A beautiful example – why can’t we be like this?
Rabi’ah al-Aslami narrated:
“I used to serve the Messenger of Allah. So, he gave me a piece of land, and gave Abu Bakr a piece of land. Then, the worldly life came and and we argued over a bunch of palm trees, and Abu Bakr said: “It is in my piece of land!” and I said: “It is in my piece of land!” Then, there was an exchange of words between Abu Bakr and myself. So, Abu Bakr said something to me that I disliked, and he regretted that.
So, he said to me: “O Rabi’ah! Say back to me what I said to you so that we would be equal.”
I said: “I will not do so!”
Abu Bakr said: “Say it, or I will call the Messenger of Allah on you!”
I said: “I will not do so.”
So, Abu Bakr – may Allaah be pleased with him – went to the Prophet and I followed him, so the people from (the tribe of) Aslam came and said: “May Allah have mercy on Abu Bakr! Why would he call the Messenger of Allah on you when he (the Prophet) has said to you what he has said?”
So, I said: “Do you know who that is? That is Abu Bakr as-Siddiq! He is the one who was in the Cave with the Prophet, and he is the elder of the Muslims! So, you had better not cause him to turn around and see you helping me against him, making him angry, causing the Messenger of Allah to come and become angry because of Abu Bakr’s anger, thereby causing Allah to become angry for both of their anger, thereby causing me to be destroyed!”
So, they said: “So, what do you want us to do?”
I said: “Go back to where you came from.”
So, Abu Bakr went to the Messenger of Allah and I followed him by myself and continued until he got to the Prophet and informed him of our conversation as it happened.
So, he (the Prophet) raised his head to me and said: “O Rabi’ah! What is going on between you and as-Siddiq?”
So, I said: “O Messenger of Allah, this happened and that happened, and he said something to me that I disliked, and he told me to say the same thing back to him so that we would be equal.”
So, the Messenger of Allah said: “Do not return his comment to him. Rather, say ‘May Allah forgive you, O Abu Bakr! May Allah forgive you O Abu Bakr!’ “
So, Abu Bakr – may Allah have Mercy on him – turned his face and began to cry.”
[‘as-Silsilah as-Sahihah’; # 3258]