Saturday, January 19, 2013

Personal Accountability

In Arabia the tribes continued to fight with each other for generations. If a member of one tribe was killed it was quite appropriate to kill any member of another tribe. This kind of retaliation fed the fire of hatred and skirmishes which continued from generation to generation.

Islam ended this enmity and united all the Arabs into the common brotherhood of Islam. The tribes came to Madinah to accept Islam. Many of them settled down there.

It was Friday and Rasulullah (sallal alaho alahie wasallam) was giving a sermon to the people who had come from tribes far away to hear him. People from the tribe of Banu Tha'labah had come. This tribe was hostile to the tribes of Madinah. An Ansari recognizing these people, felt anger inside himself. A member of his family had been killed by the Banu Tha'labah. He stood up and told Rasulullah (sallal alaho alahie wasallam), "0 Rasulullah, these people have killed members of my family. Today, they have come to us. I beg that you allow the execution of a member of their family.

Rasulullah (sallal alaho alahie wasallam) said, "The Qur'an established that no one's burden will fall on any other. Retaliation for the father will not be acceptable from the son. Everyone is responsible for his own actions."

The Ansari Sahabi (radi alaho anho) heard this from Rasulullah (sallal alaho alahie wasallam) and realized that the light of Islam had removed the hatred of Kufr. No one should be killed for the crime of another member of the family.