There is no doubt that one of the key features of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was his incredible ability to pardon and forgive even his most ardent enemies. In fact, Allah describes the Prophet in the Quran as a “Mercy to all of Creation” (Quran 21:107); a clear testimony to his merciful nature.
Let’s take a look at the following people the Prophet ﷺ was able to forgive despite their past grave offences.
Thumama was one of the Arab leaders of Yammama and Banu Hanifah. He had once killed a group of the Prophet’s companions in response to a letter he received from the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ inviting him to Islam.
Thumama was eventually captured by the Muslims and tied to a post in the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. During his imprisonment, the Prophet ensured he was treated well with sufficient food and drink. The Prophet even instructed his own camel to be milked for him.
For two days the Prophet asked him about his condition, to which Thumama would reply with the same response “”If you want to kill in reprisal, you can have someone of noble blood to kill. If out of your virtue, you want to forgive, I shall be grateful. If you want money in compensation, I shall give you whatever amount you ask.”
After the third day, the Prophet instructed his companions to release Thumama unconditionally. Thumama couldn’t believe he was pardoned, but nevertheless, he made his way out of the Mosque and towards a nearby palm grove.
He washed and watered his camel until he turned around and returned to the Mosque. There he stood before the companions and announced that he was now a Muslim and said the testimony of faith.
Thumama had been inspired by the kindness shown to him by the Prophet, and this is one of the strongest indications of what led him to Islam.
Thumama, in fact, went on to perform the minor pilgrimage Umrah and became the first Muslim to recite the “Talbiyah” around the Kaabah.
Safwan had once plotted with Umayr Ibn Wahb to have the Prophet Muhammad killed. Although this plot was foiled by the Prophet himself, Safwan nevertheless continued his mission against Islam and the Muslims.
Following the Conquest of Makkah, the Prophet instructed Umayr to inform Safwan Ibn Umayah that he will be given four months’ amnesty to live in Makkah as a free man. This came as a total surprise to Safwan who had already made plans to flee Makkah, fearing persecution for his crimes.
One month later, following the Battle of Hunayn, the Prophet generously gifted Safwan with an entire valley of camels as a reward for his help in providing weaponry. Despite the fact Safwan was not a Muslim at the time, he could not believe the generosity the Prophet had just shown him and thus almost immediately accepted Islam.
Safwan was reported to have said “Oh people believe in Islam, for Muhammad gives as though he does not fear poverty” as is narrated in Sahih Muslim.
Abu Sufyan was a leader of the Quraish, the most ardent enemies of the Prophet Muhammad in Makkah. He was responsible for leading many armies against the Prophet and the Muslims, including many campaigns that resulted in the persecution of Muslims.
Following the Conquest of Makkah, Abu Sufyan asked for forgiveness from the Prophet and accepted Islam. The Prophet not only forgave him but also showed him the great honour by openly stating “Whosoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan will be safe”
Wahshi was responsible for spearing and killing the beloved uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, Hamza Ibn Abi Talib, during the Battle of Uhud This killing took place at a time where Hamza was a great support to the Muslims and Islam.
Although this act had hurt the Prophet deeply and caused him great grief, he still forgave Wahshi after he repented and accepted Islam.
Hind was the wife of Abu Sufyan Ibn Harb and was a staunch opponent of the Prophet Muhammad and Islam. She would frequently inspire the Quraish to harm the Muslims and the Prophet.
Following the Conquest of Makkah, she too was forgiven by the Prophet after accepting Islam and repenting from her past.
These are only some of the examples of people that the Prophet forgave despite the grave actions they had performed in the past. May Allah make us all examples of such Prophetic forgiveness and allow us to follow in his ﷺ footsteps.
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