Forgiveness is said to be the attribution of the strong, and rightfully so, for forgiveness is not a matter of words. Rather, it is the matter of the heart. It’s easy to tell someone you forgive them. But how many times have we held a hurtful word, action, or hesitated a kind gesture out of a grudge? Fact is, most of want to forgive, but the question isn’t about if want to; rather, are we able to?
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala tells us in the Qur’an towards the end of Surah Al-Ma’idah:
“…but pardon them and overlook [their misdeeds]. Indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.”
We are all human. We are fallible and prone to mistakes—and worst of all—we can hurt others. But at the end of the day, when we choose not to forgive, who are we really hurting besides ourselves? If we don’t sought to bestow our forgiveness to those around us, can we really ask for forgiveness from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? Imagine if Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala withheld His mercy, because we wronged Him. How many prayers we miss, people we hurt, things we see or do and sometimes continue to do? Would we even survive if Allah didn’t forgive us?
And yet, SubhanAllah we remember, that He is Al-Rahman, Al-Raheem, the Most Merciful, Most Kind. So if we don’t forgive others, and genuinely so, how do we expect to be forgiven ourselves?
Jarir reported that the Prophet ﷺ said:
“Allah will not show mercy to a person who does not show mercy to other people.”
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was said to be seated in a gathering with the Sahabah, his companions, when he looked toward the entrance and said, “A man of Paradise is coming.” Someone who seemed to be very ordinary entered the mosque where they sat. One of his companions was very curious as to why the Prophet ﷺ said this, so he followed the man to his house.
This Sahabi told the man he was a traveler and stayed as a guest. For three days the Sahabi saw nothing unusual, so he finally told the man what the Prophet ﷺ said and asked him what was so special. The man thought for a long time and said, “There might be one thing—before going to sleep every night I forgive everyone and sleep with a clean heart.”
How many of us can genuinely say we sleep every night not angry at someone? We must find it within ourselves to release a self-poisoning boomerang that only returns to haunt us. May we learn to forgive those around us and have those around us forgive us, and let that be the one of the many blessed reasons we attain Jannah, Insha’Allah. Ameen.