Once he passed a group of people crowding around a man. They began insulting and beating the man. He came up to them and said: "What's the matter?" "This is a man who has committed a grave sin," they replied.
"What do you think you would do if he had fallen into a well?" asked Abu Darda'. "Wouldn't you try to get him out?"
"Certainly," they said.
"Don't insult him and don't beat him. Instead admonish him and make him aware of the consequences of what he had done. Then give praise to God who has preserved you from falling into such a sin."
"Don't you hate him?" they asked Abu Darda'.
"I only detest what he had done and if he abandons such practice, he is my brother." The man began to cry and publicly announced his repentance.
from Companions of the prophet, AbdulWahid Hamid.