Today’s Hadith: Intelligent retaliation

Tajudeen Oloko

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: “The Jews used to greet the Prophet (PBUH) by saying, ‘As-Saamu alaika (i.e., death be upon you),’ so I understood what they said, and I said to them, ‘Alaikumus-saamu wal-la’natu (i.e., death and Allah’s curse be upon you).’ The Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘Be gentle and calm, O Aishah, as Allah likes gentleness in all affairs.’ I said, ‘O Allah’s Prophet! Didn’t you hear what they said?’ He said, ‘Didn’t you hear me answering them back by saying, ‘Alaikum (i.e., the same be upon you)?’” [Sahih Bukhari]

Rasulullah (PBUH) was aware of what was being said to him. And he retaliated; but intelligently – without causing a big stir. Without using the bad words the Jews used for him, he returned their evil wishes on them. Thus, he set an example of the tone and manner in which a Muslim responds to provocation.

Think of how reactive we are. We immediately jump at the throat of whoever hurts us. Our voices are raised, our tone becomes harsh. Our reproach is not characterized by calmness or gentleness, although it is possible to retaliate in a mild manner as well. Retaliating while forcing oneself to remain in a calm state ensures that we do not transgress the limits of revenge and become sinful ourselves by overstepping the bounds of the lawful.

He who uses foul language should think of himself as a Munafiq (hypocrite) as the use of coarse and evil language, while in a disagreement, is a particular characteristic of the hypocrites. To be a hypocrite is worse than to be a Kafir.

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

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