We live among friends and foes. There are those who are fond of us and are very affectionate, and there are others who are jealous of us and conspire to make us sink in life. Some of these foes are covert while some can be easily identified. We really feel annoyed and frustrated at their attitude. But can we turn foes into friends?
The answer can be in the negative and can also be in the affirmative.
In the negative, if care is not exercised and we end up responding in a negative way and become worse foes to our foes than they are to us.
In the affirmative, if our guideline is the Qur'anic verse: Retaliate evil with that which is better, and he who is your foe will become your dearest friend. But none will acquire this except those who patiently endure; none will acquire this except those who are truly fortunate. (41:34-35).
In other words, if with patience and endurance, perseverance and forbearance we keep on doing good turns to our foes and adversaries, it can melt their hearts and turn them into our dearest buddies. Moral victory is what we should aim for, as this subjugates hearts and conquers egos. Meeting our foes with a bright smile, extending out a warm hand to them, greeting them with enthusiasm and treating them with respect are just some starters of this journey.
Giving them gifts at opportune moments, hiding their faults when others want to highlight them, praising their abilities when others want to play them down, helping them in times of difficulty when few are there for them are the next steps of this journey.
While doing our part by adopting these measures, we must also turn to God and pray for our foes. We must seek His help and invoke Him to melt their hearts and make them mend their ways. And more than that seek His help to see our own flaws and mend our own ways.
(Dr Shehzad Saleem)