Forgiving in Islam

As Muslims, and as imperfect and sinful creatures, we spend our lives asking Allah SWT for forgiveness, seeking His Paradise and fearing His Hell. Yet one of the ways Allah SWT might answer our prayers for forgiveness, is when He SWT sends our way someone who wrongs us or hurts us. Then He SWT waits to see how we shall respond to the test, i.e. whether we would forgive the person who wronged us and hurt us or not.

Allah SWT wants to see if you abide by His words for He said “and they should forgive and forbear; do you not like that Allah may forgive you? And Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful” (24:22). Allah SWT checks if we’re aware of the unprecedented reward awaiting us if indeed, we forgive the ones who wrong us and hurt us. He SWT says “so whoever forgives and makes amends, so his reward is upon Allah; indeed He does not befriend the unjust” (42:40). This simply means that your reward isn’t coming from a boss or a president,but rather from the Lord of the Worlds; guaranteed and unprecedented in value!

Who among us wouldn’t want to be loved, befriended and liked in this world? Well, Allah SWT has a prescription for you in the Quran. Listen carefully now: “And the good deed and the evil deed will never be equal; O listener! Repel the evil deed with a good one, thereupon the one between whom and you was enmity, will become like a close friend” (41:34).

Greet them, no matter how they ignore you. Smile to them, no matter how hard it feels. Be kind to them, no matter how undeserved they seem to you. And if reconciling ever seems hard to you, remind yourself of the very next verse, where Allah SWT, The King, is encouraging you to forgive: “And none receive this great treasure except those who are patient; and none receives this except one who is extremely fortunate” (41:35). Please pay special attention to Allah’s words here:”great treasure” and “extremely fortunate”! That’s your reward if you forgive. Isn’t it worth it?!

Ponder on all those unbelievers, even those who insult Allah, yet He SWT is letting them live and enjoy this life with all its pleasures, or so it seems to them. And if anyone of those unbelievers repents one day, Allah SWT would accept them, erase their sins and even replace them with good ones! Ponder on how Allah SWT describes Himself as “indeed Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Able” (4:149).

Did the one who wronged you, hurt you more than the people of Mecca hurt the prophet SAW? Yet, he forgave them all the day he returned home. Listen carefully to the teacher of mankind SAW and learn from him as he says “The gates of Paradise will be opened on Mondays and on Thursdays, and every servant of Allah who associates nothing with Allah will be forgiven, except for the man who has a grudge against his brother. About them it will be said: Delay these two until they are reconciled” [Muslim].

Now please ponder on this next verse. WAllahi if it wasn’t except for this next reward, every Muslim should strive to forgive. Allah SWT says “so forgive them and excuse them; indeed Allah loves the virtuous” (5:13). Allah LOVES the virtuous! And this is your chance to be included! And as if all this wasn’t enough of a reward, the prophet SAW said “Allah will not increase His forgiving servant except in honor” [Muslim].

Subhan Allah, if the one who wronged you knew the tons of reward you’d get for forgiving them, they would have never wronged you in the first place! Forgive and claim your rewards inshaa Allah!