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[Part 4] Tips for Patience on the Oppression of Others Upon You – Ibn Taymiyyah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The conclusion to the advice of Ibn Taymiyyah for those afflicted by oppression and splintered hearts desiring revenge….

“The servant must also be aware that if he has been oppressed due to some action he performed for the sake of Allah, or upon performing some commandment or refraining from some prohibition, then patience is obligatory upon him, and seeking revenge is not correct for him. For indeed [in such a scenario] he has been harmed and oppressed for the sake of Allah and so his reward is with Allah.

Similarly the servant must recognise that taking revenge may actually cause a greater harm, since the oppressor may return with a greater oppression therafter, such that you are unable to defend yourself and repel it. Therefore, the intelligent one does not choose the greater of the evils [i.e. by taking revenge and causing greater oppression upon himself], and how often is it seen that the one who takes revenge causes greater harm to come to him and he cannot repel it.

Thereafter, refraining from seeking revenge causes humility,shame and regret to befall the oppressor, as well the blameworthiness of the people upon him [since they will recognise the honour you have demonstrated by not seeking revenge upon his wrongdoing]. That may cause him to become an ally to you! This is the meaning of the statement of Allah in Suratul Fussilat 34-35, “Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allah ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly), then verily! he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient, and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of the happiness in the Hereafter i.e. Paradise and in this world of a high moral character).”

Similarly, pardoning the oppressor causes him to inwardly sense that he is lower in honour than the one who he oppressed, and that will remain within him if the oppressed does not take revenge…and that is enough as a nobility for the oppressed to refrain from revenge.

Also be aware that this oppression that has occurred is either a means of expiating some sins or raising the oppressed in rank, however if he fails to remain patient and take revenge then he recieves neither of those. As for the one who does not demonstrate patience and habitualises himself upon seeking revenge for himself, then inevitably he will fall into oppression himself, since the emotion of anger [due to burning desire for revenge] exits a person from a state of understanding what he says and does, and so he may eventually end up taking more than his right.

Finally, if the oppressed one pardons and overlooks the wrongdoing then that is an action of goodness, which will then lead him onto performing another act of goodness, and then another and so on since from the reward of a good deed is the ability to perform more good deeds, and so his good deeds continue to increase…and this may become the cause for his saviour and happiness for eternity.”

[جامع المسائل لشيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية]…[via Sahab]


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