November 17, 2015
When the life of Shaykh al-Islam Ibnu Taymiyyah is discussed the focus, many a time, is on the dimensions of his knowledge, his flawless memory, his Jihaad, his enjoining of good and forbidding of evil, his trials, his Ibaadah, his fearlessness and bravery, and his eloquence. But, such discussions often miss one of the most beautiful dimensions of the life of this marvel of a man, a dimension which the Ummah of Islaam needs now more than any other time before. This is the dimension of the pardoning of others. One of his slogans in life was:
I have pardoned every Muslim who has harmed me.
What was even more amazing than this statement of his is his application of it. How easy it is to put together expressive words pertaining to the Musaamaha (pardoning of others); how easy it is to share and retweet them; how easy it is to photoshop beautifully decorated designs which frames maxims pertaining to Musaamaha, and yet, it is at the arena of application where many crumble.
Let us consider how he lived by the principles that he called towards.
Ibnu Taymiyyah and his adversary Ali Ibn Yaqub Al-Bakri Al-Sfi
Ibnu Taymiyyah had authored a piece titled Al-Istighaatha which speaks about the rulings pertaining to the asking for help in Duaa. An academic piece which was substantiated with evidences. Instead of challenging this piece intellectually, his adversary Ali Al-Bakri issued a Fatwah declaring that Ibnu Taymiyyah was a Kaafir. Not only that, he would hurl insults at Ibnu Taymiyyah and urged the state to persecute him. In the year 707AH, those in power decided to do so but Ali Al-Bakri insisted that Ibnu Taymiyyah should in fact be executed.
The Fitnah continued to escalate, for in year 711AH, an extreme group of the Sfiyyah, led by Ali Al-Bakri followed Ibnu Taymiyyah until he was alone. They then cornered him and began to beat him.
This in fact happened more than once. As the allies of Ibnu Taymiyyah caught wind of what was happening, they began hunting for Ali Al-Bakri to teach him a lesson. SubhaanaAllaah, time continued to pass and now the state itself was on the search for Ali Al-Bakri and so he went on the run. The state asked Ibnu Taymiyyah to advise on how he wished that Ali Al-Bakri be dealt with; his response was remarkable. He said, I do not take revenge for myself.
They were not happy with this response and urged him to take revenge. He responded: The right which you want me to claim either belongs to me, or to you or to Allaah. If this right belongs to me, then I have pardoned him. If it belongs to you, then if you will not listen to me then do as you wish. If this right belongs to Allaah, then Allah will claim His right when and how He wishes.
The state however was not going to let Ali Al-Bakri go. So when Ali Al-Bakri realised this, where did he choose to hide? He went to Egypt and hid in the house of Shaykh al-Islaam Ibnu Taymiyyah himself. Ibnu Taymiyyah then interceded and persuaded the Sultan to drop the case of Ali Al-Bakri.
Ibnu Taymiyyah would be jailed time and time again for no other reason than the fabrications of the envious. They were people who had collapsed at the arena of debate and thus found no way to let out their spite against Ibnu Taymiyyah other than approaching the state. He would be jailed and tortured, and one of these smear campaigns was led by Nasr Al-Munjibi, Al-Ameer Rukn Al-Deen Bebers (the student of Al-Munjibi) and several other Fuqahaa and scholars who were supporting the new government that had overthrown the previous one.
Time would pass however and the previous ruler, Nasir Ibn Qalaawn, would regain power and instantly freed Ibnu Taymiyyah. He honoured him and invited him to the palace, where he would stand up upon seeing Ibn Taymiyyah and displayed tremendous respect to Shaykh al-Islaam. The ruler then sat in privacy with Ibn Taymiyyah and expressed to him his intent to execute certain scholars and jurists because of their support for the overthrow of government when he was in power. He requested from Ibn Taymiyyah Fataawa to justify his intent, as he reminded him of what these scholars had done to him. But he was above this.
Ibn Taymiyyah began praising them and told him that they must not be harmed and said, If you kill these men, you will not find anyone like them. The sultan responded, They abused you and wanted to kill you! Ibn Taymiyyah said: Whoever harms me, I have pardoned him. But whoever levels harm at Allaah and His messenger, Allaah will avenge Himself. As for me, I do not avenge myself. The Sultan tried and tried but Ibn Taymiyya was insistent until he persuaded the Sultan to pardon them all.
Al-Qaadi Ibnu Makhlf Al-Maaliki was one of those scholars who were pardoned by the Sultan. Ibnu Makhlf would therefore say, We have never seen a man like Ibnu Taymiyyah. We incited people against him but failed to get hold of him. But when he got hold of us, he pardoned us and argued on our behalf.
He would say: I do not want anyone to avenge me, even if they have lied against me, or oppressed and commit aggression. I have pardoned every Muslim and I want goodness for all of them just as I want it for myself. As for those who have lied and oppressed me, I have excused them all.
Why is this topic so important? Because every single one of us has made mistakes in the past and continues to do so, and there is somebody out there whom we have wronged and thus we need their forgiveness before Allaah is to forgive us. Therefore we must treat others the same way we need them to treat us; forgive people the same way we need certain individuals to forgive us.
Would you not like that Allaah should forgive you?
This aayah on its own should be enough for us, if we are genuine and sincere, to immediately make amendments, pardon others and extend the bridges of Salaam once again.
How did Ab Bakr (raiy Allaahu anhu) react when he heard this aayah? He cried and he forgave the one who did wrong to him, Mistah b. Uthaatha (raiy Allaahu anhu), his very own cousin. He was a poor man from the Muhaajirn (immigrants) who was living entirely off the spending of Ab Bakr. When the slandering of our mother aaisha (raiy Allaahu anha) began to spread, falsely accusing her of a very evil sin, there were a few companions who spoke negatively about our mother. However aayaat from Srat Al-Nr were later revealed, declaring her innocence from what they had attributed to her. At this point, Ab Bakr became angry at how Mistah said what he said about his daughter and he took an oath to never spend on Mistah again. But Allaah revealed an aayah addressing Ab Bakr, saying:
Those of virtue among you and wealth should not swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allaah, and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allaah is Forgiving and Merciful.
Ab Bakr cried and said, Yes, I do want you to forgive me! So he rushed back to Mistah and his family and vowed to never stop spending on him again.
This is how Ab Bakr reacted to this aayah, al-Siddeeq al-Akbar, this was his behaviour. The greatest human being to walk the earth after the Prophets and Messengers wanted Allaah to forgive him and so he forgave.
How will we react to this aayah? Are we scared of our sins? Do we have serious sins that need dropping before we meet Allaah? If yes, emulate the prophets, emulate the Siddeeqn: prove your desire for forgiveness by forgiving those who have wronged you.
Shaytaan will stand in every one of our paths when journeying to Allaah and will persuade us to re-route, to go back, it is a dead end.
[Satan] said, Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path. Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You].
Whatever good Muslims try to do, we will find him there and he will do what he can to turn us back. The path of Islaah (reconciliation) is one of which he will try blocking and he will debate with you. Let us go through the conversation which usually takes place between a person and Shaytaan when wanting to reconcile with another Muslim.
He will say, If you suppress your anger and do not retaliate, your heart will fill with spite and these poisons will not be healthy! Go and let out some anger! How do we respond? With the hadeeth of the Prophet (sall Allaahu alayhi wa sallam): There is not a swallowing which is more beloved to Allaah then the swallowing of anger for the sake of Allaah. Whenever one does so, Allaah will most certainly fill him with eemaan
Notice, Shaytaan says suppressing it will fill you with poison, Allaah says, suppressing it will fill you with eemaan
Shaytaan will try again however and will say, Look, you have so many other good deeds! You pray at night, read Quraan, take part in circles of knowledge, so surely Allaah will pardon you for this one fallout! How do we respond to this? With the hadeeth of the Prophet (sall Allaahu alayhi wa sallam):
The deeds of people are presented to Allaah every Monday and Thursday and Allaah forgives the sins of every Muslim who does not associate a partner with Allaah, with the exception of two people who have fallen out. It is said, Do not forgive their sins until they reconcile.
Despite an individuals many good deeds this one fall out will block the forgiveness of their sins.
Shaytaan will not give up and he will say, Do not retaliate. Make friends, but not now. Give it a year or so How do we respond to this? With the hadeeth of the Prophet (sall Allaahu alayhi wa sallam):
Whoever boycotts his brother for over a year then it is as if he has spilled his blood
Shaytaan will say, Very well; not a year, but give it a week or so. You both need to cool down! How do we respond? With the hadeeth of the Prophet (sall Allaahu alayhi wa sallam):
It is not permissible for a Muslim to boycott his brother for over three days, and whoever does so and then dies, will enter the fire.
Do not retaliate or hate or even leave it for a week. But, at least wait for him to initiate the apology! How do we respond to this? With the hadeeth of the Prophet (sall Allaahu alayhi wa sallam):
The best of the two who have fallen out is the one who initiates Salaam first.
Ah! But what if he rejects your apology?! Shaytaan will say, Your effort to reconcile is wasted. Respond with the hadeeth of the Prophet (sall Allaahu alayhi wa sallam):
It is not permissible for a believer to boycott his brother for over three days, therefore if three days pass, let him meet him and give him Salaam. If he responds, then they are both rewarded. But if he rejects him, then only he will be sinful whilst the other has freed himself from blame. 
Shaytaan will make one last effort as he begs us to change our mind and he will say, Your pride will be thrown out the window if he rejects your apology! Then that is a point scored against you! Respond with the hadeeth where our Prophet (sall Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) this time takes an oath by Allaahs
name that this is false, when he said:
There are three things which I take an oath by Allaahs name will happen: 1 When one gives wealth in charity, your wealth has not decreased. 2 When one pardons, Allaah will increase you in dignity. 3 Whoever humbles himself for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will raise him.
After hearing all of this, what do you make of a person who insists in continuing the boycott? Who insists on not picking up the phone and apologising? This is a person who is arrogant, whose heart has died, who does not want paradise and is not afraid of the fire.
Be the better believer, humiliate Shaytaan. Pick up the phone, apologize and remove every obstacle in your way before arrival at the court of Allaah. We have already got enough to be asked about as it is. Therefore do not be a person who is difficult to repair. Al-Amash said that Al-Shabi said,
The honourable are the quickest of all people to make up and the slowest to make enemies. They are like silver vessels; Hard to break and easy to repair. As for the ill-mannered, they are the slowest of all people to make up and the quickest to make enemies. They are like glass vessels; Easy to break and hard to repair!
Let us ease up, accept apologies and continue our journey to the home of the hereafter with the fewest enemies possible.
Allow me to now issue a special message to those brothers and sisters who have put themselves forward for Allaahs cause; those who are concerned for the Dawah and are planning and contributing within their capacity. I say to them, carry the most abundant portion of this quality over anyone else. This is because, those who tread the path of Islaah (reconciliation) will be blamed for the problems of the world, will be slandered and backstabbed the most, and sometimes by Muslims; will be abused and accused the most, and sometimes by Muslims; will be labeled as backward or extreme, and sometimes by Muslims, thus you will not be able to continue on this beautiful path until you equip yourself with this trait. As such, it was part of the personality of every Prophet and Messenger, and at the forefront of them was our Messenger (sall Allaahu alayhi wa sallam). He is described as follows in the Old Testament:
Ata Ibn Yasar said, I met Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-As and asked him, Tell me about the description of Allaahs Prophet as was mentioned in the Old Testament. He replied, Yes. By Allaah, he is described in Torah with some of the qualities attributed to him in the Quraan as follows: O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness and a giver of good news and a warner. And guardian of the illiterates. You are My slave and My messenger. I have named you Al-Mutawakkil (reliant upon Allah). You are neither discourteous, harsh nor a noise-maker in the markets. And you do not meet evil with evil, but you forgive and pardon. Allaah will not let him die until he straightens the crooked religion, by making them say: None has the right to be worshipped but Allaah and until blind eyes, deaf hearts and enveloped hearts are opened through him.
Of course, Islaam is the way of balance, nuance and human reality, and as such not absolutely every mistake and sin must be overlooked; for example those sins that involve serious violation of rights of others, or ongoing abuse, must be taken to an appropriate authority for justice. However, the pardoning of others discussed in this article is in reference to those fallouts between Muslims which are not Islamically justified, over petty matters, when the conditions of Al-Hajr (Islamic boycott) are not fulfilled. The overwhelming majority of our fallouts with other Muslims are of this category; not justified in the least. Even those who claim that their boycotting (Hajr) of another Muslim is for Allaah, ask them What are the condition of Al-Hajr? and they do not know, which makes it evident that their boycotting of this person is due to Hawaa (desire) and no portion of it is for Allaah.
To conclude, we must take heed of Allaahs saying,
Whoever pardons and makes reconciliation his reward is [due] from Allaah.
And be amongst those who: and when they are angry, they forgive.
Work with Allaahs advice:
Repel evil with what is better. Then he, whom between you and him was enmity, will become like a close friend. But none are given this quality except those who are patient, and none are given this quality except those who have a *mighty great fortune*
Reconcile, the Islamic arbitration service, specializes is bringing hearts together. If you have a dispute with anyone click below to learn more.
 Al Bidaaya wa anNihaaya
 Al-Quraan, 24:22
 Al-Quraan, 7:17-18
 Ibnu Abbas, Musnad Ahmad
 Muslim, Ab Hurairah
 Mutafaq, Abu Ayyub
 Ab Daawd, Hassan
 Muslim, Abu Hurairah
 Rawdatul Uqalaa
 Al-Quraan, 42:40
 Al-Quraan, 42:37
 Al-Quraan, 41:34-35