During the interpretation of a Hadith I had recited last week, I had mentioned that discord, enmity, and conflict between Muslims are a great religious and social ill. To prevent this ill from developing, and to spread love and harmony between Muslims, the Holy Prophet ﷺ has given us a lot of instructions. I had mentioned one of these advices in the last talk that the Holy Prophet ﷺ has said that a person who keeps interacting with people and then observes sabr (patience) on any offence caused by them, is much better than the person who does not interact with people, and therefore does not get to observe sabr as a result of distress caused by them. This tells us that a major reason for discord and conflict between people is not observing sabr upon hurt caused by other people. If a person lives with other people, it is bound to happen that at some point something hurtful will happen. A person should observe sabr on such occasions.

To reinforce this advice, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said that in this universe there is no being who observes as much sabr (patience) on offences caused by others, as Allah Ta’ala. People say things about Allah Ta’ala which are hurtful, for example, people belonging to one religion say that Hadrat Isa (Jesus) (peace be upon him) is the son of God, and some of those belonging to another religion started saying that Hazrat Uzair (Ezra) (peace be upon him) is the son of God. Some disbelievers started saying that angels are daughters of God, and some people started believing that stones, trees, animals like cows, or snakes or scorpions were God. God created all human beings and told the angels at the time of creating Adam (peace be upon him) that He was making human beings His vice-regent on this earth, and yet His created human beings started associating partners with Him.

All these people are doing things which are against the commandments of Allah Ta’ala, but it is worth observing Allah Ta’ala’s forbearance that despite knowing fully well what these people are doing, He has still showered them with peace and provides them with sustenance. In this world the number of disbelievers and deniers of Allah Ta’ala has always been greater than that of believers. It has been mentioned in the Holy Quran;

“If you obey the majority of those on earth, they will make you lose the way of Allah…” (6:116)

Because the majority of human beings has always engaged in Kufr (disbelief), Shirk (associating partners to Allah Ta’ala) and sins.

In this world, people are committing Kufr (disbelief), people are committing Shirk (associating partners with Allah Ta’ala), people are involved in committing major sins, and yet despite knowing all this Allah Ta’ala is providing sustenance to the very same people who deny His existence, He has provided them with sanctuary and has showered them with His blessings. This is Allah Ta’ala’s tolerance and forbearance. Who will show more patience than Allah Ta’ala on observing all these matters taking place against His commandments?

The Holy Prophet ﷺ said,

تخلّقو ا باخلاق الّٰلہ

“Try to develop Allah Ta’ala’s traits within yourself.” It is not possible for a human being to develop Allah Ta’ala’s traits one hundred percent, but still make an effort to develop those traits as much as you can. When Allah Ta’ala is showing so much forbearance and tolerance towards people’s disobedience, then O subjects of Allah, you should also observe patience when people hurt you in some way, and learn to tolerate distressing behaviour from others.

Someone might ask that it is correct that Allah Ta’ala is being patient at this time and has given sanctuary and sustenance to non-believers in this world, but He will hold them accountable in the Aakhirah (Hereafter) and then they will be punished for their Kufr (disbelief). The reply to that question is that, just like Allah Ta’ala is observing Sabr (patience) is this world, you also adopt the same practice that if someone hurts you, you tell them that I won’t take revenge from you and I have left your matter with Allah Ta’ala. In Aakhirah, Allah Ta’ala will do justice so hand your disputes over to Allah Ta’ala. Even if you do want to take revenge, do not take revenge in this world and leave it for Aakhirah, as Allah Ta’ala’s accountability in the Aakhirah will be much stricter.

And it is even better for you if you forgive the person who has harmed you. Because if you forgive others, then Allah Ta’ala will look after you Himself, and fulfil your needs, and take away your hurt. Therefore, subjects of Allah forgive other people.

We heard the tale of Hazrat Mian Ji Noor Muhammad (may Allah Ta’ala bless him), who was the Sheikh (spiritual teacher) of Hazrat Haji Imdad Ullah Muhajir Makki (may Allah bless him), from our elders that whenever anyone caused him any hurt or harm, he used to say, “O Allah Ta’ala, I forgive him”. Even if a thief stole something from him, he would say, “O Allah, I make this money Halal for him. What would I achieve by taking revenge from him or get him punished in the Aakhirah (hereafter)?” He remained busy in Allah’s Dhikr (remembrance) so much so that when he went to the Bazar to do some shopping, rather than count the money himself, he gave the bag of money to the shopkeeper to count the money, so that he wouldn’t waste time counting money and would remain busy in Allah’s Dhikr all that time.

Once Hazrat Mian Ji Noor Muhammad (may Allah bless him) was passing through the Bazar with a money bag in his hand. A thief snatched his money bag and ran away. Hazrat Mian Ji did not even look back at who had taken his money bag. He just thought why waste time in running after the thief and investigating who took the money bag. He just kept walking towards his home doing Allah Ta’alah’s Dhikr (remembrance) and did Niyyah (intention) in his heart that, “O Allah, whoever has taken this money, I forgive him and gift this money to him.”

On the other hand, the thief got into a strange difficulty. He wanted to go to his home but could not find a way out of those streets. He went from one street to another, and then a third one, but would then find himself back where he had started. The streets had become a maze for him and he just couldn’t find a way out. When he had spent several hours trying to get out and got tired, he eventually thought that he had stolen this old man’s money, it seems like Allah Ta’ala has blocked his way as a punishment. He thought that the only way out seems to be to go back to this person, return the money bag to him, and request him to pray to Allah Ta’ala to get him out of this difficulty.

The thief then knocked on Mian sahib’s door. Mian sahib asked who it was. The thief replied, “Hadrat. I had snatched your money bag. I am very sorry about it. For God’s sake please take it back from me.” Hadrat Mian sahib replied, “But I have made this money Halal for you and gifted it to you. I cannot take it back from you now.” The thief started insisting that Hadrat Mian sahib take the money back while he kept declining. Finally, Hadrat Mian sahib asked, “Why do you want to return this money?” The thief said, “I want to go home but I have gotten lost. I just can’t get out of these streets despite trying for several hours.” Hadrat Mian sahib replied, “Okay. I will pray for you. You will Insha’Allah find your back.” He prayed and the thief was able to find his way back home.

However, even if someone harms these subjects of Allah, they do not carry a grudge towards them. They do not resent anyone.

کفر است در طریقت ما کینہ داشتن
آئین ما است سینہ چوں آئینہ داشتن

In our Tareeqat (Tazkiyah) carrying a grudge against anyone is like Kufr (disbelief). Our rulebook says that our heart is like a mirror. There is no stain of any grudge, enmity, or resentment, against anyone on it.

Therefore, if anyone hurts you, just forgive them. Even if you wish to take revenge from them, leave that revenge to Allah Ta’ala. Because, if you decided to take revenge yourself, it may lead to escalation of the conflict. And then you may not be able to judge accurately if you hurt them only as much as they had hurt you, or whether you went overboard. And if you hurt them more than they had hurt you, then you will be held accountable for that on the Day of Qiyamah (Day of Doom). That is why leave revenge taking to Allah Ta’ala.

However, it is important to understand which is that the teaching by Allah Ta’ala and the Holy Prophet ﷺ is duty-based. They teach every Muslim how they should behave, and what their attitude should be like, in any given situation. Therefore, to the person who has been hurt, the Holy Prophet ﷺ is teaching that he should forgive the person who hurt him, they should hold grudge against him, should not take revenge, and should not let that hurt become a source of conflict and discord. On the other hand, the Holy Prophet ﷺ has addressed the person who has hurt someone, in a different manner, so that they should not start taking it for granted that if the Holy Prophet ﷺ is teaching the person who has been hurt to observe sabr (patience) and not take revenge, then it is okay to keep hurting him.

Addressing those people who hurt others, Allah Ta’ala has said that if you have caused hurt or distress to any human being, I will not forgive you until that person has forgiven you, or you have made reparations for his right that you have violated. Therefore, do not hurt other people, and make every effort that you do not cause hurt or distress to another person.

Hadrat Imam Abu Yusuf (may Allah bless him) was a pupil of Imam Abu Hanifah (may Allah bless him) and holds an exalted status among Fuqaha (scholars of Islamic Jurisprudence). It has been narrated that even after becoming the Chief Justice he used to pray 200 Nafl (supererogatory) raka’t every day. Near the time of his death someone noticed that he seemed perturbed. When he was asked what he was worried about, he replied, “I am nearing the time of being presented before Allah Ta’ala. What will I say when asked to account for the deeds that I have committed in this life? About all other incidents I do remember that I have done Istighfar (asking for forgiveness) and Taubah (repentance). I hope that Allah Ta’ala will forgive me.”

“But I remember one incident because of which I am very worried. When I worked as a Qazi (judge) and used to decide on cases, once a case between a Muslim and a non-Muslim came to my court. I made the Muslim sit in a good place and made the non-Muslim sit in a place inferior to him. However, the ruling of Shariah is that when two parties to a court case come to you, you must make them sit at equal places. Otherwise, it would be an injustice to the party who was made to sit at an inferior seat. Even though I decided between them justly, I did not fulfil Shariah’s ruling of making them sit at equal places. Now I am worried what would I say if Allah Ta’ala asks me why didn’t you do justice between the two parties, as Allah Ta’ala will not forgive rights of people unless they forgive themselves.”

Shariah has specified rights not just for Muslims, but also for non-Muslims. In fact, Shariah has specified rights of animals as well. It has been narrated in many Ahadith about how a number of people faced Allah Ta’ala’s wrath as a result of cruelty to animals.

However, on the one hand, it has been said that be mindful in your every action and every word that you do not cause any distress and any harm to anyone. The Holy Prophet ﷺ has said,

“A true Muslim is one whose hands and tongue other Muslims are safe from.”

Violating another human being’s rights is such a grave sin that even if the aggressor regrets afterwards and performs Taubah (repentance), his Taubah will not be accepted until the person he had harmed forgives him. That is why the Holy Prophet ﷺ has advised us never to cause harm or hurt to another human being. On the other hand, he has advised the person who has been harmed, to forgive the person who has harmed him, not to keep carrying grudge and resentment, and not to turn it into a source of conflict and discord between families and in society.

It has been narrated in a Hadith that when the Holy Prophet ﷺ conquered Makkah Mukarramah he was accompanied by both Muhajirin (migrants) and Ansar (locals of Medinah) Sahabah. After the conquest of Makkah Mukarramah, there was the battle of Hunain. In this battle too, Allah Ta’ala blessed the Muslims with success. In this whole journey, Muslims came into possession of a large amount of spoils of war. In those days, wealth was in the form of cows, oxen, goats and different animals. The more animals a person owned, the wealthier he was considered. So, Muslims came into possession of a large number of animals during this voyage.

When the time of distribution of winnings of war came, the Holy Prophet ﷺ felt that the people who lived around Makkah had become Muslims only very recently. Islam had not reached the depths of their hearts. And some of them had not even converted to Islam, they had just felt a bit inclined towards Islam. The Holy Prophet ﷺ felt that if he treated them well, the new Muslims would become firmer in their Deen, and the people who had become inclined towards Islam would become Muslims, and then they would not engage in conspiracies against Muslims. Therefore, the Holy Prophet ﷺ divided all the spoils of war between the local people.

One of the hypocrites went to the Ansari (locals of Madinah) Sahabah and said to them, “Look how you are being treated? You came here to fight travelling all the way from Madinah, you supported Muhammad (peace be upon him), you gave your lives doing Jihad by his side, and yet all the spoils of war have been distributed among the people who have just become Muslims, who you were just fighting, and whose blood your swords are still stained with, and you didn’t get anything.”

The hypocrites always used to be in search of an opportunity to sow discord among the Sahabah, so one of them said it to create conflict between them. The senior Sahabah did not pay any heed to such comments because they knew the worthlessness of worldly wealth, but younger Ansari Sahabah started thinking that this was strange that all the spoils of war were distributed among the very people they had originally come to fight and they did not get anything.

When the Holy Prophet ﷺ was informed that some of the Ansar Sahabah were thinking like that he gathered all the Ansar Sahabah in one place. He then said addressing the Ansar Sahabah;

“O group of Ansar. Allah Ta’alah blessed you with the wealth of Iman (faith). He blessed with the privilege of hosting his Prophet. I distributed these spoils of war among the people who live here so that they become firmer in faith. How many times it happens that the one I do not give the spoils of war to is more exalted and loved than the one I give it to? However, I have come to know that some people are thinking like that.”

He then further said;

“O group of Ansar. Are you not happy with it that when these people go home, they have cows, oxen and goats with them, and when you go home, you are accompanied by Muhammad ﷺ? Tell me who amongst them is more exalted in status?”

As soon as the Holy Prophet ﷺ said this, it brought peace to everyone’s heart. The Ansari Sahabah said, “O Prophet of Allah ﷺ! There will be no greater honour for us (than the Holy Prophet ﷺ accompanying them). It was only a few young people who had said these things. Otherwise, among our elders, no one had any thoughts like that. Whatever decision you make, your decision will be just.”

After the dispute above had subsided, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said to the Ansari Sahabah;

“O Ansar! Listen carefully. You are the people who are most special to me. If people go on way, and the Ansar go on the other way, then I will go on the path taken by Ansar.”

Then the Holy Prophet ﷺ said;

“O Ansar. No injustice has been carried out with you so far, and I have love and affection for you which will remain Insha’Allah. But I am telling you in advance that once I have left this world, you will face the situation that others will be given preference over you. The rulers who come later, will not treat you as well as they will treat the Muhajirin and others.

O people of Ansar. I leave this will for you that if that happens, then you observe sabr (patience) until you meet me at Haud (pool) of Kausar.”

In this saying, the Holy Prophet ﷺ warned the Ansar that even though no injustice had been carried out with the Ansar as yet, it will be in the future, and he advised them to observe sabr (patience) on such occasions.

The Holy Prophet ﷺ did not say to the Ansar Sahabah that when someone violates your rights, create an association protecting your rights, then start demanding your rights and start a rebellion. Rather, he said that observe sabr (patience) till you meet me at the Haud of Kausar.

The Ansar Sahabah followed this parting advice of the Holy Prophet ﷺ so religiously that in the whole history of Islam one cannot find a conflict or discord initiated by Ansar Sahabah. There were disagreements between Sahabah which led to the battle of Jamal and Sufain, but the Ansar Sahabah never initiated a conflict against the rulers.

On the one hand, the Holy Prophet ﷺ advised Ansar to observe patience if their rights were violated. On the other hand, near the time of his passing away from this world when he wasn’t even coming to Masjid Nabvi for Salah, the Holy Prophet ﷺ advised that Muslims that these Ansar Sahabah have helped me greatly and they have proven their Iman (faith) at every stage. Therefore, be mindful of their rights. Make sure that they don’t feel that they are being treated unjustly. So, one hand the Holy Prophet ﷺ advised the rest of the Sahabah to be mindful of Ansar’s sights, and on the other hand he advised the Ansar Sahabah that even if you are treated unjustly, observe patience.

The teaching of the Holy Prophet ﷺ is that everyone should look at themselves as to what their duties towards other people are, and whether they are fulfilling these duties properly or not. One person’s duties are another person’s rights. When every person becomes mindful and careful about what their duties are towards other people, and whether they are fulfilling what Allah Ta’ala demands of them towards fulfilling other people’s rights, then everyone will get their rights automatically.

These days the whole focus is on one’s own rights. Everyone is being taught what their rights are, and that they should demand to get their full rights. As a result of that they often become neglectful of what their duties and obligations are towards others. The employee is demanding that the employer fulfils his rights, the employer is demanding that the employee fulfils his rights. But neither the employee, nor the employer, are mindful of their duties towards the other. The employees remember this Hadith well that pay the labourer’s wages before his sweat dries up, but he does not worry whether he has carried out his duties exactly as he was supposed to do.

Therefore, all of should look at our own actions and judge whether our own actions are correct. If a person is working in an office, then he keeps preoccupied that his salary should go up, he should get a promotion, he should get such and such grade. But does he ever worry what the extent of his duties is, and whether he is fulfilling all his duties properly? The result of this attitude is these days people’s rights are being violated, and many people are not getting their rights. On the other hand, the way of the Holy Prophet ﷺ is that he educates people about the importance of carrying out their duties, and to focus on their duties rather than their rights. This is the only way everybody can get their rights.

In summary, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said that no one is more patient and forbearing than Allah Ta’ala. He watches human beings’ disobedience, their Kufr (disbelief) and their Shirk (ascribing partners to Allah Ta’ala), but still observes patience and grants them sustenance and sanctuary. Therefore, you should also try to develop Allah Ta’ala’s attributes within you, and try to act accordingly. May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the Taufeeq (inclination) to act on all these things. Ameen

وآخر دعوا ان الحمد ﷲ رب العالمين