Solving problems and making others happy has very great value in Islam and there are so many traditions in this regard. For example Imam Sadiq (the sixth Imam) said:
“Whoever makes a believer happy, God will create from that happiness a creature who will meet him at the time of his death and say to him: ‘Rejoice, O friend of God, at the favor and pleasure of God’. He will stay with him until he enters the grave and will repeat the same words to him. When he is resurrected, he will meet him and say the same to him again. Then he will continue to be with him at every (moment of) terror, giving him glad tidings and repeating the same words. The man will say to him: ‘Who are you? May God have mercy on you’? He will answer: ‘I am the happiness you had brought to so and so in your lifetime’.” (Usul al-Kafi, vol.2, pp.191-192)
Due to the great value of making others happy, Islam has considered some rights for he or she who makes others happy.
Imam Sajjad (the fourth Imam) in his valuable treatise named “The Treatise on Rights” said:
“the right of him through whom God makes you happy is that if he intentionally made you happy, you should first praise God and then you should thank him accordingly, and reward him for initiating a nobility and be determined to return his favor.”
As you see on the one hand Islam encourages people to solve the problem of people and on the other hand directs to appreciation. Such condition is the best because the best society is one whose members treat each other with kindness and love.
Occurrence of conflict in social life is not a surprising subject because anyone is looking for personal gain and in such circumstances, some think that their right has been violated by others. Such people have a claim against others and try to restitute their rights.
The question is this: How should such people be treated?
Imam Sajjad (the fourth Imam of Muslims) divides them into two groups. First, someone his/her claim is true. Second, someone who his/her claim is false.
The way of dealing with first group:
“And the right of the adversary who has a claim against you is that if his claim against you is true you should not nullify his proof or abolish his claim. And you should dispute against yourself on his behalf and be a fair judge against yourself, and give witness to his right against you without the witnessing of any witnesses. This is the right of God that is made incumbent upon you.” (The Treatise on Rights)
As you see the Imam orders to Justice and Fairness and I think if this happens most of the courts will be closed!
And about second group:
“But if what he claims against you is false, treat him with gentleness and remind him to fear God, and implore him by his religion. And by reminding him of God, you should help reduce his fury against you. Avoid using indecent words and yelling at him since this will not eliminate the animosity of your enemy, but it will result in your suffering from the sin he commits against you. And it will also result in his sharpening of the sword of animosity towards you, since indecent words will cause evil, but good words will eradicate evil.” (Ibid)
Young people make up a significant portion of the population. So, we need to know the correct way to behave with them and due to the particular and sensitive spirit of young people and their important role in society this issue has a double significance.
The fact is that many people cannot find the correct way to deal with youth and for this reason many problems arise. For example in the face of a young man’s first mistake they get angry and after that blame him or her for a long time!
So, what is the correct way? The sacred religion of Islam has valuable directives in this regard:
“The right of him who is younger than you is that you have compassion on him, train and educate him, pardon him, and cover up his faults, be gentle with him and help him, cover up the guilt of his juvenility because this will make him repent; treat him with patience, and stop quarreling with him. This will lead him to more sensible conduct.” (The Treatise on Rights)
Overlooking people’s mistakes is known as an important teaching in Islam as we can read in the following tradition:
“Half of (the nature of) the believer is overlooking mistakes.” (Guftar-i-Falsafi, v.1, p.405)
And about young people it is a priority because they are less experienced and to compensate for the error they need to have the opportunity.
We should remember that ignoring the small mistakes of youth, is a way to prevent them from various deviations and faults. Undoubtedly this method of management is one of the foundations of the development of children’s personality. If used properly and directed well, it can lead to their prosperity.
Old men and women are those who were young one day and have served the community. Some were employees and some workers, and also in other occupations. Most of them were at least one parent and served to their kids. Verily, the items listed are the causes of being respectful to the elderlies. something that has been sadly neglected these days.
Hence, there is no choice but to return to the teachings of God.
In this regard, there are notable words of Imam Sajjad (the fourth Imam of Muslims):
“[the right of him/her who is older than you is that] should not surpass him/her or walk ahead of him/her, and you should not consider him/her to be foolish. If he behaves foolishly with you, you should put up with it and honor him/her because of the right of his/her Islam and his/her age. This is because the right of age is in the same measure as (the right of) Islam.”
Some people treat elderly so that as if they will never grow old. If one thinks only of his/her own interests he/she has to respect the elderly because one day they will grow old they they will expect others to respect and support.
Islam teaches us that the elderly need love and affection as it is mentioned in this tradition by Prophet Muhammad:
“Every morning and night, God the Exalted looks upon the face of the old man and says: O My servant! You have become old, your bones have become fragile, your skin has become delicate, your time of death is near, and the time has come for your arrival before Me. Therefore, be ashamed before Me, for I am too ashamed of your white hair to chastise you in the Fire.” (Safinah al-Bihar, v.1, on white hair)
Differences in thought and taste between two or more people, is perfectly normal because you cannot find two people who think quite the same.
This is why that even family members do not agree with each other completely. In such circumstances, having proper behavior with different people is an important issue.
Let me ask you. What do you do if discrepancies arise between you and a person who is older than you? The proposed method of Islam is this:
“[The right of him who is older than you is that] you should refrain from confronting him in disputes.” (Imam Sajjad, The Treatise on Rights)
You might ask what if I am right. Should I be quite silent? The answer is this: No! But be careful not to be disrespectful to him or her. Maybe this story is useful to clarify:
“ Imam Hassan and Imam Hossein (the second and third Imams of Muslims) once saw an old man performing Wudu’ (ablutions) in a wrong way, they wanted to teach him, and since he did not know them, they thought of way to tell him how to perform Wudu’ without offending or hurting him, so they said to him: “We want to perform Wudu’ in front of you, so as to tell us which one of us performs it correctly. When they performed their Wudu’ in exactly the same way, yet different than the way he performed it, he understood that they aimed at teaching him the right way, and thanked them for their good deed.” (Bihār al-Anwār v.1, p.89)
As you saw, these two holy Imams told the true word in a way that not offend the old man and this the method of Islam to treat elderly people.
Aging is one of the stages of life and older people make up a part of the community.
However, how should the elderly be treated? Should we respect them or behave them like expired things?
Islam has paid special attention to the elderly.
Imam Sajjad (the fourth Imam) in “Treatise-on-Rights” said:
“The right of him who is older than you is that you should respect him because of his age, and honor his submission to God since he has precedence (over you) in Islam.”
As you see, Islam orders to respect elderly persons because they have to retire and stay home due to their old age and weakness. And this issue has caused them to suffer spiritual malaise.
Dr. Adolph who is a member of the American College of Surgeons stated: “When I was working in the hospital, we treated a seventy-year old lady for a broken hip bone. While I was reviewing her x-rays, I noticed that she was healing rapidly. She had improved a lot, and could walk using some canes instead of a wheel-chair. Her daughter came to the hospital to visit her and told her that her husband said that they could not take her back home anymore, and they might to take her to the home for the elderly. A few hours later, I was called in to check on her. She was in a very bad state and died in less than twenty-four hours. She had recuperated from a difficult surgery on her broken hip, but could not withstand her heart being broken. Her broken heart could no longer be treated! (Guftar-i-Falsafi v.2, p.342)
That’s why Imam Sadiq said: “Part of reverence to God, the Exalted, the High, is to show reverence to an old man.” (Usul al-Kafi, v.2, p.658)