When I look at the intense craziness happening in the world, I am reminded of the example of the Rasool, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, time and time again. Despite the immense backlash the Prophet faced in Makkah, the torture and humiliation of his followers, he was still kind to those whom oppressed him the most. In this, as always, there are many gems for us.
The Prophet’s return to Makkah after its conquest has many lessons for us in his interaction with those who mistreated him and his followers.
Khalid ibn Waleed, a name we are familiar with, was responsible for a huge amount of death and injuries of Sahabah in the Battle of Uhud. Clearly at that time, he was on the other side. After the Conquest of Makkah happened, he fled the city. He assumed, as many would, that he was going to be punished for his previous actions. The Prophet found his brother was like where did Khalid go? He’s such a great guy, an intelligent man. He didn’t mention negative qualities – he only focused on the positive. His brother later tells Khalid that the Prophet was speaking so highly of you, welcoming you back. This simple act turned the heart of Khalid. He became one of the heroes of Islam, as many of us know him now, and carried the Muslims to countless victories.
Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, hired Wahshi to kill Hamza ibn Abdul Mutalib, the Uncle of the Prophet (S) during the Battle of Uhud. She then personally mutilated his body, took out his liver, and chewed on it. Imagine the amount of hatred that leads a person to do such a thing. Later during the Conquest of Makkah, Abu Sufyan left Makkah to approach the Muslims to broker a peace deal and he was granted protection. He came home and Hind, his wife, ordered people to go kill her husband because she felt he begged for his life. She was still staunchly against them. Yet even her heart was melted by the generosity, kindness, respect given by the Prophet despite everything she had done.
There are so many stories with this similar theme: even when the Prophet was met with hatred, violence, and evil, he repelled it with good. He was kind, he was generous, he was positive. He looked for the best in people, even in those who killed his family and closest companions. He truly gave everyone a chance until their last breath. He did not *judge* anyone solely based on their actions and have them room to improve. He saw potential in those we would condemn to hell on first glance.
It is a tough act to follow. From seeing people murdered senselessly around the world to those who oppress others in school or work or home, we tend to let only our anger colour our judgement of that person. Most of us will not experience the former extreme. Still, it is a huge struggle to be the better person, the bigger person, to be kind to someone who has wronged you beyond relief. Some situations may not require it. But many situations, especially those in our daily lives, would benefit immensely from us being kind instead of angry, generous instead of vindictive, and positive instead of critical. Like Allah swt promises, only good will come out of goodness. It sure doesn’t hurt to try it.