As Muslims, we have a strong belief that the world has been designed by the Most Wise and sagacious Lord. Everything that finds place in His marvelous work has a pre-determined role to play. Everything, from the small ant to the huge hippopotamus, is supposed to carry out the work ordained by the Almighty. The case of pain, that we sometimes have to endure at the hands of our friends and fellows, is no different. It in fact lays the basis over which the humane structure of humanity is erected.

Doubtless, the pain sometimes can be very distressing and can also rip us apart so much so that we feel awfully weak. The more we think, the more we get depressed. The memory of our love for our offender, on the one hand, augments the pangs of pain and, on the other, fills our eyes with warm drops of water. It is not the end of a relationship that kills us but of trust. Even for the trust, we ourselves are to be blamed for we put this trust in our offender. Each effort to stop the pain simply fails because it is the ‘source’ – the fountain of emotions and feelings – that is wounded when trust vanishes. At times, this pain may also compel us to resort to despicable ways to heal our wounded ego; to react and inflict – or at least wish to inflict – the same pain on our offender.

It is obvious that these feelings are natural. However, what needs to be appreciated is that their excess is not warranted by Islam. To feel weak is natural but to lose hope is to show disbelief. The vision with which a believer is blessed for his strong faith in Allah definitely helps him learn from whatever unexpected agony he has to suffer. The troubles that befall us because of our relations are often very ticklish in their nature since any immature action would put a check to once a pleasant and friendly connection. Try as we may to hold back, there is a great chance that we will react. But this reaction should never exceed the moral limits stipulated by the Almighty. We have been created as moral beings, and morality we must adhere to, in all circumstances no matter what.

The lesson that we should learn from our pain is that every one stands in complete equality with others in ‘the sight of pain’. The sorrow and grief that we experience when we get hurt is exactly the same that any other person will have to endure under similar circumstances. To suffer pain in this world is inevitable; but to compose ourselves in such circumstances is equally imperative.  Instead of losing heart, we should seek refuge in Allah immediately and share with Him what agony has afflicted us; instead of becoming morose and sullen to pour out our wrath on our subordinates, we should learn from our pain and improve our own character. We must realize that any impetuous act – whether it be a result of hopelessness or reaction – on our part is very likely to cause the same distress to some other people with whom we stand in a relationship of trust. Neither should we extinguish the flame of our own life out of hopelessness nor should we unload the consequences of our agonies, out of reaction, on our spouses or our children or whatever poor creature we are able to lay hands on.

The Almighty has asserted at scores of places in the Holy Qur’an that believers must never let go of their relations. Keeping the bondage intact is highly desirable in the religion of Islam. The Holy Qur’an praises those who give in to win over their relations. On the contrary, it has condemned severing ties with relatives and other relations. This practice is indeed tantamount to spreading disorder in land. A believer must remain vigilant not to commit anything that will ultimately attract the rage of the Most Just and Powerful Creator.

The soothing reality that should help us stand upright is that every trouble we have to encounter is in fact destined to earn us reward in the Hereafter. They are sure to rid us of our sins and raise us to one level up in the cadres of God-fearing believers. The Holy Prophet (sws) is reported to have said:

 

No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it was a prick that he receives from a thorn but Allah expiates some of his sins for that. (Bukhari: No, 5210)

 

Therefore, it is only human to feel sad when we are hurt. But this hurt should not induce us to diminish the love and compassion we used to cherish for our innocent offender. We must always strive to stand one step above our fellows to keep the relationship move on smoothly. To sum up, the key to better relations is indeed to endure not to inflict, to give not to demand, and to forgive not to avenge.

(Jhangeer Hanif)

_______________