Argument in the Qur’an (5/8)
The Attempt to Incite Argument among Believers
Believers take pleasure in conversation because Allah created it in their nature. While talking among themselves, they always mention Allah, exalt His glory, and seek ways to draw closer to Him. So, any argument goes against religion and their own nature. Those who have “become brothers by Allah’s blessing” (Surah Al ‘Imran: 103) talk with one another in this way. If a difference of opinion arises, they consult with each other to reach the best solution. Believers do not try to assert their own egos over other believers. Nor are they arrogant, for they do not blindly insist on a particular idea just because it is their own. In a society made up of such people, argument can find no place to break out.
Therefore, an occasion for argument can only come from outside. There are two possible outside sources here. First, one or several believers may grow careless and distance themselves from the Qur’an’s morality, even if only for a little while. In this case, former non-Islamic traits begin to reemerge and, by satan’s wiles, an occasion for argument may appear. But believers who make such an error soon realize, either through the intervention of other believers or through their own consciences, that their behavior was contrary to the Qur’an. They ask Allah’s forgiveness and, obeying “put things right between you” (Surat al-Anfal: 1), make up for any hard feelings they caused.
The second possibility is quite different: argument enters “from outside” in an organized and aware fashion. Unbelieving hypocrites insinuate themselves into a community of believers for a short-term gain. Their prime ammunition to incite argument is the idea of obedience, for they find it irritating to have to accept the prophets’ and messengers’ advice and abide by their decisions. Their argumentative nature comes to the fore, especially when their own advantage is at stake.
In the days of our Prophet (saas), the hypocrites wanted to separate themselves from the community even though the Qur’an had come and our Prophet (saas) lived among them. Their main reason was that they did not want to fight and were afraid of death. When everything became clear and our Prophet (saas) ordered them to go into battle to win Allah’s favor, they deserted. Some made the excuse that their houses were vulnerable; others argued with him about what was right. The Qur’an speaks of many false excuses. For example, some claimed that they did not know how to fight, that their families keep them occupied, or that it was too hot. Allah’s answer was quite clear: “The Fire of Hell is much hotter” (Surat at-Tawba: 81).
All of these things spring from the hypocrites’ great fear of death. However, everyone will die at the appointed time, even if they are at home or in an impregnable fortress. For this reason, they will be thrown into the deepest place in Hell and will experience the most terrible pangs.
Their argumentativeness comes from the fact that they follow satan and display his attributes:
Satan has gained mastery over them and made them forget the remembrance of Allah. Such people are the party of satan. No indeed! It is the party of satan who are the losers. (Surat al-Mujadala: 19)
We notice that it is characteristic of hypocrites not to praise Allah. As we said at the beginning, believers constantly praise Him and so do not give satan any opportunity to assault them. In the Qur’an, Allah tells us that satan can exert no power over His faithful servants. Due to their relationship with satan, hypocrites do more than just reflect his character; they are a community that fulfills his commands:
Those who believe fight in the Way of Allah. Those who do not believe fight in the way of false deities. So fight the friends of satan! Satan’s scheming is always feeble. (Surat an-Nisa’: 76)
Allah has always removed the hypocrites from the Muslim community. He has forbidden them to join with the believers in the struggle against faithlessness because He knows that they would only spread arguments and division. In Surat at-Tawba 47, He tells us that those hypocrites who go into battle with the believers will try to harm them and stir up strife among them. To this end, they will try to make the Prophet (saas) and Islam the cause of argument. But the Qur’an tells us that Allah will never allow this to happen.
As we said before, unlike hypocrites, believers do not have it in their nature to argue with each other, for they have set their hearts only on Allah and thus cannot separate themselves from other believers. They undertake a project only after mutual consultation. If there is any disagreement, they immediately remember Allah and stop talking in order to avoid argument, and take refuge in Allah.