Doesn’t it take great courage to forgive someone who has treated you really badly? Even thinking about the ways to “get back at them” makes us feel excited, and if something bad happens to the one who has hurt us, we often feel pleased to hear of it. Let’s see how the greatest person in the history of mankind acted when he encountered hatred and mischief. This great hero of Islam is none other than our beloved and dearest Prophet Muhammad (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa Sallam).
In the tenth year of his prophethood, Prophet Muhammad visited the city of Ta’if, which is situated in a valley between great mountains. Until then, he had found very little success in preaching the message of Allah to the leaders of Makkah, who were not welcoming this message and were making life miserable for the few who did become Muslims. Therefore, Prophet Muhammad (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa Sallam), with his companion Zaid bin Haaritha, decided to spread the message to other places and made Ta’if their destination. The people of Ta’if were very happy with their lives; they had a beautiful valley to live in, enjoyed good food and passed their time in ease and comfort. They also were not willing to listen to this newcomer who was telling them to give up their evil ways and to listen and bow to this One God who they couldn’t even see.
When Prophet Muhammad (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa Sallam) and Zaid reached Ta’if, the leaders of the city made it impossible for the two of them to preach the message of Allah, and treated Prophet Muhammad (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa Sallam) in the worst possible manner. They made street boys run after our dear Prophet and his companion and throw stones at them. These boys were merciless and they pelted Prophet Muhammad (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa Sallam) and Zaid bin Haaritha so much that their shoes filled with blood. They took refuge in a garden and laid down to rest.
Allah, the Exalted, the Mighty, was so displeased with the people of Ta’if for their treatment of His honorable Prophet that He sent down angel Jibril to tell Prophet Muhammad (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa Sallam) that if the Prophet so wished, Allah would crush the whole valley of Ta’if along with its non-believers under the mountains surrounding them.
And what do you think our dear Prophet said? Prophet Muhammad (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa Sallam) was such a compassionate and forgiving person that instead of asking for revenge on the people of Ta’if, he asked Allah, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful, to forgive them and made Du’a that Allah may show the people of Ta’if the right path. This was the level of compassion and mercy that Prophet Muhammad (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa Sallam) had for his enemies, for the people who had caused him great pain and had completely rejected him and his message.
If we have even a small portion of that compassion in our hearts we would not only be better human beings, but would also make everyone around us happy and content. Isn’t it easier to make up and forgive than to torture ourselves with thoughts of enmity and revenge? So, if we want to become a little like our dear Prophet and follow in his footsteps, this is a nice place to start: Forgive others and ask forgiveness for our actions that may have hurt others.