Avoid confrontation The Sunday Guardian | August 1, 2010 | Page 14
In the first chapter the Prophet was given a direction from God to convey the message of tawheed (the oneness of God) to his people. This chapter begins thus: O you, wrapped in your cloak, arise and give warning! Proclaim the glory of your Lord: purify your garments; shun uncleanness; do not bestow a favour in the expectation of receiving more in return; and for the sake of your lord, be patient.
At that time there was only one meeting place in the town of Mecca where the Prophet could find an audience- it was the courtyard of the Kaba. But the people of the old Mecca were idol worshippers and they had placed 360 idols within the precincts of the Kaba.
It would apparently have been necessary for the Prophet first of all to purify the Kaba of these idols. But this kind of beginning would inevitably have resulted in a confrontation between the Prophet and the idol worshippers.
So the Prophet resorted to a practical method. He decided to ignore to presence of the idols in the Kaba and just go to the audience and address them and convey to them the message of the Quran.
The Prophet’s formula on this occasion was- accept the status quo and avail of the opportunities that the presence of the audience afforded him.
This policy can be described as non- confrontation. It proved to so successful that the Prophet was able to continue his mission for a further 13 years without any confrontation.
Our world is a world a conflict and differences. In such a world, there is a very important question: From where to begin? The answer, in the light of the above example, is to accept the status quo in controversial matters and divert your activities to the non confrontation field.