Navigating Relationships

Shaykh Muhammad b. Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, may Allah show him mercy, said (1):

If your wife displays unbefitting behavior towards you, do not assess the situation thinking only about the moment. Rather, think about the [good times in the] past, and think about the [potential for improvement in the] future. Then, come to a just decision.

This statement (2) of the Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention and grant him safety, about women (i.e. wives) can be applied to other people you interact with and have friendships with as well.

If someone treats you wrong one day, out of many, do not forget the times when you were treated well. Combine between the two. If there are more instances of kind treatment, then make the decision that this is a decent person.

If there are more instances of poor treatment, then contemplate:

  • If forgiveness is an option, then forgive, and people who are able to forgive and reconcile, their reward is with Allah.
  • If forgiveness is not an option, then seek your rights, and you are not to be blamed if you seek your rights.

Think about which one is most beneficial.

In summary, a person who has relationships with others, whether it be marriage, friendship, business, etc. – interactions should be based on justice. If a character trait is disliked, or an unbefitting action occurs, think about the good things as well, and combine between the two.

This is the justice that Allah, The Most High, and His Messenger, may Allah exalt his mention and grant him safety, commanded with. Allah, The Most High, said:

Indeed, Allah orders justice, good conduct, and benovolence towards relatives. And He forbids immorality, bad conduct, and oppression. He admonishes you, perhaps you will be reminded. [Soorah an-Nahl (16:90)]

Translated by: Jameel Finch, Abu Adam

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(1): See “Explanation of “Riyaadh as-Saaliheen“, pg. 543, print by Mu’assasah ar-Risaalah.

(2): Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen is explaining the statement of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah exalt his mention and grant him safety:

A believing man does not despise a believing woman. If he sees a trait he dislikes, he thinks about a trait he does like.  [Collected by Muslim.]