by Maryam Kashif
In the name of Allah, the most Merciful, the most Beneficent.
We begin with the name of Allah (swt), the most Powerful. Allah (swt) has many beautiful names, and one of them is وفغلا ر , the Most Forgiving. Forgiveness is an important part of Islam, and it comes in two forms:
- Allah’s exalted forgiveness
- Human’s forgiveness
Allah’s (swt) forgives us for all the mistakes we make, so long as we sincerely repent and do not continue to do the wrong things we repent for.
It is not only Allah (swt) who forgives, but humans must forgive as well. How can we expect to be forgiven by Allah if we ourselves cannot forgive others? Many times, we may get angry at someone because they did something that made you upset.
You might feel like never talking to that person ever again because they hurt you. But even though we feel terrible, we have to follow the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (S). You might forgive them because they asked for forgiveness, or even better: you forgave them even though they did not say they were sorry. Humans are not perfect; we are merely creations of Allah (swt).
Our Prophet was extremely merciful, and we should follow his example. In the incident of Taif, Muhammad (S) went to the city of Taif to spread the message of Islam. The Noblemen of Taif did not want to listen to the Prophet’s message. They mocked him and greeted him coldly. The people followed him and pelted rocks at him for about 2-3 miles. By then Muhammad was covered
in blood. Angel Jibril went to him and said that he could crush the valley which Taif was upon between the 2 mountains next to it. But Muhammad said that he would forgive them, and hopefully their next generations would accept Islam.
After seeing Muhammad’s forgiveness, the Sahaba also followed. There were rumors that Aisha (RA), the wife of the Prophet, had bad character. At the time, Aisha was not feeling well and stayed in bed, so she did not hear any of the gossip. These rumors continued to spread, and Abu Bakr, Aisha’s father, found out that a relative of his had started and continued to spread the gossip that his daughter was a bad person. Finally, 10 verses were revealed (24:11 – 24:21) proving Aisha was innocent. Abu Bakr had been giving money and had supported the relative, and swore that he would not help him anymore. Allah (swt) then sent down verse 24:22:
الو ا امكنمالضفلااولوأالتأي ا يلوأااوتؤيانأاةعسلاو ا ايفانيرجاهملاوانيكاسملاواىبرقلا االلّاليبس ۖ االلّارفغيانأانوبحتالأاااوحفصيلوااوفعيلو ا اروفغااللّواامكل اميحر
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.
Abu Bakr was very sorry and said, “By God! We do want that Allah should forgive us,” and helped his relative even more than before.
Even generations after Muhammad (S), Muslims still followed the Sunnah. Saladin was a courageous and brilliant Muslim leader during the 12th century. He fought in the Crusades, and had many victories, but he was merciful and did not take any revenge when he had the chance to. He told his soldiers no to harm the innocent citizens, and forgave them even though the crusaders had done worse to them.
Today, hundreds of years after Muhammad, his companions, and famous Muslims from history like Saladin, we also should be forgiving and asking Allah (swt) for forgiveness.
وفعلا بحت وفع كنإ مهللا نع فعاف ي
‘O Allah, you are the Forgiver, You love to forgive, so forgive me.’