One of the greatest quality of Prophet of Islam, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) was that he never took revenge for personal reasons. It was his incredible ability to pardon his staunch and ardent enemies. As Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) said in the Holy Quraan:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ [الأنبياء: 107]
And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds (Al-Anbya 21:107)
The people of Quraish were his worst enemies, they mocked and abused him; they teased and tortured him. They tried to kill the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) even on the night when he was departing for Madinah al Munawwarah for the journey of Hjrah (Migration). Then they continued to wage many wars on him while he was residing Madinah al Munawwah. But when he along with his Sahaabah (Companions) entered Makkah al Mukarramah on 20th Ramadhaan, 8 year after Hijrah, the Holy Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) not only forgiven them but also set an example of bloodless and peaceful victory over the enemy resulting into a revolution in Makkan society.
Throughout the lifespan of 63 years, the infidels tried many rather never missed an opportunity to disgrace him but Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) reacted all the time like with an honorable and gentleman’s response. Let’s take a look at the times when Holy Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) forgave his worst enemies despite their past grave injustices.
1. Forgiving The Killer Of Hadhrat Hamzah
A man Wahshi killed his beloved uncle Hadhrat Hamzah. Later, when Holy Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) met Wahshi, he forgave him.
Narrated by Hadhrat Ja’far bin ‘Amr bin Umaiyyah and ‘Ubaidullah bin ‘Adi Al-Khaiyyar when they went to Washi to ask about the martyrdom of Hadhrat Hamzah. He told the story and while revealing his episode of accepting Islam, he said: “So I too went out with them till I reached Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe Wasallam). When he saw me, he said:
“Are you Wahshi?”
أَنْتَ قَتَلْتَ حَمْزَةَ
“Was it you who killed Hamza?”
قَدْ كَانَ مِنَ الأَمْرِ مَا بَلَغَكَ
“What happened is what you have been told of.”
فَهَلْ تَسْتَطِيعُ أَنْ تُغَيِّبَ وَجْهَكَ عَنِّي
“Can you hide your face from me?” (Bukhari)
He neither not humiliated him at the time of his acceptance of Islam nor reminded him ever for shameful sin he committed.
2. When a Bedouin Urinated in Masjid
Hadhrat Anas reported that while we were in the Masjid with Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe Wasallam), a Bedouin came and stood up and began to urinate in the Masjid.
The Sahaabah (Companions) of the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) said (to reprimand him or to check him from doing so):
But the the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) said:
لاَ تُزْرِمُوهُ دَعُوهُ
“Don’t interrupt him; leave him alone.”
They left him alone, and when he finished urinating, the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) called him and said to him:
إِنَّ هَذِهِ الْمَسَاجِدَ لاَ تَصْلُحُ لِشَىْءٍ مِنْ هَذَا الْبَوْلِ وَلاَ الْقَذَرِ إِنَّمَا هِيَ لِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَالصَّلاَةِ وَقِرَاءَةِ الْقُرْآنِ
“These Masjids are not the places meant for urine and filth, but are only for the remembrance of Allah, for Salaah and for the recitation of the Quraan (or the Prophet said something like that).
The Holy Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam), then, gave orders to one of the people who brought a bucket of water and poured it over. (Muslim)
At that time the sentiments expressed by the Bedouin are remarkable example for the Ummah.
“The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) stood before me – May my mother and father be ransom for him – and he neither cursed nor scolded nor hit [me].” (Musnad Ahmad)
3. His Journey to Tai’f
Once the Mother of Faithfull, Hadhrat Ayeshah asked the Holy Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) that was there any day more difficult to you than the day of Uhud?
The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) said: ‘Yes, the day of Taif was worse for me than the day of Uhud; that was the most difficult point of my life’.
It was the day when children stoned him even his shoes became soaked with his own blood, Archangel Hadhrat Jibrael came down to the Holy Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) who was sitting under the shade of a tree, after getting relief from the cruelty of the locals. The angel asked to collapse the mountains over Taif, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) not only refused but also prayed to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) for their Hidaayah (Guidance) towards the only and ultimate way of salvation, Islam.
4. Forgiving Suhayl Ibn ‘Amr
Suhayl ibn Amr was the person who always abused Holy Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) in his poetry and spoke out against him, as mentioned in the history.
At the Battle of Badr, when Suhayl fell into the hands of the Muslims as a prisoner, Hadhrat Umar ibn al-Khattaab came up to the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) and said: “O Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe Wasallam)! Let me pull out the two middle incisors of Suhayl ibn Amr so that he would not stand up and be able to speak out against you after this day.”
The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) cautioned: “Certainly not, Umar. I would not mutilate anyone lest Allah mutilate me even though I am a Prophet.”
And calling Hadhrat Umar closer to him, the blessed Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) said: “Umar! Perhaps Suhayl will do something in the future which will please you.” (Muhammad ibn Ishaq. Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by Guillaume, A. (1955). The Life of Muhammad. Oxford: Oxford University Press.)
And people witnessed that Suhayl ibn Amr than became the biggest supporter of Islam after the conquest of Makkah a Mukarramah.
5. When Quraan States His Status As ‘Warner’
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) has mentioned in Quraan that the Holy Prophet was sent to warn people and not to punish, and he did the same.
فَلَعَلَّكَ تَارِكٌ بَعْضَ مَا يُوحَى إِلَيْكَ وَضَائِقٌ بِهِ صَدْرُكَ أَنْ يَقُولُوا لَوْلَا أُنْزِلَ عَلَيْهِ كَنْزٌ أَوْ جَاءَ مَعَهُ مَلَكٌ إِنَّمَا أَنْتَ نَذِيرٌ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَكِيلٌ [هود: 12]
“Is it then possible from you (O Prophet!) that you will abandon some of what is being revealed to you, and that your heart will be strained thereby, because they say: ‘Why has a treasure not been sent down to him or an angel not come with him?’ You are but a warner. And Allah takes care of everything. (Hood 11:12)
May Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) give Taufeeq (Capability) to Muslim Ummah to follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam). Aameen!