost idolized ideas and values of our day, who find happiness in others’ sorrow and who become sorrowful because of hatred in their hearts when others are happy, who decide on their words and whom to salute according to some political or religious groups, should revise their attitude in this sense.

Groupings, separations and resentments which lead to enmity damage both our religious and communal life whether their origin is religious or political. Living in a community has got some rules and principles of course. Those rules and principles are called law or religious and ethical rules according to their functions. It would be an apprehension, which will not be more than a dream, to presume or expect that each member of the community is equally attentive following the principles and rules in question. In fact, historical process is the primary and the clearest evidence of this.

As e result of violating rules and rights or intellectual controversy among people which can be seen in the community, people break the relations off with each other temporarily or permanently. In other words, they sulk and become crossed with each other. It occurs almost in all communities. Of course, the relations are expected to be warm and sincere among Muslims in the Islamic community which is described as the community of brothers and sisters for different reasons in verses and hadiths.

However, Muslims are human beings too. They may have crossed or offended each other for various reasons. What is essential in this situation is for every member to try to establish the concept of brotherhood and principles of brotherhood again, instead of causing this offence and resentment to go further. In fact, Islam have taken some precautions and offered some ways in order to abolish such unfavorable events. Our religion Islam, which accepts the reality of the state of resentment, advises us not to make the resentment between believers go further and this state should not last for more than three days. (3)

If there is resentment between people, the following order of Allah’s must be applied:

“If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; But if it complies, then make peace between them with justice, and be fair: For Allah loves those who are fair (and just.) The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear God, that ye may receive Mercy.” (4)

That verse points to the procedure to be followed for the physical, social, cultural and psychological conflicts which can occur between the members of community. Firstly, it is essential to try to make peace between conflicting parties. Public sanctions are applied against the party who does not comply and pursues the conflict. In other words, the whole community breaks the relations off with that person.

Justice is the irrevocable principle and order for solving conflicts between people, as it is so in all issues. The Prophet says: “It is not permissible for one to stay resentful with his/her brother/sister for more than three days. When two believers come across each other, they turn their faces away. However, the better of those two believers is the one who greets the other first” (5).

Again, the Prophet points out to the disapproval of resentment in religion and to unworldly dimension of the issue with the following saying of his: “Deeds are presented every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim or every believer, except for those who are forsaking each other and those who attribute partners to Allah. He says to angels [about them]: ‘Leave them until they make peace.’” (6) The hadith expresses how Muslims who break the relations off and become crossed with each other are treated in the presence of Allah and eventually it calls Muslims to be in peace all the time.

The sanction mentioned by the Glorious Prophet is a kind of sanction that every Muslim, who hopes for forgiveness, lives with it and it is a sanction that cannot be despised. Moreover, there is a kind of resentment called “breaking relations off with someone” which is an attitude and sanction done against rebels and ones who insist on committing sins.

The example of the issue can be seen in the following application of the Messenger of Allah. None of the Muslims talked to the three people called Ka’b ibn Malik, Murara, Ibn Rabi and Hilal ibn Umayya for fifty days with the order of the Prophet because they did not attend the war in Tabuk; they did not even salute them nor replied their salutations. They did not smile at them and they were totally excluded. Kab, who could not attend the war of Jihad against infidels, tells about the sad event that he experienced as follows:

“… Then the Messenger of Allah forbad believers to talk to us. Nobody talked to three of us, who did not attend the war. We were excluded by everyone. At that time, the earth seemed so small and meaningless to me…” those people regretted what they had done and repented when they were expelled from the community. Finally, Allah the Glorious forgave them and sent this verse about them:

“(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 God (and no refuge) but to Himself. Then He turned to them, that they might repent: for God is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.” (7).

After that verse was sent down; those three people, who were expelled from the community, reunited with them in great joy. (8).

That event shows that Muslims form a unity in the Islamic community. They hold on to Allah’s orders in unity. The ones who oppose to the unity of religion are expelled from the community.

The event experienced by Ka’b and his friends also indicates the importance of a sincere communication system in Islamic communities, the clearness and preciseness that should be in believers’ concept of community, who are connected to each other with brotherhood and friendship, the importance of facing up the responsibilities of faith, appreciating the orders and the importance of obeying without any objection within the lawful limits and how one becomes regretful when excluded by other Muslims.

The Lord of the Universe (pbuh) forbade Muslims to hate each other, to break the relations off with each other and stay resentful with each other with the following words: “Do not break the relations off with each other, do not hate and do not begrudge each other. O you the slaves of Allah! Be brothers/sisters. It is not permissible for a Muslim to stay resentful with his/her brother/sister in religion more than three days” (9)

Moreover, there are other sayings of the Prophet’s which emphasize that resentment is disapproved by religion: “Whoever leaves his/her brother/sister in religion and stays resentful with him/her for one year, he/she gains sins as if she/he killed him/her” (10). “Whoever leaves his/her brother/sister in religion more than three days and dies before making peace, goes to Hell” (11).

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) forbade Muslims to hate each other, to break the relations off with each other and to mock at each other (Bukhari, Adab 57; Muslim, Birr 24, 28; Tirmidhi, Qiyamah, 54). Knowing that there will be some controversy amongst people in Islamic community, the Messenger of Allah, ordered believers not to stay resentful with each other for more than three days. The Messenger of Allah indicated that it would cause believers to feel hatred for each other if they stay resentful with each other more than three days and that controversy will eventually even lead to conflicts.

Our religion Islam, which advises balance on every issue, advises being moderate in friendship, love and hatred too. The verse: “Nor can goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!” (12) clearly expresses the way to be followed and the attitude to be taken in love, hatred, friendship or enmity.

Resentment may occur due to anger and words uttered in an argument between unconscious believers who cannot control what they say and what they do, and it can also occur due to gossip, fighting and swearing one another. There is controversy among believers today because the differences in sects, characters and views have turned into narrow-mindedness and fanaticism in our day. Eventually, people who share or are supposed to share the same ideals face painful scenes. Humankind should pay attention to the Prophet who was sent to establish tranquility and happiness both in our day and in the past.

It is necessary to refrain from behaviors and words which can cause resentment among Muslims. In spite of everything, if resentment happens among them, they should try to get over it and make peace. Islam, which advises people to make peace in almost every issue (13), of course, calls other Muslims for duty of making peace between believers who are offended by each other (14). In this sense, it should be kept in mind that making peace between people who are offended or crossed with each other is a religious and moral duty.

Though the verse in the Quran “Peace is always good” (15) is demoted to a specific issue, the message it gives is general. The primary preference of Islam almost in all issues is peace. Allah the Glorious indicated that peace and agreement is a favorable act both primarily in family affairs and in social life (16). For this reason, we should take the verse “Fear Allah and make peace” (17) as a principle of our lives. While advising Muslims to act as peacemakers, The Prophet (pbuh), in person, made peace between Muslims who were offended by each other and who could not get on well.

The Messenger of Allah asked his companions: “Do you want me to tell you about something better than fasting , praying, and alms-giving?” They responded: Yes, O Messenger of Allah” The Prophet continued: “It is making peace among people, since conflicts among people will lead to corrupt religion”. (18) And another day, the people of Quba near Makkah fought and stoned each other. On hearing this, the Prophet suggested his companions: “Will you come with me and make peace between them” and he went to Quba. (19). In another hadith, he said: “He is not a liar who reconciles between people and narrates something good or says something good.” (20)

As already known, lying is considered amongst the major sins in Islam. The permission to lie in order to reconcile between spouses or other people shows what an important religious and moral duty the peacemaking is. Resentful Muslims should take into consideration that staying resentful for more than three days is prohibited in Islam and that our ancestors said: “Resentment between Muslims last until a muslin cloth dries” and they should consider the useful attempts of others to reconcile between them a reason to make peace.

In theQuran the following is stated: “in most of their secret talks there is no good: But if one exhorts to a deed of charity or justice or conciliation between men, (Secrecy is permissible): To him who does this, seeking the good pleasure of God, We shall soon give a reward of the highest (value).” (21). The verse indicates that we should carry out the duty of peacemaking without expecting an interest, only for the sake of Allah and that only such a peacemaking can have a moral value.

While our religion considers peacemaking a great virtue, it considers tale-bearing a major sin. (22). The Prophet said “Tale-bearers cannot enter Heaven” (23) and he pointed out that this behavior is a major sin in terms of religion. However, it is expressed that telling things which are not true in order to reconcile between resentful spouses or other people is not considered lying; because, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “He is not a liar who narrates words or tells lies for goodness in order to reconcile between people” (24).

Muslim, narrates the following addition from Umm Kulthum, the translation of which is as follows: “I did not hear that exemption to lie was granted in anything that the people speak but in three cases: in battle, for bringing reconciliation amongst persons and the narration of the words of the husband to his wife, and the narration of the words of a wife to her husband for the sake of the continuation of the family. ” (25)

The Prophet said, according to a hadith Abu Dawud narrated in his Sunan: “I do not consider a person who lies only to reconcile between people as a liar” (26). The statement “it is not considered lying to lie in order to reconcile between people” in the hadith means “there is no sin in this lie”, because, lying is still considered to be lying in these hadith yet it is indicated that there is not a sin recorded for that kind of lying.

Doubtlessly, a lie is lie regardless of why it is told, whether to reconcile between people or for another reason. However, that lie is not considered to be a sin because it is not intended to deceive people. Moreover, people who tell such kind of lies are considered to have done a virtuous thing with the words of the Prophet and gain rewards (sawabs) as if they fasted, prayed or gave alms. (27).

Islam always invites its followers to unity. That unity is advised to be based on Allah’s religion. The verse “And hold fast, all together, by the rope which God (stretches out for you) and be not divided among yourselves…” (28) emphasizes the issue. It indicates how the community of ignorance, which displays a picture of a community corrupted in all ways, was enlightened and elevated to a model community with teachings of the Quran (29). Besides, Islam expresses that it is against all kinds of separations- religious, ideological or political. It does not approve of separations, resentment and conflicts among its followers even if they are personal. (30). This is because, such separations mean the end of a community.

In the Quran, the separations and groupings are emphasized to be the main reasons for community to lose it strength or to disappear. The following verse expresses that reality: “And obey Allah and His Messenger; and fall into no disputes, lest ye lose heart and your power depart…” (31).

In conclusion, human beings need unity and togetherness. That unity and togetherness are needed more in our day. One of the factors damaging unity and togetherness is breaking the relations off with people. Members of the community should aim to give an end to possible resentments in the community in a reasonable way, instead of instigating. Muslims should always keep in mind that their real duty is to make peace, not to instigate.

Footnotes:

1- Bukhari, Salat, 88; Muslim, Birr, 65.
2- Müslim, Birr, 18.
3- Bukhari, Adab, 57, 62; Muslim, Birr, 23, 25.
4- al-Hujurat, 9-10.
5- Bukhari, Adab, 62, Isti’zan, 9; Muslim, Birr, 23, 24, 28.
6- Muslim, Birr, 36. See also Abu Dawud, Adab, 47.
7- at-Tawba, 118.
8- Bukhari, Maghazi, 79.
9- Bukhari, Adab 57, 58, 62;Muslim, Birr, 23, 24, 28.
10- Abu Dawud, Adab, 47.
11- Abu Dawud, Adab, 47.
12- Fussilat, 34.
13- al-Baqara, 208; an-Nisa, 114; al-Anfal, 1, 61; al-Hujurat, 9-10.
14- al-Hujurat, 9-10.
15- an-Nisa, 128. For similar verses see, al-Baqara, 208;Nisa, 114; al-Anfal, 1, 61; al-Hujurat,9-10.
16- an-Nisa, 128.
17- al-Anfal, 1.
18 -Tirmidhi, Sifatu’l-Qiyamah, 56.
19- Bukhari, Sulh, 2.
20- Bukhari, Sulh, 1.
21- an-Nisa, 114.
22- al-Qalam, 10-14.
23- Bukhari, Adab, 50; Muslim, Eeman, 169170.
24- Bukhari , Sulh, 2; Muslim, Birr, 101.
25- Muslim, Birr, 101.
26- Abu Dawud, Adab, 50.
27- Abu Dawud, Adab, 50.
28- Aal-i Imran, 3103.
29- Aal-i Imran, 103.
30- See Aal-i Imran, 105; al-Anfal, 46.
31- al-Anfal, 46.

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