The Prophet`s (Sallallaho alaihe Wasallam) Journey to Taif and his example of forgiveness to the insults:
Prophet(PBUH) was preaching the message of Allah to the people of Makkah as per the divine revelation. Even after his tries in 9 years most of the people remained defiant to his call. They did not let any stone un-turned to stop him from preaching.
Seeing the life in Makkah was becoming intolerable, Prophet (PBUH) decided to visit a near by city of Taif. He was hopeful, because Arabs were very hospitable people and they always treated their guests with much honor.
Prophet (PBUH) went and saw three cheiftains of the city. But they behaved extremely rudely to the Prophet (PBUH).
One mocked “Really? Allah made you a Prophet!”.
Another said “Did not Allah got anyone else to make the Prophet other than you?!”
The third said ” I don’t want to talk to you – If you really a Prophet and I reject, I’m in trouble, if you are not, why should I waste my time?”
Prophet (PBUH) was example of steadfastness. Seeing the cheiftains has rejected him, he set out to see the common people.
However, they behaved even rudely. They insulted him all the possible ways. They arranged street boys to shout and tount at him.
They asked him to get out of the city and started throwing stones at him in the streets.
He was pelted with the stones so much that he started bleeding.
Reaching out side of the city, the Prophet with much grief prayed to Allah to forgive his weakness and give him strength to carryout the message.
Hearing his prayers the heaven was shaken.
The Angel Gibreel (AS) came down to the Prophet (SAWS) and told him.
“O, Prophet of Allah, Allah knows what these people has done to you. If you wish I will ask the Angel of these mountains to crush these people inside the city”.
Even at this time of pain and extreme insult, the merciful Prophet (SAWS) said.
“Forgive them. They did it out of their ignorance. Even if they did not hear the call, there will be people from their progeny who will accept the call”.
Thus the Prophet (PBUH) himself has set a very high standard for the forgiveness for his followers.