Dominance vs. Prestige
In our species, the attainment of social status, and the mating benefits that come along with it, can be accomplished through compassion and cooperation just as much (if not more so) as through aggression and intimidation. Scholars across ethnography, ethology, sociology, and sociolinguistics believe that at least two routes to social status — dominance and prestige — arose in evolutionary history at different times and for different purposes.
The dominance route is paved with intimidation, threats, and coercion, and is fueled by hubristic pride. Hubristic pride is associated with arrogance, conceit, anti-social behaviours, unstable relationships, low levels of conscientiousness and high levels of disagreeableness, neuroticism, narcissism, and poor mental health outcomes. Hubristic pride, along with its associated feelings of superiority and arrogance, facilitates dominance by motivating behaviours such as aggression, hostility, and manipulation.
In order to evaluate the authorial enterprise behind the fitnah traditions, we need to examine the totality of the evidence including the rhetorical dynamics of these traditions along with their functions and potentialities. For instance, among the traditions that some jurists frequently cite in support of their argument for the exclusion of women is one which was reportedly transmitted by Ibn Umar. In this report, Ibn Umar narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Do not forbid your women from going to the mosque, but praying at home is better for them." A version of this report purportedly transmitted from the Prophet by Abd Allah b. Umar, becomes more extreme. It states: "The prayer of a woman in her room is better than her prayer house and her prayer in a dark closet is better than her prayer in her room" [Fath al-Bari]. The same message is then conveyed but this time through the involvement of a woman who reportedly goes to the Prophet to tell him that she loves to pray in the mosque with him. To this, the Prophet responds that he knows that she loves to pray with him but gives her the same advice as above. As a result, the woman went home and prayed in the most isolated and the darkest area of her house until she died [Musnad]. The least one can observe about these traditions are their remarkable vindictiveness — the more removed and inaccessible a woman is, the better, and even the love of the Prophet cannot change that fact.
Some great sacrifices are such as are made once in life, like that of life. Some are very minor but must be made continuously. Their continuing nature makes them important because of many intangible aspects:
The believers are encouraged to be thoughtful and to speak only with discretion and forethought as to the likely effects of the words they utter. For those who do so, the following Hadith promises a great spiritual reward:
"When a servant of God says that which is clear and correct (i.e. having given thought to whether it is beneficial or not), through (his words) he is distanced from the Fire by a distance greater than that what is between sunrise and sunset." [Riyad As-Saleheen]
Anguish of Hearts
The anguish of hearts is a gift that reflects the compassion which Allah has placed within you. The tenderness of the heart and the tears that roll from your eyes are also a manifestation of Allah's compassion [which He has endowed you with]. Consider the twinge of your hearts and your moistened eyes as Allah's bounty. The hearts that remain unmoved by the suffering around us and the eyes that fail to well with tears are a sign of one's being removed from Allah's favour, of being impoverished. Remember well that this tenderness of emotions will act not just as the healing balm but will also be your support and a means of reward in the Hereafter.