KABUL (Pajhwok): Reconciling families say enmity had deprived them of happiness and insist on reconciliation between rival families through mediation of jirga. As many as 433 enmities that claimed 691 lives have been resolved in Afghanistan last year.
According to reports, conflicts and enmities between people occur over land ownership, pastures, forests, water distribution and other issues. These enmities begin with small verbal disputes and escalate into long and bloody feuds. In Afghanistan, enmities are traditionally resolved through jirgas.
Families engaged in long and bloody enmities lead a miserable life and endure suffering. Jirga brings harmony among tribes Mullah Noorullah Noori, acting minister of borders and tribal affairs, on Sept. 20, told the Government Accountability to the Nation program: “We established 34 jirgs under the title “unity and harmony between tribes” and through these jirgas, about 433 enmities and disputes between tribes and families were resolved throughout the country”.
He said: “Last year, due to mediation from religious scholars, tribal elders and ulema, about 133 major and 300 minor disputes between tribes and families were resolved. Around 691 people had been killed and hundreds of others injured in these enmities”. According to him, a 23-year-old enmity in Nijrab, a 30-year-old in Aqcha of Jawzjan, a 37-year-old enmity in Shinwari district of Nangarhar and a 91-year-old enmity are some of the examples resolved through the jirga.
Enmity brings miseries and deprivation Noorullah Kawsar, a university teacher and religious scholar, said: “Islam does not only insist on prayers and fasting, it also emphasizes on doing good deeds and also prohibits Muslims from doing bad deeds, disputes and enmity destroy families, destroy individuals and society and even cause destruction at the country level.” He said Muslims should accept each other, spread the message of brotherhood and if any small problems arise between them, they should solve them at the very beginning.
Ahmad Basharmal and Shafiullah, residents of Kandahar city, are members of two families were engaged in a 13-year-old enmity over land ownership which claimed lives of six people, but the enmity was turned into friendship last year. Shafiullah said: “For these 13 years, we did not enjoy life, we could not study, had no happy Eid, did not meet friends and relatives, but today Alhamdulillah we live at peace with each other, we can study, do business and have a prosperous life.” Basharmal also says: “Man’s success in life is courage, tolerance, knowledge, and forgiveness, and strong and honorable people always forgive, and weak people opt for revenge. For us this [the end of enmity] gives us a feeling of happiness, we really feel like we have started a new life.” The 35-year-old enmity between two families in Nahrin district of Baghlan province – in which six people were killed on both sides – has also been resolved through the Jirga.
A member of one of these families says: “Enmity is very bad, you will have no good night or day, you will afraid of your own shadow. You will not be able to travel from one place to another”. These people praised efforts of the Jirga members and thanked them for turning their enmity into friendship.
Disputes resolution through Jirgas a positive initiative: Experts Noorullah Kawsar, a university teacher and religious scholar, termed the current IEA strategy positive but said the consensus of disputing families should be sought in every method used for reconciliation between the two families and the dispute should be resolved forever.
He said according to the IEA policy disputes should be resolved though the court, tribal and traditional Jirgas or the disputing families should be encouraged to take steps towards reconciliation. Mohammad Yaqoub Ahmadzai, assistant head of reconciliation Jirgas at the Ministry of Borders and Tribal Affairs, said the only method to address disputes was tribal Jirgas because this a historic and acceptable method in Afghan society throughout the history.
He said: “People also give importance to Jirgas, they are committed to the decision of Jirgas, we have seen many people not referring to the court because cases are delayed in court and their decisions make one party to cherish and another to cry, but in Jirgas both sides are satisfied with argument and then the Jirga announce its decision which make both parties happy and they start a happy life.” He said in current circumstances, disputes resolution though Jirgas was the best mechanism disputing parties acknowledge and accept the Jirga decisions despite severe enmity. Kabul University Teacher Wadir Safi Families in Afghanistan engaged in enmity from the past several years and the best way to end these disputes was tribal Jirgas.
“Modren mechanisms are not here, in current condition the tribal and traditional Jirga is the best mechanism for dispute resolutions,” he said. He said government should provide education and improve the literacy level of people because when people are educated then they better understand that peace is in their interest. The state of Jirga decision making Esmatullah Habibi, a tribal elder in Kandahar province who participate in Jrigas, termed the role of Jirga in disputes resolution vital the participants of Jirga considered Islamic and local traditional values and then make their decision. He said: “We termed exchanging women to address disputes illegal because this practice is considered illicit by Islam and our culture, one individual should not be compensated against another individual, we try to find reality and then try to pave the way for reconciliation.” Peace ensure welfare Religious Scholar Abdul Mobin Mahir said that peace is a noble act and though out the Islamic history huge importance and value is given to peace and it is considered valuable. He said Allah (SWT) in the Holy Quran said that there is peace is goodness and it means that no reconciliation is bad, peace is goodness irrespective of its method because peace encourages man towards decent actions and good acts take individuals closes to Allah (SWT).
The is a Hadith in Abu Dawod in which Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH) said: “Should I direct you towards an action which is better than prayer, fasting and charity and it is making reconciliation among people.” He said Islamic history showed that the prophet gave importance to peace and reconciliation in several occasions. Maher said: “When there is peace man could worship better, get better education, travel, trade, pace ensure optimism for humans and fighting encourages prejudice, enmity and rivalry which is forbidden by Allah (SWT) and by the prophet (PBUH).” He said Islam is the religion of peace and brotherhood and making peace is the duty of every Muslim therefore all should ensure peace and brotherhood among people.