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The Forbearance and Forgivingness of the Prophet II

Saturday 27/03/2010

The Fifth Example: With Zayd, the Rabbi

 
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was forgiving even when he was able to avenge himself. He would be tolerant when angered and react favorably to the transgressors. Such lofty morals and manners were mainly behind people’s acceptance of his call, their belief in him and their paying him their wholehearted support. The following is what he did with Zayd ibn Su’nah, a leading rabbi:
 
Zayd ibn Su’nah came to the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), claiming money that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), owed him. He grabbed him by his clothes, glared at him,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), and said, “O Muhammad! Will you not pay my loan back? You people of ‘Abd Al-Muttalib delay the payment of debts.”He had spoken very harshly to the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, looked at him with eyes that swelled with anger, and said, “O Enemy of Allah, do you talk to the Messenger of Allah and behave towards him like this! By the one Who sent him with the truth, if I did not fear his rebuke, I would chop off your head with my sword!” The Messenger,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was looking at ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, in a calm, deliberate and smiling manner, and said:“O ‘Umar, you should have given us sincere counseling rather than doing what you just did! You should have advised me to pay him and advised him to claim fairly. Go and repay him his loan, and give him an extra twenty Saa’s [double handfuls] of dates!” This caused the man to embrace Islam. He said, “I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger.”
 
Before this incident, Zayd would say, “I have seen all the signs of prophethood in the face of Muhammad except for two things –his gentleness overtaking an unfavorable reaction, and the harsher a person is to him, the kinder he becomes.”
 
Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him, therefore tested the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), by this incident and found that he was exactly as he had been described to him. Thereupon, he embraced Islam and truthfully believed in the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). He witnessed battles with him and ended up as a martyr in the Battle of Tabook while he was facing the enemy.
 
The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) established many proofs from his manners, testifying to his own veracity and to the truthfulness of his message.  
 
 
 
 
 
The Sixth Example: With the leader of the hypocrites
                                           
Before the arrival of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), at Madeenah, the two tribes of Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj had agreed to make ‘Abdullaah ibn Ubayy their king. They agreed unanimously about the nobility of this man and he was the only man on whom the two tribes agreed could be their leader. They were preparing to crown him king when Allah The Almighty sent them His Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). When the people of ‘Abdullaah turned away from him and embraced Islam, hatred and grudge flared up inside ‘Abdullaah ibn Ubayy as he was convinced that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), had seized his kingship. Seeing his people embracing Islam, he outwardly embraced it himself, while hating it and insisting on hypocrisy, envy and animosity. He spared no efforts in fighting Islam, causing disunity among the Muslims and protecting as well as helping the Jews.
 
The wicked incidents this man caused and the animosity that he bore against Islam were exposed through his hypocrisy. However, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), would meet his animosity with forgiveness and forbearance because he had declared his Islam. In addition, this man was the leader of other hypocrites. Hence, the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), would be kind to him in word and deed and would meet his misdeeds with forgiveness in several incidents, including the following:
1-    His intercession for the Jews of Banu Qaynuqaa‘ when they broke their covenant with the Muslims: The Jews of Banu Qaynuqaa‘ broke their covenant with the Muslims after the Battle of Badr by uncovering the nakedness of a Muslim woman in their marketplace and killing a Muslim man who had defended her. Hence, on Saturday, 15th Shawwal [twenty months after the Hijrah(emigration)], the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), marched with his soldiers and besieged the Jews’ forts for fifteen days. Allah The Exalted cast fear into their hearts, and they were obliged to submit to the judgment of the Messenger,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), ordered that they should be handcuffed, and they amounted to seven hundred fighters.
 
At this point, ‘Abdullaah ibn ‎Ubayy began to intercede for them persistently. He rose up, and said, ‎“O Muhammad, treat my allies well.” ‎The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), delayed his answer, so ‘Abdullaah repeated, “O Muhammad, treat my ‎allies well.” The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), turned his face away from him, but he put his hand on the ‎Messenger's, collar saying, “By Allah, I will not let you go until you treat my ‎allies well. Four hundred man without armor and three hundred with armor, who defended me from the Arabs and non-Arabs, and you would mow them ‎in a single morning? By Allah, I do not feel safe and I am afraid of what the future may ‎have in store.” So the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: “They are yours.”
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), then ordered them to leave Madeenah and not to live there with him. Therefore, they moved to Athri‘aat in Ash-Shaam (greater Syria). He also took their property as booty, set aside one fifth, and distributed the rest among the Muslims. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), did not punish him for his intercession and heinous roughness; rather, he forgave him.
2-    What he did with the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), on the Day of Uhud: The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), marched with his soldiers to fight the disbelievers in the Battle of Uhud. When he was between Uhud and Madeenah, ‘Abdullaah ibn Ubayy withdrew with about one third of the army. ‘Abdullaah ibn Haraam, the father of Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah, may Allah be pleased with them both, followed them and attempted to stop their withdrawal. He reminded the hypocrites of their duty in this critical situation, but in vain. He followed them, reproached them, and urged them to return saying, “Come and fight in the way of Allah, or at least be defenders.” They said, “If we had known that you would really fight, we would not have gone back [to Madeenah].” Having despaired of them, he returned, cursing them. On this occasion too, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), did not punish him for this major crime and for demoralizing the Muslims.
3-    His preventing the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), from calling to Allah The Almighty: The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), went to Sa‘d ibn ‘Ubaadah, may Allah be pleased with him, and he passed by the enemy of Allah, ‘Abdullaah ibn Ubayy, while he was sitting with some of his people. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), dismounted and greeted them. Then, he sat for a while reciting the Quran, calling to Allah The Almighty and reminding people of Him. He also warned them as well as giving them glad tidings. When the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), finished, ‘Abdullaah ibn Ubayy said to him, “O you, there is nothing better than your speech. If it is true, stay at your house and tell it to whoever comes to you, and stop harming those who do not come to you and annoying them in their sessions.” Again, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), did not punish him and he forgave him.
4-    His support for Banu An-Nadheer: The Jews of Banu An-Nadheer broke their convent with the Muslims by trying to assassinate the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). Soon after, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), sent Muhammad ibn Maslamah, may Allah be pleased with him, to them, ordering them to leave Madeenah. The chief of the hypocrites, ‘Abdullaah bin Ubayy, urged the Jews of Banu An-Nadheer not to pay heed to the Prophet’s, order and to stay firm in their forts, offering to hasten to their support if they fought and to accompany them if they were expelled. Hence, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), marched with his soldiers and besieged them. Allah The Exalted cast terror into their hearts and they surrendered to the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), who expelled them from Madeenah. They moved to Khaybar, although some of them went to Ash-Shaam.
Again, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), did not punish ‘Abdullaah ibn Ubayy for this despicable act.
5-    His scheming against the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), and the Muslims during the Battle of Al-Muraysee‘: During this battle, ‘Abdullaah ibn Ubayy participated in some crimes that necessitated him being killed, some of which are:
-      During this battle, the hypocrites, headed by ‘Abdullaah ibn Ubayy, fabricated the incident of the slander (Ifk) against ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
-      During this battle, ‘Abdullaah ibn Ubayy said what is mentioned in the verse (what means): {If we return to Madeenah, the more honored [for power] will surely expel therefrom the more humble.}[Quran ‎63:8‎] ‎
-      During this battle, the enemy of Allah The Exalted said what is mentioned in the verse (what means): {Do not spend on those who are with the Messenger of Allah until they disband.}[Quran 63:7]
The wisdom and measured policy of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), were clearly shown in his attitude towards this man. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), avoided great evil and greater troubles by showing patience with ‘Abdullaah ibn Ubayy, enduring him and even treating him kindly and with tolerance. There were two reasons behind the policy of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), towards this man:
-      This man had supporters who might threaten the Islamic Da‘wah (call).
-      This man declared that he was a Muslim. Hence, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said to ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, when he asked his permission to kill this hypocrite: “Let him be so that people would not say that Muhammad kills his companions.”[Al-Bukhari]
If the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), had killed him, this would have made people feel an aversion to Islam and they would have said that Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was killing his companions. Thus, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was very ‎wise when he dealt patiently with some of his evil acts in order to avoid a greater evil and to offer Islam a chance to grow and become stronger. Moreover, he was commanded to judge people according to their apparent attitudes leaving their intentions to Allah The Almighty.
 
Later, ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, fully understood the rationale behind refraining from killing ‘Abdullaah ibn Ubayy. Hence, he said, “I ultimately realized that the opinion of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was more blessed than mine.”
 
This is how the Islamic callers should be in giving Da‘wah. They should follow the example of their Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), and be wise like him.

The Forbearance and Forgivingness of the Prophet – I

The Forbearance and Forgivingness of the Prophet – III

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