The world expects from each and every Muslim to be perfect, just because they have decided to accept Islam with its rulings. The most common misconception that crosses any one’s mind is that, if Islam is so beautiful and peaceful, then why are Muslims that bad?!
Truth is, Muslims are humans, just like you are, they make mistakes, big ones actually.
They desire just like you do, they may lie, cheat, or steal, or even commit adultery. But they never ever lose hope that God will accept their repentance, and that is what holds them back from committing further sins.
Let’s take a look on how the companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to commit mistakes and how Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to deal with it:
The first story: is about two of the companions who committed adultery
Yes, they were living at the time of the Prophet (PBUH) and still couldn’t control their feelings in a perfect scene to teach the nation coming after them that you can commit a mistake and still be on track with a heart full of regret and pain over what you did.
The woman called Al-Ghamideya went to the Prophet, after she had repented to Allah the Almighty, asking him to purify her with the sentence of death (as this is the limit ordained by Allah for such action). The Prophet was so merciful to her, because he could feel how honest she was; so he refused to do so, and he told her to go away till she had delivered her baby, hoping she wouldn’t come back to him again. Yet, she insisted and came back to him after she had put her baby; he again told her to go back till she’s done with breastfeeding the baby, giving her a second chance to repent without coming back again to him. But her repentance was so true, that she couldn’t withstand the pain she felt, that kind of deep sorrow that dragged her again to the Prophet asking him to purify her. So he did!
And after he finished, he prayed for her. One of the companions was extremely amazed as he asked the Prophet (PBUH):
“O Messenger of Allah, she committed adultery and you pray for her?”
But the Prophet who best knew how the human heart functions said:
“She repented in a manner that would suffice for seventy of the people of Medina if it were divided among them. Can there be a greater repentance than sacrificing herself for the sake of Allah the Exalted?” [Sahih Muslim]
This is how Islam taught us to deal with our mistakes; it’s no shame to commit a sin, or else we would have been angels, but the thing is how we’d deal with it.
Another thing, is how soft and kind Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) dealt with it knowing we are humans which means that we commit mistakes.
The Second Story: Alcohol addiction
Nuayman ibn Amr (one of the Prophet’s companions) was known to have issues with alcohol. Despite knowing the ruling of Islam towards the intoxicating drink, Nuayman (may Allah be pleased with him) struggled with beating his addiction and was flogged twice for drinking.
Don’t think that just because he is an addict to alcohol that he is bad, but on the contrary, he did his best to please the Prophet (PBUH) and witnessed a lot of battles with him.
And that gave the Prophet the feeling that his addiction is out of weakness and struggle and not the desire to disobey Allah the Almighty.
Upon the second flogging, ‘Umar (one of the Prophet’s companions; may God be pleased with them) who was angered by Nuayman’s behaviour quipped:
– “May God’s curse be on him”. Sahih al-Bukhari
– Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), upon hearing this, was quick to intervene:
No, no, don’t do (such a thing). Indeed he loves God and His Apostle.“ [Sahih al-Bukhari].
A major sin (as this) does not put one outside the community and the mercy of God is close to the believers.
Islam made some punishments to some acts in order to stop the consequences of these activities on the nation and on oneself. But the target of these punishments isn’t to make those people who commit it feel bad about themselves or kill themselves with the feeling of guilt.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught us through these situations that the weakness that happens to the human souls is a very normal thing, and he as well taught us how to deal with it.
Allah the Almighty says:
Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” [Quran.com/39/53].
Allah has created us, and HE knows we are not perfect and we will never be. He led us to the way that eliminates our mistakes as much as possible through the Qur’an and the Sunnah. And yet, He taught us directly and through his Prophet how to deal with our lust, imperfection, and sins.