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The Gentleness and Leniency of the Prophet II

Saturday 27/03/2010

The Third Example: With the man who urinated in the Masjid

 
It was narrated on the authority of Anas ibn Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said:
 
While we were once in the Masjid with the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) a Bedouin came, stood up [in a corner] and began to urinate in the Masjid. Upon seeing him, the Companions of the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, “Stop, stop!” But the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said:“Do not interrupt him; leave him alone.”They left him alone until he finished. Then, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) called him and said to him: “These Masjids are not for urine and filth, but are rather only for the remembrance of Allah, performing prayers and reciting the Quran.”Then the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) ordered a man to bring a bucket of water and poured water over it.[Muslim and Al-Bukhari] 
 
It was reported by Al-Bukhari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him and others, that the same Bedouin man later said, “O Allah! Bestow Your Mercy on me and Muhammad only, and upon nobody else.” Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) stood up for the prayer and we too stood up along with him. Then a Bedouin shouted while performing prayer, ‘O Allah! Bestow Your Mercy on me and on Muhammad only, and do not bestow Your Mercy on anybody else along with us.’ When the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) concluded the prayer, he said to the Bedouin:You have restricted a very vast thing,’ referring to the mercy of Allah.” [Al-Bukhari]
 
The wording of this narration interprets the other narrations narrated by other than Al-Bukhari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said,
 
A Bedouin entered the Masjid and performed two Rak‘ahs and then said, “O Allah! Bestow Your Mercy on me and Muhammad only, and do not bestow Your Mercy on anyone else along with us.” Thereupon, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) turned to him and said:“You have restricted a very vast thing.”Shortly afterwards, the Bedouin urinated in the Masjid. People rushed towards him, but the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said to them:“You have been sent to make matters easy, not to place people under hardship. Bring a bucket of water and pour it over it.’[At-Tirmithi, Ahmad and Abu Daawood] 
 
He (Abu Hurayrah) added: “Having understood, the Bedouin said, ‘The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) may I ransom him with my father and mother, stood up and did not abuse, blame or beat me.’”[Ahmad]
 
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was the wisest of all the creatures of Allah, and all his stances and acts were honorably wise. The more one learns about his morals, gentleness, forgivingness and forbearance, the more certain and believing he will become. This Bedouin acted in an infuriating manner which entailed punishment and discipline by those who were in attendance. This is why the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, stood up to him, rejected his deed and reprimanded him. However, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), asked them not to interrupt his urination. This is the most sublime degree of leniency, forbearance and mercy.
 
All these attributes are contained in his wisdom. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), wisely disapproved of the Bedouin's deed. When the Bedouin said, “O Allah! Bestow Your Mercy upon me and Muhammad only, and do not bestow Your Mercy upon anyone else with us,”  the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: “You have restricted a very vast thing.” He was referring to the mercy of Allah, as it encompasses everything. Allah The Exalted says (what means): {But My mercy encompasses all things.}[Quran 7: 156] The Bedouin was niggardly with the Mercy of Allah to other creatures. Indeed, Allah The Exalted praises those who do the exact opposite. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And [there is a share for] those who came after them, saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith.”} [Quran 59: 10] This Bedouin supplicated to Allah The Almighty with what contradicted the meaning of this verse; therefore, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), disapproved of his act, yet he did so with leniency and mercy.
 
When the Bedouin began urinating in the Masjid, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), ordered people to leave him alone as he had already begun his improper act. Had the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), stopped him, a greater harm would have resulted. Part of the Masjid had already been contaminated. Had the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), stopped him, the Bedouin would have been harmed by having to hold his urine back, or he would have failed to hold it, causing impurity to contaminate his body, garments or other places  of the Masjid. Therefore, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), ordered them to let him finish, for a considerable interest, which is to ward off a greater harm by bearing with the lesser one and obtaining a greater interest by disregarding the less important one.
 
This is one of the greatest sublime aspects of the wisdom of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ); he weighed interests against harms. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), taught his Ummah, and particularly the callers to Allah, how to be lenient with those who are ignorant and how to teach them what they need to know without reprimanding, abusing, harming or pressuring them, as long as their improper conduct was not due to stubbornness and mockery. This affectionate, merciful and lenient mode of behavior considerably influenced the Bedouin’s life as well as that of others. As mentioned before, having understood, the Bedouin said, ‘The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) may I ransom him with my father and mother, stood up and did not abuse, blame or beat me.’[Ahmad and Ibn Maajah] This great moral substantially influenced that man's life.
 
The Fourth Example: With Mu‘aawiyah ibn Al-Hakam As-Sulami, may Allah be pleased with him
 
It was narrated on the authority of Mu‘aawiyah ibn Al-Hakam, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said,
 
While I was once performing prayer with the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) a man sneezed. I said, “May Allah have mercy on you!” People stared at me, so I said, “Woe be upon me, why is it that you stare at me?” They then began to strike their hands on their thighs, and when I saw them urging me to observe silence, I remained silent. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) then concluded the prayer, and may I ransom him with my father and mother, for neither before him nor after him have I seen a better educator. By Allah, he did not scold or revile me, but simply said instead:In this prayer the talk of people is improper; it consists only of saying Subhaan Allah [Glory be to Allah], Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest] and recitation of the Quran.”
 
Mu‘aawiyah, may Allah be pleased with him, continued,
 
I said, “O Messenger of Allah! I was a pagan until recently, but Allah has brought Islam to us. Among us there are men who have recourse to soothsayers...”
He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said:“Do not have recourse to them.”
I said, “There are men who take omens.”
He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said:“This is something which they find in their hearts, but let it not turn their way [from freedom of action].”
I said, “Among us there are men who draw lines.”
 The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said:“There was a prophet who drew lines, so if they do it as he did, that is allowable.”
I said, “I had a maid-servant who tended goats by the side of Uhud and Al-Jawwaaniyyah. One day I happened to pass that way and found that a wolf had carried off a goat from her flock. I am after all a man from the posterity of Aadam (Adam). I felt miserable as humans do, so I slapped her. I therefore have come to the Messenger of Allah as I feel that what I have done is horrible.” I said, “O Messenger of Allah! Should I not grant her freedom?” He (the Prophet) said:“Bring her to me.”So I brought her to him. He said to her,“Where is Allah?”She said, “In the heaven.” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) asked:  “Who am I?”She said, “You are the Messenger of Allah.” He said:“Grant her freedom, for she is a believing woman.”[Muslim]
 
This situation reflects the sublime wisdom with which the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was endowed. This influenced and transformed Mu‘aawiyah's life and personality. It is human nature to love those who are kind to one. This is why Mu‘aawiyah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Neither before him nor after him have I seen a better educator.”
 
The Fifth Example: To the boy whose hand was going around the plate
 
It was narrated on the authority of ‘Umar ibn Abi Salamah, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, “I was a boy under the care of the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and my hand would go around the plate while I was eating. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) therefore said to me: ‘O young boy! Say Bismillaah [in the name of Allah], eat with your right hand and eat what is nearest to you.’This then became my permanent habit in eating.” [Muslim and Al-Bukhari]
 
The Sixth Example: To the person who had sexual intercourse with his wife before expiating for the oath of Thihaar (a type of pre-Islamic separation)
 
It was narrated on the authority of Salamah ibn Sakhr Al-Ansaari, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said,
 
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alyahi wa sallam, asked:“Have you really committed it, Salamah?” I said: “Yes, I have committed it, O Messenger of Allah.” He repeated the question twice and I gave the same answer, and then said, “Make a decision about me and I will be patient with it.” He said: “Free a neck [i.e. a slave].”Thereupon, I struck my neck with my hand and said, “By Him who sent you with the truth, I do not possess other than this.”
He said:“Then fast two consecutive months.” I said, “What I have done was due to fasting.”
He said: “Give in charity [as expiation for your deed].” I said, “By Him who sent you with the truth, we passed the night hungry. There was no food in our house.”
He said: “Then go to the collector of the Zakah of Banu Zurayq and tell him to give it to you. Then, feed sixty poor people with a Wasq [a volumetric measure] of dates, and you and your family eat the remaining dates.”
I went back to my people, and said, “I found with you poverty and a bad outlook, and I found with the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) prosperity and a good outlook. He has commanded that your Zakah is to be given to me, so, give it to me.” And they gave it to me.[Ahmad, Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah]
 
The Seventh Example: To the woman who was weeping beside a grave
 
It was narrated on the authority of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said,
 
The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) passed by a woman who was weeping beside a grave. He told her to fear Allah and be patient. She said to him, “Go away, for you have not been afflicted with a disaster like mine.” She did not recognize him. She was then informed that he was the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) so she went to the house of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and did not find any guards there. She, therefore, went straight in and said to him, “I did not recognize you.” He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said,Indeed, [the critical time for] patience is at the first shock.” [Al-Bukhari]
 
This is another indicator as to how the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was lenient to those who were ignorant and would pardon them.

The Gentleness and Leniency of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) – I

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