One of the great qualities of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was that he never took revenge on anyone for personal reasons and always forgave even his firm enemies. His wife `Aishah reported that Allah s Messenger was not unseemly or obscene in his speech, nor was he loud-voiced in the streets, nor did he return evil for evil, but he would forgive and pardon. The people of the Quraysh rebuked him, taunted and mocked him, beat him, and abused him. They tried to kill him and when he left for Madinah, they waged many wars against him. Yet when he entered Makkah victorious with an army of 10,000, he did not take revenge on anyone. He forgave all. Even his deadliest enemy, Abu Sufyan, who had fought so many battles against him, was forgiven, as was anyone who stayed in his house.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also pardoned the leaders of Ta’if, who had engaged ruffians to pelt him with stones when he visited that town to invite them to Islam.

Abdullah Ibn Ubayy, the leader of the hypocrites of Madinah, worked all his life against Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Islam and left no stone unturned in trying to defeat his mission. He withdrew his 300 supporters in the Battle of Uhud, which almost broke the backbone of the Muslims. He engaged in intrigues and acts of hostility against the Prophet of Islam and the Muslims.

An Abyssinian slave who had killed Prophet Muhammad s (peace be upon him) beloved uncle Hamzah in the Battle of Uhud was also forgiven when he embraced Islam after the Conquest of Makkah. The wife of Abu Sufyan, who had cut open Hamzah’s chest and torn his liver and heart into pieces in the Battle of Uhud, quietly came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and accepted Islam. He recognized her but did not say anything. She was so impressed by his magnanimity and stature that she said, O Allah s Messenger, no tent was more deserted in my eyes than yours; but today no tent is dearer in my eyes than yours.

Habar Ibn Al-Aswad was another vicious enemy of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and of Islam. He had inflicted a grievous injury on Zaynab, daughter of the Prophet (peace be upon him). She was pregnant when she emigrated from Makkah to Madinah. The polytheists of Makkah obstructed her and Habar Ibn Al-Aswad intentionally threw her down from the camel. She was badly hurt and miscarried as a result. Habar committed many other crimes as well. He wanted to run away to Persia but then he came to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who forgave him.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was all for forgiveness and no amount of crime or aggression against him was too great to be forgiven by him. He was a complete example of forgiveness and kindness.

He always repelled evil with good, for, in his view, an antidote was better than poison. He believed and practiced the precept that love could foil hatred and aggression could be won over by forgiveness. He overcame the ignorance of the people with the knowledge of Islam, and the folly and evil of the people with his kind and forgiving treatment.
With his forgiveness, he freed people from the bondage of sin and crime and also made them great friends of Islam. He was an exact image of the following verse of the Qur’an: The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with what is better (i.e. Allah orders the faithful believers to be patient in the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly) then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend (Fussilat 41:34).