An Illustration of Repelling Harm with Excellence

Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said during his discussion of showing excellence:


“The second level: that you bring close the one that has become distant from you; and you are gracious to the one that harmed you. Likewise that you excuse the one that incriminated you and so is generously pardoned without there being any suppressed ill feeling, and love without ­the need to act patiently. This level is higher than the one which preceded it – as well as more challenging. For the first one comprises of the abandonment of retaliation and feigning oneself as inadvertent. Whilst this one comprises showing excellence to the one that harmed you – through dealing with him in the opposite of that which he dealt with you. Therefore the display of excellence and the display of harm between you and him become two policies. Your policy being the display of excellence and his policy being the display of harm, in example of this someone said (in poetry):

If we were sick then we came to visit you;

And when you commit wrong we still come to you and seek excuse

Whosoever desires an understanding of this level appropriately then let him look to the Seerah (Prophetic biography) of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) with the people. He will find this in its exact nature, and there has never been the attainment of perfection for this level for anyone other than him, then the inheritors of that in accordance to their share of legacy.

And I have never seen anyone who had embodied these qualities more so than Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (May Allaah render his soul pure). Some of his older companions used to say: ‘I would have loved that I could have been to my own companions as he was to his enemies and his adversaries, for I never saw him ever supplicate against anyone of them, and would instead supplicate for them.’

I came one day to give him the glad tidings of the death of his greatest foe and the severest of them in enmity and reproaching harm to him. So he said: ‘innalillaahi wa innailaihi raaji’oon’ and then he got up immediately and proceeded to the deceased’s home in order to give comfort and console them. He said to them: ‘indeed, consider me as in place of him, there should not be an affair of yours in which you require assistance except that I will aid you therein.’ – Or the like of this statement. So they became greatly pleased with him and supplicated for him and venerated this standpoint from him.

So may Allaah have Mercy upon him and be pleased with him.”


(Taken from: Madaarij as-Saalikeen vol 2 p.345)

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