To do favor is an exalted quality that God and His exalted Apostle concern a lot. How beautiful is the following saying:
“To do favor to kindness belongs to everybody,
To do favor to wickedness belongs to a man.”
Then, this quality belongs to the Men of God.
Yet, every believer should try to be a special, brave man and aim to acquire this beautiful and exalted quality.
Let’s see how the name “Shah-i Merdan-the King of the Men of God” was given to Hz. Ali (k.v.):
We believe that most of the Muslims had heard the following narrative from their ancestors;
During our Prophet’s time, once our Muslim brothers asked each other: “We wonder why our Prophet (a.s.v.) likes Hz. Ali very much?” This was heard by our Prophet obviously and so our Master asked Hz. Omar (r.a.):
-O Omar! What would you do if somebody did evil to you?
Hz. Omar said:
-O the beautiful Apostle of God, I would forgive him.
Our Prophet asked once more:
“What would you do if he did again?
He said: “I would forgive him again.”
When Our Prophet asked him what he would do if he committed it again, Hz. Omar gave no answer.
Then, he asked the same question to Hz. Abu Baqir (r.a.) and to the people who were present there and they gave no answers when it was asked them three or four times.
Afterwards, when he asked the same question to Hz. Ali (k.v.), he said he would forgive him at each time. He asked him seven times and he answered: “O the Prophet of Allah, I would forgive him again” and added saying: “O the beloved of Great God! I do not want your holy tongue to be tired! I would forgive the person who did wickedness to me not considering how many times he committed it. I would treat him kindly each time in return of his wickedness.”
Thus, our Prophet (a.s.v.) explained his friends why he loved Hz. Ali most and how Hz. Ali was given the name: “Shah-i Merdan-ı Hodest- the Leader of the Men of God”.
The man of God is the person who has control over his carnal desires and who does not obey the evil desires of his self and who struggles against them and who objects to his bodily desires with the holy sword Dhulfikar of “La ilahe illallah-There is no God but Allah.”
Manliness (masculinity) is a quality of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is man (powerful, positive). He is so powerful that he does not obey his self and falsehood. The person who does not obey carnal desires of the self struggles against wicked desires.
The faithful woman who struggles against her self is also a man. In Islamic World, our mothers such as Fatima, Aysha and Rabia who did not obey the evil desires of the self are also manly.
The man who cannot fight against his self is also female (negative) because manliness is not related with hair and beard. The woman who does not obey carnal desires is more manly and braver than the man who obeys his self.
To do kindness to wickedness is a quality of the Exalted God. One of His names is: “Afüv- The Forgiving”. Therefore, to do kindness to wickedness is a divine quality. The quality of forgiving is the most exalted (superior) quality for a believer who has faith in God. Our Most High God forgives us every time we commit an evil deed until we go beyond bounds and do not respect Him.
The Exalted God is so great, so kind, and so merciful and so forgiving that He forgives His sinful servants same as a kind mother takes care of his bad children. The quality of forgiving and kindness of a mother is from the Most Merciful, the Most Exalted God. (1) God said in the Koran:
“Hözi’l afve ve’mür bi’l maruf ve arid ani’l cahilin-Show forgiveness, enjoin kindness and turn away from the ignorant.” (Al-A’raf, 199)
Show forgiveness….that is to say: Qualify yourself with it, with the quality of God because one of the beautiful names of God is “Afüv-The Forgiving One”.
What a beautiful word of God, isn’t it? “Show forgiveness! Enjoin kindness! Turn away from the ignorant!” What a pity that ignorance or having no knowledge is just like a deadly, contagious disease.
Therefore, He commanded to avoid from the ignorant-those who do not know. Which religion has attached so much importance to knowledge?
However we should be informed about the important saying of Hz. Ali, who was deserved the name “The Leader of the Men of God”, on forgiveness and not forget it:
This Exalted Saint of God says: “Forgive the wickedness done to you, but do not forgive those who did wickedness to your state, your country and your nation!”
This must be known very well. You should not forgive those who committed evil and who were treacherous to peopleand nation and by this way to Religion because to forgive such people means to do wickedness to society.
But a person should try to forgive the person who does evil to him and try to join the group of “the forgiving ones”and become one of the men of God.
But there are exploiters of this subject as in all the matters. We should be cautious against them and if they go beyond bounds, you must warn them by giving the feeling or belief they can be harmed for this.
I would like to finish my words with a prayer of Mother Aysha and with a sacred saying of the Prophet:
“My God! You are the forgiving One and you like to forgive very much, so forgive me! (2)
How beautiful is the prayer of Aydi Baba from the Khalwati Sheikhs of Antep:
“Forgive me! I repented for the love of Mustafa!
Ensure us from what we are frightened for the sake of Murtaza!” (3)
May God forgive us-the sinful servants who commit evil to His favors with His name “the Forgiving” and for the sake of His Great Prophet (a.s.v.), Hz. Ali (k.v.), who is the Leader of the Men of God, His most precious friend Hz. Abubakir (r.a.) and for the sake of all the forgiving Men of God! Ah! Ah!
“If a person commits a thousand sins, he has to sigh a thousand days.
I committed a thousand sins but I have no sigh even for one day.
You gave us glad tidings from God’s mercy, (4) O Lord!
Send your interceder to these rebellious people, O Lord!”
(1) Our Great Prophet says: “God the Most High protects His believer servant from the worldly things same as one of you protects his patient from illness.” (Thirmizi and Hakim)
(2) From Ibn Mace and Hakim; Ghazzali, İhya, vol.1, p.911 Bedir Publ. İstanbul
(3) “Neccina minma nehaf” means “Ensure us from what we are frightened!”
(4) “La takneti min rahmetillah- Do not despair from God’s mercy!” (Zumar, 53)
__________________________________________________________ KAZIM YARDIMCI/ADIYAMAN