In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Bestower of Mercy
All Praise is due to Allah, and may the Salah and Salam be on Prophet Muhammad, his household, and the noble Companions and those who follow them until the Day of Resurrection.
Dear brothers and sisters, there is strong indication that the raging crisis between the Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and His Highness, the Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II has come to an end In Shaa Allah; a crisis that has since degenerated into serious tension within the State, with likely consequences on peace and security with the possibility of spilling into neighbouring states.
A group of respected elders, under the able chairmanship of former Head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, GCFR has been formed to intervene in the crisis, with a view to bringing about, full reconciliation, and effective resolution of the matter by the Grace of Almighty Allah.
The committee I learn is working with the full understanding and cooperation of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Alhamdulillah, as we all know, reconciling people is among the great noble morals. The Shari’ah urged it in more than one occasion as Allah Almighty says:
“So fear Allah and reconcile that which is between you.” [Qur’an, 8: 1]
And the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“Sadaqah (i.e. charity) is due on every joint of a person every day the sun rises. Administering of justice between two men is also a Sadaqah. Assisting a man to ride upon his riding animal, or helping him load his luggage upon it is a Sadaqah; a good word is a Sadaqah; every step that you take towards prayer is a Sadaqah, and removing harmful objects from the pathway is a Sadaqah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Due to the importance of this virtue, Islam assigned one of the disbursement channels of Zakah for those who seek to reconcile people. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“The best charity is to reconcile between people.” [Imam At-Tabarani in Al-Mu‘jam Al-Kabir]
Poets did not forget the virtue of reconciling people, so they immortalised it in their poems. One Arab poem said a line of verse that means:
“All merits are referred to two matters; glorifying the Orders of Allah Almighty and seeking to reconcile people.”
Respected brothers and sisters, reconciling people is a branch of faith and an Islamic moral code through which grudges are eliminated, hearts are purified, and flames of fitnah are extinguished. Allah Almighty said:
“No good is there in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right or conciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking means to the approval of Allah – then We are going to give him a great reward.” [Qur’an, 4: 114]
That is why Islam urges the believer to regard ‘reconciling people’ as one of his most important aims in his worldly life, as it is through reconciliation that the Ummah becomes a coherent unit where one part thereof seeks to amend the other part. Thus, it becomes like a single body; if one organ of it complains, the rest of the body suffers sleeplessness and fever. So neglecting this matter leads to the disintegration of the Ummah and the severance of its ties.
That is why Islam considered reconciling people better than many acts of worship. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“Should I not tell you what is better in degree than prayer, fasting, and charity.” They (the companions) said: “Yes.” He said: “Reconciling people, for grudges and disputes are the razor (that shaves faith).” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmithi]
Reconciliation should be realised by bridging the gaps that occurred because of disputes and conflicts over worldly affairs and by removing their bad effects.
Some scholars maintain that the prayer, the fasting, and the charities that are mentioned in the Hadith refer to the voluntary, not the obligatory. Imam Al-Qari may Allah have mercy upon him said:
“Allah Almighty knows best about the intended meaning. However, it could mean that bringing reconciliation to conflicts and disputes that might lead to shedding blood, plundering money, and violating sanctities is better than fulfilling obligatory acts of worship whose benefits do not extend to others, taking the possibility of making up for them, in case they are missed, into consideration. This is so because such acts of worship are among the Rights of Allah Almighty that are less significant in His sight than the rights of the servants.
As regards his saying:
“Grudges and disputes are the razor.”
The author of An-Nihayah said:
” ‘The razor’ refers to such a bad quality that removes faith, just like a razor removes hair. It was also said that it refers to severing ties of kinship and injustice.”
Imam At-Tibi may Allah have mercy upon him said:
The Hadith urges reconciling people and avoiding corrupting relations between them, because reconciliation is a reason for holding firm to the rope of Allah Almighty and avoiding disunity between the Muslims, whereas disputes are a crack in the religion. Whoever seeks to amend the relations between the Muslims and removes the corruption thereof will attain a degree that is greater than that of the fasting person who observes night prayers and is preoccupied with his own benefit only.
From the sum of these Hadiths, we reach an important result, which is that our great religion, Islam, aspires for reconciliation and seeks for it. Allah Almighty informed us that settlement of disagreements is best. Allah Almighty says:
“…there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them – and settlement is best.” [Qur’an, 4: 128]
Dear brothers and sisters, reconciling people is a great act of worship that Allah Almighty loves. The one who seeks to reconcile people is the one who offers his effort, money, authority, and power to reconcile the disputing parties. He is a person whose soul loves goodness and yearns for it. He does not care about the people’s opinions or criticism as long as he seeks the pleasure of Allah Almighty. He exposes himself to embarrassing situations and shares the concerns of his brothers in order to reconcile two persons.
Many are those homes which were about to collapse because of a simple dispute between the spouses. Then, when a person interfered seeking reconciliation between them by means of a good word, a sincere advice, or sometimes a sum of money, he restored peacefulness between them and saved the family from loss and destitution?
How many ruptures of relations were about to occur between two leaders, two brothers, friends or relatives because of a mistake or a minor error, but then a person succeeded in reconciling them.
How many lives and properties were saved and satanic temptations were suppressed after they were about to start thanks to the favour of Allah Almighty and then to those good people who reconcile others!
Congratulations, O brothers and sisters, to those who were guided by Allah Almighty to reconcile two leaders, two opponents, spouses, neighbours, friends, partners, or groups.
Thanks to Your Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, thanks to Your Excellency, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, thanks to Your Highness, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano, thanks to all the members of The Presidential committee on bringing solution to Kano Crisis under the able chairmanship of Former Head of state General Abdussalami Abubakar (rtd) GCFR and all the members of this blessed committee, like His excellency, Governor Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti state and the chairman of the Nigerian Governor’s Forum, His Excellency, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, Governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Adamu Fika, Wazirin Fika, CFR, General Muhammadu Inuwa Wushishi (rtd), CFR, GCON, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, SAN, Dr. Dalhatu Sarki Tafida, OFR, CFR, Dr. Umaru Mutallab, CON, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, CFR, Sheikh Sharif Ibrahim Saleh and Dr. Adamu Fika.
I also thanks Malam Mouftah Baba-Ahmed, and the Northern Elders Forum, under the able leadership of our respected elder, Professor Ango Abdullahi for their efforts and interventions in reconciling the two leaders.
Dear brothers and sisters, what further indicates the great virtue of reconciling people is that Islam even allows lying to reconcile quarreling people. The intended meaning of lying here is to exaggerate in describing and confirming the good aspects of the other party so as to reconcile hearts and to assert that such a dispute was not intentional. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“The one who reconciles people is not considered a liar if he exaggerates what is good or says what is good.” [Imam Ahmad]
A great scholar said:
“Allah Almighty likes lying for the sake of reconciliation and dislikes truthfulness for the sake of corruption.”
Thus, pay attention to this.
My beloved people, we have to realise that we are human beings and that disputes breaking up among us is something normal. Rare are those people who are safe from disagreement. It might occur between you and your brother, relative, spouse, or friend… This happens often. So, we have to rid ourselves of this by reconciliation, shaking hands, forgiveness, condescendence, love, and brotherhood so that everything becomes alright again.
Let us reflect upon this Hadith of the master of those who reconcile people, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him):
“The gates of Paradise are opened on two days: Monday and Thursday. Every servant who does not associate anything with Allah Almighty is granted pardon, except the person in whose (heart) there is rancour against his brother. It would be said: delay both of them until they reconcile; delay both of them until they reconcile; delay both of them until they reconcile.” [Muslim]
Imam Al-Awza‘i may Allah have mercy upon him said:
“There is no step that is dearer to Allah Almighty than a step towards reconciling people. Whoever reconciles two people, Allah Almighty will grant him safety from Hellfire.”
O my loved ones for the sake of Allah, the Exalted! Someone may say: ‘I want to go to so-and-so to reconcile, but I fear that he rejects me, refuses to receive me, or depreciates my visit!’
I tell you: remember that your Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is telling you: ‘Go to him even if he dismisses you or talks badly about you. Go to him once, twice, and thrice and hasten to give him a present, smile at him, and treat him nicely.’ The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Allah Almighty augments the honour of he who forgives.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
If you pardon, Allah Almighty will increase your honour; if you reconcile people, Allah Almighty will increase your honour. If you were expelled or the door was not opened for you and you returned, then know that this is one of the wishes of the pious predecessors (Salaf) of the Ummah because it is proof of the purity of the heart since Allah, the Exalted, says:
“And if it is said to you, “Go back,” then go back; it is purer for you.” [Qur’an, 24: 28]
So, take care of this, O believer, and do not leave for Satan a way to yourself.
Try reconciliation today. Call the one who is disputing with you and treat him nicely. Perhaps this call might be a reason, after the mercy of Allah Almighty, for forgiving your sins:
“Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur’an, 24: 22]
Go to him. There are people who went to sit with their opponents for only fifteen or thirty minutes, but they ended up sitting for long hours because of the great happiness, comfort, familiarity, and love they felt.
Try to be the one who takes the initiative of reconciliation and do not let Satan’s whisper overcome you. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“It is unlawful for a Muslim to forsake his fellow Muslim for more than three consecutive days. When they meet, each of them turns his face away from the other. The better one is the one who starts the greeting.” [Ahmad]
The one who seeks reconciliation should keep the etiquettes of settlement in mind so that Allah Almighty supports him and so that he receives the fruits of his endeavour. The greatest of these etiquettes includes:
1. He should make his intention sincere for the sake of Allah Almighty. He should not intend money, prestige, ostentation, or fame with the reconciliation, but he should seek the countenance of Allah Almighty, Who says:
“And whoever does that seeking means to the approval of Allah – then We are going to give him a great reward.” [Qur’an, 4: 114]
2. He should adhere to justice and completely avoid injustice.
“Then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” [Qur’an, 49: 9]
3. Let your conciliation be based upon Shari’ah knowledge. It is preferable that you consult scholars in this regard, study the issue from all its sides, and listen to each of the parties.
4. Do not be rash in your judgment and take your time because hastiness may lead to corrupting more than what has been amended.
5. You should choose the appropriate time for reconciling between the conflicting parties. That is to say that you only start the reconciliation when the issue becomes cool, the severity of the dispute is alleviated, and the fire of anger is extinguished; then you start to reconcile them.
6. What is more important also is using nice words, you should say:
“O father of so-and-so, you are known for such-and-such.”
You should mention his merits and good deeds and you may exaggerate even to the point of lying; then warn him against grudges and disputes.
Lastly, I’m reminding you of Allah’s words about reconciliation:
“And if a woman fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no sin on them both if they make terms of peace between themselves; and making peace is better. And human inner-selves are swayed by greed. But if you do good and keep away from evil, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.” [Qur’an, 4:128]
“The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto, but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah, for (Allah) loves not those who do wrong. But indeed if any do help and defend himself after a wrong (done) to them against such there is no cause of blame. The blame is only against those who oppress men with wrong-doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice for such there will be a Penalty grievous. But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs.” [Qur’an, 42:40-43]
O Allah, purify our hearts from grudge, envy, and cheating. O Allah, amend our relations with our relatives. O Allah, amend our relations with our loved ones. O Allah, make life an increase for us in every good and make death a relief for us from every evil with Your mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful.
May Allah Almighty continue to bless our great country, grant us greater peace and prosperity, and may He the Most High bless, guide and protect our elders and leaders, ameen.
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.