Sofi is used to designate the followers of Sufism, particularly by speakers of Persian and Turkish. Others use Sufi. I think the difference arises from the different views of the word's origin. Those who claim that it is derived from sof (wool), safa (spiritual delight, exhilaration), safwat (purity), or sophos (a Greek word meaning wisdom), or who believe that it implies devotion, prefer Sufi. Those who hold that it is derived from suffa (chamber), and stress that it should not be confused with sofu (religious zealot), also use Sufi. The word sofi has been defined in many ways, among them:
- A traveler on the way to God who has purified his or her self and thus acquired inner light or spiritual enlightenment.
- A humble soldier of God who has been chosen by the Almighty for Himself and thus freed from the influence of his or her carnal, evil-commanding self.
- A traveler on the way to the Muhammadan Truth who wears a coarse, woolen cloak as a sign of humility and nothingness, and who renounces the world as the source of vice and carnal desire. Following the example of the Prophets and their followers, as well as sincere devotees, they are called mutasawwif to emphasize their spiritual states and belief, conduct, and life-style.
- A traveler to the peak of true humanity who has been freed from carnal turbidity and all kinds of human dirt to realize his or her essential, heavenly nature and identity.
- A spiritual person who tries to be like the people of the Suffa the poor, scholarly Companions of the Prophet who lived in the chamber adjacent to the Prophet's Mosque by dedicating his or her life to earning that name.
Some say that the word sofi is derived from saf (pure). Although their praiseworthy efforts to please God by serving Him continually and keeping their hearts set on Him are enough for them to be called pure ones, such a derivation is grammatically incorrect. Some have argued that sofi is derived from sophia or sophos, Greek words meaning wisdom. I think this is a fabrication of foreign researchers who try to prove that Sufism has a foreign and therefore non-Islamic origin.
The first Muslim to be called a Sofi was the great ascetic Abu Hashim al-Kufi (d. 150 AH9). Thus, the word sofi was in use in the second Islamic century after the generation of the Companions and their blessed successors. At this point in time, Sufism was characterized by spiritual people seeking to follow the footsteps of our Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, and his Companions by imitating their life-styles. This is why Sufism has always been known and remembered as the spiritual dimension of the Islamic way of life.
Sufism seeks to educate people so that they will set their hearts on God and burn with the love of Him. It focuses on good morals and proper conduct, as shown by the Prophets. Although some slight deviations may have appeared in Sufism over time, these should not be used to condemn that way of spiritual purity.
While describing Sufis who lead a purely spiritual life, Imam Qushayri writes:
The greatest in Islam is Companionship of the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings. This honor or blessing is so great that it can only be acquired by an actual Companion of the Prophet. The second rank in greatness belongs to the Tabi'un, those fortunate ones who came after the Companions and saw them. This is followed by the Taba'i al-Tabi'in, those who came after the Tabi'un and saw them. Just after the closing years of this third generation and coinciding with the outbreak of internal conflict and deviation in belief, and along with the Traditionists, legal scholars, and theologians who rendered great services to Islam, Sufis had great success in reviving the spiritual aspect of Islam.
Early Sofis were distinguished, saintly people who led upright, honest, austere, and simple and blemish-free lives. They did not seek bodily happiness or carnal gratification, and followed the example of the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings. They were so balanced in their belief and thinking that they cannot be considered followers of ancient philosophers, Christian mystics, or Hindu holy men. Early Sofis considered it the science of humanity's inner world, the reality of things, and the mysteries of existence. A Sofi studied this science, one determined to reach the final rank of a universal or perfect being.
Sufism is a long journey of unceasing effort leading to the Infinite One, a marathon to be run without stopping, with unyielding resolution, and without anticipating any worldly pleasure or reward. It has nothing to do with Western or Eastern mysticism, yoga, or philosophy, for a Sofi is a hero determined to reach the Infinite One, not a mystic, a yogi, or a philosopher.
Prior to Islam, some Hindu and Greek philosophers followed various ways leading to self-purification and struggled against their carnal desires and the world's attractions. But Sufism is essentially different from these ways. For example, Sofis live their entire lives as a quest to purify their selves via invocation, regular worship, complete obedience to God, self-control, and humility, whereas ancient philosophers did not observe any of these rules or acts. Their self-purification if it really deserves to be considered as such usually caused conceit and arrogance in many of them, instead of humility and self-criticism.
Sofis can be divided into two categories: those who stress knowledge and seek to reach their destination through the knowledge of God (ma'rifa), and those who follow the path of yearning, spiritual ecstasy, and spiritual discovery.
Members of the first group spend their lives traveling toward God, progressing "in" and progressing "from" Him on the wings of knowledge and the knowledge of God. They seek to realize the meaning of: There is no power and strength save with God. Every change, alteration, transformation, and formation observed, and every event witnessed or experienced, is like a comprehensible message from the Holy Power and Will experienced in different tongues. Those in the second group also are serious in their journeying and asceticism. However, they may sometimes deviate from the main destination and fail to reach God Almighty, since they pursue hidden realities or truths, miracle-working, spiritual pleasure, and ecstasy. Although this path is grounded on the Qur'an and the Sunna, it may lead some initiates to cherish such desires and expectations as spiritual rank, working miracles, and sainthood. That is why the former path, which leads to the greatest sainthood under the guidance of the Qur'an, is safer.
Sofis divide people into three groups:
- The perfect ones who have reached the destination. This group is divided into two subgroups: the Prophets and the perfected ones who have reached the Truth by strictly following the prophetic examples. Not all perfected ones are guides; rather than guiding people to the Truth, some remain annihilated or drowned in the waves of the "ocean of meeting with God and amazement." As their relations with the visible, material world are completely severed, they cannot guide others.
- The initiates. This group also consists of two subgroups: those who completely renounce the world and, without considering the Hereafter, seek only God Almighty, and those who seek to enter Paradise but do not give up tasting some of the world's permitted pleasures. Such people are known as ascetics, worshippers, the poor, or the helpless.
- The settlers or clingers. This group consists of people who only want to live an easy, comfortable life in this world. Thus, Sofis call them "settlers" or "clingers," for they "cling heavily to the earth." They are mainly people who do not believe, who indulge in sin and therefore cannot be pardoned. According to the Qur'an, they are unfortunate beings who belong to "the group on the left," or those who are "blind" and "deaf" and "without understanding."
Some have also referred to these three groups as the foremost (or those brought near to God), the people on the right, and the people on the left.
As the history of Islamic religious sciences tells us, religious commandments were not written down during the early days of Islam; rather, the practice and oral circulation of commandments related to belief, worship, and daily life allowed the people to memorize them. Thus it was easy to compile them in books later on, for what had been memorized and practiced was simply written down. In addition, since religious commandments were the vital issues in a Muslim's individual and collective life, scholars gave priority to them and compiled books on them. Legal scholars collected and codified books on Islamic law and its rules and principles pertaining to all fields of life. Traditionists established the Prophetic traditions (hadiths) and way of life (Sunna), and preserved them in books. Theologians dealt with issues concerning Muslim belief. Interpreters of the Qur'an dedicated themselves to studying its meaning, including issues that would later be called "Qur'anic sciences," such as naskh (abrogation of a law), inzal (God's sending down the entire Qur'an at one time), tanzil (God's sending down the Qur'an in parts on different occasions), qira'at (Qur'anic recitation), ta'wil (exegesis), and others.
Thanks to these efforts that remain universally appreciated in the Muslim world, the truths and principles of Islam were established in such a way that their authenticity cannot be doubted.
While some scholars were engaged in these "outer" activities, Sufi masters were mostly concentrating on the Muhammadan Truth's pure spiritual dimension. They sought to reveal the essence of humanity's being, the real nature of existence, and the inner dynamics of humanity and the cosmos by calling attention to the reality of that which lies beneath and beyond their outer dimension. Adding to Qur'anic commentaries, narrations of Traditionists, and deductions of legal scholars, Sufi masters developed their ways through asceticism, spirituality, and self-purification in short, their practice and experience of religion.
Thus the Islamic spiritual life based on asceticism, regular worship, abstention from all major and minor sins, sincerity and purity of intention, love and yearning, and the individual's admission of his or her essential impotence and destitution became the subject matter of Sufism, a new science possessing its own method, principles, rules, and terms. Even if various differences gradually emerged among the orders that were established later, it can be said that the basic core of this science has always been the essence of the Muhammadan Truth.
The two aspects of the same truth the commandments of the Shari'a and Sufism have sometimes been presented as mutually exclusive. This is quite unfortunate, as Sufism is nothing more than the spirit of the Shari'a, which is made up of austerity, self-control and criticism, and the continuous struggle to resist the temptations of Satan and the carnal, evil-commanding self in order to fulfill religious obligations. While adhering to the former has been regarded as exotericism (self-restriction to Islam's outer dimension), following the latter has been seen as pure esotericism. Although this discrimination arises partly from assertions that the commandments of the Shari'a are represented by legal scholars or muftis, and the other by Sufis, it should be viewed as the result of the natural, human tendency of assigning priority to that way which is most suitable for the individual practitioner.
Many legal scholars, Traditionists, and interpreters of the Qur'an produced important books based on the Qur'an and the Sunna. The Sufis, following methods dating back to the time of the Prophet and his Companions, also compiled books on austerity and spiritual struggle against carnal desires and temptations, as well as states and stations of the spirit. They also recorded their own spiritual experiences, love, ardor, and rapture. The goal of such literature was to attract the attention of those whom they regarded as restricting their practice and reflection to the "outer" dimension of religion, and directing it to the "inner" dimension of religious life.
Both Sufis and scholars sought to reach God by observing the Divine obligations and prohibitions. Nevertheless, some extremist attitudes occasionally observed on both sides caused disagreements. Actually there was no substantial disagreement, and it should not have been viewed as a disagreement, for it only involved dealing with different aspects and elements of religion under different titles. The tendency of specialists in jurisprudence to concern themselves with the rules of worship and daily life and how to regulate and discipline individual and social life, and that of Sufis to provide a way to live at a high level of spirituality through self-purification and spiritual training, cannot be considered a disagreement.
In fact, Sufism and jurisprudence are like the two schools of a university that seeks to teach its students the two dimensions of the Shari'a so that they can practice it in their daily lives. One school cannot survive without the other, for while one teaches how to pray, be ritually pure, fast, give charity, and how to regulate all aspects of daily life, the other concentrates on what these and other actions really mean, how to make worship an inseparable part of one's existence, and how to elevate each individual to the rank of a universal, perfect being (al-insan al-kamil) a true human being. That is why neither discipline can be neglected.
Although some self-proclaimed Sufis have labeled religious scholars "scholars of ceremonies" and "exoterists," real, per-fected Sufis have always depended on the basic principles of the Shari'a and have based their thoughts on the Qur'an and the Sunna. They have derived their methods from these basic sources of Islam. Al-Wasaya wa al-Ri'aya (The Advices and Observation of Rules) by al-Muhasibi, Al-Ta'arruf li-Madhhab Ahl al-Sufi (A Description of the Way of the People of Sufism) by Kalabazi, Al-Luma' (The Gleams) by al-Tusi, Qut al-Qulub (The Food of Hearts) by Abu Talib al-Makki, and Al-Risala al-Qushayri (The Treatise) by al-Qushayri are among the precious sources that discuss Sufism according to the Qur'an and the Sunna. Some of these sources concentrate on self-control and self-purification, while others elaborate upon various topics of concern to Sufis.
After these great compilers came Hujjat al-Islam Imam al-Ghazzali, author of Ihya' al-'Ulum al-Din (Reviving the Religious Sciences), his most celebrated work. He reviewed all of Sufism's terms, principles, and rules, and, establishing those agreed upon by all Sufi masters and criticizing others, united the outer (Shari'a and jurisprudence) and inner (Sufi) dimensions of Islam. Sufi masters who came after him presented Sufism as one of the religious sciences or a dimension thereof, promoting unity or agreement among themselves and the so-called "scholars of ceremonies." In addition, the Sufi masters made several Sufi subjects, such as the states of the spirit, certainty or conviction, sincerity and morality, part of the curriculum of madrassas (institutes for the study of religious sciences).
Although Sufism mostly concentrates on the individual's inner world and deals with the meaning and effect of religious commandments on one's spirit and heart and is therefore abstract, it does not contradict any of the Islamic ways based on the Qur'an and the Sunna. In fact, as is the case with other religious sciences, its source is the Qur'an and the Sunna, as well as the conclusions drawn from the Qur'an and the Sunna via ijtihad (deduction) by the purified scholars of the early period of Islam. It dwells on knowledge, knowledge of God, certainty, sincerity, perfect goodness, and other similar, fundamental virtues.
Defining Sufism as the "science of esoteric truths or mysteries," or the "science of humanity's spiritual states and stations," or the "science of initiation" does not mean that it is completely different from other religious sciences. Such definitions have resulted from the Shari'a-rooted experiences of various individuals, all of whom have had different temperaments and dispositions, and who lived at different times.
It is a distortion to present the viewpoints of Sufis and the thoughts and conclusions of Shari'a scholars as essentially different from each other. Although some Sufis were fanatic adherents of their own ways, and some religious scholars (i.e., legal scholars, Traditionists, and interpreters of the Qur'an) did restrict themselves to the outer dimension of religion, those who follow and represent the middle, straight path have always formed the majority. Therefore it is wrong to conclude that there is a serious disagreement (which most likely began with some unbecoming thoughts and words uttered by some legal scholars and Sufis against each other) between the two groups.
When compared with those who spoke for tolerance and consensus, those who have started or participated in such conflicts are very few indeed. This is natural, for both groups have always depended on the Qur'an and the Sunna, the two main sources of Islam.
In addition, the priorities of Sufism have never been different from those of jurisprudence. Both disciplines stress the importance of belief and of engaging in good deeds and good conduct. The only difference is that Sufis emphasize self-purification, deepening the meaning of good deeds and multiplying them, and attaining higher standards of good morals so that one's conscience can awaken to the knowledge of God and thus embark upon a path leading to the required sincerity in living Islam and obtaining God's pleasure.
By means of these virtues, men and women can acquire another nature, "another heart" (a spiritual intellect within the heart), a deeper knowledge of God, and another "tongue" with which to mention God. All of these will help them to observe the Shari'a commandments based on a deeper awareness of, and with a disposition for, devotion to God.
An individual practitioner of Sufism can use it to deepen his or her spirituality. Through the struggle with one's self, solitude or retreat, invocation, self-control and self-criticism, the veils covering the inner dimension of existence are torn apart, enabling the individual to acquire a strong conviction of the truth of all of Islam's major and minor principles. Sep 1994, Vol 16, Issue 188
The Mohammedan University started with asceticism in desires, wishes, money and this life seeking God's satisfaction. The one who set the curriculum is the dean of the university. Al-Hassan narrated that the prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came to the Suffa people and asked:
- "How are you this morning?"
- "Fine," they said.
- "Today you are fine, but what if your meals contains different dishes and you use curtains in your houses as it is for the Ka'ba?" He said.
- "Oh, messenger of God, is this going to happen while we are Muslims?" They asked.
- "Yes," he said.
- "Then we are better than now, we will give charity and free slaves," they said.
- "No, you are now better, because when this happens, you will envy each other, break ties with kith and kin and hate each other," he said.
This is true, because hatred and envy result from desires wishes, and loving this life which people adored.
So the companions began their faithful life and the base of their meeting and their entry to the prophetical university was asceticism.
Asceticism doesn't mean: not having anything in one's hand (possession), but the fact of asceticism is: the heart shouldn't rely on anything. A man may not have anything in his hand, but his heart is looking forward to it, this is not ascetic, because if he possessed it, he would be changed. The true ascetic is someone whose God gave him his bounties in his hand, but his heart isn't affected by them, so he spends them for God's satisfaction as we saw the prophet's companions. One of them brought all his possessions to the prophet. The prophet asked him: "What did you leave for your family, Abu Bakr?" He said: I left them, God and his messenger. The prophet didn't deny or opposed but agreed to this, because the condition
(faith) of Abu Bakr required this.
Another man once said: O messenger of God, I want to make my will and give all my wealth to charity. The prophet said: "No, only one third and this is much, it's better to leave your heirs rich than leaving them poor asking people for charity." So we know that abilities, intensions, grades and positions differ from one person to another:
"There is not one of us (angels) but has his known place (or position)" (Surat Al-Safaat, verse 164)
What was the schedule of the Suffa people?
There were circles (sessions) for reciting the Quran, remembrance of God, knowledge and training for good works. They were soldiers and servants of the prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and they were also his guests.
These were their deeds and the prophet used to observe them. One of them, Abu Said Al-Khudry said: "The prophet came to us and we are weak Muslims, while someone was reciting the Quran and supplicating for us, I don't think the prophet knew anyone of them and they were hiding from each other because of bareness. The prophet signaled to us to make a circle, and then he asked:
- "What were you repeating?"
- "This is a man recites the Quran and supplicates for us," they said.
- "Do it again," he said. Then he said: "Praise be to God who made people in my nation and asked me to stay patiently with them." He meant:
"And keep yourself (O Muhammad) patiently with those who call on their Lord (i.e. your companions who remember their Lord with glorification, praising in prayers, etc., and other righteous deeds, etc.) morning and afternoon, seeking His Face, and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our Remembrance, one who follows his own lusts and whose affair (deeds) has been lost." (Surat Al-Kahf, verse 28)
Then he spoke to delight the poor and said that at the Day of Judgment, they will enter the heavens 500 years before the rich, while the rich are asked and called to account.
Another time, Thabet Al-Banany narrated that Salman Al-Faresy was in a group pronouncing God's name when the prophet passed, they stopped. The prophet asked:
- "What were you saying?"
-"Pronouncing God's name," they said.
- "Go on," he said, "I saw God's mercy falls on you, so I wanted to share you." Then he said: "Praise be to God who made men in my nation and asked me to stay patiently with them."
Sometimes they were two groups one of them pronounces God's name and the other teach and learn. Their scholars were from among them. The prophet prepared scholars to teach them. Abdullah Ibn Rawaha sometimes said: Come to believe in God and he taught them how to believe.
The prophet appointed professors for this school in all branches of knowledge. He said: "The most merciful man in my nation is Abu Bakr, the strongest in religion is Omar, the most shamefaced is Othman, the best one to answer you is Ali, the best one who knows the lawful and unlawful is Mo'az Ibn Gabal, the most truthful one on earth is Abu Zar, the best reciter is Oba'y Ibn Ka'b and the best one who knows the shares of inheritance is Zayd Ibn Thabet."
The prophet appointed a professor for each subject to teach in the university and every professor, his students circled around him
The prophet was observing the university. He once entered the mosque and saw a group pronouncing God's name and another group studying knowledge, he said: "Both of them are good, but I was sent as an instructor" (a teacher) and he sat with the circle of the group studying knowledge, but he praised both of them.
Islam is a word derived from the root words silm Islam is a word derived from the root words silm and salamah. It means surrendering, guiding to peace and contentment, and establishing security and accord.
Islam is a religion of security, safety, and peace. These principles permeate the lives of Muslims. When Muslims stand to pray, they cut their connection with this world, turning to their Lord in faith and obedience, and standing at attention in His presence. Completing the prayer, as if they were returning back to life, they greet those on their right and left by wishing peace: "Remain safe and in peace." With a wish for safety and security, peace and contentment, they return to the ordinary world once again.
Greeting and wishing safety and security for others is considered one of the most beneficial acts in Islam. When asked which act in Islam is the most beneficial, the Prophet replied, "Feeding others and greeting those you know and those you do not know."
Accusing Islam of Terrorism
How unfortunate it is that Islam, which is based on this understanding and spirit, is shown by some circles to be synonymous with terrorism. This is a great historical mistake; wrapping a system based on safety and trust in a veil of terrorism just shows that the spirit of Islam remains unknown. If one were to seek the true face of Islam in its own sources, history, and true representatives, then one would discover that it contains no harshness, cruelty, or fanaticism. It is a religion of forgiveness, pardon, and tolerance, as such saints and princes of love and tolerance as Rumi, Yunus Emre, Ahmed Yesevi, Bediüzzaman, and many others have so beautifully expressed. They spent their lives preaching tolerance, and each became a legend in his own time as an embodiment of love and tolerance.
Jihad can be a matter of self defense or of removing obstacles between God and human free choice. Our history is full of examples that show how this principle has been implemented in life.
Of course there are and should be occasions where war is unavoidable. However, the Qur'anic verses on jihad that were revealed for particular conditions have been generalized by some shortsighted individuals. Whereas in actual fact war is a matter of secondary importance, it has been given priority as an essential issue by these people. Such people do not understand the true meaning and spirit of Islam. Their failure to establish a proper balance between what is primary and what is secondary leads others to conclude that Islam advocates malice and hatred in the soul, whereas true Muslims are full of love and affection for all creation. Regarding this, how apt is the following couplet:
The Pride of Humanity was a man of love and affection. One of his names was Habibullah (the Beloved of God). In addition to meaning one who loves, habib means one who is loved, one who loves God, and one who is loved by God. Sufi masters like Imam Rabbani, Mawlana Khalid, and Shah Waliyyullah state that love is the ultimate station of the spiritual journey.
God created the universe as a manifestation of His love for His creatures, in particular humanity, and Islam became the fabric woven out of this love. In the words of Bediüzzaman, love is the essence of creation. Just as a mother's love and compassion compels her to allow a surgeon to operate on her sick child to save his or her life, jihad allows war, if needed, to preserve such fundamental human rights as the right to life and religious freedom. Jihad does not exclusively mean war.
Once a friend said to me: "Without exception and regardless of differences in faith, you meet with everyone, and this breaks the tension of Muslims toward probable opponents. But it is an Islamic principle to love those things or people who must be loved on the way of God and dislike those things or people who must be disliked on the way of God." Actually this principle is often misunderstood, for in Islam all of creation is to be loved according to the rule of loving on God's way.
"Disliking on the way of God" applies only to feelings, thoughts, and attributes. Thus, we should dislike such things as immorality, unbelief, and polytheism, not the people who engage in such activities. God created humanity as noble beings, and everyone, to a certain degree, has a share in this nobility. His Messenger once stood up out of respect for humanity as the funeral procession of a Jew passed by. When reminded that the deceased was a Jew, the Prophet replied: "But he is a human," thereby showing the value Islam gives to human.
This action demonstrates how highly our Prophet respected every person. Given this, the involvement of some self proclaimed Muslim individuals or institutions in terrorist activities can in no way be approved of by Islam. The reasons for this terrorism should be sought for in the actions themselves, in false interpretations of the faith, and in other factors and motives. Islam does not support terror, so how could a Muslim who truly understands Islam be a terrorist?
If we can spread the Islamic understanding of such heroes of love as Niyazi-i Misri, Yunus Emre, and Rumi globally, if we can extend their messages of love, dialogue, and tolerance to those who thirst for this message, then everyone will run toward the embrace of love, peace, and tolerance that we represent.
The definition of tolerance in Islam is such that the Prophet even prohibited verbal abuse of unbelievers. For example, Abu Jahl died before embracing Islam, despite all the Prophet's efforts. His unbelief and enmity toward the Prophet was such that he deserved the title Abu Jahl: Father of ignorance and impudence. His untiring opposition to Islam was a thorn in the side of the Muslims.
Despite such hostility, when in an assembly of Companions where Abu Jahl's son Ikrimah was present, the Prophet one day admonished a Companion who had been heard insulting Abu Jahl: "Do not hurt others by criticizing their fathers." Another time, he said: "Cursing your mother and father is a great sin." The Companions asked: "O Messenger of God, would anyone curse their parents?" The Prince of Prophets replied: "When someone curses another's father and the other curses his father in return, or when someone curses another's mother and the other does the same in return, they will have cursed their parents."
While the Prophet of Mercy was inordinately sensitive when it came to respecting others, some Muslims today justify unpleasant behavior on the basis of religion. This shows that they do not understand Islam, a religion in which there is no place for malice and hatred.
The Qur'an strongly urges forgiveness and tolerance. In one verse, it says of pious people:
They swallow their anger and forgive people. God loves those who do good. (Al-Imran 3:134)
In other words, Muslims should not retaliate when verbally abused or attacked. If possible, as Yunus says, they should act as if they had no hand or tongue with which to respond and no heart with which to resent. They must swallow their anger and close their eyes to the faults of others. The words selected in the verse are very meaningful. Kazm, translated as swallowing, literally means swallowing something like a thorn, an object that actually cannot be swallowed; thus it denotes swallowing one's wrath, no matter how difficult. Another verse, while mentioning the characteristics of believers, says:
When they meet hollow words or unseemly behavior, they pass them by with dignity. (Al-Furqan 25:72)
When we look at the exalted life of God's Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, we see that he always practiced the precepts presented in the Qur'an. For example, a Companion once repented of a sin and admitted: "I am guilty of fornication. Whatever my punishment is, give it and cleanse me." The Prince of Prophets said: "Go back and repent, for God forgives all sins." This event was repeated three times. Another time, a Companion complained to the Prophet that someone had stolen his belongings. But as the punishment was about to be carried out the Companion said: "I have changed my mind and do not want to pursue my case. I forgive this individual." The Prophet asked: "Why did you bring this matter to court? Why didn't you forgive him from the outset?"
When such examples are studied from their original sources, it is clear that the method of those who act with enmity and hatred, who view everyone else with anger, and who blacken others as infidels is non-Islamic, for Islam is a religion of love and tolerance. A Muslim is a person of love and affection who avoids every kind of terrorist activity and who has no malice or hatred for anyone or anything. http://hassanelagouz.blogspot.com/