Reconciliation: Among The Noblest Acts of Worship

Is there anything in the world that could busy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and cause him to delay his prayers?

Prayers which Prophet Muhammad ﷺ considered the coolness of his eyes.

Prayers which Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would resort to whenever he was distressed over a matter.

Prayers which, when their time approached, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would be excited about performing them as they brought him comfort and relaxation.

Yes! There is an event that made Prophet Muhammad ﷺ busy and caused him to delay his prayer. No doubt, that matter had to be of extreme importance and high priority; a matter which the sooner it was implemented and worked on, the better.

And that matter was reconciling between the people.

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It was narrated in Al-Bukhari that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ became aware of  a dispute taking place between his companions in Qubaa’, a location that was considered outside the city of Madinah at that time. He ﷺ said to some of his companions: “اذْهَبُوا بِنَا نُصْلِحُ بَيْنَهُمْ” [Let’s go and reconcile between them]. So the Prophet ﷺ went on the mission of reconciliation. His return back to Madinah was delayed to the extent that the time of prayers has come and Bilal proposed to Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with them) to lead the prayers.

Do we truly want the best for our brothers and sisters similar to the concern of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ’? If yes, then it would hurt us to know how damaging it is for them to be in dispute and to the Ummah as a whole.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“لاَ يَحِلُّ لِرَجُلٍ أَنْ يَهْجُرَ أَخَاهُ فَوْقَ ثَلاَثِ لَيَالٍ، يَلْتَقِيَانِ فَيُعْرِضُ هَذَا وَيُعْرِضُ هَذَا، وَخَيْرُهُمَا الَّذِي يَبْدَأُ بِالسَّلاَمِ”

”It is not permissible for a Muslim to forsake and abandon his brother for more than three days, each of them turning away when they meet. The better of them is the one who gives the greeting of salaam first.” [Al-Bukhari]

It isn’t only prohibited to forsake one another, but additionally Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“تُفْتَحُ أَبْوَابُ الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَ الاِثْنَيْنِ وَيَوْمَ الْخَمِيسِ فَيُغْفَرُ لِكُلِّ عَبْدٍ لاَ يُشْرِكُ بِاللَّهِ شَيْئًا إِلاَّ رَجُلاً كَانَتْ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ أَخِيهِ شَحْنَاءُ فَيُقَالُ أَنْظِرُوا هَذَيْنِ حَتَّى يَصْطَلِحَا أَنْظِرُوا هَذَيْنِ حَتَّى يَصْطَلِحَا أَنْظِرُوا هَذَيْنِ حَتَّى يَصْطَلِحَا”

“The gates of Paradise are not opened but on two days, Monday and Thursday. Forgiveness is granted to every slave [who worships Allah and] who does not associate anything with Allah except for a man who had between him and his brother enmity & hatred. It is said [about them]: “Leave these two [no forgiveness is granted unto them] until they reconcile, leave these two until they reconcile, leave these two until they reconcile.” [Muslim]

It isn’t only prohibited and forgiveness isn’t granted to those in a dispute until they reconcile, but additionally Allah says:

“وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَا تَنَازَعُوا فَتَفْشَلُوا وَتَذْهَبَ رِيحُكُمْ ۖ وَاصْبِرُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ”

“Obey Allah and His Messenger and do not dispute with one another, and as a result would be discouraged and weakened. Persevere! Surely Allah is with those who persevere.” [8:46]

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was sent as a Mercy to all beings and he ﷺ truly loved his Ummah and would not want them to be abandoned from Allah’s forgiveness ; nor would he ﷺ want the Ummah to be discouraged and weakened.

The greatest example of reconciliation, as the scholar Al-Haakim has narrated in Al-Mustadrak —classified as authentic — was when Anas the son of Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“بينا رسولُ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّم جالسٌ إذ رأيناه ضحِك حتَّى بدت ثناياه فقال له عمرُ ما أضحكك يا رسولَ اللهِ بأبي أنت وأمِّي

“As the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was sitting we saw him smiling to the extent that much of his teeth were showing. Umar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said to him: “What was it that brought you such a big smile? I’d give up my mother and father for you!”

قال رجلان من أمَّتي جثَيا بين يدَيْ ربِّ العزَّةِ فقال أحدُهما خُذْ لي مظلمتي من أخي فقال اللهُ كيف تصنعُ بأخيك ولم يبَقْ من حسناتِه شيءٌ

He ﷺ said: “Two men from my ummah were pleading in front of The All-Mighty Lord. One of them said: “Bring me my right from my brother” Then Allah said: “What will you do with your brother when he has no more good deeds [to give you for the wrong he has committed]”

قال يا ربِّ فليحمِلْ من أوزاري وفاضت عينا رسولِ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّم بالبكاءِ ثمَّ قال إنَّ ذلك ليومٌ عظيمٌ يحتاجُ النَّاسُ أن يُحمَلَ من أوزارِهم

The man [who was wronged] then said: “Then let him take from my sins.” At this point the Prophet (ﷺ)’s eyes were filled with tears and then said: “Indeed that day [of judgment] is a great day. People are in need for their sins to be carried [by other than them].”

فقال اللهُ للطَّالبِ ارفَعْ بصرَك فانظُرْ فرفع فقال يا ربِّ أرَى مدائنَ من ذهبٍ وقصورًا من ذهبٍ مُكلَّلةً باللُّؤلؤِ لأيِّ نبيٍّ هذا أو لأيِّ صديقٍ هذا أو لأيِّ شهيدٍ هذا قال لمن أعطَى الثَّمنَ

So Allah said to the one with the request: “Raise your gaze and look [to what is up there].” The man looked up and said: “O Lord! I see cities of gold and palaces built out of gold decorated with pearls [beauty that no human could ever imagine]. [O Lord] for which prophet is this or for which truthful is this or for which martyr is this!?” [Allah] said: “To the one who can afford it.”

قال يا ربِّ ومن يملِكُ ذلك قال أنت تملِكُه قال بماذا قال بعفوِك عن أخيك قال يا ربِّ إنِّي عفوتُ عنه قال اللهُ فخُذْ بيدِ أخيك وأدخِلْه الجنَّةَ

[The man] said: “And who can afford it?” [Allah] said: “You can afford it.” [The man] asked: “How?” [Allah] said: “By forgiving your brother.” [The man replied without any hesitation and] said: “O Lord! I forgive him!” Allah said: “Take the hand of your brother and enter him into Paradise.”

فقال رسولُ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّم عند ذلك اتَّقوا اللهَ وأصلِحوا ذاتَ بينِكم فإنَّ اللهَ يُصلِحُ بين المسلمين”

Then Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said [afterwards]: “Be conscious of Allah! [Fear His punishment] and reconcile and make peace between yourselves. Indeed, Allah reconciles between the believers.”

With that said, how many people do you know who are in a dispute? Can you promise to follow the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and show love to this ummah by doing your best to reconcile and bring peace between your brothers and sisters?

Do everything you can to reconcile, and if you exhaust all your resources and they are still in dispute then consider “lying” and making stuff up to bring peace between them!

As despised as lying is in Islam, it is loved when it comes to reconciling between people. And as much as truthfulness is loved in Islam, it is despised when it comes to causing hatred between people.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“لَيْسَ الْكَذَّابُ الَّذِي يُصْلِحُ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَيَقُولُ خَيْرًا وَيَنْمِي خَيْرًا”

“A liar is not one who tries to bring reconciliation amongst people and speaks good (in order to avert dispute), or he conveys good.” [Muslim]

The One who called us brothers and sisters is Allah! And He commanded us, the believers, to reconcile between our brothers and sisters and as a result Allah will shower His mercy upon all of us. Allah says:

“إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ”

“The believers are but brothers, so make peace between your brothers. And be mindful of Allah so you may be shown mercy.” [49:10]

 

It is understandable that there are certain cases where abandoning the person is not prohibited. As Shaykh Ibn Othaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) stated:

“والأصل أن هجر المؤمن لأخيه المؤمن محرّم حتى يوجد ما يقتضي الإباحة”

“The default status is that the abandoning of the believer to his brother is prohibited until something occurs which makes it permissible.”

Of the things that would make it permissible is if one feared the harm of the other person with regards to their faith and/or life. But let’s be real, how many of those in dispute are really abandoning one another due to such fear of harm from the other person?

To conclude, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“أَفضلُ الصدقةِ إصلاحُ ذاتِ البَيْنِ”

“[Of] the greatest [forms] of charity is reconciling between people” [Saheeh At-Targhib]

I pray to Allah that He makes us keys to the doors of goodness and locks to the doors of evil.

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