SubhanAllah, we all know the story about the accusations that were forged against ‘Aishah (رضالله عنها), but in addition to that story, the tafsir for Surat An-Nur (Surah 24), ayah 22, reveals another story–a story of forgiveness, a story of compassion, a story demonstrating the superiority of those who act for the sake of Allah (may Allah make us of them).
Mistah was the cousin of As-Siddiq (رضالله عنه). He was the son of Abu Bakr’s maternal aunt, and a poor man with no wealth except whatever Abu Bakr spent on him. He was one of those who had migrated for the sake of Allah, and he invented the lies and the slander against ‘Aishah (رضالله عنها).
As-Siddiq (Abu Bakr) was known for his generosity, and he did favors for his relatives and strangers alike; but when Allah revealed the ayah to confirm ‘Aishah’s innocence (from the slander invented by Mistah), Abu Bakr (رضالله عنه) swore he would not help Mistah. In fact, he said, “By Allah, I will never spend on him,” (and in another version, “By Allah, I will never provide for Mistah anything after what he has said about ‘Aishah.”)
Then Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) revealed:
Translation: And let not those among you who are blessed with graces and wealth swear not to give to their kinsmen, al-Masaakeen [the poor], and those who left their homes for Allah’s Cause. Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Al-Ghafuwr (the Most-Forgiving), Ar-Raheem (the Most Merciful). [Surah Noor, verse 22]
This is part of the patience, generosity and kindness of Allah towards His creation, despite the fact that they wrong themselves. After Allah revealed the innocence of the Mother of the believers, ‘Aishah, the believers were happy and content with the outcome of the incident. Those believers who had talked about the matter repented, and the prescribed punishment had been carried out upon those on whom it was carried out. Then, Allah softened the heart of As-Siddiq towards his relative Mistah bin Uthathah.
When Allah revealed, “Do you not love that Allah should forgive you,”–which shows that the reward fits the action, and that if you forgive others, you will be forgiven,–then As-Siddiq (Abu Bakr) said, “Of course, by Allah, we love–o our Lord–that You should forgive us.” Then he resumed his spending on Mistah and said, “By Allah I will never stop spending on him.”
SubhanAllah, after everything his family and his daughter went through as a result of the slanderous tale, all it took was one ayah and a reminder about forgiveness and the Forgiveness of Allah. May Allah grant us the wisdom and ability to be stubborn and strong when stubbornness and strength are necessary, and to be gentle and forgiving when gentleness and forgiveness are appropriate. May He grant us the status of those who love for His sake and hate for His sake. Ameen!
Source: Much of this is quoted directly from Tafsir Ibn Katheer, though sections also come from Women Around the Messenger by Muhammad ‘Ali Qutb.
Any error is my own, and all that is good and correct is from Allah.