One major characteristic that made Mutarrif bin ‘Abdillaah so special was the fact that he acknowledged and practised the proper way to deal with Fitnah:  stay out of it.  He lived to see the assasination of ‘Uthman and the turmoil that followed, as well as the killing of ‘Alee and the turmoil after that.  And throughout history, Muslims continued to debate conflict between ‘Alee and Mu’awiyah:  who was right?  Most of us are raised to think it was ‘Alee.  But in the end, it was one of the greatest fitnahs to afflict the Ummah and Mutarrif showed one thing:  neither side was right, and it was only the main body of the Sahabah who chose to stay out of it who were right.

And this way of dealing with fitnah can be applied to so many aspects of our life.  Whether it’s marriage conflicts or it’s problems in the family or the community, the best way to handle a Fitnah is to stay out of it, especially if it doesn’t involve you.  If you know that your involvement will make no improvement to the situation, it’s best to stay out of it.  However, what if you ARE directly involved?  One major enlightening moment for me when I heard about the story of Mutarrif, though it may not be directly related to this, is simply to remain silent especially when no one is going to be willing to listen.  In the heat of a conflict, usually even if the other side LOOKS like it’s listening, they may only be thinking about the way to respond to you.  So until things cool down, just shut your mouth 🙂

And once things are calm and cool, then it’s time to make your move, but the key is to use words which will enter the hearts and minds, and not re-ignite the conflict once more.  And it’s amazing how spoken words have an affect on a person because from personal experience, I’ve been able to avoid potential conflicts from errupting and getting out of hand by simply choosing my words and the manner in which I say them a little more carefully.