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LENIENCY AT ALL TIMES

The Qur’an invariably preaches leniency in all matters, that being a trait of a divine personality. In the chapter Ta Ha of the Qur’an, there are two relevant verses in which God Almighty commands Moses to go with his brother Aaron to the ruling Pharaoh, and advises him how to speak to him: Go, both of you to Pharaoh, for he has transgressed all bounds. But speak gently to him; perhaps he may yet take heed or even feel afraid. (20:43-44)

The Pharaoh of Egypt was a despotic king, known for his arrogant behavior. He even dared to claim that he himself was God. When God Almighty sent the Prophet Moses and his brother Aaron to him, He advised Moses to be very lenient in his speech and to speak with complete modesty and humility,  showing no reaction. If there is no instant result, then we have to wait and hope that the future will bring the desired result. It is a fact that every human being has two sides to him—the ego and the conscience.

At the time of controversy, there are two options for you: if you speak with leniency, you will touch the conscience of the other person, he may consider your suggestion and accept what you say. But if you speak in a harsh manner, then his reaction might be different. The harsh talk could hit his ego and it is quite possible that he would respond negatively. This is true of every human being—king and commoner alike. The above Qur’anic advice is applicable not only to the Prophet Moses but to humankind in general. It is relevant everywhere—in the family, in society, in national life as well as in international life. It is applicable to both religious and secular matters. There is no alternative: everyone must follow this pattern Moses followed the above divine guidance, but according to both the Qur’an and the Bible, Pharaoh did not choose to accept his advice. This does not mean that one should doubt the veracity of this guidance. This Qur’anic guidance is absolute, with no exception whatsoever. Both men and women must follow this guidance as such, without any regard for the result.

Sometimes the result may not be positive: nevertheless, this principle must be adhered to in all situations. If the desired result is to be attained, it must be done with leniency or should not be done at all. Here you have only one choice: to adhere to this principle. If there is no instant result, then we have to wait and hope that the future will bring the desired result. Leniency is not an act of cowardice or an act of retreat. In fact, it is a sign of principled behavior and a mark of sublime character. In the long run, it can vanquish all. Only leniency can give you the required result, for the opposite behavior will prove to be counter-productive. This teaching is eternal in nature. It is as relevant to the present times as it was to the times of the Prophet Moses. No negative consequences can cast any doubt on its veracity. It is an everlasting truth.

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