Did Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) blame all mistakes?

Details of the Question

Did the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) blame all mistakes? While it is stated in a hadith that it is not permissible to make a joke to scare somebody, it is also stated in another hadith that our prophet Muhammad did not get angry with one of his companions who scared his friends for fun. Why was he not angry then? Is it possible that our prophet did not blame all mistakes?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

When we examine the life our prophet who was adorned with the ethics of the Quran, we see that he was sent as a model by Allah as a person who always spoke nicely and wisely, showed compassion and mercy to people, and did not hurt or despise anyone.

Allah refers to our prophet in the holy Quran as follows.

  • And indeed you are of a good moral character. (68:4)
     
  • Certainly, is for you in (the) Messenger (of) Allah an excellent example for (one) who has hope (in) Allah and the Day the Last, and remembers Allah much. (33:21)
     
  • Had you been rough, hard-hearted, they would surely have scattered away from you. (3:159)

The Prophet Muhammad always treated people well and refreshed their hearts by his good manners given to him by Allah. When he sometimes saw people’s mistakes, he was never angry, never broke people or offended them. He corrected their mistakes by persuading them with soft words. The one who nursed a grudge and hatred against would love him very much after talking to him. Our prophet’s duty was to protect people from worldly distresses and from the fire of the hereafter. For that reason, he set to work by conquering people’s hearts. All his words, deeds and attitudes aimed not to disturb others, not to offend people and to win their hearts. He likened breaking hearts to demolishing the holy Kaaba.

Our prophet forbad all Muslims to torture and hurt others. He described those who did so as hypocrites.

O those of you who have become Muslims with their tongues but whose hearts belief has not reached! Do not hurt Muslims, do not blame them and do not search their mistakes. For, if a person searches for their Muslim brother’s mistakes, Allah will search for his mistakes. If Allah searches for the mistakes of a person, Allah will disgrace him even if he hides his mistakes in his house.” (Tirmidhi, Birr 85) 

The same decree is valid for dhimmis (non-Muslims who live in Islamic countries). the Prophet said, “I will proceed against those who torture dhimmis. If I proceed against someone in this world, I will proceed against him on the Day of Judgement too.” (Ajluni- Kashful-Khafa 2, 218)

How did he behave in the face of mistakes?

It is known that he particularly got angry about the mistakes related to religious issues such as indicating prohibited deeds (haram) as allowed (halal) deeds and vice versa. He corrected the mistakes regarding other issues without offending anybody, without threatening and frightening them, sometimes by persuading the person through dialogue and sometimes without mentioning the name of the person by addressing people in general as follows: “Some of our friends do this and that. Why do they insist on mistakes?”

Sometimes, he behaved in accordance with his addressee’s character and refreshed their hearts.

He was not angry with even those who made too many jokes. For example, one of his companions who is well-known with his practical jokes called Nuayman slaughtered a person’s camel without any reason and distributed its meat to people. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was informed about the issue. The Messenger of Allah was not angry with Nuayman and he smiled when he heard it. He ordered his companions to give one camel from the treasury to the person whose camel was slaughtered.

The strongest weapon of the Prophet who disciplined people's feelings and thoughts was soft words and good manners. He conquered people’s hearts and countries with this weapon.

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