78. Malice

Allah, the Wise, has said:

وَ نَزَعْنَا مَا فىِ صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍ‏ّ ‏

“And We will remove whatever of ill-feeling is in their breasts”1

The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) said:

المومن ليس بحقود

“A Mu'min is never malicious”2

Short Explanation

Malice is housed within the soul. A malicious person, because of the fact that he cannot prevail over his opponent or has been insulted, abused, suffered false allegations or has been deprived of rank or riches, continues to harbour enmity towards a person and awaits for an opportune and sensitive moment when he can overcome and destroy him.

A malicious person, upon witnessing the person whom he resents, is always disturbed; the flames of malice and acrimony, if not checked, would only intensify to an extent that when the faculty of reason and intellect gets overpowered by the faculty of anger, man, God forbid, perpetrates an act, repentance over which does not yield any benefit.

A Mu'min is never malicious and vindictive, either entrusting the evils committed by a person to God, or pardoning and disregarding them – always seeking assistance from the faculty of reason so as to prevent himself from burning in the flames of malice and rancour.3

1) Maliciousness of Waleed

A’qabah, the father of Waleed (the governor of Kufah), had once spat upon the face of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) in Mecca. He had joined the ranks of the infidels in the battle of Badr. When the infidels were defeated, Aqabah was taken captive and brought before the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny), who ordered Amirul Mu'mineen (peace be upon him) to put him to death.

Consequently, his son Waleed, who had been appointed the governor of Kufah during the caliphate of U'thman, always harboured malice towards Amirul Mu'mineen (peace be upon him) and continued to abuse him (peace be upon him) throughout his life.

When Waleed fell ill, Imam Hasan (peace be upon him) paid him a visit. He opened his eyes and witnessing Imam Hasan (peace be upon him) said: I am repentant of all my past deeds and seek God’s forgiveness for them, except the abuses which I hurled at your father, for which I am not repentant.

The Imam (peace be upon him) said: My father had killed your father and had punished you (for consuming wine) and this is the reason of your animosity towards him (and it is this malice that has provoked you to abuse him).4

2) Ibn Sallaar

In the sixth century a person by the name of Ibn Sallaar, one of the officers of the Egyptian army, rose to the rank of minister and ruled over the people with comprehensive power and authority.

On the one hand he was courageous, intelligent and active, while on the other hand self-centered and malicious and hence, while he was a minister, he not only served the people but also committed great and numerous acts of oppression.

During the time when he was a soldier in the army, he was sentenced to pay certain damages and compensation. He appealed to Abi al-Karam, the clerk of the treasury, for justice, but Abi al-Karam refused to consider his explanations and upheld the sentence saying: Your words do not enter into my ears. Ibn Sallaar was infuriated and continued to harbour malice towards him. When he became the minister and an opportunity presented itself for revenge, he had Abi al-Karam arrested and ordered a long nail to be hammered into one of his ear till it emerged from the other one.

While the nail was being hammered, whenever Abi al-Karam would shriek out in pain, Ibn Sallaar would say: Now my words have entered into your ears!

Later, upon Ibn Sallaar’s orders, the lifeless body of Abi al-Karam with the hammered nail was hung up on the gallows.5

3) Rancour Transforms into Friendship

Shaibah’s father was called U'thman, who, along with the other disbelievers, was killed in the battle of Uhud. Since the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) had killed his father and eight persons from his family, Shaibah held an intense grudge against him.

He himself said: There was none towards whom I harboured more animosity than Muhammad, for he had killed eight persons from my family, all of whom possessed the competence and ability to be leaders and commanders. I had always nurtured the idea of killing him but, after the conquest of Mecca, I lost hope of achieving my goal for I used to think: How would it be possible for me to achieve my objective when all the Arabs had flocked into his religion.

However when the people of Hawaazan united in their opposition towards him (peace be upon him) and declared their intention to fight him (peace be upon him and his holy progeny), the desire of mine was to a certain extent rekindled within my heart. But the problem that lay before me was that he (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) was surrounded by ten thousand soldiers!

However when the Muslim forces fled in their first encounter with the forces of Hawaazan, I said to myself: This is the opportunity to achieve my objective and take revenge for the killings (of the family members).

I attacked the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) from the right flank but found A'bbas, his uncle, guarding him. Coming up from the left flank, I realized that Abu Sufiyaan Ibn Haarith, (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) was vigilant of him and said to myself: This person guarding Muhammad is also a brave person.

I then came up from behind up and reached so close that my sword was about to reach him when suddenly, a veil of fire appeared as a barrier between him and me leaving my eyes dazzled with its intensity. Covering my face with my hands I retreated, realizing that he was under God’s protection.

The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) became aware of me and said: Shaibah come near. When I had done so, he (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) placed his hand upon my chest and said: O’ Lord! Ward away the Shaitaan from him. Now when he looked at me, I found him to be dearer to me than my own self and all the former rancour had been transformed into friendship and affection.

I then engaged myself in fighting against the enemies and was so devoted in assisting the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) that even if my father were to have stood up before me, I would have killed him too.

After the battle had concluded, he (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) said to me: What God has desired for you is better than what you had desired for yourself.6

4) The Vindictive Hypocrite

Rancour and malice are of the signs of hypocritical individuals and during the time of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny), they used to manifest these in various forms.

Once the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) was seated in the mosque in the company of a group of Muhaajir (The Emigrants) and Ansaar (The Helpers), when suddenly Ali (peace be upon him) entered. Those present rose up in respect and warmly welcomed him till he (peace be upon him) sat in his usual place - near the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny).

Meanwhile, two individuals in the gathering who were being suspected of hypocrisy, began to whisper to each other.

Observing them, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) realized why they were speaking amongst themselves. This enraged him so much that the signs of infuriation became manifest upon his face. He then said: By The One in Whose power lies my soul! None shall enter Paradise except he who loves me. And do know that one who imagines that he loves me but regards this person as an enemy (Ali Ibn Abi Talib), is a liar.

At this moment Ali’s hand was in the hand of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) and the following verse was revealed7: O you who believe! when you confer together in private, do not give to each other counsel of sin and revolt and disobedience to the Messenger, and give to each other counsel of goodness and guarding (against evil); and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, to Whom you shall be gathered together. 8

5) The Liver Eating Hind

In the battle of Uhud, Hamzah, the Chief of the Martyrs and the uncle of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) killed nearly thirty people before he was eventually martyred.

Hind, the wife of Abu Sufiyaan, in maliciousness, had no parallel amongst all the ladies of her time. She promised Wahshi, the slave of Jubair Ibn Muti’m, great wealth and riches if he would kill Hamzah. Thus Wahshi lay in ambush for Hamzah, and pierced his dagger into Hamzah’s body and killed him.

As per the instructions of Hind, he then split open Hamzah’s stomach and removed his liver. When it was brought before Hind, she began to bite it and it is because of this that Hind came to be notoriously known as ‘liver-eater’.

As per her promise, Hind gave all her ornaments to Wahshi. Then coming to the body of Hamzah, due to the malice that had existed in her heart, she cut off his ears, nose, lips and proceeded to make a crude necklace out of them so that she could take it to Mecca and display it to the ladies there. The other ladies of Mecca followed suit in mutilating the bodies of the other martyrs.

The vindictive Abu Sufiyaan too, when he stood over the body of Hamzah, pierced his spear into a corner of his mouth and said: O’ disowned one! Taste this!9

  • 1. Holy Qur'an, ch. Al-Aa’raaf (7), vs. 43.
  • 2. Jaame' al-Sa'adaat, vol. 1, pg. 311.
  • 3. Ihyaa al-Quloob, pg. 64.
  • 4. Kaifer-e-Kirdaar, vol. 1, pg. 109.
  • 5. Daastaan-ha Wa Pand-ha, vol. 1, pg. 163; Lughat Naameh-e-Dehkhuda, Abu Sa’d, pg. 320.
  • 6. Paighambar Wa Yaaraan, vol. 3, pg. 298; Bihaar al-Anwaar, vol. 21, pg. 156.
  • 7. Holy Qur'an, ch. Al-Mujaadilah (58), vs. 9
    يَأَيهَُّا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ إِذَا تَنَاجَيْتُمْ فَلَا تَتَنَاجَوْاْ بِالْاثْمِ وَ الْعُدْوَانِ وَ مَعْصِيَتِ الرَّسُولِ وَ تَنَاجَوْاْ بِالْبرِِّ وَ التَّقْوَى‏ وَ اتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ الَّذِى إِلَيْهِ تحُْشَرُون‏
  • 8. Hikaayat-ha-e-Shanidani, vol. 4, pg. 159; Bihaar al-Anwaar, vol. 39, pg. 270.
  • 9. Muntahal Aa’maal, vol. 1, pg. 61.