An example of this is the jealousy of women, especially m the case of co-wives, some of whom may make mistakes that, if they were made by anyone else under normal circumstances, would be treated quite differently. The Prophet (SAW) used to pay special attention to the issue of jealousy among his wives and the mistakes that were made by them as a result, and the patience, justice and fairness with which he handled the matter are plain to see. An example of this is the report narrated by Bnkhan in his Saheeh from Anas (RA), who said: “The Prophet (SAW) was with one of his wives when another of the Mothers of the Believers (Prophet’s wives) sent a big vessel full of food to him. The wife in whose house the Prophet (SAW) was struck the hand of the servant, and the vessel fell and broke into two pieces. The Prophet (SAW) picked up the pieces and put them together, then he gathered up the food that had been in the vessel and said, ‘Your mother is jealous.’ Then he asked the servant to wait and gave him a whole vessel belonging to the wife in whose house he was, and kept the broken vessel in the house of the one who had broken it”158
According to a report narrated by an-Nasa’i (Kitab 'hhmt an-Ntsa j. Umm Salamah brought some food in a vessel belonging to her to the Messenger of Allah and his Companions, then ‘A’ishah came wrapped in a garment, carrying a stone, which she threw and broke the vessel. The Prophet (SAW) put the two halves back together and said, “Eat, your mother is jealous” he said it twice, then he took ‘A’ishah’s vessel
and sent it to Uinm Salamah, and gave Umm Salamah’s vessel to ‘A’ishah.
According to a report narrated by ad-Darimi (Kitab al- Buyoo Bab man kasara shay’an fa 'alayhi mithluhu) from Anas he said: “One of the wives of prophet (SAW)sent him a vessel in which was some thareed (a dish of sopped bread, meat and broth), when he was in the house of one of his other wives who struck the vessel and broke it. The Prophet (0J started to pick up the thareed and put it back into the broken vessel, saying, ‘Eat, your mother is jealous...’ ”
Women's jealousy is an inherent part of their nature that may cause them to do bad things and prevent them from seeing the consequences. It is said that when a woman is jealous, she cannot sec the bottom of a valley from its top.
Following this exploration of the Sunnah and the methods which the Prophet (*SAW) used in dealing with people’s mistakes, we should conclude by mentioning the following points:
— Correcting mistakes is obligatory and very important. It is part of an-naseehah (giving sincere advice) and forbidding what is evil, but it should be remembered that Islam is not only about forbidding what is evil; we are also commanded to enjoin what is good.
— Education and training are not merely the matter of correcting mistakes. They also involve teaching and showing the basic principles of religion and the rules of skaree ‘ak, and using various methods to establish these concepts firmly in people’s minds and hearts, by example, exhorting them, telling stories, or by discussing incidents, etc. From this, it is elear that some parents and teachers are falling short by confining their efforts only to addressing mistakes without paying due attention to teaching the basics or dealing with mistakes before they happen by instilling that which will protect people from committing mistakes in the first place, or at least reduce their impact.
— It is clear from the incidents and stories mentioned above that the Prophet (SAW) used different approaches in dealing with different mistakes. This is because circumstances and personalities vary. Whoever understands this and wants to follow suit must compare the situation he is dealing with to these examples to find the one that most closely resembles it, so that he can determine the most appropriate approach to use.
We ask Allah, may He be Glorified and Exalted, to guide us and protect us, to make us openers of the doors of good and closers of those of evil, and to guide others through us, for He is the All-Hearing, the Ever-Near, Who answers prayers. He is the Best of supporters and the Best of helpers, and He is the Guide to the Straight Path. May Allah bless the unlettered Prophet (SAW), all his family and Companions and Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.