Tolerance has become an empty epithet. Wild accusations and knee jerk reactions to every scandal have become the norm. Though forbidden in the Holy Quraan, we seem double-faced regarding this command. For example, we embrace the Prophet’s beloved Humayra (rad) as an icon for men and women worldwide, as one who had her integrity and her loyalty suspected and denigrated. Yet, she (rad) emerged a stoic, celebrated heroine. When it comes to similar accusations against our fellow beings, we don’t exercise the same morality. We understand that we must not and shall not act on emotion: yet blinded by rage and frustration we unwittingly subterfuge our judiciousness. We claim to be activists for humaneness and fairness, but we use those words cheaply and often without wisdom. The teachings of our faith espouse that we do not need to like a person or get along with them to do justice to ourselves and the teachings of our Faith in this regard.
Let us consider just one small example in the lives of the Sahaba (rad), when weighed through a pinhole of modernity, we many not like. This pretty much sums up our attitude to fellow Muslims when we only have a narrow slice of their perspectives. The bigger picture is that we are all protected (by the Ieman within us) from being judged unfairly. We find that the tapestry we call the sahaba (rad) were made of different types of yarn, yet our beloved (pbuh) didn’t call them [weak] hypocrites, a word we throw around whenever the thrust of another’s activism is not in line with our own. Mugheera (ra) was a man who reportedly had a weakness for beautiful women and lived for part of his life with an adultery charge over him. He would marry and divorce after a little while to make room for more beautiful faces in his life. It is mentioned he married no less than 70 wives, taking steps to ensure that at one time his wives were not more than four, the limit prescribed by the Shariah. Al-Dhahabî, reports that he once said: “A man who has only one wife is ill when she is ill and has menstruation when she has hers. A man with two wives is between two flaming fires.” So he took four at a time, and divorced four at a time. Whether we like it or not, it was his halaal way of staying away from the temptations of zina.
Mugheera bin Shu'ba (ra) belonged to the tribe of Thaqeef of Taif. Before he embraced Islam in 628, he killed his non-Muslim friends in Egypt, took their money and then went to the Prophet (pbuh) to embrace Islam (also expecting to have his sins forgiven). He said: “I have killed my close friends, and I want to embrace Islam.” The Prophet (s) said: ” Your Islam, we accept from you, as far as the wealth, if it is the wealth of ghaddari (betrayal) we do not need it from you.” “Embracing the teachings of this faith will however wash away your previous misconduct and sins.”
He took part in the battle of Yamama. He was a brave and noble fighter. In one of the battles (Yamama or Qaadsiyah) he lost an eye. He lived till he was seventy, passing away in Kufa, witnessing and participating in many battles and administrating many provinces. He participated at the Pledge of Ridwaan and narrated the famous hadith of the solar eclipse and the dua the Prophet (pbuh) read after salaah.
Other wild, misleading accusations have been made against al Mugheera (rad) regarding his conduct with Muaawiyah (rad) and against Ali (rad). More fuel is added to that fire because Umar’s murderer, Abu Lulu Majoosi (venerated by Shia’s with a memorial tomb in Kashan, Iran) was owned by al Mugheera.
Despite the dirt the enemies of the sahaba try to offload on to him, we know we are not allowed to judge selectively. In Mugheera (rad) we find an example of a man whose [one] perspective we may not have agreed with: through the Qur’an however we know that that Allah is pleased with all those who took the Pledge in the 6th year at Hudaybiyya. Al Mugheera (rad) was one of them. We also know of his many other virtues. Luckily for him (ra) the Quraan exists as living proof that Allah is pleased with him. He remains protected from being called a hypocrite or (nau’thubillah) a Kaafir by very the Constitution of the Quraan we claim to love and live by.
How can we take lesson from this when the need arises to reprimand another; not agree with another; find another may be ‘mocking’ the teachings of Deen? The Sahaba (rad) valued the Ieman of one another and knew their contemporaries didn’t set out to deliberately destroy the name of Islam after they embraced it. They reproached one another at an appropriate time and in private when necessary to avoid public humiliation. They were willing to learn from one another. This is exactly the type of food for thought we need deliberate the next time we attempt insulting or debating a fellow Muslim, whom Allah may be pleased with, in a manner unbecoming of the teachings of Islam. This is even more pertinent when we mean well, yet are looking through a skewed pinhole.
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