Wise decision of Prophet Muhammad صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم
Prof. Abdul Majid Attari
Blessed by the Lord of the universe with great intellect and wisdom, the Beloved and Blessed Prophet Muhammad Mustafa صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was extremely famous and was able enough to resolve very serious disputes among the prominent chiefs of Arabs in his young age. Even great Arab thinkers and leaders bowed to his decisions, unanimously acknowledging him to be their greatest chief with authority to decide their matters. There was an incident that occurred on the occasion of the reconstruction of the Holy Ka’bah.
When he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was 35 years of age, it rained so heavily that a great flood came in the Haram of the Ka’bah, causing the building of the Ka’bah to collapse completely. The Ka’bah built by Sayyiduna Ibraheem and Sayyiduna Isma’eel عَـلَـيْهِما السَّلَام had been very old. The tribes of ‘Amaliqah, Jurhum and Qusay, etc. had got the Ka’bah reconstructed and renovated in their times. However, the Ka’bah had been situated in a low-lying area, so the rain water would flow rapidly from mountains to the valley of Makkah, often causing flood in the Haram of the Ka’bah. The Quraysh had also got many dams built on the high-lying area for the protection of the Ka’bah, but the dams would often break. Hence the Quraysh decided to demolish the building and to reconstruct a very strong building of the Ka’bah with a high door and a roof. (As-Seerat-ul-Halbiyah, vol. 1, p. 204)
Therefore, the Quraysh started the construction work together. The Revered and Renowned Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم also participated in the construction, carrying stones shoulder to shoulder with the chiefs of the Quraysh. Different tribes were made responsible for the construction of different parts of the Ka’bah. When it was the time to fix the Hajar-e-Aswad, a serious dispute arose among the tribes. Every tribe wanted to pick up the Hajar-e-Aswad and to fix it into the wall of the Ka’bah so that it would be a great honour for them. Four days passed in the same state with the dispute unresolved. Even swords were unsheathed.
Banu ‘Abd-ud-Dar and Banu ‘Adee showed open aggression. They took blood oaths by filling a bowl with blood, dipping their fingers into it and licking them; as was the custom prevailing in the pre-Islamic era of ignorance. The fifth day, all Arab tribes gathered in the Haram of the Ka’bah where an old man suggested that the authority to resolve the dispute be given to the person who would be the first to enter the Haram of the Ka’bah the next morning. All agreed. Glory be to Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ in the highest! The person who was the first to enter the Haram of the Ka’bah was none other than the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Seeing him, all of them said: ‘By Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ! He is ‘Ameen’ [i.e. trustworthy and truthful]. All of us will accept what he decides.’ He صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم found an excellent way to resolve the issue. At first, he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم ordered that one chief from all those tribes who were willing to fix the Hajar-e-Aswad be chosen. Therefore, the chiefs were singled out [i.e. chosen]. Then, spreading his blessed shawl and placing the Hajar-e-Aswad on it, he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم ordered all the chiefs to hold the blessed shawl and carry the Hajar-e-Aswad in it. When the Hajar-e-Aswad was carried to its place, he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم picked it up himself and put it on its place with his own blessed hands. In this way, by virtue of the wisdom and great decision of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustafa صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, a fierce war was averted. (As-Seerat-un-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hishaam, p. 79)
Dear readers! Decision-making is quite an art. Everyone needs to make decisions on various occasions in his life. A timely and tactful decision brings about success, whereas an untimely and improper decision may well cause problems in life. Mentioned here are some pieces of advice which should be kept in mind when making a decision.
* Ensure that all of your decisions are within the bounds of Shari’ah. Allah Almighty has said:
وَ اِذَا حَكَمْتُمْ بَیْنَ النَّاسِ اَنْ تَحْكُمُوْا بِالْعَدْلِؕ-
Whenever you judge between people, so judge with justice.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 05, Surah Al-Nisa, Verse 58)
* Consult some experienced and sincere person who is your well-wisher. Despite the fact that the Noblest and Greatest Prophet Muhammad صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was blessed with greatest intellect and wisdom, Allah Almighty advised him
وَ شَاوِرْهُمْ فِی الْاَمْرِۚ-
And consult with them in matters.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 04, Surah Aal-e-Imran, Verse 159)
While advising his offspring, Sayyiduna Adam عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام said, ‘Consult your well-wishers. If I had consulted with angels, they would have prevented me from eating the forbidden fruit.’
* Some of your decisions are related to others such as your family members, subordinates, general public, etc. Never make a decision unless you have got at truth. Enquire about the overall situation, if necessary, and ensure justice, fairness and well-being of people. The Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said, ‘كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ، وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْؤولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ’ 'Each of you is a guardian and each of you will be questioned about his responsibility.’ The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has also said: ‘When a judge settles a dispute, he should carry out a full investigation. If he gives an accurate judgement (after investigation), for him there are two rewards and if he makes a mistake (in the judgement), for him there is one reward.’ (Muslim, Hadith 1716) Likewise, Sayyiduna Umar Farooq A’zam رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ wrote a letter to Sayyiduna Ameer Mu’awiyah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ, saying:
(1) When two sides approach you about any matter to be dealt with, ensure that the complainant (i.e. the one who makes a claim about his right) provides truthful witnesses and the defendant (i.e. the one against whom a claim about any right has been made) takes a solemn oath. (2) Treat the complainant and the defendant on equal terms. (3) Do not give any judgement between the sides unless you have got to the right judgement; or else try to make both sides get reconciled as long as possible.’ (Al-Bayan-wat-Tabyeen)
* Never make any decision in anger, haste, and in a disturbed state of mind. Sayyiduna Abu Bakrah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ said to his son Sayyiduna Abd al-Rahman رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ: Write a letter to the judge ‘Ubaidullah Bin Abi Bakrah: Never give judgement in anger because I have heard the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم saying: ‘No one should give judgement in the state of anger between two people.’
* Ponder over the possible outcome of your decision in advance. In particular, learn a lesson from your own wrong past decisions. This will protect you from loss in future.
* Ponder over the practicability of your decision. Avoid making such a decision that is impossible to be implemented. If it is unavoidable, pave the way for it, develop consensus on it, make resources available and gradually put your decision into practice. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Pray to Allah Almighty for enabling you to make right decision in the light of Shari’ah for the good of your own and that of others.