A companion of the Prophet named Nu’ayman was addicted to alcohol and continued to drink it despite knowing the ruling against intoxicants. Nu’ayman struggled with his addiction, and was flogged twice for being drunk.
Upon the second flogging, Omar, who was angered by Nu’ayman’s behavior, quipped: “May God’s curse be on him.”
The Prophet was quick to intervene: “No, no, don’t do [such a thing]. Indeed he loves God and His Apostle. The major sin [as this] does not put one outside the community and the mercy of God is close to the believers.” (Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet was not too proud to associate with this man who committed a major sin. He did not isolate this man because of his faults. Nor was he too proud to defend Nu’ayman from Umar’s insult.
The Prophet knew that Allah created us with weakness and that driving those who sin out of Islam would leave the Ummah empty.
We need to protect ourselves from thinking we are better than others. We must understand that the foundation of humility is knowing that if we are elevated in status, it is only because of Allah. We can be brought to the level of those we look down on if Allah wills.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked Allah for humility by saying: “O Allah, make me live humbly and make me die humbly, and gather me among the humble on the day of resurrection.” (At-Tirmidhi, 2352)