is a subtle allusion to this in the Qur’an in the words, “And women in the city said,”(12:30) the verb “said” being in the masculine form, although it should be feminine for two reasons [women is a feminine noun, and also a plural – so-called “broken” plurals in Arabic are always regarded as feminine]. But by contrast see the words, “the desert Arabs said,”(49:14) the verb said in this case being in the feminine, even though its subject designates a community of men. Herein lies an indication, that an association of weak, meek and soft women gains strength, toughness and force, and even acquires a certain kind of virility. The use of the masculine form of the verb is therefore most appropriate. Strong men, by contrast, and in particular Beduin Arabs, trust in their own strength; therefore their associations are weak, for they assume a stance of softness and caution and take on a kind of femininity, for which the use of the feminine form of the verb is most suitable. Similarly the people of truth submit to and place their reliance in the firm source of support that is belief in God; hence they do not present their needs to others or request aid and assistance from them. If they do sometimes make the request, they will not adhere to the persons concerned at all cost. But the worldly ignore in their worldly affairs the true source of support; they fall into weakness and impotence, and experiencing an acute need of assistance, come together sacrificing themselves wholeheartedly.
The people of truth do not recognize and seek the true strength that is to be found in union; hence they fall into dispute, as an evil and harmful consequence of this failure. By contrast, the people of misguidance and falsehood perceive the strength to be found in union, by virtue of their very weakness, and thus acquire union, that most important means for the attainment of all goals.
The cure and remedy for this disease of discord among the people of truth is to make one’s rule of conduct the divine prohibition contained in this verse:
Do not fall into dispute, lest you lose heart and your power depart,(8:46)
and the wise divine command for social life contained in this verse:
Work together for the sake of virtue and piety.(5:3)
One must further realize how harmful to Islam dispute is, and how it helps the people of misguidance to triumph over the people of truth, and then, wholeheartedly and self-sacrificingly, join the caravan of the people of truth, with a sense of his own utter weakness and impotence. Finally, one