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HomeFocusConflict to Compassion: The Divine Way of Setting Boundaries

Conflict to Compassion: The Divine Way of Setting Boundaries

– Sajida A Zubair

Educator & Counselor

Chaudhary Sahib had once been the proud owner of vast lands and properties, but fate dealt him a cruel blow, stripping him of everything. Reduced to penury, he and his wife, Chaudharani, moved to a bustling city, settling into a modest flat. Their once harmonious life now echoed with the strains of discontent.

One fateful day, a trivial dispute ignited a blazing inferno of anger within Chaudhary Sahib. Words turned to blows, and the tranquility of their home shattered. Gossip spread like wildfire, drawing in neighbors and relatives like moths to a flame. Lines were drawn, alliances forged, and the specter of separation loomed ominously.

In the midst of this turmoil, a sympathetic soul reached out to a counseling center for intervention. The counselor, recognizing the gravity of the situation, took it upon himself to mediate. With a gentle touch and empathetic ear, he navigated the stormy waters of their discord.

Meeting each party separately, the counselor unearthed the underlying grievances and misconceptions. To Chaudharani’s sister-in-law, he revealed the inadvertent role she had played in stoking the flames of conflict. To Chaudhary Sahib, he posed poignant questions about the essence of masculinity and the futility of violence.

Counselor: It seems there’s been some animosity fueled by misconceptions. Now, onto you, Chaudhary Sahib. It’s been brought to my attention that you’ve been treating this whole situation like a puppet show.

Chaudhary Sahib: Puppet show? I don’t follow.
Counselor: Why can’t husband and wife live peacefully, resolving their differences with grace?
Chaudhary Sahib: Frankly, I can’t envision living with her anymore.
Counselor: So, what’s the plan then? You’re going to become a wanderer?
Chaudhary Sahib: No, I’ll find someone else.
Counselor: And do you anticipate no quarrels with this new individual?
Chaudhary Sahib: I’ll handle it as it comes.
Counselor: Well, it seems you’ve picked up this new person in quite a hurry. Chaudhary Sahib, getting angry won’t solve anything. Let me illustrate something. You see, in a fight, sure, you might overpower me. But if I give you two punches for every ten you throw, would you still persist? Chaudhary Sahib, Raising a hand in anger at a woman! Is that the hallmark of masculinity?
Then the counselor met Chaudharani separately.
Counselor: Let’s talk, Chaudharani. What are your thoughts on this situation?
Chaudharani: I can’t bear another moment with him. I want a divorce.
Counselor: And what’s your plan after the divorce?
Chaudharani: I’ll go back to my father’s.
Counselor: Is your father young or old?
Chaudharani: No, he’s getting old.
Counselor: Have you considered whether you’d be a support or a burden to him?
Chaudharani: I haven’t thought about it like that. But my father has agreed to take me in.
Counselor: Your father may agree, but have you ever stopped to consider his feelings in this matter? How many tears he might have shed alone in moments of sadness?
Chaudharani: I… I haven’t really thought about it that way.
Counselor: Perhaps it’s worth considering. Your father may not express it, but burdening him might weigh heavily on his heart. Your words resonate. It’s clear you both want what’s best.

As revelations dawned and hearts softened, the counselor orchestrated a reconciliation. Gathering both parties under one roof, he fostered an environment of healing and forgiveness. Over a shared meal, grievances were aired, apologies exchanged, and a fragile peace restored.

Gradually, through patience and understanding, the counselor peeled back the layers of resentment and bitterness. He challenged Chaudhary Sahib’s notion of seeking solace in another, urging him to confront his own role in the discord. Similarly, he implored Chaudharani to contemplate her future beyond the confines of her marital strife.

In the end, through the guidance of a wise counselor and the willingness to confront their demons, Chaudhary Sahib and Chaudharani rediscovered the bonds that had once united them. Their story serves as a testament to the power of empathy, communication, and second chances in the face of adversity.

While the story depicts an attempt at mediation between Chaudhary Sahib and Chaudharani, it lacks a balanced Islamic approach to conflict resolution within a marital context. Furthermore, the counselor’s intervention seems to prioritize secular counseling techniques over Islamic principles. The story’s depiction of domestic conflict overlooks the unequivocal Islamic stance against domestic violence, emphasizing that a man must never raise his hand against a woman. Islam unequivocally condemns any form of physical harm or abuse within marriage, emphasizing the protection and dignity of women. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ himself exemplified this principle through his gentle and respectful treatment of his wives, serving as a model for all Muslims to follow.

The counselor’s failure to explicitly address the issue of domestic violence and instead focusing solely on the consequences of such actions is a glaring omission in the narrative. In Islam, emotional and psychological well-being are equally valued, and any form of mental or verbal abuse within marriage is deemed unacceptable. In Islam, emotional and psychological well-being are equally valued, and any form of mental or verbal abuse within marriage is deemed unacceptable.

Moreover, the counselor’s suggestion that the woman might become a burden on her elderly father is problematic and contradicts Islamic values. In Islam, divorce is recognized as a permissible but disliked option, to be pursued only after exhausting all efforts at reconciliation. However, Islam also places great emphasis on compassion and support for divorced or widowed women. Rather than being stigmatized or viewed as burdens, they are entitled to care and respect within their families and communities. The counselor’s implication that the woman’s presence in her father’s household might be burdensome is misleading and undermines the Islamic teachings that advocate for the well-being and dignity of all members, especially vulnerable individuals such as divorcees or widows. Therefore, the story fails to reflect a balanced Islamic approach to conflict resolution and the treatment of women in marital disputes.

Conflict may arise within marital relationships; the importance of reconciliation cannot be overstated in Islam. However, it is imperative that reconciliation efforts are balanced and do not undermine or demean the existence, self-respect, and boundaries of either spouse. Islam emphasizes the principles of mutual respect, compassion, and understanding within marriage, urging spouses to uphold each other’s dignity and rights. True reconciliation requires sincere efforts from both parties to address grievances, communicate openly, and seek common ground while maintaining respect for each other’s autonomy and boundaries. By upholding these principles, couples can foster healthy, harmonious relationships grounded in love, mutual respect, and the divine guidance of Islam.





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