Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) has narrated that the Holy Prophet ﷺ said;

“There is a Muslim who has isolated himself from other people and has withdrawn from people. For example, he sits in a mosque or a Madrassah so that he does not have to interact with people, and thinks that he will keep praying in isolation. The second Muslim is the person who did not isolate himself, rather he kept intermingling with people. He maintains relationships and friendships with people, spends time with them, and enters into financial transactions with them. As a result of interacting with people, he also gets hurt by them, and he does Sabr (patience) when people hurt him. This Muslim is a much better person than that Muslim who remains aloof from people and because of that he does not have to do Sabr as a result of being hurt by them.”

Our Deen (religion) has not ordered us to practice monasticism, as some other religions have. According to some religions, it is not possible to get close to God unless a person gives up all his worldly affairs, gives up all his relationships, and starts living as a monk. However, the Holy Prophet ﷺ has taught us that we should live amongst people, and tolerate whatever hurt they cause us.

In the Hadith mentioned above, the Holy Prophet ﷺ has mentioned interacting with people, and getting hurt, together. This implies that these two things are coupled with each other in that if a person lives amongst people and keeps interacting with them, he is bound to get hurt. If a person keeps interacting with other people, then sooner or later something will happen that will cause him some hurt, regardless of how close a relative or a friend they are. Next, we need to understand why that is the case.

The answer is that since the birth of Prophet Adam (Peace be upon him), billions or trillions of human beings have been born in this world, and will continue to be born till the Day of Doom. Every human being is born with a face which is roughly of a similar size to every other human being. Every human being’s face has eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks, teeth, and a chin. But among billions of human beings, no two faces are exactly the same (except for a very tiny number of identical twins). Every person’s face is different from every other human being. And this difference is not just among faces of people who have been born. Every new human being who is born comes with his or her own unique face, and their face is not a replica of the face of someone who has been born before them. In this way, Allah Ta’ala has made every human being so unique that we can identify people individually just by looking at their faces.

This is also a manifestation of Allah Ta’ala’s power that among people from different races, there are some features which are common, and some features which are different. For example, we can generally tell people from Africa apart from people belonging to the occidental race, even though within those two races no two individuals look identical. Therefore, they have some features similar between, but also some features different between them. This is all a manifestation of Allah Ta’ala’s power.

It is also a manifestation of Allah Ta’ala’s power of creation that every human being’s finger prints are unique. That is why finger prints are now often used to confirm a person’s identity. If we put two people’s thumbs sided by side they look almost the same. But it is now internationally accepted that every one’s finger prints are as unique as their faces.

There is a verse in Surah Qiyamah in which, while mentioning the non-believers, Allah Ta’ala says;

“Does man think that We will never reassemble his bones? Why (can We) not (do so), while We are able to reset (even) his fingertips perfectly?” (75:3-4)

The non-believers, who did not believe in the Aakhirah (Hereafter), used to say that once we are dead and even our bones have crumpled and scattered, how can we be brought back to life and who will do it? In reply, Allah Ta’ala is saying that does man think We cannot gather his bones again? Why not? We can even re-create his fingertips exactly as they were the first time.

So, when everyone’s faces are not the same, how can their temperaments be exactly the same? People’s temperaments are different, their likes and dislikes are different, their natures are different. That is why it is not possible that two people spend significant amounts of time with each other, and one never gets hurt by something the other says or does. It is not humanly possible. Because of their temperaments and natures being different, there is bound to be some hurt caused by one to other. Sometimes this hurt would be physical, sometimes psychological, and sometimes spiritual.

After the Prophets (peace be upon them) there was no more exalted group of people on this earth than the Sahabah (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with them). After the Prophets there was no group of people who was more God-fearing, more pious, more self-sacrificing, and more willing to sacrifice their lives for each other. And yet they had different temperaments and natures.


The care and affection that the Ummahat al-Momineen (mothers of Muslims) showed towards the Holy Prophet ﷺ was well beyond any wife can show towards her husband, but sometimes there were disagreements even between them. Once the Holy Prophet ﷺ had become upset by something that had happened and had vowed not to visit his wives for a month.

Similarly, there were times when the Ummahat al-Momineen also became upset with the Holy Prophet ﷺ (in his capacity as their husband). It has been narrated in a Hadith that the Holy Prophet ﷺ said to Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), “O Aisha. I know when you are happy with me, and when you are unhappy with me.” Hazrat Aisha RAA asked, “How?” The Holy Prophet ﷺ replied, “When you are happy with me, then at the time of making a vow you say ‘O Lord of Muhammad’, and when you are unhappy with me, you say, ‘O Lord of Ibrahim’.” Hazrat Aisha RAA replied, “I only part with your name then.”

The point to understand here is that there can be no husband more loving, more caring, and gentler than the Holy Prophet ﷺ. And everyone knows about his special relationship with Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), and yet at time she became upset with him, and he became aware of her unhappiness with him.

However, one should not misunderstand from this that causing hurt to the Holy Prophet ﷺ was Kufr (disbelief), so Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) was (معاذ الّٰلہ) committing some sin. The fact is that in relation to his wives, the Holy Prophet ﷺ had two different statuses, the first as Allah’s Messenger, and the second as their husband. The upset that the Holy Prophet ﷺ felt in relation to his wives was in the capacity of their husband. Just like a husband has some expectations from his wife, a wife has some expectations from her husband, and sometimes there was upset as a result of those expectations. It had nothing to do with his status as a Prophet.

Hazrat Abu Bakr and Umar (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with them) were known together as Shaikheen. After the Prophets (Peace be upon them) they were the most noble human beings to ever be born. According to the Sahabah their relationship with the Holy Prophet ﷺ was so close and so special that their names were always taken together. Whenever the Holy Prophet ﷺ needed to consult someone, he always asked for Hazrat Abu Bakr and Umar (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with them) to be called. There was no perception of them being separate from each other.

Hazrat Umar (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) had so much respect and regard for Hazrat Siddiq Akbar (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) that once Hazrat Umar RAA said to Hazrat Abu Bakr RAA, “Please take all my Ibadah (acts of worship) from me and give me that one night which you spent with the Holy Prophet ﷺ in the cave of Sur.” They had such regard and love for each other, but their temperaments were different so sometimes they developed disagreement too.

It has been narrated in a Hadith that once Hazrat Abu Bakr and Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) were talking to each other. Hazrat Abu Bakr RAA said something which upset Hazrat Umar RAA and he left. Hazrat Abu Bakr RAA went after him to talk to him but Hazrat Umar RAA entered his home and shut the door. When Hazrat Abu Bakr saw that Hazrat RAA had become really upset, he went to see the Holy Prophet ﷺ. Either the Holy Prophet ﷺ understood it through his facial expression or Allah Ta’ala informed him through Wahy (divine revelation), because as Hazrat Abu Bakr was walking towards his sitting, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said to the Sahabah present with him, “your friend who is coming, has had a fight with someone.” So Hazrat Siddiq Akbar RAA arrived and joined the sitting.

On the other side, Hazrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), who was alone at his home, started feeling embarrassed that he had behaved wrongly in that initially he had become angry with Hazrat Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), and then when Hazrat Abu Bakr RAA had followed him to his home to appease him, he had shut the door on him. He left his home and followed Hazrat Abu Bakr RAA to mollify him. When he got to the gathering of the Holy Prophet ﷺ, he saw that the Holy Prophet ﷺ was sitting there and Hazrat Abu Bakr RAA was there too. He started expressing his shame and embarrassment that, “O Prophet of Allah! I made a big mistake”.

Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “O Messenger of Allah! It was actually my mistake. It wasn’t so much his mistake. Please forgive him.” At that time, addressing Hazrat Farooq Azam and the other Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them all) present, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said something very revealing, he said;

“Would you not leave my companion for me? He is the person who, when I had said, ‘O’ People! I have come to you as Messenger of Allah’, and you all had said, ‘you tell a lie’, was the only person who had said, ‘you speak the truth’.”

Anyway, the point was that people with as exalted a stature as Hazrat Abu Bakr RAA and Hazrat Umar RAA, also had different natures and temperaments, and sometimes, because of that, differences arose between them too.

This shows us that there can be no two people on this planet whose temperaments would be exactly the same. Even if you want someone’s else’s temperament and nature to be exactly like yours, it is not humanly possible. If a father wants that his son turns out exactly like him temperamentally, it is not possible. If a husband thinks that his wife’s temperament should be exactly like his, it is not possible. Similarly, if a wife thinks her husband should become exactly like her, it is not possible.

Because of these different temperaments and natures between people, if a person deals regularly with other people it is bound to happen that at some point they would say or do something which would hurt him. Spending time with other people, and being hurt by them, are tied to each other. In the presence of the former, it is not possible that the latter would never happen. So, if we have to live with people, we have to be mentally ready that something hurtful is bound to happen at some point, and we will have to exercise sabr (patience) if and when that happens. If a person does not exercise sabr in such circumstances, then it leads to conflicts, fights, and discord, and these things destroy a person’s Deen (religion).

So whichever sort of relationships a person has, whether that is kinship, friendship or a spousal relationship, we should be prepared that at some point something is bound to happen in that relationship that will hurt my feelings, and I will practice sabr (patience) when that happens, and I will not let that temporary hurt lead to a permanent break in the relationship. It is natural that if two people live together, or spend a lot of time together, then there may at times be disagreements between them but it should not become a source of permanent discord.

Now the question is that if one does get hurt by other people, then how to come to terms with that hurt? How to protect oneself from such hurt? And how to maintain loving relationships with people despite differences in temperament? The Holy Prophet ﷺ has given us a prescription for it. The Holy Prophet ﷺ has given us this guidance in relation to the relationship between husband and wife, because it is the one relationship in which conflict is most likely to arise. The closer the relationship, the higher the likelihood of disagreements happening, and no relationship is closer than that between husband and wife. Because there are higher chances of a conflict arising in this relationship, the Holy Prophet ﷺ has left a very important guidance for us about how to maintain this relationship.

لا یفرک موٴمن موٴمنہ ان سخط منھا خلقاً رضی منھا آخر

No Muslim man should harbour a grudge towards a Muslim woman, meaning that a husband should not harbour a grudge against his wife permanently. If he dislikes something she does, then there must be something she does that he does like. When your wife does something that you do not like, then you get angry and upset, and keep complaining that she does this, she does that, she has this bad habit and that bad habit. You must also reflect at that time that she must have some virtues as well, and must do some good things as well which you do like. So, whenever your wife does something you do not like, think about one of her habits or acts that you do like. When you think about her good habits, you will dwell less on her bad habits.

There is no human being who is completely good or completely bad. If someone is bad, they still must have some good in them. If someone is good, they still must have some bad in them. That is why the Holy Prophet ﷺ has said that look towards wife’s virtues. Even if she has said or done something that hurt you, if you start thinking about her virtues and her good deeds, you will notice that she does a lot of good things too. This will help you observe sabr (patience) when something hurtful happens.

Once a person presented himself before the Holy Prophet ﷺ and started complaining about his wife about all the bad habits she had. The Holy Prophet ﷺ said, “divorce her”, meaning that if she is that undesirable, then separate from her. Then this person had second thoughts and thought what would happen to him if she left. He said, “O Prophet of Allah, but I can’t bear being without her.” The Holy Prophet ﷺ said, “then keep her”. What he meant was if you do not like some of her habits but also can’t be without her, then continue to be with her and try to make the situation better as much as you can.

One might wonder that when this person complained about his wife in front of the Holy Prophet ﷺ, why did he immediately tell him to divorce her. The reason was that this person was completely preoccupied with his wife’s bad habits and what she did wrong. He was so focused on her bad deeds that he wasn’t thinking at all about the good things she did. But once the Holy Prophet ﷺ said that if she is such a bad person, why don’t you divorce her, then he started thinking about all her positives, and all the things she did for him, and he started reflecting on how he would live his life without her. That is why he then immediately said, “O Prophet of Allah ﷺ, I can’t bear to be without her.” And the Holy Prophet ﷺ replied, “then keep her”.

When we start thinking of someone as totally bad, and start focusing solely on their bad deeds, then we become unable to look at the good things they do. So, when we get hurt by someone, we must think of all the good things they do. When we start reminding ourselves of their good deeds, we start appreciating them more and will have a more balanced perspective. We begin to realize that when we live with or spend considerable time with someone, it will happen from time to time that they will do or say something that will hurt our feelings, but if, on the whole, their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds, then it becomes easier for us to tolerate any hurt caused by them.

It is important to understand that when we feel that what someone else is doing or saying is against our temperament, it is not necessary that they must be wrong. It is possible that they may be wrong, but it is also possible that we may be wrong, because our natures are different.

For example, one person likes one food, and another person like another food. One person like bitter gourd (karela) and finds its curry tasty. The other person hates bitter gourd and does not like eating them because he finds them too bitter. This is a difference in temperaments, and likes and dislikes. It does not mean that one of them is right and the other person is wrong. Rather, both of them are right at the same time, just because their likes and dislikes are different.

Therefore, when two people disagree on a matter which is permissible (Mubah) either way, then it is not correct to call one of them right and the other wrong, rather both of them are right in their own place. The differences between a husband and wife are often of this nature, that these are differences of temperaments, not of right and wrong. Belonging to different genders, they may perceive matters differently. It is a matter of different perceptions, not a matter of one being absolutely right and one being absolutely wrong. Therefore, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said that do not just focus on your wife’s bad habits, also look at her virtues.

For example, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said a Hadith;

“A woman is like a rib. If you try to straighten it, you will break it. If you let it be as it is, then even though it looks curved to you, you will still be able to benefit from it.”

Some men think that when the Holy Prophet ﷺ resembled women to a curved rib, he was being critical of them. Therefore, when some men fight with their wives, they use this term ‘curved rib’ pejoratively. These people have not reflected on the fact that the Holy Prophet ﷺ is referring to the rib as curved. If a rib becomes straight it will lose its primary function which is protecting the vital organs in the chest, it will become useless. It is the beauty and functionality of a rib to remain curved, if it becomes straight it becomes diseased.

In this Hadith, the Holy Prophet ﷺ is trying to tell us that being straight and being curved is relative to each other. It is a matter of a person’s point of view. Look, the if you look from inside this mosque, the road outside looks curved, because it is curved relative to this mosque. But if you look while standing on the road, you will perceive that the road is straight but the mosque has been built sideways. Neither the road, nor the mosque is curved, but because the mosque has been built facing the Ka’ba, both things do not look straight relative to each other. So, being straight and being curved is a relative quality.

The message of this hadith is that because women’s temperaments are different from that of men’s, some men think that there is something wrong with their temperaments. But this Hadith is telling us that their temperaments are right for them, they look wrong to men because men are judging it through the lens of their own temperaments. That is why the Holy Prophet ﷺ has advised that don’t try to change their temperaments. If you accept them the way they are, you will derive more benefit from their company.

Anyway, whenever two people live together or spend a lot of time together, regardless of their gender, the difference in their temperaments and natures will become apparent at some point, and at some point this difference in natures will lead to some hurt caused by one to the other. When that happens, there are two options. The first is that whenever someone says or does something hurtful, you start fighting with them and turn this hurt into a long-term source of conflict and discord. But if you adopt that approach, you will never have peace and tranquility in your life.

The second option is that when you get hurt by what someone else says or does, then remind yourself that when people’s temperaments and natures are different, then it is bound to happen that at some point something will happen that will hurt our feelings. We all have to live together. And this life is temporary, it will not last forever. Therefore, if other people do do something hurtful, then observe Sabr (patience) for the sake of making Allah Ta’ala happy. When someone hurts you, you may feel angry, you may like saying something hurtful back to him, you may feel doing his Gheebat (backbiting), because he has hurt you.

But think for a moment. Even if you do all of that, what will you get out of it? You may satisfy your anger for a short while, but in reality, even the anger does not get fully satisfied. Because once the fire of enmity is ignited, it never gets extinguished, it just keeps growing. Even if you do feel that you have satisfied your anger, but if you go overboard in taking your revenge and cause more hurt than was caused to you, you will have to account for that excess on the Day of Doom. The penance you will have to go through for that excess on the Day of Doom will be much greater than any distress caused in this world. It would have been so much better if you had observed Sabr (patience) on distress caused in this world by other people and had thought that even if this person has caused me distress, I observe Sabr on this hurt and leave this matter with Allah Ta’ala.

If a person observes Sabr (patience), then Allah Ta’ala has promised in the Holy Quran;

“…Certainly those who observe patience will be given their reward in full without measure.” (39:10)

Allah Ta’ala has used numbers for other acts of worship that people who observe those will get ten times the reward, or 27 times the reward, or 700 times the reward, but for Sabr Allah Ta’ala has said that its reward is immeasurable, it is uncountable.

If someone punches you once, then under Shariah rules you have the right to punch them once too with equal force. But stop for a moment and reflect. If you do punch them back what would you get out of it? You do not gain anything, beside satisfying your anger to some extent. But if you observe Sabr and do not take revenge, then Allah Ta’ala has promised that I will give you so much reward that you won’t be able to count it. Therefore, when you are angry, think of that immeasurable reward for Sabr and suppress your anger. Do not take revenge.

If someone is hurting you, then Shariah has given you permission that you can make efforts to stop him from hurting you and causing you distress, as much as is within your power. However, there is no greater wastage of time than spending your valuable time in trying to persecute that person. For example, you heard from someone that so and so was saying something bad about you in a gathering. If that person hadn’t told you about it, nothing would have happened, but because the other person told you, it hurt your feelings. Now one path is that you start making inquiries about who else was present in that gathering, and then go to each one of them and interrogate them about what this person had said about you. Even if you spend all your time doing this, what would be the outcome of this exercise? Nothing.

On the contrary, if you think that if someone said something bad about me, it is between him and his Allah. I can neither become a good person just because he says so, nor can I become a bad person just because he says so. My dealing is with my Allah. If He is happy with me, then I don’t care what the rest of the world says about me. If the whole world keeps saying bad things about me, it doesn’t matter to me as long as my Allah is pleased with me. If you think these thoughts and then ignore if anyone is saying anything bad about you, this would be observing Sabr (patience) as Allah Ta’ala has prescribed it, and would earn immeasurable thawab (reward) by Allah Ta’ala.

If you do decide to take revenge because you feel your anger wouldn’t be assuaged without it, then do remember that Shariah allows a person to take revenge only to the degree he himself was hurt. Where would you get that measure or balance from which can help you ensure that you only cause as much hurt as was caused to you? And if you hurt the other person even a little bit more than they had hurt you, then you will have to account for it on the Day of Doom. You have the right to take revenge, but it is a right full of risks. On the other hand, if you forgive that person, you will earn immeasurable thawab and reward. Allah Ta’ala says in the Noble Qur’an;

“And if you were to harm (them) in retaliation, harm them to the measure you were harmed. And if you opt for patience, it is definitely much better for those who are patient.” (16:126)

In summary, when you live with people, when you interact with them, when you conduct transactions with them, there will be occasions when something hurtful will happen. The remedy advised by the Holy Prophet ﷺ in such circumstances is to observe Sabr (patience). If every person starts practicing this and vows that if I experience undesirable behaviour from others I will observe patience to the best of my ability, then most of the conflicts in this world will be resolved. May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the motivation to put this great remedy in practice. Ameen

وآخر دعوا ان الحمد ﷲ رب العالمين