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The Best Charity

Continuing the discussion from last week, “Communication Advices from the Quran”, we now go to the next phase of this topic.

When communication takes place in a distorted form and based upon the presence of external factor(s) like biases, situation, etc., it is quite likely to give rise to a dispute.

A dispute is to argue irritably or with irritating persistence. And with persistence, a dispute can change into “Alienation” thereby resulting in discontinuity of contact.

Alienation among relationships(family or friends/colleagues/peers) is looked down upon by Islam.

The Prophet, peace, and blessings of Allāh be upon him, said: “The best charity is to reconcile between people.”

What this means is that it is necessary upon us as a social and moral responsibility to make amends between individuals and among parties.

Islam preaches peacemaking and encourages the elimination of discord among adversaries. Reconciliation is considered a good deed that attracts rewards. It is even regarded as the best act of kindness and charity that helps one get closer to Allāh(SWT).

Allāh(SWT) says (meaning): {… and reconciliation is better.}

[An-Nisā’, 4:128]

Reconciliation between people means eliminating the causes of discord, dispute, and dissension among disputants, and sowing instead the seeds of peace, love, and accord within the hearts.

Reconciling disputing people is regarded as one of the noble qualities of a good Muslim. There is no doubt that the virtue of peacemaking and reconciling between disputants is amoral value, with which only those whose hearts are free of malice, envy, conceit, and selfishness are endowed.

Allāh(SWT) encourages such virtue and a great act of worship; there are numerous references in the Quran regarding this topic;

“Whoever intercedes for a good cause will have a reward therefrom, and whoever intercedes for an evil cause will have a burden therefrom. And ever is Allāh, over all things, a Keeper”

[An-Nisā’, 4:85]

According to scholars, here intercession means reconciliation

“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 Allāh – then We are going to give him a great reward”

[An-Nisā’, 4:114]

 

“And if you amend [your affairs] and fear Allāh – then indeed, Allāh is ever Forgiving and Merciful”

[An- Nisā’, 4:129]

It is indeed one of the greatest acts of worship that yield abundant rewards.

Moreover, there are many Ahadith encouraging peacemaking and reconciling between people.

The Prophet(saw), said: “Should I not tell you what is better in virtue than prayer, fasting, and charity?” They (the companions) said: “Yes.” He said: “Reconciling between people.”

Reconciling people is highly rewardable and is better than the performance of voluntary fasting, prayer, and charity, in terms of its abundant rewards.

The Prophet(saw) said: “The son of Adam cannot perform any good deed that is better than establishing prayer, reconciliation between disputing people, and having a good character.”

“Reconcile between people when they are quarreling with each other and bring them closer to one another when their relationship breaks down.”

Reconciliation is not only a great act of worship but also an important moral responsibility that is much needed in any given community. Disputes and conflicts naturally arise among parents and children, husbands and wives, and families in general within any given community, and this gives rise to dissension. This great act of worship aims to eradicate grudges and discord from the hearts of the disputing people and aims to make peace among them.

A context that requires this virtue is bringing reconciliation to conflicts and disputes among people, be they brothers or friends.

Anas, a companion of the prophet(saw) may Allāh be pleased with him, said: “Whoever makes peace between two people, Allāh(SWT) gives him the reward of freeing a slave upon every word he utters.”. We need to think about this statement seriously

The Prophet(saw) said: “It is not permissible (for a believer) to forsake his (Muslim) brother for more than three days. If three days have passed, he should meet him and greet him. If the other one responds to him they will both share the reward; but if he does not respond, he will bear his sin and the one who has taken the initiative to greet (the other) will be absolved of the sin of forsaking (one’s brother in Faith). If they both die while forsaking each other, they will not be together in Paradise.”

The one reconciling between the disputants is saving them from the gravity of dying in this sinful state to earn such a great reward.

Another situation where this virtue is required is reconciling between disputing spouses.

A Muslim should seek to reconcile between disputing spouses and strive to eliminate marital discord and disputes between the husband and wife. This good act is emphasized in many verses in the Quran.

Allāh(SWT) says (meaning)

“And if you fear dissension between the two, send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people. If they both desire reconciliation, Allāh will cause it between them. Indeed, Allāh is ever Knowing and Acquainted [with all things] “

[An-Nisā’, 4:35]

“And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of the settlement between them – and settlement is best. And present in [human] souls is stinginess. But if you do good and fear Allāh – then indeed Allāh is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.

[An-Nisā’, 4:128]

 

“And if you amend [your affairs] and fear Allāh – then indeed, Allāh is ever Forgiving and Merciful.

[An-Nisā’, 4:129]

Another context that requires reconciliation is making peace between the disputing heirs.

Sometimes, in fact, the cause of dissension could be the deceased person’s will or the appointed distributor, fueling disputes among the heirs even before the deceased person is buried. The heirs may dispute over their shares of the estate even before they place their deceased inside his or her grave!

Allāh(SWT) says;

“But if one fears from the bequeather [some] error or sin and corrects that which is between them, there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allāh is Forgiving and Merciful.

[Al- Baqarah, 4:182]

The Prophet(saw) said: “Some people are the keys to good and the locks upon evil, and some people are the keys to evil and the locks upon good. Glad tidings to those in whose hands Allāh places they key to good, and woe to those in whose hands Allāh places the keys to evil.”

So, through this beautiful hadith, we learn words of wisdom and the glad tidings of abundant good for whomever Allāh(SWT), causes to open the doors to good and close the doors to evil.

Some text/topic quoted from the Speeches by Rāshid ibn Muḥammad ibn Faṭīs Al-Hājirī

 

 

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