Often times, when we work together, conflict happens. The more we work, the more we go through conflicts. Even when the work is the kind of work that we do to please Allah, convey His Message, or serve His creation. Even though we only seek His pleasure and follow His orders, conflicts happen. These conflicts, sometimes tense, cause damage to our brotherhood, our unity, and our ability to achieve goals. These conflicts serve as a black hole sucking all our energy and causing us to fail. These conflicts, when they reach that point, are the main reason of failure and being powerless as Allah mentions in the Qur’an.
Here is a story for us to reflect on.
A man that I know have two boys. They both play for the school team. Playing for the school team is serious. It is no fun. You go for practice everyday, you have to be there on time, you have to practice so hard, and you have to WIN!. These two boys got in a conflict. Although simple, it resulted in a little “don’t talk to me anymore” kind of attitude. In the morning of a practice day, one of them woke up to prepare for the practice and because they do not talk to one another, he did not wake his brother up. When it is time to leave, the boy asked his dad to give him a ride to the practice. His dad asked: “Where is your brother?” He said, “He is asleep!” “Why didn’t you wake him up?” The dad asked. The boy answered, “It is not my responsibility. He should take care of himself.” The dad went to his other kid, who was fast asleep, and woke him up. It took the kids some time to get ready and finally they both went to the practice, well, late for 15 minutes.
My reflection on the story is what would the kids tell their coach when he asks them, “Why are you late?” They are BOTH late. They are BOTH in trouble. They BOTH failed to come on time. They may be very well excluded, BOTH, from the next game.
Similarly, what are we going to tell Allah when he asks us about our effort? “Why did not you make progress on this issue? Why did you fail to deliver on this project? Why did this work fail after it was very successful? Why were you so powerless? Why were you so weak?”
The answer, “We were in conflict,” is not an acceptable answer.