Fruits for the Week

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Most commonly when you deal with people, they treat you how they want to treat you, and not how you want to be treated. Not everyone you meet with cheerfulness is cheerful to you in return. Some of them may even become angry, think badly of you and ask,” What are laughing at?”  

Not everyone you present a gift returns your favour. You may give gifts to some people only to find them backbiting you in various gatherings, and accusing you of being foolish and wasting money!

Not everyone you are kind to in speech r praise generously or use kind words with responds to you in kind. Allah has divided up manners for people, just as he divided up their sustenance. The divine way to deal with the people dictates:” The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! He, between whom and you there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend.”

Some people have no solution to their problems and nor is there a way to reform them. You can only deal with them in accordance with their own wishes. In that case, you can either have patience with them, or leave them.

Our model educator, the Prophet (saw) would deal with people rationally and not emotionally. He would bear other people’s mistakes and still be gentle with them.

Just imagine! There was sitting in a blessed gathering, surrounded by his companions, and in came a Bedouin asking him for his help with paying off blood money. This man – or an acquaintance of his had killed someone, and so he wanted the Prophet (saw) to help him financially to enable him to pay the blood-money to the victim’s family.

The Prophet (saw) then gave him something and enquired out of kindness,” Have I been good to you?” The Bedouin said,” No! You have neither been good nor courteous!”

Upon hearing this, some Muslims became angry and were about to fight him, but the Prophet (saw) signalled to them not to.

The Prophet (saw) then walked towards his house, called the Bedouin and said,” You came to us, asked for our help and we helped you. But then you said to us what you said.” Then the Prophet (saw) gave him more of what he could find in his house and said,” Have I been good to you?” The Bedouin said,” Yes! May Allah reward you in your family and your kinsfolk?”

The Prophet (saw) was delighted to know that the Bedouin was pleased, but he was afraid that his companions might still have hatred toward him, or that one of them may see him in the street and show his resentment towards the Bedouin. Thus, he wanted to remove this feeling from their hearts.

He said to the Bedouin,” You came to us for help and we gave it to you, but then you said what you said. My companions are resentful towards you for this reason. If you were to go to them now and say to them what you have said to me now, perhaps this feeling would be removed from their hearts.”

When the Bedouin came, the Prophet (saw) said,” This friend of ours came to us for help and we gave it to him, but then he said what he said. We then called him over and gave him more, and now he says that he is pleased.” He then turned to the Bedouin and said,” Isn’t that so?” the Bedouin replied,” Yes! May Allah reward you in your family and your kinsfolk.”

When the Bedouin decided to leave and go to his family, the Prophet (saw) decided to give his companions a lesson in how to win people’s hearts. He said to them,” The example of me with this Bedouin is like that of a man whose camel runs away from him. A group of people then chase after the camel, as it runs away from them being frightened. They only manage to make it flee further. So the camel’s owner finally says,’ leave me alone with the camel! I am gentler with it and I know how it thinks! The camel’s owner then grabs some fallen dates from the ground and calls it until it finally comes to him. He then ties the saddle around it and mounts. If I were to have obeyed you when he said what he said, he would have entered the fire of Hell.” Meaning, if you were to have made him flee, he might have left the religion and entered the fire of Hell. (Al-Bazzar)

By Dr. Al-’Arifi