Differences of opinion

Every person's way of looking at, examining, and thinking about something is different from others, as every person’s age, education, experiences and skills are different, based on which he forms his own particular opinion on an issue.

There may be some resemblance between the opinions of two people, but it is almost impossible to reach a 100% agreement. What will be cooked at home today? Which company's refrigerator should be purchased? What colour should the curtains be? Should ‘yes’ be said for the marriage proposal or not? What date will the marriage take place? What kind of furniture will be put in the office? What will the dress code be? What will the university syllabus be? Which lesson will be taught by which teacher? Will the journey be by train or by bus? There may be differences of opinion between different people (spouses, mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, other siblings, friends, etc.) on thousands of such issues. Disagreement is a part of our social, communal, and domestic life and we all consciously acknowledge this. It has also been observed that many times disagreements escalate into quarrels which lead to increasing problems in society. If the etiquettes of disagreement are followed, such problems can be avoided.

10 tiquettes of disagreement

1.   Before expressing dissent, be open minded and reflect upon your own opinion first, questioning whether perhaps you are wrong. Then, if your opinion proves to be wrong, put an end to it there and then, and find peace of mind.

2.   If you think your opinion is correct, ask yourself: is it necessary to express it? Because it is not necessary to express every disagreement, especially in a place where there is no harm in remaining silent, for example in the question of having tea immediately after eating versus waiting for a while before having it. This is not an issue to get into a debate over. However, if you are asked about your opinion, then give it.

3.   Do not jump into debates everywhere by leaning on your ‘right to disagree’, because giving your unsolicited opinion makes your opinion lose its value. People may start to become annoyed with you thinking that you stick your oar into everything, therefore as much as possible give your opinion only when asked.

4.   The manner of expressing dissent should be polite and courteous. A sarcastic manner of speaking, calling others ignorant and foolish, being argumentative, and adopting an aggressive manner causes pain to others and also worsens the impression others have of you.

5.   Acknowledge the right of others to disagree and do not force them to change their opinion by arguing, but if you find your opinion wrong as a result of the conversation, correct it and show virtuous conduct.

6.   If both parties are adamant in their position and a decision is necessary, then ask an upright and experienced person to decide between them.

7.   If your opinion takes precedence, do not be arrogant and do not brag about how you silenced the other party.

8.   Whether you prevail or are defeated, in both cases, do not fall into the trap of backbiting the other party, do not place accusations on him, and do not harbour hatred for him in your heart.

9.   Limit the difference of opinion to yourself and the party in front of you. Don’t involve others even in the slightest. It is a pity that we do not pay any attention to this as social media like WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, etc. have given such facilities that any ignorant person can talk about what is happening in his house, street, or neighbourhood, and broadcast it all over the world, making him a laughing stock. May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ grant such people common sense.

10.   Whoever you disagree with, don't let the relationship get strained as a result. Let’s read an interesting story in this regard:

Brotherhood should not be affected

Sayyiduna Yunus Sadafi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states that I have not seen anyone wiser than Sayyiduna Imam Shaafi’i رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه. One day I debated with him on an issue and then we departed. When we met again, he held my hand and said: ‘O Abu Musa! Is it not good for us to be like brothers, even though we do not agree on an issue?’ (Siyar A'lam-ul-Nubala, vol. 8, p. 382)

May Allah Almighty grant us the Taufeeq to improve our morals and character.

اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم




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