Rafed English

Equilibrium of Thought and Deed Results in Peace

Peace cannot happen, nor can it be realised in the external reality unless the thought-processes and actions of the human being are in eq uilibrium and far from guesses and arbitrariness, exaggerations and negligence. If a person sees in himself and his group all the good and virtue, and sees others as being devoid of virtue and immersed in vice, this type of thinking will only lead to other than peace, to enmity and hatred, attacks and innuendo. It is well known that there are three things, a little of which is considered great; fire, enmity, and illness. A single match can set light to a whole timber store of tens of tons of wood. A small illness can lead to death. A minor enmity like a nasty word can lead to bloodshed.

The chroniclers have reported that the war of the Busus, which lasted around one hundred years, began when a man from one tribe shot an arrow into the side of a camel of another tribe. The owner of the camel killed the man who had shot the arrow whose family killed the o wner of the camel and so on and so forth. The poet has said: Most of the fire is made of mere sparks.

Hence it is imperative that a person thinks in a balanced way so that balanced actions will result from it. If he were to think in an exaggerated manner, then this will only result in corrupt action and from there to enmity and hatred.

If a person wishes to undertake an international Islamic movement resulting in the government of one billion Muslims then he must adopt peace as his watchword in his speech, action, writing, and movement. The prophet Jesus (A) alluded to this when he said: 'When someone strikes your right cheek then turn the left cheek to him.'

Jesus does not mean by this that the oppressed should submit to the oppressors but rather he means something else which the Holy Qur'an also points to in the verse: { . . . but to pardon is closer to piety.} (2:237). Jesus wanted success for his followers and to attract the people. Therefore he taught them peace to this extent. Jesus was successful in this and we can see that more than two billion peo ple in the wo rld today respect him, half of whom are Christians and the other half Muslims.

In another piece of wisdom related about the Messiah (A) is that he and a group of his disciples passed by a group of Jews who said some unkind words to him. He replied with kind words. Naturally he spoke the truth when he spoke good about them as most evil people have at least some aspect of good in them. He was asked: 'Why do you speak kindly of them when the speak unkindly of you.' He said: 'Each person spends of that which he owns.' Meaning that whoever harbours evil will speak in evil terms and vice versa. One who owns a dinar may give away that dinar whereas one who has nothing but a poisonous scorpion can only give away a scorpion.

This is also the case with one who harbours good or evil. The faculties o f hearing sight, and writing and the like if they emanate from a heart full of goodness and mercy, then these faculties will be characterised by goodness and mercy. The opposite is also the case. If the heart is full of evil and lies, then the tongue and the rest of the faculties will only be able to express what is in that heart. This is what Jesus (A) teaches us; if the other party is not good then at least be good yourself.

In the supplication for the month of Rajab are the words: 'O He who I beg of him for every good and seek sanctuary from His displeasure for every evil. O He who gives much in exchange for little. O He who gives to he who asks Him and he who does not ask Him or know Him, out of his kindness and mercy.'

Allah gives to the believers and also to those who do not know Him or oppose Him. He gives even to those who oppose Him. The Holy Qur'an alludes to this in the verse: {Nay We will provide for those people and those from the gift of your Lord.} (17:20)

If we wish to adopt the ethics of Allah Almighty, then we must be balanced in thought and in deed and not raise our friends to th e highest heaven and neglect those who are impartial. Everything should be in equilibrium. Among the b enefits of a person who is in equilibrium in his thoughts and actions is that peop le will approve of his judgements and will join his camp. However this is something that requires self-control and the ability to bear criticisms, which are difficult matters, but out of difficulties a good result can arise.

In a hadith from the Messenger of Allah (S) that when he saw Fatima (A) toiling and tiring herself he said: 'Take now the bitterness of this world for the sweetness of the next.' Bitter things only produce a sweet outcome.

Any engineer, doctor, lawyer, sportsman, or gifted speaker or writer will not have reached his station except through hard work and toil. So must we if we want to reach the goal of a government of one billion Muslims. This requires self-control and a balance in thought and the cap acity to bear criticism and the ability to convince people without any despotic or dictatorial means. Despotism and dictatorship, and extremism in thought, word and deed, and in the administrative system will only result in bad consequences.

There is a hadith that Jesus (A) passed by a murdered person and he said: 'Who killed you?, there will come a day when they will kill your killer.' This is almost a natural law, that the person who kills another will see a day in which he himself will be killed. In another hadith come the words: 'Give the killer tidings that he will be killed and the adulterer that he will be poor.'

One of the conditions of the international Islamic movement is that it should adopt peace from the viewpoint of equilibrium in thought and deed and giving everything its due. In the Holy Qur'an: { . . . and do not withhold from the people their belongings.} (7:85, 11:85, 26:183) This means that if you write a book and praise yourself for doing so and someone else writes ten good books and you do not praise him to the amount of your book then this will result in you being left behind in life in ad dition to the fact that the people will desert you and will know you for being immodest.

Hence it is well known amongst our scholars that a source of religious knowledge or the Imam of a congregation or the judge must distance themselves from arbitrary love and hate. We have previously mentioned that a man said to Shaikh Murtada al- Ansari: 'It is easy for a human being to become a scholar, but it is impossible for him to become a human being.' Meaning by this that you the Sheikh are a scholar and this is something easy but you are not a human being and that this is impossible for you to achieve. The Sheikh said : 'On the contrary, for a human being to become a scholar is difficult and for him to become a human being is even more difficult.'

This is true, for a person must strive for fifty or sixty years day and night in order to become a scholar. If he wants to become a human being then his striving must be deeper in order to achieve his goal.

Adapted from the book: "War, Peace & Non-Violence" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq Shirazi"

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