7. Maintaining Integrity
We continue the discussion of suitable ways of dealing with and preventing conflict in the workplace.
After remaining patient, making dua, putting our ego aside and voicing our opinion in the best manner, we might still find ourselves in conflicts with those who just like to cause trouble. It seems that every work place has at least one trouble maker, who, no matter how hard you try to make peace, will continue to cause trouble. As believers, we should see our interaction with such people as a test for us and the best way to pass it is to do what is pleasing to Allah. Allah Subhannahu wa ta’ala asks us in the Qur’an to replace evil with good.
And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; ... [Surah Fussilat 41:34]
We also see from the Qur’an that when the sons of Adam alayhi salaam argued, Abeel tried to avoid the argument as much as possible, yet Kabeel insisted on taking the conflict to a higher level and even threatened to kill his brother. In spite of this threat, Abeel responded with good. Abeel understood that his reward was with Allah subhannahu wa ta’ala. He told Kabeel:
Said [the former],
"Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him]. If you should raise your hand against me to kill me - I shall not raise my hand against you to kill you. Indeed, I fear Allah , Lord of the worlds. " [Surah Maidah 5:27-28]
Forgiveness also goes a long way in resolving conflicts. A conflict does not end until one or both parties forgive each other. Once you forgive each other, you are able to move on and work out solutions together. A believer should also remember that by forgiving others for the sake of Allah, he or she is earning the pleasure and forgiveness of Allah Subhannahu wa ta’ala. Allah Subhannahu wa ta’ala tells us in the Qur’an.
... and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [Surah An-Nur 24:22]
7. Maintaining Integrity
As believers, we should build a reputation as a person of integrity. Integrity is a quality that everyone recognises and appreciates regardless of religion and race. Prophet Muhammad, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, was know as ‘Al Amin’, the trustworthy, even before he received prophethood. While the Quraish were fighting him in Mecca, they still came to him to keep their trust. If we are known in the workplace as being someone of integrity, a certain respect for us will still remain in times of conflicts. I have personally experienced this with one of my previous supervisors. The supervisor was known for having a short temper and for raising her voice and even sometimes using foul language, yet whenever we disagreed on something, she still showed me some respect. It was as if the supervisor did not feel comfortable yelling in my presence. Respect for each other makes it easier to exchange different points of view. However, this respect only comes as a result of maintaining integrity, of being honest, trustworthy, hardworking, of staying away from office gossip and of sincerely wanting good for others. To sum it up, we have to be ‘the bigger person’ as one author puts it in her article:
“Resolving conflicts should start with you being the bigger person and not playing into games or traps set by others. Try making a fresh start with the person or persons with whom you do not get along. Keep everything professional, but also be cordial and polite. Pay compliments and engage in conversations that allow the other person to be heard. Bring everything to the table and see if your differences can be resolved.” (2)
Most of the steps taken in maintaining one’s integrity are actions that are beloved by Allah Subhannahu wa ta’ala and part of the sunnah of our beloved prophet Muhammad, salallahu alayhi wa salaam. Therefore, for the believer, resolving conflicts in a ‘halal’ way is a win-win situation. It helps him or her establish an atmosphere of peace at work while at the same time earning the appreciation of his coworkers and of His Creator.
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