“… So fear Allah and adjust all matters of difference among you, and obey Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad) (sa), if you are believers. The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Quran) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone); Who perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and spend out of that We have provided. It is they who are the believers in truth. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and forgiveness and a generous provision (Paradise).” (Al-Anfal 8:1-4)
The polarized world we live in today is a testimony of how little effort is being invested in bridging differences globally or in personal lives. The message is clear: “It’s my way or the highway!” Oppression, dictatorship, self-worship, arrogance, extreme love for the world, lack of love and fear of Allah (swt) are a few evils that prevent us from building our bridges to settle differences.
Ask yourself. What is presently the greatest challenge that you face in your life that needs to be resolved? What is the root cause of this issue? Carefully and honestly think of a way to solve this problem.
Now close your eyes and imagine this world has come to an end. You are standing alone in complete darkness before your Lord (swt) answerable for your deeds committed in Dunya. Is Allah (swt) pleased with your proposed resolution? Did you fulfill all the conditions set forth by Him in the above stated verse? Did you fear Him when thinking of settling your difference? Did you consult the Prophet’s (sa) Sunnah? Are you a true believer who recites the Quran seeking answers and finding his Iman (faith) elevated there after? Did you place your trust in Allah (swt) even if you saw the deal going in someone else’s favour but you still went ahead to support the right course of action? Were you the worshipper who established beautiful prayers in congregation? Did you spend the very best in Allah’s (swt) way? Did you facilitate the truth?
If your answer is ‘yes’ then Marhaba! Your Lord (swt) promises you grades of dignity as maybe in this world when you try to bridge differences you may be dishonoured and maligned by suspecting people. The Creator (swt) offers you forgiveness, which is not easy to earn from His creation. Your Rabb (swt) grants you the ultimate reward of Paradise where you will have peace of mind and no worries to settle. All will be serene as your heart desires. There won’t be misunderstandings, communication breakdown, mistrust, treachery, falsehood, etc.
Also analyze yourself. Are you someone who finds himself/herself arguing with others, convincing them of your position, unhappy with the way others think or behave mostly, falling into self-pity or razing down other’s stance to deploy your own? It’s an age old adage but for the wise to follow. Pick and choose your battles wisely. Not every situation should become a site for battleground. If that is happening too often you need to pause and sit down. Pray to Allah (swt) for forgiveness and guidance. Ask Allah (swt) to grant you Furqan so you may be able to distinguish between wrong and right. If you are wrong, may Allah (swt) grant you the strength to correct yourself and if others are found wrong, may Allah (swt) grant you the patience and courage to forgive them and move on. Analyze your own behaviour more closely. Practice becoming a more sincere listener and observer to understand the other person’s behaviour and troubles. Refrain from talking too much.
This world is diverse and it’s beauty lies in just that. People are different and that is what makes our life so unpredictable and thrilling too. Don’t search for slaves who will bow to every command of yours. Try not to reject ideas you have never stumbled upon. If differences were ill for us, Allah (swt) would have created one Xerox copy machine and we all would have been the same. The real challenge of character and capability lies in settling differences. Where you can don’t surrender. Where you cannot, don’t despair. May Allah (swt) grant us the best of rational and emotional engineering works to build strong and stable bridges. And if break ups have been Decreed by Allah (swt) in spite of all sincere efforts, May Allah (swt) reward us for the grief and compensate with His finest chosen bounties. Ameen.