Assalaamu alaikum [Peace be to you],
Forgiveness is not for the weak. Being able to forgive those who have wronged you is a mark of spiritual strength and confidence. When you forgive, you grow. When you forgive you live.
I'd like to give you an example of great forgiveness from the life of the last prophet of Islam, Mohammed -peace be upon him-:
Characters of this story:
- Mohammed -peace be upon him-, the last prophet of the God.
- Hamzah, one of the uncles of the prophet. he was a strong and brave man.
- Abu-Sufyan, one of the pagan leaders of Mekkah, he was one of the greatest enemies of Islam.
- Hind, the wife of Abu-Sufyan. she hated Islam more than her husband did.
A geat quality of the prophet Mohammed -peace be upon him- is that he never took revenge on his own behalf on anyone. he only fought the transgressors as long as they transgress. as his wife Aishah said. "He never return evil for evil, but always forgive and pardon."
In the early years of the restoration of Islam by Mohammed -peace be upon him- the last prophet of the God, the Muslims suffered violent and barbaric persecution from the Mekkan pagans. they were humiliated, beaten, tortured, starved, and some were killed...
Hamzah -may Allah be pleased with him-, the uncle of the prophet, was one of the most beloved of people to the Prophet. he was one of the earliest to accept Islam and, through his power and position in the Quraishite hierarchy, diverted much harm from the Muslims.
After many years of suffering and persecution, the God almighty gave his command to the prophet to emigrate to another town called Madinah (around 200 miles from Mekkah) the pagans plundered the properties of the Muslims and stole everything they left in Mekkah.
The Muslims started to prosper in Madinah, but it was not for so long. as the pagans, seeing more and more people embracing this new religion, wanted to stop Mohammed and the Muslims by eliminating them at once. they went to wage war against the Muslims. and there were many battles between them. in one of them called the Battle of Uhud, Hamzah was killed by an Abyssinian slave commanded by Hind, The wife of Abu-Sufyan. then she mutilated his body by cutting his chest and tearing his heart into pieces and eating his liver (she spit it out as it tasted unpleasant to her).
This attitude of Hind affected the prophet of the God too much and left him distressed and angry towards Hind!
Hind had a very fierce long bad history with the Muslims. but after long years, the Muslims became stronger than the pagans, and they went to take back Mekkah. the Muslims army was of 10,000. Abu-Sufyan knew that if the pagans were to fight the Muslims, they would be crushed. He went to meet the prophet before they reach Mekkah and converted to Islam (maybe to save his life). Hind refused her husband's behavior and called him a coward. she didn't want the Muslims to enter Mekkah.
At long last, the Muslims came. it's interesting to notice that it was announced that whoever stays behind his door will be safe, whoever doesn't fight the Muslims will be safe and whoever stays in Abu-Sufyan's house will be safe.
The Prophet said to the non believers:
“O people of Quraish*! What do you think I will do to you?"
Hoping for a good response, they said: “You will do good. You are a noble brother, son of a noble brother.”
The Prophet then said:
“Then I say to you what Joseph** said to his brothers: ‘There is no blame upon you.’ Go! For you are all free!.”
The prophet pardoned the people of Mekkah and that was the greatest conquest in the world without any bloodshed. People of Mekkah went to pay homage to the prophet and to Islam. Hind also went while completely veiled and not identified.
When she quietly came to the Prophet with other women to pay homage, he recognized her. He asked "is it you Hind bint 'Utbah?!"
She replied: "yes, it is me, Hind. forgive me! May Allah forgive you!"
Indeed, it was a crucial moment in the life of Hind. What is your opinion? What is the prophet going to act? Bearing in mind her long history confronting Muslims and mutilation of his uncle Hamzah?!
What the prophet did was not to say anything. He forgave her and didn't seek revenge for all what she did. She was so impressed by his magnanimity and stature that she said,
“O Messenger of God, no tent was more deserted in my eyes than yours; but today no tent is more lovely in my eyes than yours.”
The Prophet, -may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him-, was all for forgiveness and no amount of crime or aggression against him was too great to be forgiven by him. He was the complete example of forgiveness and kindness. He always repelled evil with the good of forgiveness and kind behavior for, in his view, an antidote was better than poison. He believed and practiced the precept that love could foil hatred, and aggression could be won over by forgiveness. He overcame the ignorance of the people with the knowledge of Islam, and the folly and evil of the people with his kind and forgiving treatment.