Being Forgiving and Tolerant, Whilst Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil – by Imaam Ibnul Qayyim
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said:
There is no doubt that the one who is obeyed by the people [finds himself in] three situations: Firstly, he gives them orders and prohibits them [from certain actions] for their own welfare. Secondly, he obligates on them that which they must do in order to obey him. Thirdly, the people with him are of divided two categories: The loyal one who agrees with him and the obstinate one who opposes him, and they have rights he must fulfil. His obligation with regards to giving them orders and restraining them [from evil] is that he commands them with good in order to bring about rectification for them in their personal affairs and forbids them from what is in opposition that.
His Obligations towards the Obedient Ones:
His obligation towards those who obey him is that he enjoins on them that which is easy. He should be generous to those who are submissive and are not hesitant to obey him. He should not burden them with hardship and difficulties, and thus corrupts their affair.
His Obligations towards the Foolish Ones:
His obligation towards the foolish ones – those who act foolishness towards him- is that he turns away from them, neither responding to them in like manner nor taking revenge against them for himself. Indeed, Allaah [The Most High] said to His Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam]:
خُذِ ٱلۡعَفۡوَ وَأۡمُرۡ بِٱلۡعُرۡفِ وَأَعۡرِضۡ عَنِ ٱلۡجَـٰهِلِينَ
Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish.
And what is intended [in this ayah] is not that [one] turns away from the one who has no knowledge and not to teach and guide him, rather what is intended is that [one] turns away from the foolishness of the one who behaves foolishly towards him, and he does not respond to him in like manner. This Ayah contains the affair of excellent social relationship with the people – fulfilling their rights and safeguarding oneself from their evil. And had all the people adhered to this ayah, it would have sufficed them and brought them close to one another, for indeed being forgiving [in reality] is to overlook the [bad] manners of the people and being tolerant towards their characters.
[Source: For further details, see Badaa’i At-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnu Qayyim Al-Jawzee: Vol: 1: page: 434-436. (abridged & slightly paraphrased)]