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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Prophet Muhammad - An Example of Complete Forgiveness

Whether thou ask for their forgiveness, or not, (their sin is unforgivable):
if thou ask seventy times for their forgiveness, Allah will not forgive
them: because they have rejected Allah and His Messenger. and Allah guideth
not those who are perversely rebellious. (Quran 9:80)

This verse is instructing Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that as far as hypocrites
go, ask for forgiveness for them or do not ask forgiveness for them. If you
ask forgiveness for them seventy times, Allah will not forgive them those
who have chosen evil and unrighteousness.

The verse seems to be sending a very clear message but look how Muhammad
used it in an example of complete forgiveness. An example of the utter
white-heart that the person with true faith has.

An incident came up, where Abdullah ibn Ubayy who was known to the Muslims
as the leader of hypocrites in Medina, who would say very lowly things about
Muhammad. During a time of battle, Abdullah ibn Ubayy said, we are going to
go back to Medina referring to himself and his group of hypocrites because he
wanted to be the leader of Medina and the honorable 'Us' are going to throw
out the lowly ones, meaning Prophet and his true believers.

This reached the ears of Prophet and the companions wanted to kill Abdullah ibn
Ubayy and the Prophet told them absolutely not. So the Prophet established one
principle, which is the complete freedom of speech.

Secondly, when Abdullah ibn Ubayy became sick and was on his death bed, his
son also named Abdullah ibn Abdullah came to the Prophet and asked Prophet to
pray for his father, to pray over his father after his death, to pray for
his soul, and the Prophet accepted the request and in fact gave his own
shirt to Abdullah ibn Abdullah for his father to be buried in.

Umar ibn Khattab (Ra) became outraged and in one story says that Umar
grabbed Prophet's arm and said, "Prophet of Allah, your Lord has forbidden
you to pray for them. They are the hypocrites who have been promised hell
fire".

And so the Prophet referred to this verse and NOT in the meaning that you and I
would take it at the surface and it does not matter if you pray for them one
time or seventy times, Prophet said, "Allah told me I could pray for them.
Allah says pray for them or don't pray for them, if you pray for them
seventy times Allah will not forgive them. There is permission for me to
pray for them and I would pray for him more than seventy times, perhaps Allah
will forgive him". Several variants of this Tradition are to be found in
Bukhari, Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Hanbal, on the authority of Ibn `Abbas;
Bukhari and Muslim, on the authority of Ibn `Umar;

What an example of generosity and magnanimity from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Excerpts from Dr. Gasser Hathout's lecture at the Islamic Center of Southern
California, Los Angeles on October 1, 2006. To listen to the audio, pls
visit http://www.islamctr.org/DrGasser.rm

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