Having the Heart to Forgive – The Orchards of Love – Part Thirty Nine

Having the Heart to Forgive

Hazrat Waa’il bin Hujr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was a famous Sahaabi of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) who hailed from the land of Yemen and was from the progeny of kings. It is reported that when he departed from Yemen to come to Madinah Munawwarah to embrace Islam, then prior to his arrival, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) informed the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) of his imminent arrival.

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), “There is a person who is about to reach Madinah Munawwarah from the land of Hadramowt in Yemen. He is coming with the intention of embracing Islam, and he hails from the progeny of kings. His name is Waa’il bin Hujr.”

On his arrival, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) welcomed him, honored him, and spread out his mubaarak shawl for him to sit on. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) made special dua for him saying, “O Allah! Bless Waa’il with barakah, as well as his children and grandchildren.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then appointed him as his deputy over the people of Yemen.

Before departing from Madinah Munawwarah, he requested Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to give him a land in Yemen. Upon his request, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) allotted to him a plot of land in Yemen, and instructed Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to accompany him to Yemen in order to demarcate the land and hand it over to him.

Accordingly, Hazrat Waa’il (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) set out together from Madinah Munawwarah. Hazrat Waa’il (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was traveling on horseback, while Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was traveling on foot. Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was so poor that he did not have sandals to wear to cover his feet during the journey.

As they traveled through the scorching desert, the hot sand began to burn the feet of Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). Eventually, when the pain became difficult for him to bear, he turned to Hazrat Waa’il (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and said, “Please allow me to sit behind you, on your animal, and ride with you, as the sand of the desert is burning my feet”. However, Hazrat Waa’il (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “You are not worthy to be seated with kings on their conveyance.”

Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then requested him to lend him his sandals, but Hazrat Waa’il (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “I cannot lend you my sandals, but if you wish, you may walk in the shadow of my horse.” Hearing this reply, Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) remained silent and continued to walk barefoot.

On returning to Madinah Munawwarah, Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) informed Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) of what had transpired during the journey, and the manner in which Hazrat Waa’il (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had conducted with him. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) responded, “He has just embraced Islam, and hence he still has some of the traits of Jaahiliyyah in him. Overlook what he has done to you and treat him well.”

In other words, since Hazrat Waa’il (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had just embraced Islam and had spent only a few days in the blessed company of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the beautiful qualities of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) Mubaarak Sunnah had not yet permeated his life. Hence, on this occasion, he conducted in this manner. However, later on in his life, he reached great heights in piety and righteousness.

Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), at that time, was leading a life of abject poverty. However, Allah Ta‘ala had decreed that a time would come when he would rule the world. Thereafter, when Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) passed away, Hazrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) became the Khalifah, followed by Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), Hazrat Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and then Hazrat Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). Finally, the time then came when Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was appointed as the Khalifah of the Muslims.

When Hazrat Waa’il (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) learnt of Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) becoming the Khalifah, he set out to visit him and pay his respects to him. On hearing that he was coming, Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) came to the outskirts of the city to honor him and receive him. Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then made him comfortable, honored him by making him sit with him in his own place and presented him with many gifts.

Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then said to him, “Do you remember the day we traveled together?” When Hazrat Waa’il (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) remembered the incident, and he saw the great honor and kindness that Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was now showing him, then he felt great remorse over his past conduct. He expressed his remorse before Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and admitted his mistake saying, “O Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen! At that time, I was a new Muslim who had just come out of kufr and jaahiliyyah! Allah Ta‘ala has now blessed us with Islam. At that time, I did not conduct according to the sublime teachings of Islam!”

Later on, when narrating this incident, Hazrat Waa’il (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) mentioned, “At that time, I wished that had I only made him sit in front of me on the animal!” (Musnad Ahmed #27239, Sunan Tirmizi #1381, Al-Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah 7/330-331, Taareekh Dimashq 62/386 and 389)

In this incident, we see that despite the treatment which Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) received from Hazrat Waa’il (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), he did not harbor a grudge or any ill feelings in his heart. Rather, he went to the extent of showing him great honor, love and kindness. This was on account of him adhering to the advice of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) for him to overlook the mistake of Hazrat Waa’il (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and still deal with him in a good manner. This was the Mubaarak Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) – that he always overlooked the mistakes of people and forgave those who hurt him and caused him pain.

May Allah Ta‘ala bless us all with the capacity and heart to overlook the faults of people and deal with them in accordance to the sunnah and the blessed character of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).


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