Conflict or Synergy with Diversity?

Category: Featured, Life & Society Topics: Conflict, Diversity Views: 2404

In the corporate environment of today people are being taught Conflict resolution and Diversity. The business environment demands that people resolve conflicts in a productive and synergistic manner. Corporations are desperately working to make diversity a strength. Professional counselors are being trained to smooth relations.

How are Muslims in general approaching diversity? How do we resolve conflicts among relatives, friends, community members, businesses and nations?

There are rich Islamic traditions established to deal with such matters but overall we may find that we are failing in approaching the issue of conflict resolution and synergy.

If we are a community that shares certain foundational beliefs, what then is our role in the society we face today? The Quran and the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are rich with examples to promote peace and harmony for all of humanity.

3 (Family of Imran):103 --- Hold fast together to the cable of Allah and be not divided.

The cable of God is the way of life that He has provided for us. By holding fast to this cable it connects us directly to God and since other believers are holding on to this cable it also connects us to everyone holding this cable. This verse establishes the ground rules for any relationship and disapproves of disunity.

The Quran makes a resounding case for a global society of peace and justice.

49 (The Dwellings):13 O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).

In our personal lives a potent virus that creates enmity among people is Backbiting. At one time a person asked the Prophet what is backbiting? The Prophet said 'It is to mention something about a man that he would find displeasing.' The man asked 'What if, what ever is said about the man is true?' The Prophet replied 'If you utter something false, then it is slander.' It is easy to fall into the backbiting trap and requires self-discipline and restraint of lose talk.

Backbiting is strongly dissuaded in the Quran...

49 (The Dwellings): 12 O you who have believed, avoid suspicion as much (As Possible): for suspicion In some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other, nor should any of you backbite (speak ill) of each other...

Synergy (fellowship, association, sharing, agreement) requires forgiveness and sensitiveness to the feeling of others. It is natural to have disputes but it is not natural to develop extended or permanent animosity among our selves. Intelligence and wisdom demands that we find solutions to our problems and not just turn our backs and give up or draw the lines.

With the proper willingness and intentions we can solve our disputes and disagreements. We all need to be aware that people come from different stages of life with different backgrounds and different expectations. These differences go beyond the visible gender, nationality, ethnicity, and age. It includes the varied work experiences and life experiences of people with diverse backgrounds. To cultivate harmony in our personal and professional lives we need to develop a high level of tolerance and a compromising and flexible outlook towards an individual's opinion.

This requires an appreciation of the potential of diversity and involves changing our individual and collective behavior to become aware of, and draw upon, the perspectives and talents of people around us with diverse backgrounds. We need to value differences with-in the Islamic framework. When individuals of every background are valued and given the opportunity to contribute fully towards goals and objectives the result is increased effectiveness and an improved positive impact in everything we do.

59 (The Gathering):10. "Our Lord! Forgive us, and our brethren who came before us into the Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! Thou art indeed Full of Kindness, Most Merciful.

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  31 Comments   Comment

  1. Tayyaba qidwai from Oman

    Mr. Miller fom where do you draw the inference that Muslims do not show any tolerance where they are in the majority? I live in a Muslim country since the last two decades, and I have seen the respect and dignity bestowed on the non- Muslims in these countries. Repeatedly these non- Muslims claim that they hav fallen in love with these Gulf countries. They claim it is some "magical power" which draws them to stay in these countries forever. I'll tell you what this magical power is. It is the tolerance of the Muslims which gives the others the right to live in dignity in their lands!

  2. Imran Alam from USA

    Ya Raab Dilay Muslim Ko Woh Zindaa Tamanna Day

    Jo Qalb Ko Garmaa Day, Jo Rooh Ko Tardpaa Day

    -Allama Iqbal-

  3. Syed Jamil Husain from USA

    excellent article.

    sufees life is full of this attitude.

  4. samina tariq from IL(USA)

    please send me your newsletter daily or weekly in email.Thankyou.MY name is samina I came from PAKISTAN.I guess your online magazine is interesting for me.ALLAH_HAFIZ.

  5. Miller from U.S.

    Adnan (ref. 2800) wrote:

    " 'O you who believe do not take the infidels as allies, do you wish to offer Allah a proof against yourselvs' 4/144

    [145] The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire; no helper wilt thou find for them.

    Let us not deal with symptoms.Let us cure the disease."

    I also noted that the article celebrating diversity referred only to ethnic, nationality, gender and age diversity within the Ummah and did not refer ever to the desirability of extending the same degree of understanding, cooperation and tolerance to other religions. Whatever the attitudes may have been in Muslim societies in past centuries such Islamic societies as Spain or the Ottoman Empire in its Golden Age, the attitude of most Muslims on this subject in today's world seems pretty clear: to demand tolerance when they are in the minority and to utterly repress other religions when they are in the majority.

  6. mohamed shanavas from india

    i am a regular reader of the islamic city bulleting,it gives me lot of learn things about islam.thankyou

  7. Daud R. Matthews from UK

    You might have quoted the hadith which mentions in response to a question as to who are the poorest people, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.s. replied:

    Many will will come on the Day of Judgement with prayers, and having fasted and performed so many good deeds, but when their good deeds are allocated to the people whom they slandered or spoke about behind their backs they will be the poorest because their good deeds will be insufficient. (This is an attempt at the meaning as I am writing this from memory - please check the words of the actual hadith.)

    wassalam alaikum

    Your brother in Islam


  8. AA

    In an ideal world muslims would understand these concepts written and there would be unity,but the reality is far from that. We differ so much in practices and spend more time bickering about who is right,than what is the good in this. If we went back to first principles, I am sure we won't go far wrong. Muslims have now gotten quite bad public press over the years which has tarnished our own opinion of ourselves,+ led some people to believe they we can behave as want in the name of Islam.The marriage system just goes to show how far away from true religious teachings we are. After all we choose our partners based on their

    colour...and in Asian tradition in a very literal sense. Islamic teachings are breathtakingly beautiful in their simplicity + basic honesty.Yet people do not carry these around with them in their daily lives.In the rat race we live by, people do not think they will succeed by having such an "understanding" mentality. We have become more overtaken by material greed and worldly gain to see the profit in behaving by such principles. The section on backbiting is so true. It's like a disease that permeates our society, creating envy,animosity + hatred amongst ourselves...+ people just don't see the devil within. We have to work + pray hard to be rid of these demons within ourselves and our society.

    We have to educated ourselves first + each other, + allow the true muslim character to emerge.

  9. ayesha from USA

    Thanks for this important and much needed message. We Muslims need to do our best to build community and unity with diversity in our neighborhoods.

  10. Esther from USA

    Adnan, so you think Spain belongs to Muslims? Spain belongs to the Spainards, and Europe to the Europeans. You seem to want to take our culture away. You want us to change our names and our language. White people lost their culture in 703 A.D.

  11. imran from india

    i am very thankful to u for giving information.

    allah hafiz

    your brother of islam


  12. Adnan from USA

    In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

    Until last year, all Muslims held their Eidul Adha prayer together. Now we speak of unity and we act differently. We are a lost Ummah until we come back to the Rope of Allah ST.

    I wish those Muslims with sickness in their hearts will mind their business. They should follow the and unite with pilgrims. I personally heard some of them wishing some Muslim country to fall or suffer. Now they have different Eid.

    Spain has been lost because some people (not all) decided to seperate themsevs from the big Muslim Ummah.

    "O you who believe do not take the infidels as allies, do you wish to offer Allah a proof against yourselvs" 4/144

    [145] The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire; no helper wilt thou find for them.

    Let us not deal with symptoms.Let us cure the disease.

    Allah is our only helper..

  13. Charles Holcomb (Jackson) from usa

    May God lead us in his likeness, and may we be receiving as His Children, regardless of who we are and our station in life.

    Thank you so much for your Holy teachings, IslamiCity Bulletin!


  14. Yinka Ajia from Nigeria

    assalam aleikun, I must say that this article on synergy really gave me more courage on the way of life I have chosen, that is, for some time now, I have refused to hold grudge against anyone even if the said person has hurt my feelings one way or the other. Islamicity, Barka Lahu Fihi.

  15. mahmoudkhan from australia.

    congratulations.excellent topic.if only we are to listen to the other persons opinion with patience it would be so constructive. we all develop our values by the exposure to the various stages in our development, from our peers our parents ,teachers,etc. those engrained and endowed with rich islamic values will listen attentively to others opinion and if their basic message violates and or compromises the basic fundamental Islamic values then one is obliged to enlighten the one who differs by references to the Quran and Ahadiths with wisdom and gentle persuasion. and if that persons reasoning is still against the tenets of Islam then waste no time as the one who demonstrates stubbornness is at a loss. Hence let it be. depart yourself .idha khatebaqoom jaheloona qaloo salaama. one needs to acquaint one's self with the ikhtilaaf il adab. it is healthy to debate and learn . mahmood khan.australia.

  16. Martin Baiada from United States

    Hello, I agree the synergy is a powerful good. My concern is if we are pure of heart and another sins against us, or a brother spys on us, how do we address that and remain pure of heart? Many times have I approached someone who reveals himself/herself to be at odds with casual conversation, then the simple enjoyment of another's company has turned into an encounter with rancor. Being unprepared for the moment can leave me at a loss to find a positive outcome.

  17. Sedick Sadien from south Africa

    I'm happy to have made your acquaintance.

    The topics in your mail very pertinent to South

    Affrican (Cape Town) muslims, where the community has split over a dispute on whether to celebrate Eid-ul-adha with Mecca or just resort to tradition by sighting the new moon with the naked eye. I'm dissapointed that no consensus was reached to unite Cape Town Muslims over the eid issue. Your news today has reminded me to put my patience to the test & rather accommodate our differences to please Allah & our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him). (as long as our differences are within the fold of Islam)

  18. burak tilev from trkiye (turkey)







  19. Allah Ali Aziz Al-Khidhr (Superior Astral) from Azijah Cabo Verde

    Solution to the problem is to be upright in deeds.

    Done in the heart of the true spirit of Ruh Allah


    Not in the hypocrisy of those many who profess Islam nor in the many who say they are muslims.

    They kill,lie and cheat and are deviant in their

    understanding in the way of Allah Ali Aziz Deus.

    Salah Jah.

    Soon The Thunder.

  20. IRUM

    Islam teaches us not to hate and that diversity is what Islam has. It is a religion for all kind not just for one and we are all equal in the eyes of Allah and in religion. Every Muslim has been taught the diversity of Islam but very few of us practice it. We fight with each other and show no respect. If we only show 10% of respect for each others religious differences (Sunni, Shite, Soufi & other sects within Islam) we would be a better civilization. To respect someone's believe doesn't mean you have to believe in it. You just have to respect it, his/her believe is driven from the background and life experience.

  21. Said Elkhodary from USA

    We need to get out of our Cocoon and start mixing with non-Muslims, one of the reasons a lot of non Muslims said the shehada during the time of the prophet (PBUH), was his personality, he was so kind and compassionate, that people followed him.

  22. Ma Jianping from China

    The more synergic with diversity,the stronger we Muslims will become.I think so.

    The world we are living in is full of complicated issues,it will not be improved or make any progress by the endeavor of some individuals, we need a synergic group to make us stronger.

    The environment around me is not good.But I hope I can do something for we Muslims,maybe what I will do is not the best,but I will try my best.May Allah help me.

    Do you find that even the most ugly person,there is always some beutiful thing within him or her.

    Allah give us the equal opportunuty to fullfill our tasks during the lives.You succeed in some special aspects,the other people will complete in others.

    The talents Allah give us are individually different,we should make the best use of them and

    I think this can be called "synergic spirit".

    Just like every drop of water is to the ocean,each of us is very important to our Muslim community.Let's offer our hands and cooperate with each other,I confirm we will have a bright future.


  23. akinwale lawal from Nigeria

    i have been enjoying your bulletin thanks for sending iwish to receive more of it.

    keep embrassing Islam.


  24. sarah elliott from usa

    there exists on earth, among us, an american woman who teaches the belief of diversity, the recognition and appreciation of our differences through an exercise based on eye color. it is a life-changing, utterly eye-opening experience for those who are willing to learn something. if you are all truly devoted to the end of conflict and committed to synergy with diversity, there are films of this womans exercise you can purchase:

    "BLUE-EYED", "A CLASS DIVIDED", "THE EYE OF THE STORM" and the latest one is "THE ANGRY EYE", shot in Bard college with a group of volunteer students. informative to the max. learn something. watch it. pass it on!! this womans name is Jane Elliott.

  25. Jamil Shah from Hong Kong

    I am very pleased that u people send me such informationand advices. Your this E-mail encouraged me not to backbite on other preople, though I am trying to get myself out of this bad habbit. It would be better if u tell about the punishment for these sins the God has promised for those who commet such sins.

    I look forward to such advices from u people.

    Thank you very much.

    Best Regards,

    Jamil Shah.

  26. kacamakovic admir from bosnia

    in the time that we live in it is very easy for people to become brain-washed with the current sitioation and pularity of tv, radio, adn other media info sources. the world of capitalizam is an organized crime against anyone or anybody who doent support the idea of making money any way possible. islam as a religion prohibits the most money-maker indurstries of today: intrest, gambling, and prostitution. capitalizim has over the years organized itself that the evils just mentioned are protected by laws the capitalist themselves pass on to be fallowed. for an jurnalist to make an honest statment he has to realize that he might get fired and that his advertising sponsors will go elsewhere which will couse the journalist to quit. religion does play som role in this evil making as we can learn theat from the quran and sunnah, where is mentioned taht the jews and christians worship their priest and monks instead of god. we all know that there is religion in todays capitalisim world, but its the religion that allows evil and doesnt care about the good as long as the proffit from it. it this world we lose and they win. in the hereafter it will be different inshallah.

  27. Mohamad B. Arafat from USA

    Assalamu Alikum:

    Thank you very much for the nice advise

    That shows how much we are in need for Imams who teach the prification of the heart, a subject not many people paying attention to it, and it is the core of our religion.

    Do you know where we find an Imam for our community who is also specialized in the purifiaction of the hart? many people have Islamic degrees from different universities but we need that one.

    May Allah bless your important efforts

    Mohamad B. Arafat

  28. Brian D. Lawlor from Canada

    Hello Islam. Yes backbiting as you call it is something all religions suffer from. When each religion thinks themself the tree rather than one of many branches to that tree backbiting shows its ugliness. We are not to judge those who live differently than us, wear different clothes, pray and honor our God in a different manner. We are to keep our personal thoughts about others to ourselves but we all are quick to dishonor our God. We are to judge those who do harm against this global body we each are a part of but for some reason we fail our God in that respect. We must come to recognize each others importance within this global body and it is underway as I write. Just as this military coalition to which Islam plays an important part is forming so too is Islam forming into one. There will be a people used like kindling to build a fire around Israel for their failure to abide by GODs covenent. You are those people Islam. Some call you terrorist but if Islam is being guided by God then America without thinking as usual is calling God a terrorist. The generations to come will be secured because of the actions of the generations now so patience Islam and know we are with you always now and through eternity. Take care out there and our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours .

  29. Zarinah from US

    As salaamu alaikum, It was a pleasure to read this article. There are many sisters who need to read and remember what Allah says concerning backbitting. The community were I'am from I find a lot of this going on. Insha allah one day they will accept what Allah has stated concerning this matter. This is such a great sin and we all need to ask Allah for forgiveness. To ask for forgiveness on a daily basis. Thank you so much for this article. Insha allah it will reach someone and allow them to ask Allah for forgiveness and help with their tongue. Masalaams!

  30. Mrs. Romi Elnagar from USA

    Thank you for these beautiful words of peace. Our hearts are shattered by violence against our fellow Muslims in Palestine, Chechnya, and elsewhere. Only the remembrance of God's mercy can heal our suffering. Only the practice of forgiveness can enable us to go on with strength and compassion. May God bless you all.

  31. Anne Marie Habibi from Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada

    Excellent descussion on Ddiversity and synergery.

    I believe We are the Messiah, the Prophets, the Manifestations of God and People of Spirit a living Messiah in the Multitudes, not one of us but all of us.

    Essentially We how a Powerful Holy Spirit that moves and motivates the World We live in.

    We all shape the Spiritual Environments and Spiritual Economies We live in.

    We create & leave our legacy behind us and none of us does not leave a legacy/inheritance.