One day the Prophet of Islam seated himself in a mosque in Medina, along with some companions. Shortly thereafter, a Bedouin entered the mosque and began urinating. The Prophet’s Companions rose with the intention of beating the Bedouin. But the Prophet forbade them to do so, asking them to let him be. When the man had finished urinating, the Prophet asked the Companions to fetch a bucket of water and wash the place clean.

Afterwards he explained to his Companions:

“You are sent to make things easy and not to make things difficult” (Fathul Bari, 1/386).

This illustrates for us an unwavering principle of Islam, that is, in social life when any unpleasant incident takes place, the believers should concentrate on finding a solution to the problem and not just think in terms of what punishment to mete out to the problem-maker. On all such occasions the urge to reform should be engendered within the believers instead of a desire to exact revenge. Such methods should be adopted as alleviate rather than aggravate the problem. Just as when some building is set on fire, the most natural impulse is to immediately extinguish it, rather than fan the flames to make it flare up even more.

In most controversial matters there can be both easy and difficult ways of resolving the problem. Treading the path of facility usually eases matters, whereas treading the path of difficulty can cause matters to flare up with even greater intensity. In all situations, Islam gives preference to the former, rather than to the latter approach.

This is an eternal principle of Islam, relating to both personal and social life. It ought to be applied in all matters inside as well as outside the home. It is a perfect principle on which to base a perfect system of life.