Forgiving means not wishing evil

Forgiveness and God’s Mercy

Throughout the Holy Qur’an, the Mercy of Allah and His Forgiveness has been mentioned a great many times and we can understand through the many examples that are given, that we must strive to be forgiving to each other as well. It is natural to be upset at someone when they’ve hurt you. Forgiving means not wishing evil, even if secretly, upon the person. The Gates of Paradise will be opened for those who found it in them to finally seek Forgiveness. Allah says:

وَالْمَلَائِكَةُيُسَبِّحُونَبِحَمْدِرَبِّهِمْوَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَلِمَنفِيالْأَرْضِۗأَلَاإِنَّاللَّهَهُوَالْغَفُورُالرَّحِيمُ

“The angels glorify and praise their Lord and seek forgiveness for those on the earth. Verily, Allah is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Surah Ash-Shura 42:5)

Seeking forgiveness from Allah with repentance is a virtue. Human beings are not perfect. Forgiveness is a critical aspect of Islam as everybody makes mistakes in life and unintentionally commits sins. Muslims believe that Allah is Merciful and Forgiving. Whoever forgive others from the heart then Allah Almighty will reward him and we know Allah’s rewards are best of all. Allah says:

وَلْيَعْفُواوَلْيَصْفَحُواۗأَلَاتُحِبُّونَأَنيَغْفِرَاللَّهُلَكُمْۗوَاللَّهُغَفُورٌرَّحِيمٌ

“Let them pardon and overlook. Would you not love for Allah to forgive you? Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Surah An-Nur 24:22)

There are two kinds of forgiveness in Islam: Allah’s forgiveness and human forgiveness. We as human beings need both since we make mistakes in our relations to Allah as well as our relations to each other. In Islam, all that is needed is to recognize the mistake or sin, improve it and seek forgiveness from Allah and also from other human beings. Allah says:

الَّذِينَيُنفِقُونَفِيالسَّرَّاءِوَالضَّرَّاءِوَالْكَاظِمِينَالْغَيْظَوَالْعَافِينَعَنِالنَّاسِۗوَاللَّهُيُحِبُّالْمُحْسِنِينَ

The believers are those who spend in charity during ease and hardship and who restrain their anger and pardon the people, for Allah loves the doers of good.” (Surah Ali Imran 3:134)

God has granted intellect to human beings. The intellect entails responsibility. The more intellect a person has, the more he/she is responsible. If we seek forgiveness from Allah (And we all need Allah’s mercy), let us rush into forgiving people. We only give forgiveness that is finite and what Allah can give us is infinite. Allah’s mercy is infinite. His forgiveness is infinite.  Allah says:

خُذِالْعَفْوَوَأْمُرْبِالْعُرْفِوَأَعْرِضْعَنِالْجَاهِلِينَ

“Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:199)

Allah is all-forgiving and pardoning we should seek forgiveness from Him and try to forgive others too. It means you can continue to be civil towards them, and that you can even bring yourself to pray for their well-being and guidance.

Forgiveness from Allah Almighty, some of them are given below:

  1. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you  have more feelings 
  2. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget the incident 
  3. Forgiveness doesn’t mean having more workout
  4. Forgiveness toward those who do wrong to us
  5. Forgive people to gain Allah’s forgiveness
  6. Forgiveness is different from condoning 
  7. Forgiveness brings joy reassurance 
  8. Forgiveness brings  peace of mind
  9. Forgiveness brings strong health 
  10. Forgiveness to heal the wounds
  11. Forgiveness gives righteous kids
  12. Forgiving means not wishing evil
  13. Forgiveness brings free of diseases
  14. Forgiveness to restore good relations
  15. Forgiveness brings free of disabilities
  16. Forgiveness saved from Fitnah and afflictions
  17. God loves those who turn unto Him in repentance
  18. God also forgives us our sins through the difficulties
  19. God mercy is so complete that He forgives us our sins
  20. God has made it easy to seek and obtain His forgiveness

Forgiveness from Allah Almighty

In Quran, the word “Allah is Most Merciful” is repeated many times. In religion Islam, anyone who has sinned can ask forgiveness directly from the Lord, there is no one between Allah and the one who is asking forgiveness from Him. In the Quran, Allah says: “God loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and He loves those who keep themselves pure.” If someone asked forgiveness with repentance then Allah will love him/her and surely He will forgive him/her but there is one condition and that is he/she should not commit that sin or mistake again.

فَإِنَّالْإِمَامَأَنْيُخْطِئَفِيالْعَفْوِخَيْرٌمِنْأَنْيُخْطِئَفِيالْعُقُوبَةِ

“Verily, it is better for the leader to make a mistake forgiving the criminal than it is for him to make a mistake punishing the innocent.” (Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 1424, Grade: Sahih)

In the Holy Quran “forgiveness” and “mercy “are mentioned around 100 and 200 times respectively. An entire chapter of the Quran is devoted to the quality of mercy that is (Surah Rahman). We all know that Allah is the Most Merciful and He forgives those who ask forgiveness with repentance. The Power of Forgiveness in Islam not only lies in seeking the great Mercy and Forgiveness of Allah, but it also lies in being forgiving each other as well. Allah says:

فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا

“And said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver.” (Surah Nuh, 71:10)

Forgiveness from another Human Being

If someone did wrongs to another human being, the act must first be redressed with the wronged person or human being who should be asked for forgiveness before asking forgiveness from Allah. Islam teaches human beings to be forgiving and if someone sincerely asks for forgiveness, the wronged person should forgive him. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever suffers an injury and forgives (the person responsible), God will raise his status to a higher degree and remove one of his sins.” If we expect forgiveness from Almighty Allah then we also can forgive others.

Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:

  • “An excellent exemplar for those who hope in Allah and the Last Day.” (Quran, Surat al-Ahzab, 33:21)
  • “And turn in repentance and obedience with true Faith to your Lord and submit to Him, before the torment comes upon you, then you will not be helped.” (Quran 39:54)
  • “Except those who repent and believe and do righteous deeds; for those, God will change their sins into good deeds, and God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 25:70)
  • “And say, ‘Relieve us of our burdens.’ We will [then] forgive your sins for you, and We will increase the doers of good [in goodness and reward].” (Quran 2: 58)
  • “. . . And let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran 24:22)
  • “The reward of the evil is the evil thereof, but whosoever forgives and makes amends, his reward is upon God.” (Quran, 42:40)
  • “…And We have made some of you as a trial for others – will you have patience? And ever is your Lord, Seeing.” (Qur’an – 25:20)
  • “Seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him, [and] He Will Let you enjoy a good provision.” (Quran 11: 3)
  • ” … Pardon them therefore and ask pardon for them, and take counsel with them in the affair…” (Quran 3:159)
  • “Our Lord! Grant us forgiveness and mercy! You are the Best of those who show mercy..” (Quran 23:118)

Finally, the belief in the forgiveness of God as the final authority leads the person to gain a sense of responsibility and accountability. You do not depend on the mindset that someone else will be taking care of your sins. No, you are accountable, individually, before God and as such you have this sense of trying your best in following His command. Allah says:

وَلَمَنصَبَرَوَغَفَرَإِنَّذَٰلِكَلَمِنْعَزْمِالْأُمُورِ

“Whoever is patient and forgives, verily, that is among the matters of steadfast determination.” (Surah Ash-Shura 42:43)

Let’s not get caught up in the illusion of pain given by the people that you fail to see the bigger picture. By forgiving, you are accepting the reality of what happened and finding a way to live in a state of resolution with it. This can be a gradual process and for some, a journey of a lifetime…This life is a test. Allah is going to test us through other people too. Allah says:

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

“O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Surah Az-Zumar, 39:53)

The need for forgiveness and the need to be forgiving is what makes us Muslim. When sincerely asking for forgiveness, the intention should be not to knowingly repeat the same sin. A Muslim is to think better of Allah. No denying the fact that Allah is Mighty, Just and Wrathful, however, at the same time He is Merciful and forgiving. May Allah give us the strength to forgive others and also ask forgiveness from them! Ameen