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The Forbearance and Forgivingness of the Prophet I

Saturday 27/03/2010

In calling to Allah The Exalted, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), attained the highest degree of forbearance and forgivingness.  There are many incidents that support this fact and the following are just some examples:

 
The First Example: With the man who complained about what he thought was an unjust distribution
 
It was narrated on the authority of Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, “On the day of [the Battle of] Hunayn, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) favored some people with a greater amount of war booty. He gave Al-’Aqra‘ ibn Haabis one-hundred camels and gave ‘Uyaynah the same amount. He also gave to some of the eminent Arabs, favoring them in this regard. Then a man came and said, ‘By Allah, this is an unjust distribution and was not intended to be for the sake of Allah.’ I replied, ‘By Allah, I will report this to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ).’ I went and informed him, and he said: ‘If Allah and His Messenger do not act justly, who would act justly? May Allah have mercy upon Moosa [Moses]; he was harmed with more than this and yet he was patient.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
This is one of the greatest aspects of tolerance when calling people to Allah The Exalted. Out of his wisdom, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), distributed these booties among those who were new converts or whose faith was not firm, so as to reconcile their hearts. Meanwhile, he entrusted those whose hearts were full of faith to their faith.
 
The Second Example: With the man who complained saying, “We had a better claim to this.”
 
It was narrated on the authority of Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said,
 
‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, may Allah be pleased with him, sent to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) from Yemen some gold in a dyed leather bag. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) distributed it among four men: ‘Uyaynah ibn Badr, ’Aqra‘ ibn Haabis, Zaydul-Khayl and the fourth one was either ‘Alqamah or ‘Aamir ibn At-Tufayl.
 
A man of the Companions said, “We had a better claim to this than these [persons].” This remark was reported to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). Thereupon, he said: “Will you not trust me, whereas I am a trustee of He who is in the heaven? The news comes to me from the heaven morning and evening.”
 
Then there stood up a man with deep sunken eyes, prominent cheek bones, a high forehead, a thick beard, a shaven head, and a tucked up loin cloth. He said, “O Messenger of Allah, fear Allah!” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, “Woe to you, am I not the worthiest of fearing Allah amongst all the inhabitants of the earth?” That man then went away.
 
Khaalid ibn Al-Waleed, may Allah be pleased with him, then said, “O Messenger of Allah! Should I not strike his neck?” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: “No. He may be observant of the prayer.” Thereupon, Khaalid said, “Many observers of prayer profess with their tongue what is not in their heart.” Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “I have not been commanded to uncover the hearts of people or split open their insides.”
 
The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) looked at the back of that man as he was leaving, and said: “There will arise from the progeny of this [man] people who will recite the Quran glibly, but it would not go beyond their throats; they will pass through the religion just as an arrow exits through its prey. If I live to see them, I will kill them as the people of ‘Aad were killed.’[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
These incidents served as examples of the forbearance of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). He treated people according to what was apparent as he was neither commanded to open up the hearts of people nor to split open their insides. This man deserved to be killed, but the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), did not order him to be. He did not want people to say that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), killed his Companions, particularly those who were performing prayers.
 
The Third Example: With the people of At-Tufayl ibn ‘Amr, may Allah be pleased with him
 
From the other incidents that highlight the tolerance of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), is what the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), did with At-Tufayl ibn ‘Amr Ad-Dawsi, may Allah be pleased with him. At-Tufayl converted to Islam in Makkah, before the Hijrah (emigration), and then returned to his people to call them to embrace Islam. He began with his household. His father as well as his wife converted to Islam. Then he called his people and clan to Islam, though they rejected Islam and disobeyed him. They were reluctant to embrace it. Hence, At-Tufayl, may Allah be pleased with him, went to the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), and said that Daws was ruined, because they disbelieved, disobeyed and rejected Islam.
 
It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, “At-Tufayl ibn ‘Amr Ad-Dawsi came to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and said, ‘The tribe of Daws has disobeyed [Allah and His Messenger] and refused [to embrace Islam], therefore, invoke Allah against them.’ Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) turned to the direction of the Qiblah and raised his hands. People said, ‘They [the tribe of Daws] are doomed.’ The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said:‘O Allah! Guide the tribe of Daws and make them come, O Allah! Guide the tribe Of Daws and make them come [to the straight path].’[Al-Bukhari, Muslim and Ahmad]
 
This indicates the forbearance of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), his patience and measured manner of calling people to Allah The Exalted. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), did not hasten to punish those people or supplicate to Allah The Almighty against those who rejected the call to embrace Islam. Rather, he supplicated to Allah The Almighty to guide them, and Allah accepted his supplication. In return, he gained the fruit of patience and deliberation. At-Tufayl, may Allah be pleased with him, returned to his people and kindly called them to Allah The Almighty, and many of them converted to Islam.
 
When the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was at Khaybar, At-Tufayl, may Allah be pleased with him, went to him from Madeenah and with him were eighty or ninety families of the Daws. They joined the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), at Khaybar and he allocated a share of the booties for them as well as for other Muslims.
 
Allah is the Greatest! What great wisdom it was that helped eighty or ninety families to convert to Islam!
 
These examples should inspire the callers to Allah The Almighty to be tolerant while calling to Him. They would not have attained this unless Allah The Exalted bestowed it upon them, and they knew He taught the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), for Da'wah (propagation) to be this way.       
 
The Fourth Example: His reaction to those who wanted to kill him
 
Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
 
We set out with the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) on an expedition towards Najd and he caught us in a valley with many thorny trees. The Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) stayed under a tree to rest and hung his sword on one of its branches. The people scattered throughout the valley seeking rest under the shade of the trees.
 
The Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said:“A man came to me while I was asleep and took hold of the sword. I woke up and saw him standing near my head and holding the sword unsheathed. The man said, ‘Who can protect you from me?’ I said: ‘Allah.’ He again said, ‘Who can protect you from me?’ I said: ‘Allah.’ Hence, he put his sword in the sheath [and you can see] the man sitting over here.”The Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) did not in any way touch him.[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
Allahu Akbar! How good natured! Indeed, it is a very touching story. A Bedouin wanted to kill the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), but Allah The Almighty protected the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and granted him the chance to kill the Bedouin, but the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), forgave him. This is good-heartedness and is confirmed by the divine address (what means): {And indeed, you are of a great moral character.} [Quran 68:4]
This wise reaction of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), influenced this man who later on embraced Islam, and many others were guided to Islam at his hands. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The Forbearance and Forgivingness of the Prophet – II

The Forbearance and Forgivingness of the Prophet – III

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