February 12th, 2016This Week's Khutbah
The Importance of Forgiving Others
Did You Really Forgive That Person?
Most of us know there are several ayat (often translated as “verses”, but “signs” is a more appropriate word) about the importance of forgiving others in our lives.
Then the interesting bit comes— bringing it into practice. To be really honest with yourself, have you always forgiven others for the wrongs they’ve done to you? Or have you just said, “I forgive you,” while ill feelings lingered in your heart?
Let’s look at one part of this beautiful ayah:
“. . . and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Quran 24:22]
Allah SWT created us and He knows what is best for us. This is something we often seem to forget. Allah knows it can be very hard to really forgive someone who hurt you and in this ayah we are given the greatest motivation to push ourselves to forgive; it’s Allah’s forgiveness.
Forgive to Be Forgiven!
Allah ‘azza wajal is telling us here what the big motivator is for us suppressing our nafs (ego) and forgiving other people, even when they don’t even ask for our forgiveness.
We do it for Allah.
That is the importance of forgiveness. There’s no space for a big ego if you want to be forgiven by Allah SWT.
When we think of forgiveness we mostly think of Allah’s forgiveness and we forget how important it is that we also forgive. We need to remember both, because if we don’t forgive we do wrong in our relationship with Allah as well as in our relationships with each other. How can we expect Allah SWT to forgive us, while we are not even willing to forgive others?
The Miracle of the Quran: the Benefits of Forgiving Others
American scientists recently discovered that stress-related backache, insomnia and stomachaches were significantly reduced among individuals who had the habit of forgiving others.
So forgiving others improves your physical ability and lightens your heart, which makes it the recipient of a great source of reward from Allah ‘azza wajal— also an amazing productivity tip!
The Struggle, the Reward
Our journey to the Hereafter is full of difficulties and tests, this is our way to prove who we are and this process includes injustice being done to us at the hands of others. If we truly want Allah’s love and forgiveness we must remember that the hurts of this world are only temporary.
Look at this beautiful treasure: I guarantee a house in Jannah (Paradise) for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a house in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners. [Imam Abu Dawud]
To motivate us to be the first in showing our good behaviour, there is a beautiful hadith. How many of us know that it is not allowed to be in an argument and keep away from another Muslim for more than three days?
The Prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: It is not permissible for a man to forsake his Muslim brother for more than three days, each of them turning away from the other when they meet. The better of them is the one who gives the greeting of salaam first. [al-Bukhari, 5727; Muslim, 2560].
Forgiving others is crucial for our success in the Hereafter; one forgives to seek forgiveness. But forgiving others also brings lots of physical and spiritual benefits in this world!
To inspire us to fight our ego and really try to forgive with our hearts and not only with our lips,
Abu Sa’id al Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: When the believers pass safely over (the bridge across) Hell, they will be stopped at a bridge (the siraat) between Hell and Paradise where they will retaliate against one another for the injustices done among them in the world, and when they are purified of all their sins, they will be admitted to Paradise. By Him in Whose hands the life of Muhammad is, everybody will recognize his dwelling in Paradise better than he recognizes his dwelling in this world. [al-Bukhari, Fath Al-Bari]
So think about Allah, your Most Beloved, and think about your ego. The choice is yours.
Imagine that moment on the siraat when those who you wronged will be free to take away your hasanat and you might end up not having enough left to pass to Jannah.
1. Ask forgiveness from others and forgive those you have ill-feelings for asap.
You can make a general email or a text for all your friends/family/colleagues saying eg : “ Dear brother/sister, please forgive me if I ever said anything which made you upset or hurt you, I love you for the sake of Allah. May we be reunited in Jannah.”
2. If there are specific people you are in an argument with, to whom you haven’t spoke for a while, take action.
Phone them or visit them to ask for their forgiveness and tell them you forgive them! A beautiful idea is to give especially these persons in your life a little gift, suffice is the statement of RasulAllah: “Tahaaddu tahaabbu (Give gifts and you shall love one another)” (Bukhari).
May Allah SWT give us all the ability to forgive others for the wrong they do to us and make us more productive Muslims through this and may Allah forgive us all for our sins. Ameen.