Islah Dhat al-Bayn Verse
Iṣlāḥ Dhāt al-Bayn Verse (Arabic: آية إصلاح ذات البين) is verse nine of the Qur'an 49. This verse gives some instructions for protecting and correcting the Islamic society, guarding the soul, property, and honor of Muslims and avoid violation of people's dignity. Creating peace and reconciliation between two fighting groups of believers, fighting a rebellious group and reconciling between people based on just criteria.
Some secondary principles in jurisprudence have been deduced from this verse such as: collective obligation of correcting relations and reconciliation between people, lack of reconciliating group's guarantee about the life and properties of the rebellious group, the obligation of the rebellious group regarding the life and properties of the reconciliating group and the necessity of taking permission from Sharia ruler for applying force for making peace and reconciliation.
Text and Translation
وَإِن طائِفَتانِ مِنَ المُؤمِنينَ اقتَتَلوا فَأَصلِحوا بَينَهُما ۖ فَإِن بَغَت إِحداهُما عَلَى الأُخرىٰ فَقاتِلُوا الَّتي تَبغي حَتّىٰ تَفيءَ إِلىٰ أَمرِ اللَّهِ ۚ فَإِن فاءَت فَأَصلِحوا بَينَهُما بِالعَدلِ وَأَقسِطوا ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ المُقسِطينَ
|— Qur'an 49:9|
Introduction and Occasion of Revelation
Verse nine of Qur'an 49 explains solutions for reconciliation between two fighting groups of believers. About the occasion of revelation of this verse, two reports are mentioned: al-Tabrisi considered the revelation of this verse about the two tribes of Aws and Khazraj, between which a fight took place using shoes and palm leaves. Some others considered the occasion of revelation of this verse about the event of Abd Allah b. Ubay and Abd Allah b. Rawaha. According to this report, one day Anas b. Malik put forward this suggestion to the Prophet (s) to go visit Abd Allah b. Ubay. The Prophet (s) rode a donkey and went to Abd Allah, when he (s) arrived near him, Abd Allah told the Prophet (s), "go away! that the smell and dust of your ride bothers me!" This provoked the reaction of Abd Allah b. Rawaha al-Ansari and the support of his relatives and an intense fight occurred between the two groups and they fought each other using wood sticks, stone, and shoes and this verse was revealed.
Honest peace and brotherhood are considered among the requirements of faith; therefore, protecting it is considered inevitable for the protection of Islamic society. This verse is considered among the verses which have given instructions for protection and correction of Islamic society, protecting the souls, property and honors of people against violations of others, protection of people's freedom and guarding against disrespecting people:
1-If a fight and enmity occurs between two groups of believers, you need to reconcile between them, because based on a hadith from the Prophet (s), reconciling among people is mentioned among the best actions in the community, so that it has been considered having a higher level than the prayer, fasting and charity.
2-If one party commits oppression and violation, you should fight them together with the oppressed until they return to peace and reconciliation and the order of God.
3-When the war ends, you should judge justly between them.
In this verse, God wants believers to feel responsible to avoid war and establish peace and reconciliation between two groups of believers who engage in a fight or war or when there are grounds for their fight even if it does not lead to war, and they should consider it a collective obligation.
Establishing peace between two fighting groups is considered step-by-step, so that first they should be advised and invited to observe the rule of God, and if it is not effective, their fight should be ended by taking an action.
At the end of the verse, God orders about reconciliation based on just criteria. Allama Tabataba'i considered reconciliation based on justice meaning that after the war, its future side effects should not be ignored, and divine rulings should be observed and acted upon toward anyone who has been a victim of aggression or violation of a right; for example, one of his relatives is killed, or his property or honor is wasted and his right should be recovered by the opposite side.
Jurisprudential Rulings Deduced from the Verse
Some exegetes have referred to phrases in this verse and have deduced some jurisprudential secondary principles:
- Reconciliation between fighting groups of Muslims is a collective obligation.
- Armed fight with a rebellious group is permissible after taking primary measures of dialogue and its ineffectiveness.
- Bloods of rebellions and violators and their properties wasted in this way do not require the opposite side to recover.
- In different steps of reconciliation through dialogue, the permission of the shari'a ruler is not necessary but in the stage of taking severe action against them, especially when it leads to bloodshed, permission of the shari'a ruler is necessary.
- If the rebellious group sheds any blood of the reconciling group or wastes their properties, they are responsible about them.
- In fight, since the goal is reconciliation between the two groups of believers, the issues of captives and spoils do not matter and after the end of the war, the captives are freed and the properties of each side are returned to them.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from آیه اصلاح ذات بین in Farsi WikiShia.