When a quarrel intensifies and its roots go deeper, its thorns become branches that only increase in number. Faith is adversely affected. Softness, sympathy, satisfaction, and peace, which are encouraged by Islamic teachings, receive a setback. Worship loses its righteousness and one may get no benefit out of it.
Many a time mutual quarrels perturb the persons who claim to be wise. When this happens, they take recourse to lowly and superficial things and sometimes indulge in dangerous acts which only increase difficulties. When a man is displeased, his eyes become prejudiced. Such eyes do not appreciate the beauty of the peacock, for they only see its ugly feet and claws.
If a slight defect is present, he makes a mountain out of a molehill. And sometimes the internal rancor and jealousy affect him so badly that he does not hesitate in inventing imaginary stories. Islam disapproves of all these manifestations of ill-feeling. In fact, avoiding them has been declared as the most virtuous form of worship.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Listen, may I not tell you something more important than Salah, fasting, and charity?” The people requested him to do so. He said:
“To keep the mutual relationship on the right footing, because a defect in a mutual relationship is a thing which shaves a thing clean. I do not mean that it shaves the hair, but that it shaves (removes) the religion.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
Satan may not be able to persuade wise men to worship idols, but since he is very keen to misguide and ruin men, he manages to succeed in driving them away from Allah, so much so that these wise men become more indifferent in respecting the rights of Allah than the idolaters themselves! The method the devil uses best for this purpose is that he sows seeds of enmity in the hearts of people. When this enmity develops into a fire that results in open hostility, he enjoys the scene. This fire burns man’s present and future into ashes and totally destroys his relationship and virtues.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Satan has been disappointed that he would not be worshipped in the Arabian Peninsula, but he has not been disappointed from kindling the fire of fighting among the people.” (Sahih Muslim)
This happens when wickedness takes roots in the hearts, so people start hating love and brotherhood. When such virtues are destroyed, people revert to cruelty and enmity. They break all relations and ties that Allah has commanded to be upheld and end up spreading corruption on earth.
– Adapted from The Muslim Character
– By Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ghazali