By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS
â€œHOLD TO FORGIVENESS; COMMAND WHAT IS RIGHT; BUT TURN AWAY FROM THE IGNORANTâ€ 7:199
â€œTELL THOSE WHO BELIEVE TO FORGIVE THOSE WHO DO NOT LOOK FORWARD TO THE DAYS OF ALLAH: IT IS FOR HIM TO RECOMPENSE (FOR GOOD OR ILL) EACH PEOPLE ACCORDING TO WHAT THEY HAVE EARNED. 45:14
Has someone done you wrong? Does it seem that someone has or is going out of their way to do harm to you? Do you seem to be consumed with the thought of these acts of injustice to you? Before you lose your mind, stop and assess your situation, and know this – NOW IS THE TIME FOR FORGIVENESS.
You might say, â€œwhy should I forgive someone who hurt me? After all, I didnâ€™t do anything to them. They should ask me for forgiveness.â€ That might be true to a certain extent, but look at it this way. Your human qualities are far above what Satan and the Jinns desire for you.
You should forgive because it takes the burden of someone elseâ€™s problem off your shoulders. Forgiveness releases the heavy yoke of self-oppression from you. If your adversary knows that he/she has consumed your thoughts with their wicked deeds, it only adds to their delight to see you squirm.
Let us look at our human example, Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (s), who was full of forgiveness. One strong enemy of the Prophet (s) used to throw feces and sharp thorns in the prophetâ€™s walkway every day. The Prophet (s) would calmly sweep it up and say nothing. Then one day he noticed that his walkway was clean. No one had thrown anything on it. Seeing this, the Prophet (s) promptly went to the man and inquired of his health. The humble character of the Prophet (s) so impressed the man that he eventually accepted Al-Islam.
And of course we all know that we would not breathe another breath if it were not for the ever-present forgiveness of ALLAH on us. ALLAH says all through the Qurâ€™an that He is the Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate. If He were to punish us according to our deeds, there would be no one left on the earth. Now since ALLAH is so forgiving, (ultra-forgiving) and Prophet Muhammad (s), following the direction of ALLAH, exercises the ultimate human level of forgiveness, doesnâ€™t it behoove us to follow their lead and attempt to do the same? As in all directives of ALLAH, the purpose of the directive is to uplift the human being. When we attempt to follow ALLAH and emulate the Messenger (s), there is a promised benefit in it for us â€“ and that benefit is peace of mind.
Walk up to a brother or sister who you believe has done you a disservice and ask them to forgive you for anything you might have done to them, either knowingly or unknowingly. Instantly you will feel a great lifting of doom and ugliness from your heart if the right intention was there (the pleasure of ALLAH). And of course, if you are aware that you have wronged someone, be big enough to approach that person and ask them to forgive you – then go and strive to be upright after that. If they accept your apology you have made peace in that particular relationship. If they donâ€™t accept your apology then at least you have lifted the cloud from yourself and you will go about your day with less of a burden on your shoulders.
If we just follow these simple rules of Islamic etiquette, our minds and hearts will be light and peaceful. We will also be responsible for remaking the world into one of peace.
This is also showing Almighty ALLAH that we are grateful to Him for making us a human being â€“ the greatest of all creation â€“ and puts the bad Jinn in his place â€“ under you.
As Salaam alaikum
Al Hajj Imam Abdullah El-Amin