My brothers and sisters, if I were to try to answer the impossible question, ‘What is the greatest quality of Rasoolullahﷺ’s character which is evidence of his Divine mission, that he is the Messenger of Allah?’ I would say it is his forgiving nature. His ability to forgive anyone, no matter how much that person may have tried to or harmed him. This is truly something that we need to reflect on and then examine ourselves to see where we stand. What will we say to Allah when we are asked why we couldn’t forgive someone for hurting our ego, when the one we claim to follow forgave those who harmed him physically, emotionally, and materially? They killed his closest friends and companions, including his daughter. They did their best to malign his blessed name and reputation. They tried to kill him many times. They banished him from his motherland. They stole his property. They did their best to destroy him and his mission. Yet when he had the power of life and death over them, he said to them what Yusuf (AS) said to his brothers:
قَالَ لَا تَثْرِيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلْيَوْمَ يَغْفِرُ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ ٱلرَّٰحِمِينَ
Yusuf 12: 92 He said: No reproach on you this day, may Allah forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!
That is why the people of Makkah after it was conquered are called At-Tulaqa – the Freed Slaves of Rasoolullahﷺ. Not only is this remarkable but what is even more so is the fact that he did not demand any compensation for himself or his companions who had been forced out of Makkah and had gone to Madina as refugees. This shows his dignity and the amazing trust and respect that his Sahaba had for him. Though almost every one of them had lost everything they owned when they went to Madina, not even one protested or expressed any disagreement with Rasoolullahﷺ’s decision to forgive everyone. What must be appreciated is not only the nobility and magnanimity of this action but the sheer brilliance of the masterstroke whereby in a society ridden with the spirit of vendetta and revenge, Rasoolullahﷺ removed any reason for it, from that day onwards. Rasoolullahﷺ eliminated his enemies, not by killing them, but by killing enmity. As they say, the rest is history.
One thing that I can say with total certainty is that if Rasoolullahﷺ had extracted retribution which he was well justified in doing, he would have opened the doors to resentment and the plotting of evil against himself and his mission which would have sabotaged the work of presenting Islam to his people. When people felt secure from danger of warfare, their hearts opened to the message of Islam and the whole Arabian Peninsula accepted Islam without any wars, bloodshed, or force. It was his ability to forgive which is the adhesive of the Ummah, the Brotherhood of Faith that he created in Madina. He forgave and those who experienced that forgiveness, forgave and a culture of tolerance and mutual respect emerged. It is this magnanimity of spirit and bigheartedness that made Rasoolullahﷺ so beloved to all those who surrounded him and changed the hearts even of those who had been his enemies to start with. Khalid bin Waleed (R) and Abu Sufyan (R) and others, who were his sworn enemies became his greatest supporters.
Before I go further let me as you the real operative question: If you agree with what I said about Rasoolullahﷺ, who are you willing to forgive?
I call the magnanimity and forgiveness in Rasoolullahﷺ’s character a sign of his prophethood because it reflects the attribute of the One who sent him, Allah. Allah comforted sinners and those who disobey Him:
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ الل