By: Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng
Source: Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng
‘Ali bin Husain (Allah have mercy on him), also known by the title Zainul ‘Abidin, was the grandson of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (Allah be pleased with him) and the son of Sayyiduna Husain (Allah be pleased with him).
On one occasion, Zainul ‘Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) was performing wudhu while his slave girl was assisting him by pouring the water onto his limbs from a pitcher. As she was pouring the water, it so happened that the pitcher fell from her hand, striking Zainul ‘Aabdieen (Allah have mercy on him) on his head and injuring him. On suffering the injury, Zainul ‘Aabdieen (Allah have mercy on him) looked up at the slave girl (in anger).
The slave girl addressed him saying, “Allah Most High mentions (while describing the people of taqwa):
“And those who suppress their anger”
As soon as he heard this, Zainul ‘Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) responded, “I have suppressed my anger.”
The slave girl then continued reciting the verse,
“وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ”
“And those who forgive people”
Hearing this, Zainul ‘Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) submitted, “(I have forgiven you), may Allah Most High forgive you.”
Finally, the slave girl recited:
“وَاللَّـهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ”
“And Allah Most High loves those who do good.”
When he heard this, Zainul ‘Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) replied, “Go, for I have set you free!”
(Shu‘abul Imaan #7964)
- Every human has emotions, and we cannot control our emotions by ‘switching them off’. However, this does not mean that we should allow our emotions to control us. Hence, although anger is a natural emotion, and we will definitely become angry from time to time, we should not vent our anger in a manner that will displease Allah Most High. Instead, Allah Most High has promised great rewards for the one who suppresses his anger. Allah Most High has also highlighted this quality as being among the signs of the people of taqwa. It is for this reason that Zainul ‘Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) did not retaliate or punish the slave girl in any way.
- One is for a person to suppress his anger and abstain from retaliating. However, he may still be angry and harbour a grudge in his heart. Hence, the demand of taqwa is that we cleanse our hearts of all ill-feelings by forgiving and forgetting.
- The hadeeth teaches us that if any person behaves badly towards us or harms us, then we should reciprocate by showing that person good character and kindness. Hence, Zainul ‘Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) freed the slave girl.
- The pious friends of Allah Most High are such that as soon as they hear a verse of the Quran Majeed, a hadeeth of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) or a law of Deen, then out of respect for Deen, they immediately submit and comply. They do not attempt to justify, argue or rationalize in any way.