The flower of friendship

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Allah Ta’ala is our Creator and therefore the Creator of our feelings. Allah Ta’ala wishes that friendship and peace hold sway among human beings. Islam as a religion is not a matchstick of war or terrorism. On the contrary, its dictates encourage peace, social harmony and friendship in the family and among couples. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to say: “Do not seek confrontation with the enemy and ask for well-being from Allah” (Bukhari). Islam promotes an atmosphere of humanitarian brotherhood. You see our beloved prophet Muhammad (PBUH) distinguished himself by his excellent temper even among Jews and Christians! The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) from time to time used to invite the families of his clan, the Quraish, with the objective of making them accept Islam. He has taught us to help others irrespective of their colours or culture. He has stated: “Mankind is like Allah’s family; the best servant in the eyes of Allah is the one who is the most kindly towards His family (mankind)” (Shu’abul Imaan). The prophet has encouraged good relationship between states and also between individuals.

And Islam has certainly not prescribed the slaughter of innocent beings through booby-trapped vehicles or even by means of snipers. Even during wartime, the prophet (PBUH) has prohibited the killing of women and children. He has forbidden the mutilation or hacking of the body of an enemy. Still further, Islam views with seriousness the breaking up of a marriage, or divorce. The prophet (PBUH) has declared: The action which Allah hates the most among permissible actions is divorce. (Abu Dawood)

And the Shariah has discouraged all the avenues that can lead to war or even to the breaking off of friendships. That is why the Shariah has prohibited the marriage of two sisters to a single husband. It will bring about family break-up. The Qur’an condemns even the thought which leads to harming the other person: “O You who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it! (So hate backbiting!)” (Surah 49, Verse 12).

BASER INSTINCTS

Here, the Qur’an explains that a war between two states or individuals begins by an evil thought towards others. That is why it is necessary to have positive and sound thoughts about other people. One must be kind as taught to us by the Qur’an: “Be dutiful and good to parents, and to kindred, and to orphans and the poor who beg, and speak good to people.” (Surah 2, Verse 83). Kindness and good speech apply to all people in general, no matter what their faith is.

SPYING

After the evil thoughts, the Qur’an teaches us to avoid spying. Spying is the consequence of evil thoughts towards a person or a state. The holy prophet (PBUH) had predicted the balance necessary in friendship when he said: “Avoid evil thoughts among yourselves. Do not seek secret information between yourselves, do not spy on each other, do not hate each other, do not turn your back on one another, and be servants of Allah like brothers.” (Bukhari). Spying is a reprehensible act in normal periods, and the spy who is charged must appear before a criminal court just as he would appear in Allah’s Court. Let us rather establish frank and direct communication to avoid much damage caused by the breaking off of relations at the behest of Satan. The prophet (PBUH) has even prevented a husband, returning from a long journey, from spying on his wife by returning home by surprise at night. (Muslim). The wife would immediately feel that her husband does not trust her. And after that, a bitter feeling will prevail in the life of that couple with each partner doubting the other. How many young couples have unfortunately foundered on the breakers of doubt and spying! That is because hatred precedes spying. That is why one cannot express doubt where there is no proof. Let us have confidence and act with confidence and with right thinking and let us avoid spying. The only exception when espionage is allowed is in wartime when two states are involved, and when spying the enemy is authorized in order to protect oneself from his evil intentions. (Muslim).

Hatred is prohibited in Islam. The prophet (PBUH) has forbidden one brother to hate another brother. He has stated: “Do not hate each other”. He has forbidden anyone to stop talking to his brother for more than three days. (Muatta Imam Malik). Tabrani has reported that the prophet (PBUH) has stated: “Actions are presented before Allah on every Monday and every Thursday. Those who repent, Allah forgives them. Except for two persons who hate each other; Allah waits for their reconciliation before forgiving them”. The prophet (PBUH) has condemned those men and women who stir up ill-feelings among men: “Whoever spreads ill-feelings will not enter Paradise”. (Bukhari)

Forgiveness is a remedy. Friendship is a rose and, to uphold it, sometimes, our fingers get pricked. To drink one’s anger, to forgive, to tolerate, and to abandon one’s right are its thorns. By the way, even the prophet (PBUH) was ordered to forgive those who harmed him; “And you will not cease to discover deceit in them, except a few of them. But forgive them and overlook (their misdeeds). Verily, Allah loves the good-doers”. (Surah 5 Verse 13). “Those who spend in prosperity and adversity, who repress anger and who pardon men; Verily Allah loves the good-doers.” (Surah 5, Verse 134). The remedy for altercations and break-ups is the giving up of one’s right over others. Otherwise, the world would be full of wars, break-ups and bloodbaths. If everyone does not abandon his rights, then there is war, as is at present the case in Egypt, in Syria and in those families who have recourse to penal law to seek redress for rights of inheritance. One would have liked to make everybody hear that the prophet (PBUH) has promised a palace within Paradise to whoever gives up his right even when he is on the side of absolute truth (Abu Dawood). If he does not forego his right on the one hand, on the other he will be on the warpath. By giving up, out of one’s own will, one’s rights, peace and family ties will prevail which will bring about much well-being and wealth both here and in the hereafter.

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