The Power Of Reconciliation In Islam, By Murtadha Gusau
In The Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
Praise be to Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His servant and Messenger.
“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah).” [Al Imran, 3:103]
“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him He created his wife (Hawwa/Eve), and from both of them He created many men and women, and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual rights, and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship) Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you).” [Al-Nisa’, 4:1]
“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth.” [Al-Ahzab, 33:70]
Respected Brothers and Sisters! Reconciling people is among the great noble morals. The Shari’ah urged it in more than one occasion as Allah Almighty says:
“So fear Allah and amend that which is between you.” [Qur’an, 8: 1]
The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“Sadaqa (i.e. charity) is due on every joint of a person every day the sun rises. Administering of justice between two men is also a sadaqa. Assisting a man to ride upon his riding animal, or helping him load his luggage upon it is a sadaqa; a good word is a sadaqa; every step that you take towards prayer is a sadaqa, and removing harmful objects from the pathway is a sadaqa.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim; this is the wording of Al-Bukhari]
Due to the importance of this virtue (reconciliation), Islam assigned one of the disbursement channels of zakah for those who seek to reconcile people. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“The best charity is to reconcile between people.” [At-Tabarani in Al-Mu‘jam Al-Kabir]
Poets did not forget the virtue of reconciling people, so they immortalised it in their poems. One Arab poem said a line of verse that means:
“All merits are referred to two matters; glorifying the Orders of Allah Almighty and seeking to reconcile people.”
Dear Servants of Allah! Reconciling people is a branch of faith and an Islamic moral code through which grudges are eliminated, hearts are purified, and flames of fitnah are extinguished. Allah Almighty said – about this quality:
“No good is there in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right or conciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking means to the approval of Allah – then We are going to give him a great reward.” [Qur’an, 4: 114]
Islam urges the believer to regard ‘reconciling people’ as one of his most important aims in his worldly life, as it is through reconciliation that the Ummah becomes a coherent unit where one part thereof seeks to amend the other part. Thus, it becomes like a single body; if one organ of it complains, the rest of the body suffers sleeplessness and fever. Neglecting this matter leads to the disintegration of the Ummah and the severance of its ties. That is why Islam considered reconciling people better than many acts of worship. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Should I not tell you what is better in degree than prayer, fasting, and charity.” They (the Companions) said: “Yes.” He said: “Reconciling people, for grudges and disputes are the razor (that shaves faith).” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and At-Tirmithi: good-authentic]
Reconciliation should be realised by bridging the gaps that occurred because of disputes and conflicts over worldly affairs and by removing their bad effects.
Some scholars maintain that the prayer, the fasting, and the charities that are mentioned in the Hadith refer to the voluntary, not the obligatory. Imam Al-Qari said:
“Allah Almighty knows best about the intended meaning. However, it could mean that bringing reconciliation to conflicts and disputes that might lead to shedding blood, plundering money, and violating sanctities is better than fulfilling obligatory acts of worship whose benefits do not extend to others, taking the possibility of making up for them, in case they are missed, into consideration. This is so because such acts of worship are among the Rights of Allah Almighty that are less significant in His sight than the rights of the slaves. As regards his saying, “Grudges and disputes are the razor,” the author of An-Nihayah said: “‘The razor’ refers to such a bad quality that removes faith, just like a razor removes hair. It was also said that it refers to severing ties of kinship and injustice.” Imam At-Tibi said: The Hadith urges reconciling people and avoiding corrupting relations between them, because reconciliation is a reason for holding firm to the rope of Allah Almighty and avoiding disunity between the Muslims, whereas disputes are a crack in the religion. Whoever seeks to amend the relations between the Muslims and removes the corruption thereof will attain a degree that is greater than that of the fasting person who observes night prayers and is preoccupied with his own benefit only.”
From the sum of these Hadiths, we reach an important result, which is that our great religion aspires for reconciliation and seeks for it. Allah Almighty informed us that settlement of disagreements is best. Allah Almighty says:
“…there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them – and settlement is best.” [Qur’an, 4: 128]
Dear Brothers and Sisters! Reconciling people is a great act of worship that Allah Almighty loves. The one who seeks to reconcile people is the one who offers his time, effort, money, authority, and power to reconcile the disputing parties. He is a person whose soul loves goodness and yearns for it. He does not care about the people’s opinions or criticism as long as he seeks the pleasure of Allah Almighty. He exposes himself to embarrassing situations and shares the concerns of his Muslim brothers in order to reconcile two persons.
Many are those homes which were about to collapse because of a simple dispute between the spouses. Then, when a person interfered seeking reconciliation between them by means of a good word, a sincere advice, or sometimes a sum of money, he restored peacefulness between them and saved the family from loss and destitution?
How many ruptures of relations were about to occur between two brothers, friends or relatives because of a mistake or a minor error, but then a person succeeded in reconciling them.
How many lives and properties were saved and shaitanic (satanic) temptations were suppressed after they were about to start, thanks to the favour of Allah Almighty and then to those good people who reconcile others!
Congratulations, O Muslims, to those who were guided by Allah Almighty to reconcile two opponents, spouses, neighbours, friends, associates, partners, parties or groups.
What further indicates the great virtue of reconciling people is that Islam allows lying to reconcile quarreling people. The intended meaning of lying here is to exaggerate in describing and confirming the good aspects of the other party so as to reconcile hearts and to assert that such a dispute was not intentional. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“The one who reconciles people is not considered a liar if he exaggerates what is good or says what is good.” [Ahmad]
A great and respected scholar said:
“Allah Almighty likes lying for the sake of reconciliation and dislikes truthfulness for the sake of corruption.”
Thus, pay attention to this.
We have to realise that we are human beings and that disputes breaking up among us is something normal and natural. Rare are those people who are safe from disagreement. It might occur between you and your brother, relative, spouse, or friend… This happens often. So, we have to rid ourselves of this by reconciliation, shaking hands, forgiveness, condescendence, love, and brotherhood so that everything becomes normal and alright again.
Let us reflect upon this Hadith of the master of those who reconcile people, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him):
“The gates of Paradise are opened on two days: Monday and Thursday. Every servant of Allah who does not associate anything with Allah Almighty (committing shirk) is granted pardon, except the person in whose (heart) there is rancour against his brother. It would be said: delay both of them until they reconcile; delay both of them until they reconcile; delay both of them until they reconcile.” [Muslim]
Imam Al-Awza‘i said:
“There is no step that is dearer to Allah Almighty than a step towards reconciling people. Whoever reconciles two people, Allah Almighty will grant him safety from Hellfire.”
O my loved ones for the sake of Allah, the Exalted! Someone may say: ‘I want to go to so-and-so to reconcile, but I fear that he rejects me, refuses to receive me, or depreciates my visit!’ I tell you: remember that your Prophet is telling you: ‘Go to him even if he dismisses you or talks badly about you. Go to him once, twice, and thrice and hasten to give him a present, smile at him, and treat him nicely.’ The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Allah Almighty augments the honour of he who forgives.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
If you pardon, Allah Almighty will increase your honour; if you reconcile people, Allah Almighty will increase your honour. If you were expelled or the door was not opened for you and you returned, then know that this is one of the wishes of the predecessors of the Ummah because it is proof of the purity of the heart since Allah, the Exalted, says:
“And if it is said to you, “Go back,” then go back; it is purer for you.” [Qur’an, 24: 28]
So, take care of this, O believer, and do not leave for Shaitan (Satan) a way to yourself.
Try reconciliation today. Call the one who is disputing with you and treat him nicely. Perhaps this call might be a reason, after the mercy of Allah Almighty, for forgiving your sins:
“Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur’an, 24: 22]
Go to him. There are people who went to sit with their opponents for only fifteen or thirty minutes, but they ended up sitting for long hours because of the great happiness, comfort, familiarity, and love they felt.
Try to be the one who takes the initiative of reconciliation and do not let Shaitan’s (Satan’s) whisper overcome you. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“It is unlawful for a Muslim to forsake his fellow Muslim for more than three consecutive days. When they meet, each of them turns his face away from the other. The better one is the one who starts the greeting.” [Ahmad]
The one who seeks reconciliation should keep the etiquettes of settlement in mind so that Allah Almighty supports him and so that he receives the fruits of his endeavour. The greatest of these etiquettes include:
1. He should make his intention sincere for the sake of Allah Almighty. He should not intend money, prestige, ostentation, or fame with the reconciliation, but he should seek the countenance of Allah Almighty, Who says:
“And whoever does that seeking means to the approval of Allah – then We are going to give him a great reward.” [Qur’an, 4: 114]
2. He should adhere to justice and completely avoid injustice. Allah the Most High says:
“Then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” [Qur’an, 49: 9]
3. Let your conciliation be based upon Shari’ah knowledge. It is preferable that you consult scholars in this regard, study the issue from all its sides, and listen to each of the parties.
4. Do not be rash in your judgment and take your time because hastiness may lead to corrupting more than what has been amended.
5. You should choose the appropriate time for reconciling between the conflicting parties. That is to say that you only start the reconciliation when the issue becomes cool, the severity of the dispute is alleviated, and the fire of anger is extinguished; then you start to reconcile them.
6. What is more important also is using nice words, you should say: “O father of so-and-so, you are known for such-and-such.” You should mention his merits and good deeds and you may exaggerate even to the point of lying; then warn him against grudges and disputes.
O Allah, purify our hearts from grudge, envy, and cheating.
O Allah, amend our relations with our leaders, relatives, friends and associates.
O Allah, amend our relations with our loved ones.
O Allah, make life an increase for us in every good and make death a relief for us from every evil with Your mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful.
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation. May Allah extol the mention of the Prophet in the highest company of Angels and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, his Companions and all those who follow him diligently till the Day of Judgement.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Safar 2nd, 1440 AH (October 12, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.