The Effect of Good Actions and Good Words
People are in a relentless search for peaceful environments where they
can live in safety, have joy and cherish friendship. Despite this longing,
however, they never put forth an effort to foster these values, but rather
they become themselves the causes of conflicts and misery. Often people
expect others to provide peace and safety and be friendly. This applies
to family relations, relations among employees of a company, to social
peace as well as to international affairs. Yet, maintenance of friendship,
peace and safety demand altruism. Conflict and restlessness cannot be
avoided when people insist on having the last word, when they consider
only their own comfort and are unwilling to make any compromises or sacrifices.
However, believers who fear God act differently. They are unselfish, forgiving
and forbearing. Even when they are wronged, they renounce their own rights,
regard the peace and safety of the society and happiness of others over
their own self-interest, and display courteous behaviour. This is a noble
attribute that God commands believers to have:
A good action and a bad action are not the same.
Repel the bad with something better and, if there is enmity between you
and someone else, he will be like a bosom friend. None will obtain it
but those who are truly steadfast. None will obtain it but those who have
great good fortune. (Surah Fussilat: 34-35)
Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair
admonition, and argue with them in the kindest way. Your Lord knows best
who is misguided from His way. And He knows best who are guided. (Surat
As stated in the verse, in return for this good act of believers, God
changes their enemies into "bosom friends". This is one of God's secrets.
After all, all hearts are in God's hand. He changes the heart and thought
of whomever He wills.
In some other verses, God draws our attention to the effect of good and
gentle word. God commands the Prophet Moses and Aaron, peace be upon them,
to go to Pharaoh and to speak to him gently. Despite Pharaoh's unfairness,
insolence and mercilessness, God has commanded His messengers to speak
to him with gentle words. God has explained the reason in the Qur'an:
Go to Pharaoh; he has overstepped the bounds. But speak to him with gentle
words so that hopefully he will pay heed or show some fear. (Surah Ta
These verses inform believers about the type of attitude they should
assume towards disbelievers, their enemies and insolent people. This surely
encourages patience, will, modesty and wisdom. God has revealed as a secret
that He will render the acts of believers effective and will change their
enemies into friends when they obey His commands and act in compliance
with good morals.