The Arabic word Islam comes from “salema” meaning “peace”. True to the literary meaning, Islam symbolizes peace and is a mercy for mankind. Islam is not just a series of rituals, but it is rather a way of life than encompasses all facets of human existence. This being the case, solution to conflict management at home is available in Islam if one understands Islam in its true perspective.
Islam places great importance on family life and lays down guidelines on how to deal with other members of the family. The focus of Islam is on molding the right attitude and behavior that preempts conflicts from arising.
Islam considers respect and taking care of one’s parent is one of the greatest acts of worship. The son has to be grateful to the parents for having raised him to what he is, and fulfill their needs. Allah says “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor” (Quran17:23)
Allah also promises paradise for the man who is good to his family, and at the same time promises hell for the person who is rude or disrespectful to his parents.
The Quran says “And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship and she brings him forth with hardship, and the bearing of him, and the weaning of him is thirty months, till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years, he says: “My Lord! Grant me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You, and make my off-spring good. Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims (submitting to Your Will). They are those from whom We shall accept the best of their deeds and overlook their evil deeds. (They shall be) among the dwellers of Paradise, a promise of truth, which they have been promised. (Quran 46:15-18)
Islam is concerned about not just parents. A Muslim is to be kind, soft-spoken, and just in their dealings, and refrain from pride and arrogance with his fellow-beings. Prophet Mohammed, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said, “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself” (Hadeeth in Sahi Bukhari and Muslim).
Islam deals with the issue of kind treatment between spouses in a major way. Allah says “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy” (Quran 30:21). Islam advocates that both husband and wife must fulfill obligations towards the other, to achieve the benefits and interests of marriage. They should also strive be kind to one another by putting up a cheerful face and a gentle word, until such behavior becomes ingrained in them and this wins the others heart.
Allah has assigned specific roles for the husband and wife. Allah places the responsibility of building the Muslim household and looking after the family’s interests with the husband. As such, the woman is to keep away from all kinds of behavior that will offend her husband, and should try not to control him. Similarly, upbringing the children and taking care of the household is primarily the wife’s role. A proper understanding of the respective roles can prevent conflicts largely.
Islam also says about treatment of children. Prophet Mohammed, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said “The worst of guardians are those who are cruel. Beware lest you be one of them. Choose for yourself the path of kindness.”
The key to achieve all this, and not loose one’s cool when the unexpected happens is patience. Allah says “And verily, whosoever shows patience and forgives that would truly be from the things recommended by Allah.” In fact, the virtues of patience finds mention more than seventy times in the Quran. Man must also be patient in what they encounter from the other of shortcomings or bad treatment, and ask make supplications to Allah, instead of resorting to violence and abuse of the other party.
Another way to implement these commandments is to do good deeds on a constant basis. Allah says, “The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel the evil with one which is better then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, will become as though he was a close friend.” (Quran 41-34:35)
Yet another way to implement these commandments is by being patient at the time of anger, and by excusing the transgressors. Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said: “A strong man is not he who defeats his adversary by wrestling, but a strong man is he who controls himself at the time of anger”. He also said, “When one of you gets angry, let him make ablution with water as anger arises out of fire.
The constant thought about death and the nature of human existence would make man stay away from conflicts. Allah says “Every soul shall taste death. And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. For life in this world is nothing but goods and chattels of deception” (Quran 3:185).
Above all, man should also count his blessings. The very fact that he has a home and family is blessing enough that many people do not enjoy. This realization will enable him to forgive and forget. Allah asks man thirty-three times “Then which of the favors of the Lord will you deny?”
However, while kindness, patience, good deeds and disassociation all have their place, it is imperative to be firm where firmness is required. The man should speak out against the evil or wrong practice and prevent such happenings from happening. Very often, relaxation of the prohibitions or allowing neglecting the compulsory, out of a sense of erroneous kindness sows the seeds of conflict that would be difficult to resolve. The anger that comes with violation of the transgressions set by Allah is praiseworthy anger.
Allah says “And We have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents, but if they strive to make you join with Me (in worship) anything (as a partner) of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not. Unto Me is your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do” (Quran 29:8)
“O you who believe! Verily, among your wives and your children there are enemies for you (i.e. may stop you from the obedience of Allah), therefore beware of them! But if you pardon them and overlook, and forgive their faults, then verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Quran 64:14).