In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

.."do not cite the examples for God".. 16:74

[16:60] Those who do not believe in the Hereafter set the worst examples, while to God belongs the most sublime examples. He is the Almighty, the Most Wise.

God has detailed for us in Quran the best examples of the highest standards of morality. Coming from the Most Wise, the manners of Quran are the most suitable ones to human nature and they are specifically designed to build righteous communities with healthy souls.

As is human nature, ego sometimes gets boosted to become an idol without perceiving. An example is that we sometimes tragically prefer our personal wishes and our very own standards over the ones set by God. Out of ignorance or hypocrisy, we sometimes tend to exhibit gracious and peaceful personae, in wrong situations, with the wrong people, trying to be righteous. This awkwardness is the typical work of ego augmented by our ignorance of the teachings of Quran within its general context. Once we fall to that, Satan adorns these crippled standards in our eyes to continue adopting them:

[40:35] They argue against GOD's revelations, without any basis. This is a trait that is most abhorred by GOD and by those who believe. GOD thus seals the hearts of every arrogant tyrant.

[35:8] Note the one whose evil work is adorned in his eyes, until he thinks that it is righteous. GOD thus sends astray whoever wills (to go astray), and He guides whoever wills (to be guided). Therefore, do not grieve over them. GOD is fully aware of everything they do.

This reminder is to hopefully heed the guiding fact that God is the ONLY entity to set for us the best possible manners, according to His divine standards and based on on His infinite wisdom. Our health and salvation as individuals rely on that. It is not up to us to impose our own measures and our personal wishes under the banner of "best possible manners". This would be a continuation of the human's egoistic history of transgression and idol worship.

To expand on this issue, we first need to understand that what generally leads to innovating our own "best possible manners," is accepting only parts of Quran, picking and choosing our favorite verses while ignoring a whole set of other verses that should be applied in other various situations (15:90-94, 2:85). This selectivity whether it is deliberate or not explains why Quran's teachings could guide and misguide! (17:82)

Under the subtitle of "best possible manners", here are some of the beautiful but most abused verses to go through:

How to Spread God's Message [16:125] You shall invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kind enlightenment, and debate with them in the best possible manner. Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best who are the guided ones.
[16:126] And if you punish, you shall inflict an equivalent punishment. But if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones.
[16:127] You shall resort to patience - and your patience is attainable only with GOD's help. Do not grieve over them, and do not be annoyed by their schemes.

[73:10] And remain steadfast in the face of their utterances, and disregard them in a nice manner.
[73:11] And let Me deal with the rejectors, who have been generously blessed; just give them a little time.

Treat Each Other Amicably [17:53] Tell My servants to treat each other in the best possible manner, for the devil will always try to drive a wedge among them. Surely, the devil is man's most ardent enemy.

To believe that the above verses along with all others that advocate peace, tolerance, and patience are applicable for all kinds of encountered circumstances would be a poor analysis of Quran and a misrepresentation of God's infallible teachings. There are many aggressive situations believers face in which they are commanded by God to apply measures of manners that are harsher in nature than the above ones. When believers practice that, they are often badly judged by those who tend to believe they might be more gracious than God and have better "best possible manners" than His.

It is important to learn that upholding those harsh measures provided by God, appropriately, in the right circumstances without being selective or driven by our own emotions is by all means following the "best possible manners" of Quran. We need to refrain from advocating our false standards and our personal preferences. Failing to do so is what cripples communities, spreads apathy and compromise and pushes individuals far from God's wisdom and systems. True believers act according to God's commands - they never contradict them.

God who invites us to follow the above verses,16:125-127, 17:53 , 73:10-11, and all similar verses, is the same Merciful God who issued for us the following commands when His words and laws become under attack or when we are, personally, experiencing aggression, all the way to being oppressed. There is a wide range of reactions from benign neglect, to proclaiming the truth, to responding by an equivalent action, to fighting. The kind of situation we go through, the extent of injustice, and our personal tolerances would determine the divine reaction we are entitled to.

Please examine the following divine best possible manners :

- Benign neglect or peaceful desertion is one of the choices available for us. However, and like all kinds of choices, a judgment has to be made in order to choose our action and decide who we are to neglect or disregard. It is only logical to resort to this approach when there is no harm or any kind of public community damage.

Traits of the Righteous [25:63] The worshipers of the Most Gracious are those who tread the earth gently, and when the ignorant speak to them, they only utter peace.

[6:106] Follow what is revealed to you from your Lord, there is no god except He, and disregard the idol worshipers.

[33:48] Do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites, disregard their insults, and put your trust in GOD; GOD suffices as an advocate.

Choose Your Friends Carefully [53:29] You shall disregard those who turn away from our message, and become preoccupied with this worldly life.

- Confronting others with their wrong actions or violations is not cruel, or harsh but rather a righteous stand in the sight of God. It is a chance to forbid evil, advocate righteousness and set a moral example for others when there is public damage and/or violation of God's commands. God does not command us to sympathize with ignorance when it is publicly shared in honor of our personal motives and human emotions. God has informed us that we validate righteousness by forbidding evil (3:104, 9:71, 22:41). We are also commanded to be straightforward and to not beat around the bush (2:189.) We will not be following the best possible manner when we accommodate ideologies that are against the concepts of Quran, shared and proclaimed by some:

Do Not Defend the Transgressors [4:107] Do not argue on behalf of those who have wronged their own souls; GOD does not love any betrayer, guilty.
[4:108] They hide from the people, and do not care to hide from GOD, though He is with them as they harbor ideas He dislikes. GOD is fully aware of everything they do.
You Do Not Help Them by Being "Nice" [4:109] Here you are arguing on their behalf in this world; who is going to argue with GOD on their behalf on the Day of Resurrection? Who is going to be their advocate?

[4:138] Inform the hypocrites that they have incurred painful retribution.

- Using bad language is sometimes permissible. It is our shortcoming and ignorance to classify bad language, at all times, as bad manners. Again, the same Merciful God who knows us best and is fully aware of our differences in dealing with aggression and emotional stress is the one who allows us to address the unjust and point out their aggression with an equivalent response/punishment:

Do Not Use Bad Language [4:148] GOD does not like the utterance of bad language, unless one is treated with gross injustice. GOD is Hearer, Knower.
[4:149] If you work righteousness - either declared or concealed - or pardon a transgression, GOD is Pardoner, Omnipotent.

One God/One Religion [29:46] Do not argue with the people of the scripture (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) except in the nicest possible manner - unless they transgress - and say, "We believe in what was revealed to us and in what was revealed to you, and our god and your god is one and the same; to Him we are submitters."

[16:126] And if you punish, you shall inflict an equivalent punishment. But if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones.

[42:39] When gross injustice befalls them, they stand up for their rights.
[42:40] Although the just requital for an injustice is an equivalent retribution, those who pardon and maintain righteousness are rewarded by GOD. He does not love the unjust.
[42:41] Certainly, those who stand up for their rights, when injustice befalls them, are not committing any error.
[42:42] The wrong ones are those who treat the people unjustly, and resort to aggression without provocation. These have incurred a painful retribution.

- Being firm, and stern in dealing with the hypocrites, the idol worshipers, and the disbeliever is prescribed by God and one of His best possible manners in specific situations. Logically, that would be in aggressive situations:

[5:54] O you who believe, if you revert from your religion, then God will substitute in your place people whom He loves and who love Him. They will be kind with the believers, stern with the disbelievers, and will strive in the cause of God without fear of any blame. Such is God's blessing; He bestows it upon whomever He wills. God is Bounteous, Omniscient.

You Shall Be Stern With the Disbelievers [9:73] O you prophet, strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern in dealing with them. Their destiny is Hell; what a miserable abode!

[66:9] O prophet, struggle against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be stern with them. Their abode is Gehenna, and a miserable destiny.

The Disbelievers [9:123] O you who believe, you shall fight the disbelievers who attack you - let them find you stern - and know that GOD is with the righteous.

-Severe situations when we are attacked, persecuted or oppressed mandate prompt judgment and a severe reaction. In doing that, we are following the best possible manners and God has promised us the upper hand. God doesn't contradict Himself by advocating such severe reactions. We can never find contradictions in His infallible scripture. It is us who lack the guidance and the right understanding.

[2:191] You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Masjid, unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those disbelievers.
[2:192] If they refrain, then GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[2:193] You may also fight them to eliminate oppression, and to worship GOD freely. If they refrain, you shall not aggress; aggression is permitted only against the aggressors.

Divine Help for the Oppressed [22:60] It is decreed that if one avenges an injustice that was inflicted upon him, equitably, then he is persecuted because of this, GOD will surely support him. GOD is Pardoner, Forgiving.

And finally, let's reflect on Abraham's example which was declared by God as a good example and was rendered as an everlasting lesson for those who wish to take heed. Abraham proclaimed disowning his father and the tribe he grew up in when they were aggressive against him. He also expressed his hatred to all of them. According to God, this is one of His best possible manner and a righteous example to be set for future generations:

Abraham's Example [43:26] Abraham said to his father and his people, "I disown what you worship.
[43:27] "Only the One who initiated me can guide me."
[43:28] This example (of Abraham) was rendered an everlasting lesson for subsequent generations; perhaps they redeem their souls.

Abraham: An Example [60:4] A good example has been set for you by Abraham and those with him. They said to their people, "We disown you and the idols that you worship besides GOD. We denounce you, and you will see nothing from us except animosity and hatred until you believe in GOD ALONE." However, a mistake was commited by Abraham when he said to his father, "I will pray for your forgiveness, but I possess no power to protect you from GOD." "Our Lord, we trust in You, and submit to You; to You is the final destiny.
[60:5] "Our Lord, let us not be oppressed by those who disbelieved, and forgive us. You are the Almighty, Most Wise."
[60:6] A good example has been set by them for those who seek GOD and the Last Day. As for those who turn away, GOD is in no need (of them), Most Praiseworthy.

In conclusion, Quran is a complete and infallible scripture that sets for us different manners of different severity depending on the different situations we may encounter. All of these manners are prescribed for our salvation as societies and individuals. To be trapped in one or two verses about the best possible manners and ignore the rest would be partial obedience of God, a misrepresentation of His teachings, and going against His set systems. We are truly righteous and following the best possible manners of Quran when we are able to judge, choose and apply the right command for the right situation with the right person. It is Satan who prioritizes our personal agendas and wishes on the expense of the word of God. His goal is to spread evil, dilute the facts and let those who compromise think that they could cleverly hide from God and get away with their foolish, unjust and undignified stands.

[16:74] Therefore, do not cite the examples for God; God knows while you do not know.

Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.