السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
Siblings, spouses, parents and kids etc can and do get into arguments.
Sometimes those arguments can even escalate to the level of disputes. We are all guilty of losing our temper at times. We are all guilty of saying things we regret. When someone points out something wrong you did or said you might want to impulsively fire back with “I’m glad you said that because I remember you doing (xyz) which was ten times worse so I wouldn’t talk”.
This is one kind of deflection among many that shifts the conversation from a problem at hand to something in the past which, though also important on its own, was not the subject at hand. But one of the worst things you and I can do in the course of argument is take a self righteous position. What I mean by that is that if someone was deeply hurt and said something and you fired back with “the prophet (saw) said ….(fill in Hadith). Or Allah said (fill in ayah).” This is done to make a person feel that they have disobeyed Allah and his messenger by speaking to you in a way that you didn’t like. But when you did so yourself, and someone else dare remind of you of the same, you can get so deeply offended and hurt that someone can be so judgmental and arrogant.
It may be true that someone’s behavior is in violation of the sacred teachings. That still doesn’t allow us to use these sacred words as weapons in the course of an argument to place ourselves on the side of the sacred and the other on the devils team. This is self righteous, it is a terrible form of arrogance and is not just wrong to the person you are arguing with but also misuse of something that has much higher value than our need to put someone in their place.
You and I may have done this at some point or another in our lives. Let’s just acknowledge that to Allah and seek forgiveness for it. This is not why He taught us this treasure. Not so we can slap loved ones across the face with it.
So what should we do? Wait till things deescalate. Give advice based on the sacred teachings without necessarily quoting them at your loved ones. Think two steps ahead. When I say this, what reaction can I anticipate. You should know your loved ones enough, and you’ve been in arguments enough frankly speaking, to know what reaction your words will solicit. If your approach made the other dig their heels in deeper and get more antagonistic, defensive and even dismissive the last 1863791 times, maybe the problem lies with you and me. Let’s speak good or remain silent. And since that’s based on a Hadith let me tell you how you can misuse it too. Tell your loved one “I’m gonna remain silent because I’d rather not speak no good”. You’re telling them they deserve bad words but you’re taking the higher spiritual road. That’s again sending a message of self righteousness. Instead let’s try saying something like “I don’t think I’m able to have this conversation in a healthy way right now so maybe we can talk later. I’m not trying to hurt you but I think it will make things worse if we continue this conversation this way now.”
You can’t make someone angry happy with you. That’s not up to you. But you can be safer with the words you choose to deescalate.
Enough morning ramblings. Bye. Oh and Islamic bye. السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته.
Nouman Ali Khan