“How could you do this to me?”
“I will never forgive you.”
There must be a time when we’ve been hurt by someone. Whether it’s the words that wound the heart or the action that wound the body, it’s part of life. Nevertheless, these wounds can leave us with lasting feelings of anger and bitterness — even vengeance.
But, wait. Those ill feelings, are they really worth it?
Calm down. Firstly, life is short. Let us not waste our energy on being angry at our adversaries and seeking revenge against them. If we can gradually minimise our spite every day, then soon we will cease to bear hatred or malice in our hearts.
Know what? There is a direct correlation between the way we treat others and how Allah treats us. We all know the Prophet’s hadith:
“Have mercy on those on the Earth, and the One in heaven will have mercy on you” [Tirmidhi].
Of course, Allah is incomparably greater and more merciful than us. Therefore, whatever we do to and for others, Allah will multiply it for us. If we are sincere in wanting Allah to forgive us for our many mistakes and sins, we should be prepared to do the same for others.
Yes, there will be situations in life that will make you angry or rattled. But our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught us that true strength is when you can overcome your anger. He said,
“The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger” [Sahih al Bukhari].
Our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) was so kind and forgiving with all, no matter if he is a believer or non-believer. We have so many inspiring examples from the Prophet (peace be upon him) about his forgiving others and showing kindness to even those who were so rude to him. Cool, right?
It is said: “To err is human and to forgive is divine.” Both parts of this statement are true. As human beings we ought to be responsible for what we have done, but we ourselves do also make mistakes and are constantly in need of forgiveness.
Here is a simple question to ask yourself. Don’t you want forgiveness from Allah? If forgiveness from Allah is what you’re looking for, let us rush into forgiving others. We only give forgiveness that is finite and what Allah can give us in exchange is infinite, as His mercy and forgiveness are infinite. What a beautiful exchange! So, it’s your choice: either your anger weighs more or your love for forgiveness from Allah weighs more!
We cannot change the past, but we can certainly use it to empower ourselves and become a better person going forward. Let’s forgive to be forgiven!