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Allah commands believers to forgive. God Himself is Forgiving and Most Gracious and approves of those who forgive one another for their wrongs and mistakes. In the Qur’an there are several verses about forgiveness. Not only with regard to man’s sin to God, but also concerning the relationship of fellow human beings who certainly do not escape making errors and mistakes.
Humans are created with advantages and disadvantages. There are times when a man is controlled by anger, strong emotions and explosive passions. He directs these towards other people in his life journey with very harmful effects. Not all mistakes are made intentionally and this loss of control is often against his will. As a result, later he regrets what he said or did in the times when he lost control of himself.
This can happen to anyone. Therefore each of us needs to be aware of this tendency both in oursleves and in others. In this way, when we feel that someone has done something wrong to us, we can remember our own mistakes and not harden our hearts towards the other, but choose to forgive instead.
Allah has said in the Koran that we should forgive our fellow humans, no matter how much they have hurt us. As he said: “And let not those of virtue among you and wealth swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah, and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’an, 24:22)
So when God forgives people’s sins, even though there are as many as foam in the ocean, why can humans still hold grudges against others? Will anger satisfy you? Will revenge free you? No. Feelings of revenge will be like having a heavy chain around you. You will feel tortured and obsessed with retaliation and you will be imprisoning yourself in a negative and hard-hearted attitude. “And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation – his reward is [due] from Allah. Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers.” (Qur’an, 42:40)
Sometimes, for the sake of preventing a wrongdoer from doing further harm, they need to face legal justice. This, because it is not an arbitrary action, can have a preventive or deterrent effect. However, this is very different from an act of retaliation and revenge, which tends to escalate the situation and perpetuates the cycle of harmfulness and wrongdoing.
Because Allah is Most Gracious, Forgiving and Merciful, God gives great reward for those who want to forgive and do good to those who have done wrong. Allah says in the Koran, “And whoever is patient and forgives – indeed, that is of the matters [requiring] determination.” (Surah Ash-Shura 42:43)
Please download the free ebook using one of the links on this page to help you learn how to forgive.
Written by a Muslim on behalf of William Fergus Martin
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Four Steps to Forgiveness
Four Steps to Forgiveness
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William Fergus Martin