Reflection No. 132 on Q 4:128 – Reconciliation
And reconciliation is better (Sūratun Nisā’, No. 4,Āyat 128)
The word ‘sulh’ means to make peace, improve a relationship, to help overcome conflict, and create amicability between warring parties.
This short sentence from verse 128 of Sūratun Nisā’signifies an essential truth. For human beings harmony, affection, reconciliation, are natural and synchronize with the spirit. Discord, conflict, hatred . . . go against nature and create an imbalance in life. It is not the way things were supposed to be, hence the negative feelings that announce the need of a solution.
To create peace between people is a noble quality. Amīrul Muminīn Imam Ali (a) mentions this in his advice to his sons after being wounded by Ibn Muljim: I advise you to fear Allah and be pious, to have fair and honest dealings with one another and improve mutual relations because I have heard your grandfather, the Holy Prophet (s) say, ‘To remove mutual enmity, ill-feeling and hatred is better than recommended prayers and fasting’. (Nahjul Balāgha, Document No. 47)
When two people have tension between themselves it sometimes becomes hard for them to get out of it. They carry a lot of negative baggage about each other, and love of self and ego are huge hindrances to initiating peace between themselves. Often their actions and words aggravate the cycle of conflict. That is why Islam recommends an outside source to make peace between them. It becomes easier for them to accept this, especially when the peacemaker is trusted and respected by both parties.
The effects of making peace among people in society include:
– increases unity and fraternity
– replaces negative energy with positive energy that can be used for better purposes
– strengthens families and communities
– enhances feelings of happiness and fulfillment
All of us must take on the role of a peacemaker in our own circles. It is a role greatly beloved to God. As Imam Ja‘far al-Sādiq (a) says: A charity loved by Allah is the making of peace between people when relationships between them are spoilt, and bringing them close when they become distant. (MH, H. 10218)
Sources: Aytaullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirazī (ed), Tafsīr Namūne; Muhammadī Rayshahrī, Mizānul Hikmah.