Is it permissible to keep silent and not to pursue one’s rights so as not to commit a sin? In what situations is it permissible for man to keep silent?

Details of the Question
Is it permissible for man to keep silent and not to pursue his rights so as not to commit a sin by uttering a wrong word?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Every Muslim is responsible to fulfill their duties. The position a person has in a community lays certain burdens on him. A Muslim becomes responsible based on his position. We can view the issue through a hadith:

“He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue, and if he has not strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart.” (Muslim, Iman 78)

We cannot interpret this hadith on our own on every occasion. If we see a bad deed on the way and try to correct it with our hands and punish a person and if that person sues us, we will be punished.Then, how should we understand the meaning of this hadith?

To correct with the hand is the duty of the state and security forces; to correct with the tongue is the duty of scholars; to abhor from the heart is the duty of others.

In addition, it is important what the advice or explanation given to a person will bring about in that person. For, it is possible to make things worse and to harm people while trying to be helpful. From this point of view, it is necessary to give advice if it is not likely to cause any harm.

The first way to follow while conveying the message of Islam to people for each person is to struggle against his own soul. After that, he should serve as a model by practicing Islam. He should love his addressee even if he is mistaken; he should not nurture a grudge against him. After that, he can give that person advice with compassion, mercy and good deeds like a doctor who treats his patient. However, he should give him advice if he knows that the advice will not harm him; otherwise, it is better for him to keep silent.

On the other hand, if he has to tell a lie when he speaks, he must not speak at all. He should tell the truth or he should keep silent if the truth will harm his addressee.

As for what should our attitude be toward the wrong deeds committed against us:

Should a person struggle against the injustices he faces in this world and to what extent should he struggle? Or, should one not waive his rights by complaining against the wrongdoers in the Hereafter?

Questions on Islam

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