Issue No. 937 - 6/Jamadah-2/1432 AH
Corresponding to May 10, 2011 AD
* Mihrab Platform:
Violence within the Believers’ Society
Violence within the Believers’ Society
The main axes of the subject:
1- Human understanding amongst the believers
2- Causes of violence:
a- Lack of piety
b- Drawn into anger (destructive emotions)
c- Extremism in dealing with others
We will explain the reasons behind violence amongst the believers as well as dive deep into human self to explain the reason that distances the violent personality from the trueness of faith.
Exporting the Subject:
“And his soul permitted to him the murder of his brother, so he killed him and became among the losers.”1
Human understanding amongst the believers:
The relations between a believer and the others must, for the believer’s part, be based on the love and the liking of the other as well as on feeling compassion towards him regardless of his identity. The fact of faith necessitates that one adopt righteousness as well as guide the others toward it on the basis that this is a divine truth. For instance the very word “Believer” is one of the divine names of Allah (The Exalted). Besides, this truth – which is a source of goodness – necessitates that one avoid harm and help lift injustice from the world.
If this is what is required from a believer toward the other – regardless of his identity – what would be of the issue when it relates to his brethren among the other believers? In this case, he must love him more and drive harm away from him before others. The best expression of the nature of this relationship and its truth is in the following verse of the Quran: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves.”2
The Islamic doctrine worked hard on achieving the essence of faith collaterally with security as well as worked on materializing the trueness of faith through the aspects of the cooperative, lenient, loving, friendly, and forgiving behavior, the anger of which must not sway such behavior out of obedience into wrongdoing. This is the character that will strain its evil from people while satisfy them with a good treatment, etc… Let alone the other conducts that will render people safe from the evil of the faithful. Instead, a believer must draw in their eyes an image of providing goodness and beauty.
However, what encourages the believer to commit sin by showing violence toward the believers and the children of his environment and neighborhood, which contrasts with the image that he must portray?
Causes of violence:
By seeking help from religion in order to understand the reasons behind practicing violence toward the others, one can find a number of the issues that create the sources and motives of violence, such as:
a- Lack of piety:
Despite the fact that people dissemble faith – and they are many-, yet the piety of a person is regarded as one of the most prudent deterrents from harming the others. On the other hand, its nonexistence is regarded as one of the biggest obstacles that will disappear to pave the way for the person to ride evil to the farthest limits. The story of the two sons of Adam is the best example of this truth.
Allah (The Exalted) said: “And recite to them the story of Adam's two sons, in truth, when they both offered a sacrifice [to Allah], and it was accepted from one of them but was not accepted from the other. Said [the latter], "I will surely kill you." Said [the former], "Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].”3 Then He (be praised) said: “If you should raise your hand against me to kill me - I shall not raise my hand against you to kill you. Indeed, I fear Allah, Lord of the worlds.”4
b- Drawn into anger (destructive emotions):
Anger is the key to all kinds of evil. It was narrated that “a man asked the advice of Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.), who said to him: “Don’t be angry.” The man said: I contemplated over the words of the prophet (s.a.a.w.); anger surely holds the entire evil.”5
Commander of the faithful was quoted as saying: “Anger disturbs grudge.”6
Grudge can become a strong motive for man to hasten into reactions, making them more extreme and violent.
The imam (a.s.) was also quoted as saying: “Anger is evil; it brings destruction if you obey it.”7
Where does destruction come from? One of its clearest examples is violence that brings harm to oneself and others. It can also turn into a rolling snowball that the further it rolls the bigger it grows to the limit where its damage becomes out of control to become a fire that cannot be extinguished, not even by the wise people. It can even lead its embracer to murder in this world and to hell in the afterworld.
The imam (a.s.) was also quoted as saying: “He who unleashes his anger will prompt his death.”8
Furthermore, being drifted toward anger can create a reason to do anything insane leading man to being out of control. For example, commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Extra anger results into recklessness.”9
He (a.s.) was also quoted as saying: “Anger is a ride toward recklessness.”10
c- Extremism in dealing with others:
Extremism in fact is another type of anger. If it becomes recurrent and man does not work on addressing it with good attention, it will take control of him and turn him into a person with a repulsive behavior. At this point, an extreme behavior toward the others in such accordance becomes a reason that will attract similar reactions, especially from those who have the same manner of extremism. This will add another reason to render the issues reach the limit of harm and practice violence that can develop from words into actions, using the hand; and this is where the disaster takes place.
The Hadith states that commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Extremism is a type of insanity because its owner will regret. It he did not repent, it means his madness is acute.”11
In other words, extremism leads to extreme anger with which man can lose his mind and sanity. For example, commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying in his commandment: “Beware anger, its starts with insanity and ends with regret.”12
In other words, it starts with an extreme behavior and leads toward regret because man loses his mind with it. When man loses his mind he can commit anything that he might regret.
For example, Imam al Sadiq (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “He who does not control his anger does not control his mind.”13
What we witness nowadays in our reality, such as the spread of violence that can reach the limit of using the weapon, expresses in fact the weakness of the faithful character fundamentals within our community. This requires the believers to focus further on observing and question themselves before committing issues that can ruin their lives and make them lose their afterworld.
1- Holy Quran: Surat al Ma’idah (The Table), verse 30.
2- Holy Quran: Surat al Fat’h (Victory), Verse 29.
3- Holy Quran: Surat al Ma’ida (Table), Verse 27.
4- Holy Quran: Surat al Ma’ida (Table), Verse 28.
5- Al Targheeb wal Tarheeb, Vol. 3, P. 445, H. 2.
6- Ghorar al Hikam wa Dorar al Kalam, by al Qadi al A’midi, wisdom 2164.
7- Same source, wisdom 1220.
8- Same source, wisdom 7948.
9- Same source; wisdom 4264.
10- Same source; wisdom 808.
11- Nahjul Balagha, short wisdoms, wisdom 255.
12- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 2635.
13- Al Kafi, by Muhammad Bin Ya’kub al Kulaini, Vol. 2, P. 305, H. 13.