Learn To Forgive Like Abu Bakr (RA)
The story of Ayesha (RA) and her innocence has many lessons one can learn from, to firm belief and faith in Allah, to have patience, and to forgive.
It was the talk in the whole of Medina, among family and neighbors, the most of the sincere of the Muslims were confident in the innocence of the beloved wife of Rasulullah (SAW) Ayesha (RA), the sincere of the Muslims were quiet, waiting to be ascertained by Rasulullah (SAW). Rasulullah (SAW) is also quiet as well, waiting for Allah to inspire him towards the truth. Thus, the hypocrites led by Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool have advantage over the seemingly confusing situation and gear all their energies in spreading the lies. Unsuspectingly influenced by the hypocrites’ rampage, a few Muslim thus begin to believe this false story. Some of these Muslims even actively help propagate it.
Among them is Mistah bin Uthatha (RA), a cousin of Abu Bakr (RA). He is an extremely poor man with no money except that which Abu Bakr (RA) regularly gives him. Mistah’s endorsement of the hypocrites’ story adds somewhat more weight to it, as he is a man with a fine reputation and he was a relation to Abu Bakr (RA). So the belief in this story was not just limited to the circle of hypocrites. Hard heartbreaking months passed before Allah revealed the innocence of Ayesha (RA). The Muslims finally exhale a sigh of relief. Hurt and angered by Mistah’s previous allegations, Abu Bakr (RA) took an oath that he will never spend on Mistah again. Think of Abu Bakr (RA) perspective, this is a perfectly justifiable, even expected, position. Mistah was wholly dependant on Abu Bakr (RA) and yet was willfully spreading and endorsing wild, enormous rumors about Abu Bakr (RA) beloved daughter. How could Abu Bakr react in such an ironic situation? How else could he have treated a person who slandered his daughter, the Mother of the Believers, with the worst of slander?
وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُولُو الْفَضْلِ مِنْكُمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَنْ يُؤْتُوا أُولِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَلْيَعْفُوا وَلْيَصْفَحُوا ۗ أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَنْ يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
Allah revealed: “And let not those who are good and wealthy among you swear not to help their kinsmen, those in need and those who left their homes in Allah’s Cause. Let them forgive and overlook. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? Verily! Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah Noor 24.22)
Abu Bakr (RA), despite his anguish and hurt feelings, immediately responds by exclaiming, “By Allah, I would love it that Allah forgives me!” He returns to his previous habit, and promise that he will never cease spending on Mistah.
Mercy and forgiveness is two of the many lessons the Qur’an teaches us, mercy and ties of kinship that Allah is pleased to see in His servants.
What would we do in the same situation? Here’s someone you’ve always helped, been good to; someone who absolutely depends on you. And now when you’re going through some tough times yourself, the person, instead of being thankful for all what you’ve done and using this opportunity to make it up to you, stabs you in the back. Would you go on enjoining ties of kinship?
Conflicts and arguments come between spouse, families and friends all the time. The question remains: How are we supposed to react in the face of such? Should we defend ourselves to the end because we are in the right? Should we refuse to forgive the other and overlook his/her faults, because we were wronged? Should we cut off relationships, shun one another due to a petty or even great argument? How can we let go of our ego and just forgive and overlook despite the great misdeed targeted against us?
Glance at the manner of Abu Bakr (RA) it tells us that no matter what the sin, no matter how grave the misdeed is, there should always remain a window open leading to reconciliation and forgiveness. In the Qur’an we are time and time again reminded to forgive each other and live with each other in harmony and love. Regardless if the squabble is wholly the fault of the notorious “other” it is vital to realize that greatness is not in raising our head high and stomping off, rather it is in bending down and seeking to reconcile; in forgiving and overlooking. There is no attitude that can ever bring about the most reward and pleasure than that of unhesitant forgiveness. Being oft-forgiving is an attribute Allah uses to describe Himself, and indeed we should aspire to build this lofty description within us, even with our limited capabilities. We beg Allah to forgive our transgressions, our faults when we are entirely at fault; can we not forgive pettier mistakes directed at us!? There will, always be times when forgiving may seem the hardest pill to swallow. We may be more willing to move a mountain than forgive a person who has wronged us, to overlook his insults, to overcome our bad feelings. Abu Bakr (RA) despite being faced with attacks that were entirely unprovoked, did not hesitate to forgive once he was enlightened with the virtues of forgiveness. In his zeal, he produced the most sublime example of forgiving, in response to one of the most vicious attacks perpetrated. As differences and conflicts arise and pollute the atmosphere, there needs to be this window present to ventilate it. The window makes it possible to blow away the charged feelings and allow fresh air in one’s life. It may be hard to open it and push it back along its rusty railings. But we must remember that this very window is the same window which has been promised to lead to the Forgiveness and Mercy of Allah Himself.
“May Allah Grant Us The Noble Habits Of Our Beloved Rasulullah (SAW) and His Companions (RA).Aameen Thuma Aameen.”