The Trials of Conformity

Man is a social creature, he must live amongst other people. People all posses intent, imagination and beliefs, as such they will require him to conform to these. If he does not agree with them they will harm or punish him, if he does agree with them he will harmed of punished via other means. Man must co-exist with the men and he will always be in a state of conforming with them or opposing them. In agreeing with them lies punishment if what is agreed upon is false and opposing them lies punishment; however there is no doubt that the pain that results from opposing them in their falsehood is lighter and easier to bear that the pain that will result from conforming with them.

So whoever is asked to conform to another in oppression, sin, false witness or the likes, let him reflect on this principle. He knows that if he does conform, he will be harmed, but he also knows that the final end victory is for him if he shows sabr and taqwa; if he does not conform, he may well be saved from punishment but soon to follow it will be a punishment greater than that which he sought to avoid!

Understanding this principle is one of the most beneficial things; a small amount of punishment would be followed by never-ending delight and felicity and a small amount of relief and pleasure could be followed by eternal punishment. Allah is the One who grants accord.

Trials and Tribulations: Wisdom and Benefits (Note that this extract is taken from Aid for the Yearning One in Resisting Shaytan) Imam ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah Pages 51-52