In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
It is said that forgiveness is the fragrance that flowers give when they are crushed.
In an example given by the Promised Messiah (as), to explain why the Prophet of Allah ﷺ had to endure so much suffering in his life, he reasoned that the only way to understand true value is through comparison.
He gave the example of a flower’s true beauty and tenderness, which becomes more pronounced when it stands against the thorns. In essence, this is why the Holy Prophet’s life was full of thorns, sometimes very literally, because his enemies would spread sharp thorns in front of his house, hoping to pierce the skin of his feet as he walked to prayer. But the Holy Prophet ﷺ was enabled by God to endure all the assaults with magnificent patience and forgiveness.
Each trial was an opportunity to demonstrate many of Allah’s attributes. The Holy Prophet ﷺ personifies Allah’s attribute of, ‘Al-Ghafoor’ the Most Forgiving, in various events in his life proving that he, indeed is, ‘Ya Sin’1: The perfect man, and indeed he is a fountain of forgiveness.
A famous incident in our beloved Holy Prophet’s life was when there was an older woman who had made a habit of throwing waste on the Holy Prophet ﷺ whenever he passed by her house. The story about this incident tells of a neighbour of the Prophet ﷺ that tried her best to irritate him by throwing rubbish on him every day. The waste was not old paper or plastic, she threw decade food and animal body parts, she saved this nasty rubbish all day, every day, just to throw it on the Holy Prophet ﷺ when he walked by her window.
She was so consistent in her actions that the Holy Prophet ﷺ noticed when she missed a few days, and when he asked about her and found out that she was sick, he went to visit her and offered her any assistance she might need. He took care of her and was gentle and loving, and served her water. After first witnessing his patience and now his total and complete forgiveness, this woman’s heart humbled, and she accepted Islam at the Prophet’s hands.
What led this woman to have such a dedication in her hatred for the Holy Prophet ﷺ?
She had been influenced by people who told her lies about the Holy Prophet ﷺ. Of course, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ naturally understood how susceptible humans are to propaganda.
The Holy Prophet’s ﷺ example of forgiveness is as relevant today as it was at the time of the Prophet ﷺ because this happens at the age of every Prophet. And today, society is exposed to similar propaganda daily. Whenever we look at our phones, we see the mainstream media creating fear of Muslims and confusion about Islam. When people act out in fear built on confusion and ignorance, most of them have no idea what they are doing. This is why the example of our Holy Prophet’s forgiveness is essential regardless of any era.
Not only did he forgive his enemies, but he also prayed for them reluctantly asking Allah to forgive them as well.
‘And it is by the great mercy of Allah that thou art kind towards them, and if thou hadst been rough and hard-hearted, they would surely have dispersed from around thee. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them…’ [Holy Qur’an 3:160]2
Hazarat Ayesha (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet ﷺ would never be harsh with his wives and never raise a hand to them, contrary to the unforgiving behaviour of the pre-Islamic Arabs. She further relates that Prophet ﷺ never returned evil for evil and never held anyone’s past against them. Instead, he would forgive and pardon at every occasion.
He even forgave Habor, the man who attacked his daughter, Hazrat Zaynab (ra), causing her to lose her unborn child. Then there is Hind, the woman who cut organs out of his beloved uncle, Hazrat Hamzah (ra), so that she could chew on them in her insane rage. The Holy Prophet ﷺ forgave her too and prayed for her.
Imagine confronting the man responsible for the deaths of your wife, your daughter, your favourite uncle, or your friends. Would you meet them with anger? Would you be able to forgive them the same way Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did?
Most of us are familiar with what happened when Prophet Muhammad ﷺ returned to Makkah victorious and confronted his enemies after years in exile. The world witnessed the single most generous act of forgiveness in recorded history. To those Makkans who had sworn to destroy Islam, the Holy Prophet ﷺ stated, ‘No blame shall lie on you this day. May Allah forgive you.’
Even though they torched him, poisoned him, mocked him, had thrown waste and filth on him and lay thorns all around his house, they received nothing but love, comfort, and forgiveness from the noble Prophet of Allah ﷺ.
‘And good and evil are not alike. Repel evil with that which is best. And lo, he between whom and thyself was enmity will become as though he were a warm friend.’ [Holy Qur’an 41:35]3
 https://youtu.be/pDWdj0B3UiY Maaz Bajwa, reference
 ‘Ya Sin.’ [Holy Quran 36:2]
 [Quran 3:160]
 [Quran 41:35]