Sent by: Sister Humaira Ahmed          (Part-II Final)

The last trait means that when he gets into a dispute with others, he accuses them of that which they are not guilty of.

2- One must not bind him to what he did not bind himself to. Fairness entails that you do not attribute to him what he did not say or commit him to what he did not commit himself to. You should clear his words of any ambiguity, understand them in the way he meant them, and it would be good if you interpret them in the best way possible. Our guiding light in this regard is the Hadeeth narrated on the authority of Usaamah bin Zaid, who said:

“Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe Wasallam) sent us to Al Huraqaat (one of the families of the tribe) of Juhaynah. We reached these people in the morning and defeated them. I chased one of their men and when I attacked him, he said: ‘Laa ilaaha illa Allah’ (there is no God but Allah), but I stabbed him with my spear, killing him. I felt uneasy for having done that, so I told the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) about it. He said to me:

‘He said there is no God but Allah and you killed him?!’ 

I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! He said so out of fear of the weapon.’

He said: ‘Did you split open his heart to know whether he said it sincerely or not?’

The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) kept on repeating this to me until I wished I had embraced Islam only on that day.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

It is an aspect of fairness that we refrain from harboring bad assumptions about others without clear proof; we should rather avoid this even in cases of uncertainty until the situation becomes evident and clear. It is narrated that a man asked the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) about giving testimony. So he said to him: "Do you see the sun?”

The man said: "Yes.”

The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) said: "Bear testimony to whatever is as clear as the sun; otherwise, do not.” (Al-Haakim and Al-Bayhaqi)

One of elders of this Ummah said: "Every followers of a creed choose the best words to express its principles and try to present it in the most appealing way, while doing the opposite with the thoughts and beliefs of their opponents. An insightful person is the one who can discern what is hidden beneath such words and know whether it is true or false, so you should never be deceived by words.”

A poet expressed this idea saying: "You say: ‘this is the gift of bees’ in praise of honey, or if you will you say that it is the vomit of wasps! In both cases of praise and dispraise you gave a valid description, yet the truth may be blemished by the misuse of words.”

So, if you need to detect the truthfulness or falsehood of a meaning, you have to rid it of the wrap of words enclosing it, and set your heart to be neither in a state of inclination nor aversion, then give the words due consideration with a fair eye. Do not be like the one who gives full consideration and attention to the words of his companions and those whom he trusts then casts a careless glimpse over the words of those who disagree with him. Verily, the eye of enmity sees pros as cons, and the eye of admiration sees cons as pros. None is saved from this except one whom Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) has willed to honor and chose him for accepting the truth. A poet expressed this meaning in the following verse:

The eye of content is blind to every flaw, whereas, the eye of discontent spotlights the faults.
Another poet said:

They looked with the eye of enmity, had it been that of content they would have liked what they condemned.

3- Another aspect of adopting good manners with an opponent is fairness in reporting misconceptions from those who raise them and refuting them. To explain, if a Muslim needs to report a misconception that has been widely circulated, he should do this without overlooking any of its aspects. Adhering to honesty in reporting a misconception is essential for achieving fairness. He should know that truth is accompanied by light, and that he has to search for the truth and exert himself in defending it and fulfill his duty in refuting the misconceptions raised about it. In case one fears that he might fail to do this duty properly, he should entrust it to another so that he should not commit wrong acts unknowingly.

The noble Quran abounds in brilliant examples of rebutting the opponents after reporting their malicious allegations. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Exalted, says (what means):

وَقَالُوا لَنْ تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ إِلَّا أَيَّامًا مَعْدُودَةً قُلْ أَتَّخَذْتُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ عَهْدًا فَلَنْ يُخْلِفَ اللَّهُ عَهْدَهُ أَمْ تَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ [البقرة: 80]

“They say: ‘The fire shall not touch us for more than a few days’. Say: ‘Have you taken a pledge from Allah, and Allah will not go against His promise? Or, do you say about Allah what you do not know?’ ”

{And they say, "Never will the Fire touch us, except for a few days.” Say, "Have you taken a covenant with Allah? For Allah will never break His covenant. Or do you say about Allah that which you do not know?”} (Al-Baqarah 2:80)

وَقَالُوا اتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ وَلَدًا سُبْحَانَهُ بَلْ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ كُلٌّ لَهُ قَانِتُونَ [البقرة: 116]

“They say: ‘Allah has got a son’. Pure is He. Instead, to Him belongs all that there is in the heavens and the earth. All stand obedient to Him.” (Al-Baqarah 2:116)

فَرِحَ الْمُخَلَّفُونَ بِمَقْعَدِهِمْ خِلَافَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ وَكَرِهُوا أَنْ يُجَاهِدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنْفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَقَالُوا لَا تَنْفِرُوا فِي الْحَرِّ قُلْ نَارُ جَهَنَّمَ أَشَدُّ حَرًّا لَوْ كَانُوا يَفْقَهُونَ [التوبة: 81]

“Those who were left behind were happy with their sitting back to the displeasure of the Messenger of Allah, and they disliked carrying out Jihad in the way of Allah with their wealth and lives, and they said: ‘Do not march in this hot weather’. Say: ‘The fire of Jahannam is much more intense in heat’. Only if they could understand.” (At-Taubah 9:81)

فَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَاسْتَكْبَرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَقَالُوا مَنْ أَشَدُّ مِنَّا قُوَّةً أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّ اللَّهَ الَّذِي خَلَقَهُمْ هُوَ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُمْ قُوَّةً وَكَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا يَجْحَدُونَ [فصلت: 15]

“As for ‘Aad, they showed arrogance in the land with no right (to do so), and said: ‘Who is stronger than us in power?’ Did they not see that Allah, who created them, is stronger than them in power? And they used to reject Our signs.” (Fussilat 41:15)

Honest reporting of malicious allegations then rebutting them with the overpowering answer is an efficient technique to block all arguments with full politeness and fairness. So, shall we try to be pure believers in both words and deeds?!

I ask Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Almighty, to guide us all to achieve this. Aameen!