And so a trying and gruesome month passes before Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala reveals the innocence of Aisha radi-Allahu anha. The Muslims finally exhale a sigh of relief and a sense of normalcy returns to Madinah.
Hurt and angered by Mistah's previous allegations, Abu Bakr takes an oath that he will never spend on Mistah again. Considering Abu Bakr's perspective, this is a perfectly justifiable, even expected, position. Here is a person wholly dependant on Abu Bakr and yet is willfully spreading and endorsing wild, enormous rumors about Abu Bakr's beloved daughter. How else could Abu Bakr react in such an ironic situation? How else can he treat a person who slandered his daughter, the Mother of the Believers, with the worst of slander?
And then Allah reveals: And let not those who are good and wealthy among you swear not to help their kinsmen, those in need and those who left their homes in Allah's Cause. Let them forgive and overlook. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? Verily! Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." (24.22)
Abu Bakr radi-Allahu anhu, despite his anguish and hurt
This was the mercy and forgiveness the Qur'an teaches, the mercy and ties of kinship that Allah is pleased to see in His servants.
Now let's think ... what would one of us do in the same situation? What would YOU do?
Conflicts, trivial and great, arise between friends and families all the time. But the question is: how are we supposed to react in the face of such? Should we defend ourselves to the end because we are in the right? Should we refuse to forgive the other and overlook his/her faults, because we were wronged? Should we cut off relationships, shun one another due to a petty or even great argument? How can we let go of our ego and just forgive and overlook despite the great misdeed targeted against us?
A glance at Abu Bakr radi-Allahu anhus life will tell us that no matter what the sin, no matter how grave the misdeed is, there should always remain a window leading to reconciliation and forgiveness. In the Qur'an we are time and time again reminded to forgive each other and live with each other in harmony and love. Regardless if the squabble is wholly the fault of the notorious "other" it is vital to realize that greatness is not in raising our head high and stomping off, rather it is in bending down and seeking to reconcile; in forgiving and overlooking.
There will, of course, always be times when forgiving may seem the hardest pill to swallow. It may sometimes seem impossible to simply dispense with all the frustration and anger and move on. We may be more willing to move a mountain than forgive a person who has wronged us, to overlook his insults, to overcome our bad feelings. Abu Bakr, radi-Allahu anhu, despite being faced with attacks that were entirely unprovoked, did not hesitate to forgive once he was enlightened with the virtues of forgiveness. In his zeal, he produced the most sublime example of forgiving, in response to one of the most vicious attacks perpetrated.
As differences and conflicts arise and pollute the atmosphere, there needs to be this window present to ventilate it. The window makes it possible to blow away the charged feelings and allow fresh air in one's life. It may be hard to open it and push it back along its rusty railings. But we must remember, that this very window is the same window which has been promised to lead to the forgiveness and mercy of Allah Himself.