Among The Excellent Ways By Way of Which a Person Fulfils the Rights of the People and Safeguards Himself (or Herself) From Their Evil!
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Allaah (The Most High) said:
خُذِ ٱلۡعَفۡوَ وَأۡمُرۡ بِٱلۡعُرۡفِ وَأَعۡرِضۡ عَنِ ٱلۡجَـٰهِلِينَ
Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish. [7:199]
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 commands and prohibits them for their own welfare. Secondly, he imposes on them that which is incumbent them of obedience to him.
Thirdly, the people with him are of two types: The loyal one, who in agreement with him and the obstinate one who in opposition to him, and he has obligations towards each one of them. His obligation with regards to commanding and prohibiting them is that he commands them with that good in which is contained rectification for them and for their personal affairs, and he forbids them from that which is in opposition to it.
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]