Leniency & Tolerance in Prophetic Life

Leniency & Tolerance in Prophetic Life

Leniency and tolerance are two favorite characters in all human societies of different sects, religions and intellectual tendencies. Practical fulfilment of these two characteristics in a society has direct influences on the durability and survival of that society.
In the shadow of the above-mentioned two characteristics a peaceful life is constituted for all human beings, parties, communities, people, rulers and the followers of religions.
If we study and examine the noble verses of the Qūr’an and prophetic life/seerah, we will see many examples which call on towards leniency and tolerance urging on being bound by the two principles.
The prophet Mohammad, peace and prayers be upon him, has enjoined his Ummah and followers to not forget tolerance and good leniency even during war and conflicts with enemies and make nobility and benefaction the epigraph of their life. The Last Messenger of Allâh says in a Hadîth: “You would soon conquer Egypt and that is a land which is known (as the land of al-qirât). So when you conquer it, treat its inhabitants well. For there lies upon you the responsibility because of blood-tie or relationship of marriage (with them).” [Sahîh Muslim: 2543].
Abdūllah bin Yazîd al-Ansâri, may Allâh be pleased with him, says: “The prophet PBUH has forbidden from plunder of belongings and dismemberment of decedents.” Imrân bin Hūsain, may Allâh be pleased with him, says: The messenger of Allâh used to encourage us to give donation and forbid from dismemberment. [Sajestâni: 2009, 2667]
There has not been even an incident of dismemberment during history that proves Muslims dismembered one of their enemies.
Some sides disadvantaged the principle of “reciprocation” to legitimate their behavior with their enemies including combatants and armless citizens, while the teachings of the prophet Mohammad PBUH do not allow violence and cruelty. Hence, legally harming and harassing citizens of a state which is indulged in a war with us is outlawed, even if they harass and torture our citizens.
The battels of the prophet Mohammad PBUH were not with the motivation of demolition; rather the prophet and other Muslims used to strive to protect the constructions, goods and developments of the enemies’ lands. It has been narrated in the recommendations of the prophet PBUH: “Don’t cut any tree and don’t uproot any palm and don’t destroy any house.”
Hilaire Belloc, a French orientalist says: Arabs did not get out to despoil and loot, rather they spread to preach the religion of Mohammad and the better sample. (Sarjâni: 1391, 365)
It can be understood from the narrations and Hadîths that the Messenger of Allâh had no interest to execute Hūdoud/punishments prescribed by Allâh; he was not eager for stoning, retailing and cutting off hands. He, peace be upon him, used to strive to find out any way for saving a sinner from punishment. A Hadîth of the prophet, may Allâh bless him and grant him peace, suggests: “Avert infliction of the prescribed punishment on the Muslims as much as you can. If there is an escape for the culprit, release him; because misjudgment of the ruler in pardon and remission is better than misjudgment in execution of punishment.” (Baihaqi: 1405 H– 16834)
This beautiful moral, adorable cooperation and prophetic tolerance did not leave any option for the nations in Iran, the Levant, north Africa, Christians of Andalus, Anatolia, eastern Europe, western and eastern Africa, Indonesia, Malay lands, India and other parts of the world but to embrace Islam in multitudes and submit before Shari’ah, unlike what it has been propagating that Islam has been spread by the force of sword and weapon in the world.
In the view of many non-Muslim societies who have no correct conception about Islam and teachings of the Qūr’an and Sunnah, Islam is a religion that calls on violence, massacre, bloodshed and terrorism. For correcting their minds, the real face of Islam and life of the prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, should be introduced to the people of world. Then peace and calmness would be materialized in human societies and competence of Islam for leading an individual and society, controlling tensions and confronting with the ongoing regional and international challenges would be clear.

Haneef Hūsseinzâi



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