Evidence of Mediation in Scriptures and History

Between God and Abraham (Genesis 18:23-33)

Dispute: God wanted to destroy Sodom because of their wickedness but Abraham interceded

  • Abraham asked if there were 50 righteous men in Sodom will You destroy the righteous with the wicked? God said no, if there were 50 righteous He will not destroy.
  • Then Abraham asked if there were five less than fifty will You still destroy Sodom? God said no if there were 45 righteous men He will not destroy Sodom.
  • Abraham asked, suppose there were forty righteous found there, will You destroy Sodom? God said no …
  • Abraham dared to ask God again, now if there were thirty … God said no …
  • Abraham asked should there be twenty … God said no for the sake of twenty He will not destroy …..
  • Abraham continued to indulge God in negotiations from twenty to ten and God said for sake of ten righteous men He will not destroy Sodom.
  • Then God went His way and Abraham had achieved a settlement agreement with God to save Sodom for sake of ten men only instead of fifty!
  • But the net outcome that Sodom could be saved from destruction was achieved through mediation!


Second Case in Point: Between Moses and Pharaoh

Moses managed to secure the freedom of Israelites slaves from Egyptian Ruler through mediation after several rounds of negotiations and trading / contest of supernatural powers through divine intervention!


Settling Disputes through Tahkim & Sulh in Sharia’h

(Surah Al Nisa, v35; Holy Quran 49:9) (Elaborated by Dr. Ms. Hakimah Yaakob, ISRA, in her paper presented in July 2011 at KLRCA Conference)

  • The Prophet p.b.u.h in his well-known commentary mentioned, “Should I inform you of something that is higher in virtue than fasting, praying and charity?
  • They said, ‘yes, O Messenger of God’.
  • Then the Prophet p.b.u.h. said, “To make reconciliation between people that are in conflict.”
  • A hadith of the Prophet p.b.u.h affirms that: “Every peace (sulh) is permissible except the one, which makes the prohibited lawful or vice versa.”

Mediation has existed and grown in the history in various cultures and ethnic societies such as in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Confucius, Hinduism and Zulu sects.

Some Noteworthy Mediation Cases of Recent Past are:

  • Brent Spar decommissioning by Shell in North Sea amid protests from environmentalists in 1996;
  • Guatemalan Peace Accord between Government and Marxist rebels, settled the 36 year old civil war in the country, in 1997;
  • Cambodia’s Constitutional Challenge, 1997; and
  • Countless number of Commercial disputes and Labour Unions related Disputes are settled through mediation.

Develop this virtue and you can save millions of dollars in litigation which otherwise would be potential profits, besides saving precious management time and business relationship.

In its latest release in Sep 2012, UN has published key fundamental requirements for achieving an effective mediation in resolving international disputes, which are:

  •  Preparedness
  • Consent
  • Impartiality
  • Inclusivity
  • National Ownership
  • International Law and Normative Frameworks
  • Coherence, Coordination and Complementarity of the Mediation Effort
  • Quality Peace Agreements

The critic and comments on the above concepts will be duly appreciated. The readers are welcome to send an email enquiry for further details or consultancy services for conflicts management and dispute resolution strategies development, from Tiberias MC, your innovative management consultancy services providers.