The Courage to Apologize - I

The Courage to Apologize - I
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Some people may think that apologizing for our mistakes is a weakness. However, it is in reality strength, courage, confidence, purity, and self-righteousness. Besides, apology eliminates hatred and envy and releases the soul of mistrust and doubt. Only great people dare to apologize, and only good people can maintain and foster it because this trait emerges from a pure heart, which does not cheat or hide evil. Whoever knew his mistake and then apologized to others for it, people will look at him with admiration. Admitting the mistakes and returning to the right path is a virtue - what a great person when you hasten in good deeds and return to the right track.

While making mistakes is human nature yet, an apology can recover such errors, as the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “All the sons of Adam are sinners, and the best of the sinners are the frequent repenters.”

It is said: The water of confession washes out impurities of the sin.

If you ponder of the blessed group of Prophets and Messengers, the elite and the best of all people, you will find that they have never been prevented by arrogance to apologize whenever required. Below are some of the great examples that have occured in the history of the prophets  and other great men.

Before starting the well-know journey of Prophet Moosa  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention and Khidr  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention there was a condition between them. As part of the condition, Khidr  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention strictly forbade Moosa  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention from asking any questions regarding with the incidents that mighty happen on the way of their journey until they complete it. But, due to his quick reacting attitude towards injustices, Moosa  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention violated the condition made by Khidr  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention. But as soon as he realized his mistake, Moosa  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention confessed, and apologized quickly. Allah, the Exalted Say (what means): {[Moses] said, "Do not blame me for what I forgot and do not cover me in my matter with difficulty"} [Quran 18:73]

Also, the Prophet Nooh (Noah)  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention apologized to Allah, the Exalted for asking salvation for his son who was a dibeliever. When Nooh  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention recognized his mistake, he prayed Allah to forgive him and Allah, the Almighty quoted the prayer of Nooh  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention in the Quran. Allah Says (what means): {[Noah said "My Lord, I seek refuge in You from asking that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have mercy upon me, I will be among the losers"} [Quran 11:47]

In the same way, pious people are not prevented by arrogance to apologize when they make mistakes.

The biographical writers narrated that while the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was straightening the rows of the companions on the Day of Badr campaign, he saw a man named Sawad Ibn Ghaziyyah  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him sticking out the rows. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) gently poked him and said: O Sawad, straighten yourself” ." Sawad  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him took the opportunity, and said, "O Messenger of Allah, you hurt me! Allah has sent you with truth and justice, allow me retaliation!” The Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) uncovered his abdomen and said: “retaliate!” Sawad hugged the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and kissed his abdomen.

The Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) asked him: “Why did you do that Sawad?” He said, “The battle is about to start, so I wanted if this is the last meeting with you that my skin touches your skin.” The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) then made Duaa for him with goodness.”

Being the Messenger of Allah and the leader of the army did not prevent him from apologizing and soothing that man.

On the day of the conquest of Makkah, people of Ansar (Prophet's  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) companions from Madeenah), feared that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) would incline to residing in Makkah, and they said: (After all) the man has  been swayed by love towards his city (Makkah) and tenderness towards his family. Abu Hurayrah said: (At this moment) 'Revelation came to the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, we used to recognize that when the Revelation comes, and when he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was receiving it, none of us would dare raise his eyes to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) until the Revelation came to an end. When the Revelation came to an end, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “O people Ansar!” They said: Messenger of Allah, here we are at your disposal. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “You were saying that love for his city and tenderness towards his people have overpowered this man.” They said: So, it was. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “No, never. I am a slave of Allah and His Messenger. I migrated towards Allah and towards you. I will live with you and will die with you.” So, they (the Ansar) turned towards him in tears, and they were saying: “By Allah, we said what we said because of our tenacious attachment to Allah and His Messenger. The Messenger of Allah said: “Surely, Allah and His Messenger believe you and accept your apology.”

The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) did not let go of the situation unless he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) revealed his intention, which soothed their souls. When the Ansar heard what the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, they apologized and He accepted their apology and believed them.

On the authority of Abu Ad-Darda', may Allah be pleased with him, he said: There was a discussion between Abu Bakr and `Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them and Abu Bakr  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him made `Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him angry. So `Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him left angrily. Abu Bakr  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him followed him, requesting him to ask forgiveness (of Allah) for him, but `Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him refused to do so, and shut his door in Abu Bakr's face. So, Abu Bakr  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him went to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) while we were with him. The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Your friend must have quarreled (with somebody)." In the meantime, `Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him felt regret for what he had done, so he came, greeted (those who were present) and sat with the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and told the story to him. Abu Ad-Darda' said: The Messenger of Allah, sallallashu ‘alayhi wa sallam, became angry and Abu Bakr  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him started saying, "O Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) By Allah, I was more at fault (than `Umar)."

This is Abu Bakr  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him who apologized for what he had done, his rank and his position (as the first man to embrace Islam) did not prevent him from apologizing when the situation required.

If the mistaken apologizes, the apology erases his mistake, and whoever does not accept the apology shall be mistaken. 

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