Faith Friday: On Why We Should Forgive Miss Badu & Be Kind to Non-Muslims

I read a hadith a while ago which came to my mind when people were criticising Erykah Badu for her "tattoos". There is a difference between condoning something that is haraam (forbidden) and forgiving someone for their lack of knowledge regarding that which is haraam. As Muslims, I think we can all agree that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent to us as a mercy and to teach us to be merciful with others. The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself said, "I was only sent to perfect noble character." (Ahmad)

But today, Muslims are harsh with one another and worst of all, they are harsh towards people of other religions. Where is our compassion? How did we become so hard-hearted and arrogant? If you study the seerah of our Prophet (peace be upon him) you will realise how humble he was. This is Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) I'm talking about. Allah's Chosen One. Amongst all His Prophets, he is the one whom we have been commanded to say salawat upon. Yet he still carried himself with humility and treated others with kindness and compassion.

Ibn Abbas reported, "A man gave Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) a small water-skin of wine. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to him, 'Don't you know that Allah has made it haraam?' He said, 'No.' Then a man at his side whispered to him. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), asked what he had whispered, and the man replied, 'I told him to sell it.' The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), said, 'The One who made drinking it haraam has made selling it haraam.' The man then opened the water-skins and poured out what was in them ."
It was also reported that the Prophet's (peace be upon him) companions had asked him, "Are you not angry with him for bringing you wine as a gift?" [did you not find it rude and disrespectful of that man?] He then replied, "No, because he didn't know that it is haraam."

Do you see the difference between us and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)? When someone makes a mistake out of ignorance we yell at them with anger, accuse them of disrespect and call them names but not our Prophet (peace be upon him). SubhanaAllah. He didn't want to offend his guest so he informed the man that it is prohibited because Allah swt has made it prohibited. And what about the time a Bedouin urinated in the mosque? How did Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) treat him?

This is why Islam is beautiful and this is how we should protect our deen. By attracting people to Islam with adab (good manners), akhlaq (good character), compassion and understanding. Most of all, by following the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), inshaAllah.

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Nur Izza said…
Assalamualaykum Sha.

This,makes me miss our prophet (saw) more. He is so kind to people. Reminds me of the incident he (saw) went through in Taif. He was stoned by the people, he bleed, and yet he forgives them...
Syaz E said…
So very true, why is there so much hate directed at someone who has clearly had no intention of disrespecting the religion?

Why are there so many people so quick to point the finger at those who do wrong. Rather then blame them, can't we tell them nicely like the civilized people that we are (or should be)?

PS - I'm glad I found your blog, given me much more faith in people. I like that I can see your other people who comment on your post sharing your view on things.
Shahirah Elaiza said…
@Nur, @Syaz: Wa alaykummusalam! Thank you. It's good to see there are Muslims who can appreciate Prophet's (pbuh) good character.

Syaz, I once lost faith in Muslims too. Then I decided to be the change I wanted to see in others. Well, I'm trying at least =0) Hope you're well buddy! Haven't seen you since our Sri Cempakan days.
SippingChai said…

I loved this post. I can't agree with you more. I have to admit that when I first started getting religious and I was over zealous...I am afraid I may have been guilty of this. Alhamdulillah, over the years I have learned how hurtful it is. Check out my series on good character on my blog.

My most recent post:
Feda said…
great post Sha. Glad to see you mentioning this. I won't lie I have severe trauma from many Muslims unfortunately. I find it hard to open up and trust again. You are a beautiful soul, I have been slowly getting back into the faith with your posts, so thank you! I love the idea of going back to the basics, what would Mohammed (sws) do? kind of thing.
aishah amin said…
masyaAllah, such a beautiful post<3
anonymous said…
well put mA! good manners is such an effective form of dawah. and there is no place for arrogance in this religion. while we should try to correct the wrongs in this world, we should not hate the sinner, but the sin itself. no one of us is perfect.
Syaz E said…
Yea, come to think of it, that's almost 10 years ago wasnt it? Hahaha! Yes I'm doing well thank you for asking. I see you're not doing too bad yourself! Keep up the good work, awesome blog! ;)
Anonymous said…
Yes, we should forgive her. I understand the fact that she had no clue about it. But then, she started explaining herself on twitter and justifying her action. She said it was all about all the religions becoming 'one'.

Don't you think that is wrong? Then she started saying that we should put religion aside and unite for love. As you know, we should never put religion aside because we have to always think about Allah!

I do forgive her but I think she shouldn't be ignorant in the future.
Shahirah Elaiza said…
@Anon, Erykah Badu was not talking about uniting faiths per se but to unite followers of different faiths. I don't see anything wrong in uniting people of different faiths for a good cause. Hence the reason why interfaith organisations exist. After all, we are one humanity. In fact, having good relations with people is a part of worship. It's part of pleasing Allah swt.

Having said that, her intentions are between her and God. His test for us is to see how we deal with the situation. Will we treat her with mercy and compassion or will we continue to indict her even though she has apologised?