by Ustadh Luqman al-Andalusi
Being Lenient towards the Believers
 In the Hadith Qudsi (sacred tradition) Ali ibn Abu Talib said that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Allah the Exalted says: La ilaha illa Allah is My fortress, whoever enters My fortress is safe from My punishment” [Musnad El-Shihab, Abu Na’im].
 “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, and those who are with him are fierce to the unbelievers, merciful to one another…” (Qur’an, 48:29).
 The Prophet ﷺ said: Al-Muslim man salama al-muslimoon min lisaanihi wa yaddihi wal muhaajiru man hajara maa naha-Allahu `anhu.
“The best of Muslim believers is the one from whose tongue and hand Muslims are secure; and the emigrate is the one who leaves what Allah has forbidden” (Narrated by Ahmad).
 The Prophet ﷺ said: “You see the believers being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body so that if any part of the body is not well, the whole body shares the insomnia and the fever with it” (Sahih Bukhari).
 The Prophet ﷺ said, “If anyone defends his brother who is slandered in his absence, it will be (his) due from Allah to set him free from the Fire” (Reported by Ahmad).
 And again, “If anyone defends his brother’s honor in this world, Allah will shield his face from the Fire on the Day of Resurrection” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi).
 The Shehu said in his Najm ‘l-‘Ikhwaan, “That which will clarify that the Deen is lenient is what Allah ta`ala (exalted) says, ‘Allah desires ease for you. He does not want hardship for you.’ Allah ta`ala says, ‘Allah has not made the Deen a constraint for you.’ The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, ‘The Deen is easy. No one is strict in the Deen except that he is overcome. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings and the nights.’ This is related by al-Bukhari in his Saheeh (authentic) collection.
 Qadi Ibn’l-`Arab (rh) said concerning the divine unity (at-Tawheed), “Some of the people make it a burden on mankind and cause them to give up hope concerning it. There is nothing greater in worth than at-Tawheed and nothing nearer in ease than it. Allah is content with the least amount of understanding of at-Tawheed and He has facilitated it for His servants, when He says: ‘Therefore, worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him’.” Ibn Hajr says, “The words of Allah ta`ala, ‘And establish your face in the religion of uprightness which Allah has created mankind upon’; and the prophetic tradition, ‘Every child is born upon the natural dispensation;’ are two apparent proofs which examine this issue.”
 In his as-Shifa Imam Abu Musa Qadi Iyad (rh) said of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, “He was patient with whoever sat with him or came near him wanting something, so that it was that person who was the first to leave. When anyone asked him for something, he would either give it to him or say something kind to him. His good character and excellent nature embraced everyone so that he was like a father to them. They were equal in respect of what they were apportioned by him.”
 Ibn Abi Hala (rh) described him saying, ‘He was always joyful with an easy disposition. He was gentle, neither gruff nor rude nor clamorous nor obscene nor nagging nor excessively complimentary’.” Allah ta`ala describes the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, saying, “We have not sent you except as a mercy to all the worlds.”
Definition of Hating the Sinful
 Shaykh Uthman Ibn Fodio (rh) says in his Ihya Sunnah, “If you were to say, “What is an example of hating the sinful (al-faasiquun) for their sinfulness and loving them for their Islam?” Then I would answer with what al-Ghazali said about that in his al-Ihya concerning the one who had a beautiful wife who was corrupt (faajira), “He loves her from one respect and he hates her from another respect.” Abu’l-Hassan as-Shadhili said, “Show respect to the believers even if they be disobedient sinners (`usaat mudhnibeen), establish the legal punishment (al-huduud) upon them, then avoid them as a mercy towards them and do not console them.” Ahmad az-Zaruuq said, “What is intended by these words of Abu’l-Hassan as-Shadhili is that everyone who has an apparent connection with Allah ta`ala, whether that connection be perfect or deficient, truthful or insincere – it is incumbent to esteem him and show him respect. It is obligatory to honor him and extol him in accordance with his spiritual state without showing scorn or disregard for him. Never follow anyone except he whose knowledge is sound, whose piety is sound and whose penetrating inner-vision is sound. Verily affinity with Allah is a tremendous thing and affiliation with Him can only occur by His assistance.”
 As Allah says, “Shaytan’s (Satan’s) plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: will you not then abstain?” (Qur’an, 5:91).
 Abu Dharr (ra) narrated: That he heard the Prophet ﷺ saying, “If somebody accuses another of Fusuq (by calling him ‘Fasiq‘ i.e. a wicked person) or accuses him of Kufr (disbelief), such an accusation will revert to him (i.e. the accuser) if his companion (the accused) is innocent” (Sahih Bukhari).
 From `Ubayd Allah ibn `Umar, from Nafi`, “A man said to Ibn `Umar: “I have a neighbor who bears witness against me that I commit shirk.” He replied: “Say: ‘La Ilaha illAllah,’ you will make him a liar.”
 From Sawwar ibn Shabib al-A`raji: I was sitting in Ibn `Umar’s house when a man came and said: “O Ibn `Umar! There are groups of people bearing witness against us and attributing to us Kufr and Shirk (polytheism).” Ibn `Umar replied: “Woe to you! Did you not say: ‘La Ilaha IllAllah‘?!” Whereupon the entire household began to say La Ilaha IllAllah until the house was shaking.
The Consequence of calling someone a Kafir without just means
 `Abu Dharr (ra) reported that the Holy Prophet ﷺ said: No man accuses another man of being a sinner, or of being a Kafir, but it reflects back on him if the other is not as he called him” (Sahih al-Bukhari).
 Ibn Umar reported “Withhold [your tongues] from those who say `There is no god but Allah’ – do not call them Kafir. Whoever calls a reciter of `There is no god but Allah’ as a Kafir, is nearer to being a Kafir himself” (At-Tabarani).
 Khaddash ibn `Iyash (rh) related: “We were sitting in a circle in al-Kufa when a man among us said: “We were sitting with Abu Hurayra whereupon a young man passed by. A man sitting with us said: ‘This is a Kafir from among the people of the Fire.’ Abu Hurayra rose and went to speak with the young man, asking him: ‘Who are you?’ He replied: ‘Son-and-so, son of So-and-so.’ Abu Hurayra said: ‘Allah have mercy on your father!’ The young man was looking around, so he asked him: ‘What are you looking for?’ He replied: ‘I have not prayed yet.’ Abu Hurayra said: ‘So you pray?’ The young man replied: ‘Subhan’Allah (Glory be to Allah)!’ Abu Hurayra: ‘And you say Subhan Allah?’ He said: ‘La Ilaha ill Allah!!’ Abu Hurayra: ‘And you say La Ilaha illAllah?’ The young man said: ‘I would prefer not to leave Salat (prayer) even if I were given all there is on the face of the earth.’ Abu Hurayra said: ‘Allah have mercy on you. Allah have mercy on you. Allah have mercy on you.’ Then he came back to his seat in the circle and said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say: “Whoever bears testimony against a Muslim of which the latter is not deserving, let him prepare for his seat in the Fire”.'”
 Ibn ‘Umar (ra) relates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ observed: When a man calls his brother an unbeliever, it returns (at least) to one of them (Sahih Muslim).
 Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra) sent some money from Yemen to the Prophet ﷺ, and the Prophet ﷺ divided it among four men. There was a man who was there and said: “O Messenger of Allah, fear Allah!”
The Holy Prophet said: “Woe to you! Who on earth is more obliged to fear God than me!”
Khalid Ibn Walid was present. He said: “Messenger of Allah, should I not kill him?”
The Holy Prophet said: “No, perhaps he says his prayers.”
Khalid said: “Many are they who say their prayers, but do not have in their hearts what they say with their tongues.”
The Holy Prophet ﷺ said: “I have not been commanded to open up the hearts of people or to cut open their insides.” (Sahih Bukhari, Muslim).
 Imam Shafi‘i (rh) and Ahmad in their Musnads (chain) and Imam Malik in the Muwatta have recorded the report that once a man from among the Ansar (helper of the Prophet) was talking confidentially with the Holy Prophet ﷺ. Suddenly the Holy Prophet ﷺ said loudly [about someone]:
“Does he not bear witness that there is no god but Allah?”
The Ansari said:
“Yes indeed, O Messenger of Allah, but his testimony cannot be trusted.”
The Holy Prophet said:
“Does he not accept that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah?”
He again replied:
“Yes, he professes it but his profession cannot be trusted.”
The Holy Prophet said:
“Does he not pray?”
He again said:
“Yes he does, but his prayer cannot be trusted.”
The Holy Prophet said:
“God has forbidden me to kill such people.”
May everyone benefit from these words of reminder from the some of the greatest scholars ever.