Prophet Muhammad has so many admirable attributes embedded in himself.
But among all those attributes, I am always attracted to his compassionate and forgiving self – his ability to show utmost mercy and forgiveness to everyone, even his enemies! I always make a lot of research regarding this with hopes to better myself.
I am human, and I always try my best to not hurt other people. I believe in these sayings “What you give you get back” and also “If you do good, good will come to you”. However, the kind of treatment other people give me is beyond my control. I believe that all actions should be triggered and supported with common sense and also empathy, but unfortunately, it is evident that many people lack those two qualities.
But let’s face it, not everyone possesses the ability to forgive others.
“Hate” is a strong word for me. It breeds evil; an equivalent to Indian ink that blackens the whitest canvas with just one drop. It would take a whole lot of unimaginably horrible things for one to impose on me before I would actually permit myself to use the word “hate”. I try my best to avoid feeling hateful towards anyone, because I want my heart to be peaceful.
But Allah has better plans for me. He put me through several tests and as human, I succumbed to the evil whispers by Syaitan. The seed of hate was planted deep within my heart and caused chaos. I could not sit still, I am often irritable and I allowed myself to think of horrible thoughts to punish the person I hated. I thought it was permissible because I knew I was the victim, and it was the other party that wronged me.
Although I did nothing to take “revenge” or even attempted to give the person the right treatment I honestly think they deserved, I held back, and left it to Allah. I make Du’a to Allah for him to grant justice for me and to bestow me with His mercy so I am protected. And Alhamdulillah, Allah granted me with what I wanted.
But I was still in the same state. My heart was not peaceful. And it bothered me so much. I knew there was something wrong. So I did a lot of readings about Prophet Muhammad , on how he managed to handle situations that I was going through.
And I found my answer: Forgiveness.
That was what I lacked of.
Prophet Muhammad had gone through uncountable episodes of hardships, yet his heart was still so pure, still able to offer forgiveness genuinely without a single trace of inimicality. Reading through his experiences humbled me so much, MasyaAllah. It made me realize how trivial my problem is compared to what he has gone through. In fact, it is indeed incomparable!
Forgiveness is a favoured trait by Allah. This was mentioned in the Quran:
“And the retribution, the payback, of an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever forgives, overlooks and reconcile [OK, what will happen then?], then their reward is on Allah”
It is important to forgive because of these two things:
1. You need to learn to forgive to be forgiven
When we make Du’a to Allah, we seek for His forgiveness, we ask Him to erase our sins. We call out to Him, pray to Him begging for his mercy. “اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي” [O Allah you are forgiving and you love to forgive so please forgive me]. And Prophet Muhammad himself has guaranteed that Allah will forgive us of our wrongdoings through this hadith:
“اغْفِرُوا يَغْفِرِ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ” [Forgive and Allah will forgive you]
– Sahih Al-Adab Al-Mufrad
2. You need to learn to forgive because you deserve peace
To forgive is to learn to let go. Forgiving someone does not mean you are validating other people’s wrongdoing towards you. It’s about permitting yourself to be free from the pain, and to make way for more positivity into your inner self. Forgive not because they deserve it, but because YOU deserve peace.
More Quranic verses on forgiveness:
“Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant”
“Say to those who believe that they should forgive those who expect not the days with God, as it is for Him to recompense people people for what they have earned”
It was difficult for me to forgive this particular person for what they have caused me to go through. I was obstinate, hard-headed and told myself that they do not deserve forgiveness. And I realized how shallow I was. I was the one who made me go through this state, yet I blamed others for it.
“If they didn’t do this in the first place, I would not have been in this position” … was what I keep telling myself. I was bitter and angry – just like a child.
After thinking through and a lot of reflecting, I said to myself, Yes, but it happened. They started it. But it’s up to YOURSELF to end it.
I would like to share another wonderful saying that made me stronger to forgive:
“When someone hurts you or harms you, even if it is a deep wound, forgive them. Forgive them NOT for their sake, but as a sign of gratitude to Allah. Why you ask? For making you the victim and not the oppressor.
There is no crime in being a victim, rather it brings you closer to Allah and rids you of your sins. But as for the oppressor, they’ll have to face their Lord one day. So in reality, they are their own greatest victims.”
– Suhaib Webb
Salam Ramadhan and may this be beneficial to all of us, InsyaAllah.