What is the ruling on forgiving kufaar if they talk bad about us behind our back, or do something to us like put a dent in our car.
The normal rule I know is to forgive the ignorant when they do these things, but I read in Usoolus Sunnah (a book in english) that Imam Ahmad said “I forgive everyone except a mubtadi'” – so if he does not forgive a mubtadi’ then why should we forgive kufaar?.
Praise be to Allaah.
Islam urges us to be tolerant and forgive others. This is indicated in both the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Indeed, one of the features of Islam is that it is deen al-rahmah (the religion of mercy). By the same token the Muslim should be easy going, not one who puts others off; he should forgive when he is able to take revenge and be tolerant when people make mistakes.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Many of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their ownselves, even after the truth (that Muhammad is Allaah’s Messenger) has become manifest unto them. But forgive and overlook, till Allaah brings His Command. Verily, Allaah is Able to do all things”
“So, because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them and made their hearts grow hard. They change the words from their (right) places and have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them. And you will not cease to discover deceit in them, except a few of them. But forgive them and overlook (their misdeeds). Verily, Allaah loves Al‑Muhsinoon (good‑doers”
“O you who believe! Verily, among your wives and your children there are enemies for you (who may stop you from the obedience of Allaah); therefore beware of them! But if you pardon (them) and overlook, and forgive (their faults), then verily, Allaah is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”
So this forgiveness of the kaafirs should be for the sake of seeking reward with Allaah and softening the hearts of the kaafirs to the idea of entering the religion of Allaah. This is a kind of gentleness and tolerance that is encouraged and is aimed at achieving great things, namely reward from Allaah and encouraging the kaafirs to enter the religion of Islam. For the attitude of the Muslims conquered the hearts of many of the mushrikeen before the Muslims’ swords and cavalry conquered their strongholds, and they entered the religion of Allaah in crowds, seeking whatever it was in this religion that created such a good attitude in its people. Continue reading