For the past few centuries, unfortunately, the Islamic world has become estranged from one another, losing the sense of unity and solidarity, resulting in countries of communities oppressed and suffering under tyranny. In these lands, the tyrants who seize power draw some towards them with certain advantages while marginalizing and othering those they perceive as rivals and enemies. Through their dirty politics, they sow the seeds of discord among people, stoking hatred and animosity, and driving individuals apart. By forming various fronts, they fragment and divide society, polarizing and separating them.
All tyrants, afflicted by the diseases of arrogance and paranoia, tend to attribute everything to themselves, derive meanings from events according to their own interpretations, take all statements and interpretations as blame against them, worry about implausible scenarios, and thus perpetrate unimaginable atrocities. They view anyone who might pose a threat to their rule as an enemy and march against them to subdue and render them ineffective. They cannot accept any success that does not come from their own hands, nor can they tolerate any beauty that is not attributed to them.
If you have entered the list of tyrants’ adversaries, no matter how noble deeds you perform for your country and humanity, you cannot escape their attacks and wrath. They know how to cast aspersions even on your most virtuous services. They do not hesitate for a moment to tarnish the most reasonable and beneficial actions that even the sound mind, clear perception, and pure heart cannot object to.
Once the seeds of division are sown among the members of society and the community is split into different factions, people turn against each other over trivial reasons. Everyone views one another as rivals and attempts to trip each other up. Even individuals who face the same direction of prayer and share the same feelings and thoughts can clash simply due to differences in customs, lifestyle, school of thoughts and sect. Noble sentiments such as fraternity (sisterhood-brotherhood), mutual aid, and solidarity are replaced by malevolent feelings like envy, resentment, and animosity. This obstructs Divine providence, meaning that Allah, the Almighty, withdraws His blessings from people who do not love one another and are in conflict.
In our era, the age of vanity, where everything is intertwined around worldly interests, the conditions are highly conducive to the occurrence of conflicts and disputes. Hence, even a small spark can become powerful enough to ignite conflicts. The greatest factor contributing to this is that egotisms have transformed not merely into an ice cube but perhaps into icebergs. Melting these will not be easy. It takes years from the moment they begin to thaw. In short, in an age dominated by the reign of tyrants, various forms of oppression and tyranny, polarization, and conflicts at their zenith, the responsibility lies with conscientious Muslims. Their foremost duty is to eliminate the groundwork for such divisions, in some way or another, heal the wounds caused by emerging fractures, mend the broken and cracked aspects of society, and seek ways to reconcile hearts anew.
Meanwhile, some may continuously spread rumors, disseminate foul odors, confuse minds, and attempt to obstruct the path of goodness. Yet, a believer, by virtue of their faith, should not be distracted by such things and should not respond to evil with evil. They should always stay far from any state that doesn’t befit or suit the position they represent. As the Quran states, good and evil are never equal, (Surah Fussilat, 41:34). Regardless of what anyone does or what kind of wrongdoing they engage in, a Muslim should never deviate from Islamic behavior and conduct and should adopt a principle of showing kindness to everyone. When individuals engrossed in wickedness aim their poisoned arrows at you, place a rose at the tip of your arrow. Showcase your Islamic and humane feelings and thoughts through this attitude. Only in this way can you prevent the looming destruction and repair the shattered values.
The eradication of discord and corruption, the establishment of unity and solidarity among members of society, and the task of endearing a compilation of Divine values to all of humanity lie heavily upon individuals who are committed to this cause. If they too succumb to the prevailing currents, yielding to hatred and animosity, then polarization, conflicts, and disputes will continue to escalate. Yet, such a state of affairs is far from what Allah desires. As expressed in the Quran, one of the greatest blessings of the Lord upon the community of Muhammad is the reconciliation and warmth that He instills within their hearts, as stated in Surah Al-Anfal, 8:63.
The Quran portrays the relationship among believers as one of brotherhood (Surah Al-Hujurat, 49:10). The Prophet (peace be upon him) likens the believers to bricks tightly interlocked in a solid building (Sahih al-Bukhari, Mezâlim 6; Sahih Muslim, Birr 65). Not even a earthquake of magnitude ten could demolish such a community; in fact, it could not even cause a crack in it.
Some may have violated this bond of brotherhood or sisterhood. Instead of being unifying and conciliatory, they may have, unfortunately, divided and fragmented the community. However, it is our duty not to exacerbate or multiply existing problems by responding in kind. Rather than retaliating in kind, we should follow the guidance of the Quran and strive to repel even evil with goodness, thereby minimizing, if not eliminating, the issues at hand.
Goodness possesses a magical power that attracts and captivates people, making them revolve around it like a satellite. It is a source of power so mysterious that once someone enters its orbit, they can never escape its influence. If you can repel evil with goodness, even individuals you never expected might become sincere friends. Those who wronged you, who plotted against you, may one day come to you humbly, with lowered heads, seeking your forgiveness. At that moment, you must demonstrate the essence of your character, adhering to goodness and echoing the words of Prophet Joseph to his brothers, as is stated in Surah Yusuf, 12:92. This must be entrusted to time. If we make goodness our guiding principle, move in the direction of unity and conciliation, Allah will grant us success, and His heavenly blessings will shower upon us. Let there be no doubt about this.
Perhaps there may be individuals so morally corrupted and treacherous that they cannot appreciate the value of goodness. However, in a broader sense, humanity is enslaved to acts of kindness. Thus, it is essential to bestow goodness upon everyone according to their character, position, and circumstances. Even if those whom you have done good to do not become sincere friends, your acts of kindness will at least have broken their resentment, animosity, and hatred, thereby reducing potential problems and securing the path ahead. If you throw stones at someone, speak ill of another, or write malicious words about someone else, they will respond in kind, based on their own characters.
Indeed, we are passing through a very challenging period. Therefore, the difficult task falls upon us: to cleanse the impurities with tears, and to counter anger and violence with the fervor of the heart. If your duty and mission involve repair and rectification, it means you are embracing the difficult path. Destruction is effortless, while repair is exceedingly challenging. It takes days to weave a fabric, but only a single thread pulled can unravel it. You can pull a stone and bring down a building, but returning it to its original form may take months or even years.
In conclusion, at times we may find ourselves cornered by the pressures of tyrants and oppressors who act upon their vengeful inclinations and who disregard all standards and principles. We may feel shaken by the kicks and blows we endure. The thought of the terrible destruction may steal our sleep; we might find ourselves out of desperation pacing the corridors in a state of frenzy. Ultimately, we are human beings. However, even if we waver in the face of these challenges, our faith in the Almighty is unwavering; even if we experience setbacks, we never succumb to despair. This is because the strength of our belief in God keeps us standing, even if shaken; and even if we taste desolation, we never lose hope. For we understand that the storms we endure are temporary, that pitch-black darkness will inevitably be succeeded by days of light, and that no oppression is perpetual.