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Divergence of Views

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Divergence of views arises between people for many reasons. Just as differences occur among unbelievers and apostates, they also occur between sincere and pious people. Even if differences cannot be prevented, that is no reason, for any individual to indulge in negative behavior. Despite differences, positive behavior is both a possibility and a necessity. Regarding a person as being wrong about everything just because he holds different opinions and calling him a hypocrite, bad-intentioned and insincere, are entirely un-Islamic reactions. The true believer looks at the issue of difference as a matter of intentions and limits any ensuing dissension to the sphere of its origin. He never allows matters to escalate. Severing relationships due to differences is not in accordance with the spirit of Islam. Mutual relationships should be maintained while continuing serious discussion on contentious issues.

Ignoring the person with whom one has differences or refusing to meet such a person is improper. Differences also serve this purpose. A man ought to be extremely cautious, particularly when moments of contention could arise. He should continuously strive to be tolerant lest he shows some improper reaction, which would be displeasing to God. Remaining impartial in the face of differences is indeed a difficult task. But its reward is great. Every right act is treated as an act of worship in Islam; it is, therefore, an act of superior worship when, in spite of controversies one keeps one’s heart free of enmity and vengefulness and adheres strictly to the path of justice. The emergence of difference is not in itself a bad thing. What is worse is that at the time of differences arising, the individuals concerned do not rise to the occasion. They fail miserably in the divine test. Remaining within the confines of decency is a virtue, and crossing the boundaries at such moments is an immoral act of the worst degree.

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