The Value of Tolerance

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

The Value of Tolerance

The Value of Tolerance

Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error (AL-BAQARA: 256)

Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance. (AL-NAHL: 125)

If they surrender, then truly they are rightly guided, and if they turn away, then it is thy duty only to convey the message (unto them). Allah is Seer of (His) bondmen. (AL IMRAN: 20)

If it had been thy Lord's will, they would all have believed,- all who are on earth! wilt thou then compel mankind, against their will, to believe! (HUD: 118-119)

Lo! thou (O Muhammad) guidest not whom thou lovest, but Allah guideth whom He will. And He is Best Aware of those who walk aright. (AL-QASAS: 56)

And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours: verily in that are Signs for those who know. (AL-RUM 22)
Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just. (AL-MUMTAHINA: 8)

Implementation of the Meaning of Tolerance in Islam:

In Islam, tolerance is clearly illustrated, whether it be the religious tolerance exemplified by the co-existence among religions and schools of thought within religions which is exemplified by the freedom to practice the rites of one’s religion in the absence of religious bigotry and racial discrimination or whether it be intellectual tolerance as expressed in the freedom engage in discussions and debates and presentations without intolerance towards independent thinking, as well as the granting of freedom to be creative and come up with novel solutions.

Islam cemented within the hearts of Muslims many forms of tolerance.
The Semitic religions are as watercourses which share a common origin. God Almighty said, “The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah - the which We have sent by inspiration to thee - and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him).”

The Prophet are a brotherhood; none of them is superior to any other insofar as the message he was sent with goes, nor insofar as faith in them goes. God Almighty said ”Say: We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophet from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah (in Islam)”

Belief cannot enter the heart without intellectual conviction and emotional contentment. It is on the basis of that understanding that the prohibition against forcing people to accept belief systems is expressed by God in ” Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.”

It is mandatory to respect -whatever form they might take- worshipers, men charged as leaders in their faiths, and places wherein worship takes place, for God says, ” Those who have been driven from their homes unjustly only because they said: Our Lord is Allah - For had it not been for Allah's repelling some men by means of others, cloisters and churches and oratories and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft mentioned, would assuredly have been pulled down. Verily Allah helpeth one who helpeth Him. Lo! Allah is Strong, Almighty.”

The Qur’an is eager to impart the moral discipline within its adherents which allows them to address their opponents kindly and wisely as a reflection of the spirit of respect for others and respect for differing points of view, in order to develop human relationships upon the basis of tolerance and peace. God says, ” And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury): but say, "We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our Allah and your Allah is one; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam)."” and ” Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious”

God said, when He entrusted Moses and Aaron to go to Pharaoh and his people and call them to believe in God, ” Go, thou and thy brother, with My Signs, and slacken not, either of you, in keeping Me in remembrance. Go, both of you, to Pharaoh, for he has indeed transgressed all bounds; But speak to him mildly; perchance he may take warning or fear (Allah).”

Similarly, we see, in the Noble Qur’an, examples of generosity of spirit and tolerance in the dialogues undertaken by the Prophet of God, Abraham. He is a model of tolerant disposition as he engages in a discussion with and responds to the intransigence and arrogance of the other party in the most peaceful of spirits. He proposed faith in God to his father, and proved the correctness of his beliefs by employing clear, intellectually sound, and wise warnings. Our master, Abraham, was eager to repeat the calm and collected call he addressed his father with, reminding him of the ties of kinship and his emotional attachment to him. He addressed him as, “Oh, my dearest father,” and his response to his father’s threat to stone him was, “Peace be upon you.” God Almighty says ” (Also mention in the Book (the story of) Abraham: He was a man of Truth, a Prophet . Behold, he said to his father: "O my father! why worship that which heareth not and seeth not, and can profit thee nothing? O my father! to me hath come knowledge which hath not reached thee: so follow me: I will guide thee to a way that is even and straight. O my father! serve not Satan: for Satan is a rebel against (Allah) Most Gracious. O my father! I fear lest a Penalty afflict thee from (Allah) Most Gracious, so that thou become to Satan a friend. (The father) replied: "Dost thou hate my God s, O Abraham? If thou forbear not, I will indeed stone thee: Now get away from me for a good long while! Abraham said: "Peace be on thee: I will pray to my Lord for thy forgiveness: for He is to me Most Gracious. And I will turn away from you (all) and from those whom ye invoke besides Allah: I will call on my Lord: perhaps, by my prayer to my Lord, I shall be not unblest.”
The achievement of peace is the goal of every human relationship and tolerance of others is the best means of achieving that goal.

Among the means to guide people used by the Messenger of God is gentle behavior and kind words towards dissenters. Indeed, the Prophet presented his companions with a model of tolerance and forgiveness when he granted amnesty to the people of Mecca after its conquest, when he was in a position of power, victory, and strength. He forgave them for the oppression they had wrought towards him and their wrong-doings towards his companions, overlooking them and saying, “Oh Gathering of the Quraish, truly God has cleansed you of the arrogance of the Days of Ignorance and its magnification of lineage. All mankind is descended of Adam, and Adam is of the soil.” Then he recited the following verse “ O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another.” Then, he said, “Oh Gathering of Quraish, What do you imagine that I shall do to you?” They responded, “Only good, honored brother and nephew.” He said, “Go; you are all free.”

Tolerance towards oneself and forgiving your own mistakes:

By way of Anis, who said, “Every son of Adam is a habitual sinner, and the best among those who continually sin are those who continually repent.”
The human soul is not such that it is guaranteed not to have shortcomings. Rather, among its most prominent characteristics is the propensity to fall into error. All humans are the same in this regard, other than such as God has chosen and purified in order that they may be His messengers; they He purifies the hearts of so that they are free of disobedience, and even they can unintentionally fall into error in such things as are based upon speculation and making decisions in areas with no precedents. Understanding this concept reassures the soul and allows you to forgive yourself and anticipate acceptance of you on the part of your Creator when you repent and ask that He grant you forgiveness and a clean slate.

This forgiveness allows the human being to get back to his life once he has fallen into sin or disobedience. It helps him to keep going when he feels ashamed and overwhelmed by his sense of guilt so that he does not become immobilized by it, which would result in the halting of the natural course of life and place people in difficulties and strictures.

By means of Buraida Bin Al-Husaib, who said, “Ma’ez Bin Malik came to the Messenger of God, saying, ‘Oh Messenger of God, purify me.’ He responded, ‘Woe to you! Go away, and ask God to forgive you; turn to Him in repentance.’ Not long after he came back and said, ‘Oh Messenger of God, purify me.’ Hesaid, ‘Woe to you! Go away, and ask God to forgive you; turn to Him in repentance.’ Not long after that, he returned, saying, ‘Oh Messenger of God, purify me.’ The Messenger of God kept repeating himself until, the fourth time, Hesaid, ‘What shall I purify you of?’ He responded, ‘of illicit sexual activity.’ The Messenger of God then inquired regarding him, ‘Is he insane?’ He was informed that he was not insane. Then he asked, ‘Has he been drinking?’ whereupon a man rose and went to see if he smelled of alcohol, but he did not find any such scent. Then, the Messenger of God asked him, ‘Did you participate in illicit sexual intercourse?’ and he responded, ‘yes.’ He was then stoned. The people were split into two factions as regarded him, one claiming that he had been destroyed by his sin, which overwhelmed and engulfed him, and the other claiming that he there was no repentance so excellent as that of Ma’iz, who had gone and placed his hands into those of the Prophet s, saying, ‘Put me to death with stones.’ The situation remained like that for two or three days, then the Messenger of God came to a gathering of people and bid them peace, whereupon he sat down and said, ‘Ask forgiveness for Ma’iz Bin Malik, for he repented of his sin in such a manner that that repentance, were it to be apportioned among an entire nation, would have sufficed them.’”

This is an example of forgiveness of the sinner and offering him the opportunity to forgive himself and overcome his shortcoming. The Prophet sent the man who had fallen into sexual sin away to make peace with himself more than once, pointing out that God is forbearing and forgiving. This is a manner of showing respect for the penitent who regrets his sinful behavior.

Taking responsibility for and admitting ones shortcomings and sins is considered to be among the most important structural underpinnings of personal reform, for it allows the disturbed soul to regain the tranquility and serenity which it lost. For this reason, asking forgiveness for sins has been legislated, and the Prophet encouraged its use as a constant aid to the individual in making peace with himself and achieving personal contentment.
By way of Abu Huraira, who said, “While we were sitting in a gathering with the Messenger of God a man came up to him, saying, ‘Oh Messenger of God, I am destroyed.’ He said, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ He said, ‘I had sexual relations with my wife while I was fasting.’ The Messenger of God said, ‘Can you free a slave?’ The man replied, ‘no,’ and he said, ‘Can you fast for two consecutive months?’ The man answered, ‘no,’ and he said, ‘Then, can you feed sixty poor persons?’ He replied that he could not, then the Prophet remained silent for a bit and, as he was sitting there, a bunch of dates was brought to him, and he said, ‘Where is the petitioner?’ He responded, ‘Here I am,’ and he told him, ‘Take this, and use it to give charity.’ The man responded, ‘On people more impoverished than me, Oh Messenger of God ? By God, there is no house within the boundaries of the city who are poorer than my own family.’ Thereupon the Prophet smiled so broadly that his eye-teeth showed, and he said, ‘Feed it to your family’”
Here we have a companion who came to the Prophet quaking and feeling that he had fallen into a catastrophe which would be his destruction and from which he could not escape.

The Prophet helped him to restore tranquility to his soul and search out a solution which would free him. The Prophet then spelled out for him the various ways in which he could atone for his sin, one after the other. However, he was unable to perform any of them, until he finally came to the point where he was able to take hold of some food with which he and his family might feed the poor, in expiation, all of which points to the fact that the point of performing expiations is in order to purify the soul of the sinner and assist him in forgiving himself, just as much as it is necessary to regret and turn away from the sin itself. These two things were achieved in the case of the soul of this companion, so the Prophet smiled and gave him the dates, sending him on his way.
Notice that the methods of expiating sins are acts of charity and civil responsibility which benefit the society as a whole. See how the Prophet s, in his simplicity and benevolence, made it easy for the believers to tread the path towards serenity and self-forgiveness in order that they may be able to get back to work at living their lives with open hearts, neither nervous nor anxiety ridden.

By way of Ibn Mas’oud, who said, “The Messenger of God said, ‘God is more overjoyed at the repentance of his servant than is a man who, exhausted, stops to take a rest, all of his food and drink upon his beast of burden, and falls asleep, only to awaken and find that his beast has disappeared, and with it all of his provisions. Then, when he is severely overcome by hunger and thirst or what have you, he says to himself, ‘I will go back from whence I came,’ and he goes back and sleeps once more, only to lift his head and find that his beast of burden is with him.”

This is an encouragement to be practice the moral discipline of practicing forgiveness towards others, and feeling joy when they repent of their sins and turn away from them. God, the Master of the Universe, feels joy at the repentance of His servant who feels lost and perceives the enormity of his sin as regards the rights of his Creator, although He is neither harmed by his sin nor benefited by his obedience. His joy, gratitude, and satisfaction confer benefits upon the servant, as He bestows blessings upon him in kindness.

The Prophet's Examplein Conferring Forgiveness upon Others:
Aisha said, “The Messenger of God, when he intended to undertake a journey, would cast lots among his wives. Whichever one had her arrow chosen would accompany him on his journey.” She continued, “He cast lots among us for one of the battles and my arrow was selected. The Messenger and I set out after the verses regarding the covering of women were revealed, so, I was being lifted and transported along inside of my palanquin. We continued in our journey until such time as the Prophet had concluded the campaign and we were on our way home, our caravan drew near to Medina. During the night the announcement that we would be setting off soon was made, so I got up, when the announcement was made, and I walked along until I had left the army behind. Once I had answered the call of nature and returned to my vehicle, I felt my chest and discovered that a necklace made up of ivory pieces which I had been wearing had snapped. I went back to search for my necklace, my strong desire to find it holding me back from returning.” She continued, “The group which had been entrusted with transporting me, under the impression that I was inside of it, placed the palanquin atop my camel, upon which I had been riding. ِ In those days, women were light and frail creatures, with hardly any meat upon their bones, for they consumed very little food. Nobody found the palanquin oddly light, for I was but a wisp of a girl, so, they set the camel in motion and went on their way. By the time I found my necklace the army had moved along, and when I got back to the camp site there was not a soul to be found. I set about to clean up at the place which had been my temporary home, thinking that they would realize I was not with them and return for me. While I was sitting in my spot I was overwhelmed with fatigue, so I fell asleep. In those days Safwan Ibn Al-Mu’atal Al-Sulaymi was the one who followed after the army, making sure all was well with the camp sites following their departure. When he drew near to my camp he perceived the form of a sleeping person. When he got a look at me he knew who I was, for he had seen me previously, before the verses regarding the covering of women were revealed. I was awakened by his astonishment upon discovering me, and I concealed my face with my cloak. By God, we said not a word to one another, nor did I hear from him any other utterance than that which he made when he found me. He dismounted, so that his camel would kneel down, and he stood on its leg. I then stood up and mounted the camel and he led his camel, me upon it, until we caught up with the army in the misery of the afternoon sun. They had already struck camp.

Then, those whose destruction would be by me were destroyed.” “The one who bore the brunt of responsibility for the lie was Abdullah Bin Ubayy Bin Salool,” Then ‘Urwa said. “I was told that he started the rumor and people spoke of it in his presence, which he encouraged, listening to it and fanning the flames.” ‘Urwa continued, “None of those who perpetrated the lie, besides him, were mentioned by name except Hassan Bin Thabit, Mistah Bin Uthatha, and Hamna Bint Jahsh, though I know more people were involved about whom all I know is that they were, according to God, a group, and the main player among them was called Abdullah Bin Ubayy Bin Salool.” ‘Urwa continued, “Aisha disliked that anyone should speak ill of Hassan in her presence, saying, ‘He was the one who said “Truly, by my father and grandfather; by my very honor, I, among you, vouched for Muhammed’s honor.”’” Aisha said, “We returned to Medina and, after a month had passed, I fell ill. At that time the people were consumed with the words being bandied about by those who had slandered me, but I knew nothing whatsoever of it. In my pains, I felt that the Messenger of God was acting oddly towards me, for he did not treat me with the same gentleness I had been accustomed to receiving from him when ill. Rather, the Messenger of God would merely enter my dwelling, greet me with peace, and say “How is your state. Then, he would leave. I found it odd, but did not perceive any ill will. Then, one day, I went out, needing to use the bathroom, and set out with Mistah’s mother towards Al-Manasi’, which was the place in which we answered the call of nature. We only went there under the cover of night.

That was prior to our establishing kanafs close to our homes, when we were doing things in the manner in which the pure Arabs of the outback did as regards the emptying of bowels. We disliked the idea of establishing kanafs near our houses.” She continued, “….then Mistah’s mother and I had started back towards my house after taking care of our business when she slipped and exclaimed, ‘May Mistah be ruined,’ so I said to her, ‘It is an evil thing which you have said. Do you curse a man who fought at Badr?’ Then she said, ‘Ah, I see that you haven’t heard what he said.’ She continued, ‘Then, I said to her, “What has he said?” and she told me what the people of the lie were saying.’ She went on, ‘Then, I became even sicker than I already was, and, when I had returned to my home, the Messenger of God came to see me there and asked, كَيْفَ تِيكُمْ “How is your state?” I said to him, “Will you give me permission to go to my parents?”’

She told us, “I wanted to make sure of the news by consulting them.” She said, “The Messenger of God granted me his permission, and I asked my mother, ‘Oh, my dearest Mother, what are people saying about me?’ She replied, ‘Oh, my darling daughter, don’t mind that. By God, there is hardly any woman at all who, being dear to her husband and well loved by him, having co-wives, had them gang up on her.’ She said, ‘And I exclaimed, “Glory be to God ! Have people actually spoken about this?’ She said, ‘So, on that night I cried until my eyes could no longer produce tears.

I could not sleep. Then, I started crying,’ she said, ‘and the Messenger of God called upon Ali Bin Abu Talib and Usama Bin Zaid when he grew tired of waiting for a revelation, so, he asked them what they thought, consulting them regarding leaving his wife.’ She continued, ‘Usama pointed out to the Prophet that he knew his wife to be a good person, reminding him of what he himself knew, saying, “She is your wife, and we know nothing but good things about her.” However, Ali said, ‘Oh Messenger of God, God has not constrained you, and there are plenty of women besides her. Ask her servant girl; she will tell you the truth.’ So, the Messenger of God called Buraira and asked her, ‘Okay, Buraira, have you seen anything which causes you to have doubts?’ Buraira responded to him, ‘By He who sent you with the truth, I have not seen in her anything whatsoever which I might look askance at other than that she is a very young girl who sometimes sleeps while her family’s bread is rising, such that the goat comes and eats the dough.’ She said, ‘Thereupon the Messenger of God ascended the pulpit Then Abu Bakr said, ‘By God, I will never spend a cent upon Mistah again after what he said about Aisha. Then God revealed “ Let not those among you who are endued with grace and amplitude of means resolve by oath against helping their kinsmen, those in want, and those who have left their homes in Allah's cause: let them forgive and overlook, do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” and Abu Bakr said, ‘Of course! By God, I do desire that He forgive me.’ So he reinstated the support which he had formerly been spending upon Mistah and said, ‘By God, never shall I take it away from him.’ Aisha said, ‘The Messenger of God had consulted with Zaynab Bint Jahsh regarding my affair, saying to Zaynab, ‘What do you know or have you seen?’ She said, ‘Oh Messenger of God, I protect my hearing and sight. By God, I know nothing but good things about her.’ And she was the one, among the Prophet's wives, who was most inclined to have ill will towards me, by God protected her due to her piety.’ She continued, ‘Her sister, Hamna, launched a war for her, and she perished among those who perished.’”
The Incident of The Lie gives us a comprehensive look at Medina and the lives of the Muslims there, as it puts forward for us the highest example of tolerance and forgiveness in the person of the Prophet s, who overlooked and forgave those who attacked his noble honor and falsely accused his pure wife, slandering her. He did not rush, as any king, prince, or ruler whose honor had been verbally disparaged, to cut out the tongue or those who dared to attack him, nor did he execute them.

Also, the Incident of the Lie demonstrates to us his gentleness and indulgence towards his wife, and the way he did not rush to accuse her of anything, nor did he even let her feel that he had any doubts regarding her, out of his respect for her feelings.

The Noble Qur’an encouraged Abu Bakr to forgive and start a clean slate for those who impugned the honor of his daughter, despite the fact that their arms were outstretched to him asking that he treat them generously and with kindness. Beyond that, the Qur’an enjoined him to continue giving them monetary aid and not cut them off as a result of what they did.
Such are the many situations which the Prophet and his companions faced together and which served as practical examples and lessons in moral discipline from which all parties emerged with purer souls and spirits ever more capable of putting forward tolerance, forgiveness, and love. A combination of these factors were in play as God the Real, glorified and elevated be His name, revealed the verses ” Lo! they who spread the slander are a gang among you. Deem it not a bad thing for you; nay, it is good for you. ”, which exonerated Lady Aisha.

By way of Abu Said Al-Khudari, who said, “Ali Ibn Abu Talib sent the Messenger of God a chunk of un-smelted gold which had been from Yemen, and Heapportioned it among four folks; ‘Uyayna Ibn Badr, Aqra’ Ibn Habis, Zaid Ibn Al-Khail and, as for the fourth one, he was either ‘Alqama or ‘Aamer Ibn Tufail. One of his companions said, ‘We ourselves were more deserving of it than were they.’ The Prophet caught wind of the remark and stated, ‘Do you not trust me while I am the trusted agent of He who resides in the sky and heaven’s news is revealed unto me morning and evening?’ ِ A sunken-eyed man with a prominent fore-head, distinctive cheekbones, a full beard, shaven head, and rolled-up clothing arose and said, ‘Oh Messenger of God, Fear God. ’ He replied, ‘Woe to you. Do I not possess more fear of God than any person on the face of the earth?’” He continued, “Then the man turned away and Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed asked the Messenger of God, ‘Shall I strike his neck?’ He replied, ‘No; perhaps he has gone to pray.’ Khalid replied, ‘Plenty there are who perform their prayers, pronouncing upon their tongues what is absent from their hearts.’ The Messenger of God replied, ‘I have been commanded neither to delve into people’s hearts, nor to split their breasts open.’ Helooked at him, the man having turned his back on them in such a way that the nape of his neck was facing them, and said, ‘Among those who have roots in this people are some who recite the Book of God softly but it gets no further than their throats. They pass through the religion much as an arrow passes through a bow.’ I think he said, ‘If I catch up with them I will kill them, just as Thamud was killed.’”

By way of Anis Ibn Malik, who said, “I was walking with the Messenger of God, who was wearing a coarse mantle from Najran, when a Bedouin caught up with us and tugged sharply upon his cloak.” Anis stated, “I looked at the Prophet ’scollar bone and saw that a mark had been left by the friction produced when his cloak was pulled upon. Then he said, ‘Oh Muhammad, order that some of God's money which is under your possession should be disbursed to me.’ He turned to look at him and smiled, then, he ordered that something be given to him.’”

By way of Usayid Ibn Hudair, who said, “As he was speaking to the people, clearly in a joking mood, the Prophet poked him in the flank with a stick and said, ‘Give me patience.’ He said, ‘Have patience.’ He said, ‘You are wearing a shirt while I am not wearing a shirt,’ and the Prophet lifted his shirt and he saw his flank. . he said I simply meant this, Prophet of God.

By way of Sa’ad Ibn Abu Waqaas, who said, “’Umar Ibn Al-Khattab asked permission to see the Prophet while he was sitting with some women of the Quraish, who were speaking to him for an extended period fo time, raising their voices above his. When they heard the voice of ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab they rose and quickly covered themselves up completely. The Messenger of God gave his permission, and ‘Umar came in and found the Messenger of God laughing. Then ‘Umar said, ‘May God fill your life with smiles, Oh Messenger of God. ’ The Prophet responded, ‘It surprises you that those ladies who were with me, upon hearing your voice, were quick to draw their veils.’ He said, ‘It is more appropriate that they should be shy of you, Oh Messenger of God. ’ Then ‘Umar said, ‘Enemies of their own souls. Do they fear disrespecting me yet fail to fear that they may disrespect the Messenger of God s?’ They said, ‘Yes. You are less refined and more harsh than the Messenger of God s.’ The Messenger of God then said, ‘This is true, Oh Son of Al-Khattab; by He in whose hand is my soul, the Devil travels not down any pathway except, should he meet you upon it, he switches to a pathway upon which you are not travelling.’”

It would appear that this experience left a lasting impression on ‘Umar’s soul, for, during his Caliphate, a Bedouin came to him to complain that his wife raised her voice above his and, while he was waiting at the threshold, he heard an interaction in which ‘Umar’s wife raised her voice to him, saying, ‘Fear God, ‘Umar, in what He has entrusted unto you,’ and ‘Umar remained silent. The man considered leaving when he saw the condition of the Commander of the Faithful, and, when ‘Umar emerged, he explained to him that his forgiveness, patience, and tolerance of his wife were duties upon him springing from the duties she performed for him, which entitled her to lenient treatment and love.

His forgiveness and tolerancetowards those who sought out knowledge, and his patience with them:

By way of Aisha, who said, “The Messenger of God bought a camel or some camels from a bedouin with a certain amount and type of dates. The Messenger of God took him to his house and looked for the dates, but he couldn’t locate them. He then went out to the Bedouin and said to him, ‘Oh servant of God, we transacted to purchase camels from you for the price of some dates which, when we went to get them, we could not find.’ The bedouin responded, ‘You have cheated me.’ The people raised their voices, saying, ‘May God strike you dead! Does the Messenger of God engage in fraud?’” She continued, “The Messenger of God said, ‘Leave him alone, for, truly, the person who is entitled to something deserves to have his say.’ Then the Messenger of God went back to him and said, ‘Oh servant of God, What happened is that we transacted to purchase your camels from you thinking that we were in possession of the goods offered to you in exchange and, when we went to get them, we found that we do not actually have them.’ The bedouin said, ‘You have cheated me,’ and the people raised their voices above his, saying, ‘May God strike you dead! Does the Messenger of God engage in fraud?’ Then, the Messenger of God said, ‘Leave him alone, for, truly, the one who is entitled to something is deserves to have his say.’ Then the Messenger of God repeated it two or three times and, when he say that he had not understood him, he said to one of his companions, ‘Go to Khuwayla Bint Hakeem Ibn Umayya and say to her, “The Messenger of God asks that you, if you have this particular amount and kind of dates, to lend it to us until such time as we can pay you back, God willing.” Then the man went to her and returned saying, “She said, ‘Yes, I have it, Oh Messenger of God ; send someone to pick it up.’” The Messenger of God then told the man, “Take him and see that he gets what is owed to him.” So he went with him and delivered to him what he had contracted for.’” She said, “Then the Bedouin passed by the Messenger of God and said, ‘May God reward you with good. You have certainly fulfilled your obligations and acted graciously.’” She said, “And the Messenger of God responded, ‘Those are the best of God's servants in the appraisal of God on the Day of Resurrection, the fulfillers of obligations who act graciously.’”

This shows his patience and how he did not allow himselfto get riled up while repeating what was going on and patiently attempting to impart understanding to a Bedouin. Also, it demonstrates his tolerance and forgiveness of their harshness and unrefined behavior. That mercy afterwards transformed those Bedouins into a people with delicate hearts filled with mercy and love and allowed them to take on cultural refinements which it is hard to believe would be found among nomads such as these.
By way of Anis Ibn Malik, who said, “A Bedouin came and urinated in the corner of the mosque, so the people reprimanded him, but the Prophet prohibited them from so doing, and, when he had finished urinating, called for water to be brought and poured upon it.”

In the Mussannaf of Abdalrazaq under the heading “Urination in the Mosque,’ by way of ‘Ubaydallah Ibn Abdullah Ibn ‘Utba, comes the story of a Bedouin who urinated in the mosque, whereupon the people arose and went to him, reprimanding him and speaking harshly with him, whereupon the Prophet said, ‘Leave him alone, and drench his urine with a bucket of water, for you have not been sent except to make things easy and you have not been sent to make things difficult.’ Then, the Messenger of God stood up, the bedouin standing behind him, and, as they were praying, the bedouin said, ‘Oh God, bestow your mercy upon Muhammad and me and bestow not mercy upon any other than us.’ Then, when the prayer was over, the Messenger of God said to him, 'You have sought to constrain one who would spread widely.’”

The Prophet set the example for his companions, demonstrating patience and forbearance with the learner, training them not to rudely interrupt others with blunt harshness, even though they behave ignorantly. Rather, he delivered his instructions with kindness and gentleness.
Anis Ibn Malik said, “While we were sitting with the Prophet in the mosque a man riding a camel entered and dismounted it in the mosque, tied it, then said to them, ‘Which one of you is Muhammad?’ The Prophet was stretched out in their midst and we said, ‘That white man; the one who is lying down.’ Then the man said to him, ‘Son of Abdulmuttalib,’ and the Prophet said, ‘I already responded to you.’ Then the man said to the Prophet s, ‘I have some questions for you and urge you not to be upset with me.’ He said, ‘Ask any question that occurs to you.’ He continued, ‘I ask you by your lord and the lord of those who preceded you, has God sent you as an emissary to all of mankind?’ He responded, ‘By God, that is correct.’ He proceeded, ‘I adjure you by God, Has God commanded you that we should pray five canonical prayers over the course of each day and night?’ He responded, ‘By God, that is correct.’ He went on, ‘I adjure you by God, has God commanded that we fast this month during every year?’ He answered, ‘By God, that is correct.’ Then he continued, ‘I adjure you by God, Did God command you to collect charity from those of us who are wealthy and distribute it among those of us who are poor?’ The Prophet said, ‘By God, that is correct.’ The man said, ‘I believe in what you have brought forward and I am the messenger of those who are in agreement with me from among my people. I am Diman Ibn Tha’laba, a member of Banu S’ad Ibn Bakr.’”

Here we can see the Prophet ’spatience with the questions of a person who was seeking knowledge. Formulating questions and seeking explanations are the keys to knowledge and information and aid in the development of one’s intellectual abilities, sharpening the mind.

By way of Aisha, who related that Asma asked the Prophet how a woman ought to cleanse herself following her period. He said, “She should take water and cleanse herself thoroughly, then, she should pour water over her head and massage her head energetically such that it saturates the roots of her hair, then, she should pour water over herself. Then, she should take a portion of water which is scented of musk and purify herself with it.’ Asma said, ‘And how does that purify her?’ Then he said, ‘Glory be to God, you are the one who undertakes this sort of purification.’ Aisha then said, as if she were shy so to say, ‘You remove thereby the traces of blood.’ Then, she questioned him regarding how to perform the purification ritual after sexual intercourse, and he said, ‘She should take water and cleanse herself thoroughly, then, she should pour it over her head, massaging it in such that the roots of her hair are saturated, then, she should pour water over it.’ Aisha remarked, ‘Wonderful women, the women of the Ansar; they do not allow bashfulness or awkwardness to prevent them from acquiring knowledge and understanding regarding religious issues.’”

Abdullah Ibn Masood said, ‘I posed a question to the Messenger of God, saying, ‘What is the best deed?’ He answered, ‘Canonical prayer at its appointed times.’ Then I said, ‘then what?’ and he responded, ‘after that is honoring your parents.’ I continued, ‘then what?’ and Hesaid, ‘Struggling in the cause of God. ’ Then, I fell silent in the presence of the Messenger of God, and, had I asked him for, I am sure he would have gone on.’”

Tolerance for and forgiveness of Servants and Employees:
Anis said, “The Messenger of God was among the most refined of individuals as regards his morals and manners. One day, he sent me on an errand and I said, ‘By God, I will not go!’ within myself intending to go and perform the task which the Prophet of God had instructed me to undertake. I had departed and was passing by some young boys who were playing in the market when the Messenger of God took hold of the nape of my neck from behind.” He continued, “I looked at him and saw that he was laughing, and he said, ‘Oh my beloved Anis, have you gone where I told you to?’” To which I responded, “Yes, I am on my way, Oh Messenger of God. ” Then Anis remarked, “By God, I served the Messenger of God for nine years, and never once in all those years did he say to me, regarding something which I had done, ‘Why did you do such-and-such?’ nor did he ever say, regarding something which I had not done, ‘If only you had done such-and-such.’”

The Prophet s, despite the disobedience of his servant in going off to entertain himself rather than implementing his instructions, overlooked that and forgave him due to his tender age, smiling at and teasing him. Anis looked up and caught site of the Prophet smiling at what he had done, which reassured him and helped him to calm down. When the Prophet addressed him in the diminutive and spoke to him indulgently and mercifully the lesson regarding forbearance, patience, and forgiveness became engrained in his conscience and memory, and he later told the story to the Muslim community, passing on the lesson.

Abdullah Ibn ‘Amru said, ‘A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘Oh Messenger of God, how many times should we forgive a servant?’ He remained silent, and the man repeated his query. He kept quiet once more, and, after the third time, responded, ‘Forgive him seventy times a day.’”
Heused silence as an educational tool, attempting to convey through it that one ought not to ask for a set number of times which one might indulge in forgiveness. Rather, it is as if he were enjoining us to forgive as often as we are able so to do. When the petitioner persisted in asking the question he answered him by saying that he should forgive him seventy times a day, a number which may be intended to be taken literally or figuratively, that is, if you are able so to do, forgive more than seventy times each day.

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