The Assets of our Manual
by Yasseen Sabil
Most complex ideas or systems often come with directions of some kind. If you get any expensive watch it will come with a manual from the watchmaker. If you get a bed from IKEA it will come with directions on how you should put it together. If you get an Xbox one gaming system, it will tell you exactly how to operate it whenever you turn it on. While this is all quite straightforward, one question still stands. Where is the instruction manual for the most complex system of all: Life? This question is not all too troubling for Muslims, however, because we have the Quran. The Quran tells us exactly how we should live our lives, and what principles we should live by. While this manual is a great resource for all Muslims, it is not all that we were provided with by Allah (Subhanawatuallah). He also gave us an example in Muhammad (SAS). We can see exactly how we should implement the principles laid out in the Quran. One specific principle that we have a multitude of examples to go off of is forgiveness. Throughout his life, Prophet Muhammad (SAS), tells us through his actions how we should forgive those who have wronged us time and time again.
The first example of this forgiveness we will be looking at is whenever Muhammad(SAS) traveled to Taif to grow the religion of Islam. He was treated extremely cruelly, and children were told to stone him in the streets. Any regular man would be enraged and want to take revenge on the people of this town. Allah sent an angel to the Aid of our prophet with a simple question of whether or not he would want for the city to be destroyed for their wrongdoings. Prophet Muhammad(SAS) said no. He said that he hoped in the future Allah would let their children and grandchildren join the religion of Islam and surround themselves in worship. He still saw value in those that wanted to destroy him, and this teaches us an equally valuable lesson. We should not lower ourselves to the level of our antagonizers. Instead, we should follow the example of our prophet and show forgiveness to the wrongdoers.
Another example of forgiveness is the story of Abu Jahl’s son, Ikrama. Ikrama was one of the most major enemies of Islam and did so much to hurt the prophet and his followers. He actively searched out and tormented those that accepted Islam. He told the people of Mecca not to trade with the Muslims and was one of those who pressured them to undergo a pilgrimage to Medina. He put bounties on Muslims and fought them in combat. Essentially, the blood of many Muslims was on the hands of Ikrama. After he was defeated, like most enemies of Islam, He fled Mecca. He stayed in Yemen for some time but eventually, Islam uniquely found him. His wife converted to Islam and convinced him to come and meet Muhammad(SAS) under her protection. He came to accept Islam and Prophet Muhammad(SAS) accepted him with open arms.
This is a repeating story in Islamic history. Prophet Muhammad(SAS) made believers out of his many enemies and treated them better than they ever treated him. He taught this forgiveness and kindness by example, and billions of Muslims throughout history after him do practice it as well. It is clear that the Islamic literature preaches Forgiveness, and in the life of Muhammad(SAS), we get a clear example of how integral it really is.