Islamiat Notes Forgiveness Lecture No. 16

Lecture 16

Topic:           Forgiveness

Definition of Forgiveness

·        To free or pardon (someone) from penalty

·        To free from the obligation of (a debt, payment, etc.).

Pardon and Forgiveness
           Once at the time of Asr (Middle prayer) in a speech to the people the Messenger of Allah said: "Adam's sons have been created of different types. There are some who get angry late and very soon return to normal. Some people become wrathful soon and soon they return to normal, and some people become angry late and are also late in returning to normal, that is the return to normalcy is according to the speed of getting angry.

           Be careful. Some people get angry soon and they return to normal late. Listen, the best people among these are those who get angry late and immediately repent, and the worst among these are those who get angry soon, but are very late in coming to normal.
           Listen, among these there are some who repay the loan in a better way, and also demand in a good way. Some people are lazy in repaying, but good in demanding. Some demand in a bad way and repay in a good way, i.e. they have one good quality and one bad quality. Some people prove to be bad in demanding and in repaying too.
           Listen carefully, the best among these are those who are good in demanding and also good in repaying, and the worst are those who are bad in both the things. Keep in mind; anger becomes a spark in the heart of Adam's son. Do you not see that at the time of anger a man's eyes become red, and his nostrils become enlarged. If any one feels these signs in him, he should be glued to the earth." (Tirmizi)
           That is, he should sit in his place, he should not move so that the matter may not get worsened. Because the flames of anger and wrath burn all matters. Intelligence and consciousness disappear from it, and man is imprisoned in the magic of passions. Then these affairs do not improve.
           The above-quoted Hadith explains the kinds of men and their achievements and value in greatness and morality. Wherever necessary, a faithful bends him. An angry man indulges into various kinds of foolishness. Sometimes he abuses the door if it does not open immediately for him. In his anger he breaks whatever machine or its part may be in his hand, and abuses the animal that is not brought under control.
           A man's sheet was flown away by the wind and he cursed it. Allah's Messenger said: "Do not curse it, because it is bound by the commands of God and it is under His control. He who curses a thing which did not deserve it then the curse returns on him." (Tirmizi)
           There are many evils of anger, and their results are, more devastating. It is therefore said that to keep the self in control at the time of anger is the proof of the praiseworthy of control and the noble strength of toleration.
           Ibn Masood has narrated that Allah's Messenger had asked: "Whom do you call a strong?" People replied: "One who is not knocked down by anybody is called a strong among us." He said: "No, the stong is one who controls his self in his anger." (Muslim)
           One man requested the Prophet: "Give me some advice, but not such a lengthy one that I may forget." The Prophet said: "Do not be angry." (Malik). What reply could be better and shorter than this one?
           Allah's Messenger always gave importance to the temperament and the environment of the individual and groups in giving them instructions and training. He used to lengthen or shorten his speech according to the demands of the occasion.
           The efforts which were made to remove the jahiliya (pre-Islamic period of ignorance) had two foundations: One was ignorance against learning and the second against tolerance. The first ignorance he removed with the help of knowledge, understanding, sermons and advice, while the second was remove with the help of suppressing the rebellious desires and preventing mischief, etc. The Arabs of the pre-Islamic days were proud of their ignorance and wickedness.
           As an Arab Poet of the time says: "Beware! None should show any ignorance and wickedness before us, else we would prove to be more ignorant and wicked than all!"
           When Islam came, it removed this intensity of feeling and emotionalism, and introduced the practice of pardon and forgiveness in the society. If one could not pardon, then one was given the command to act justly. This objective could be achieved only when anger and wrath could be kept under the control of the intellect.
           There are a number of sayings in which the Prophet has given directions to the Arabs leading them to this ideal, so much so that the manifestations of tyranny, aggression, anger and wrath have been declared out of the circle of Islam. The things which unite a group and do not allow it to be disturbed, abused etc., has been declared to be the agent which breaks this unity:
           The Prophet said: "Abusing by a Muslim is wickedness, and his quarrelling and fighting is infidelity." (Bukhari)
           He also said: "When two Muslims meet, a curtain from Allah is hung between them. When one of the two says obscene things to the other he tears this curtain of Allah." (Bukhari)
           One Arab came to the Prophet to learn the teachings of Islam. Before this he had neither seen the Prophet nor did he know about his message. His name was Jabir bin Salim. He narrates: "I saw a man whose opinions are being copied by the people. If he says anything, people convey it to others.
 I asked them who this man was. They said that he is Allah's Messenger. I said to him: 'On you be peace (Alaik-as-Salam) O Messenger of Allah!' He said: 'do not salute like this. This is the salute of the dead; but say Peace be on you (As-Salamu Alaik)'."
That Arab says: "I asked: 'Are you Allah's Messenger?' He replied: 'I am the messenger of that Being whom you call in adversities, and he removes your adversities, and if famine catches you and you call Him, He grows grass for you; and if you lose your mount in the arid ground, then you call Him and He causes your mount to be returned to you. "He says that I told him: "Advise me." The Prophet said: "Do not abuse anybody." Accordingly, thereafter I did not abuse any free man, slave, camel, and goat. Then he said: 'do not consider any virtue as mean, even if it is your brother's talking to you with a smile. This is also a virtuous act.' Then he said: 'if somebody reproaches you and makes you feel ashamed on any of your defects, do not make him feel ashamed on any of his defects, because this act of his will prove troublesome for him." (Abu Dawud)
Muhammad’s (S.A.W) FORGIVENESS
This Section Allows you to have A glimpse Of The Prophet's Sallalahu Alihi Wa Sallam(Peace Be Upon Him) Characters and Features
Another great quality of Muhammad was that he never took revenge on anyone for personal reasons and always forgave even his staunch enemies A'isha said that God's Messenger never took revenge on his own behalf on anyone She also said that God's Messenger was not unseemly or obscene in his speech, nor was he loud-voiced in the streets, nor did he return evil for evil, but he would forgive and pardon The people of the Quraish rebuked him, taunted and mocked at him, beat him and abused him They tried to kill him and when he escaped to Medina, they waged many wars against him yet when he entered Makkah victorious with an army of 10,000, he did not take revenge on anyone He forgave all Even his deadliest enemy Abu Sufyan, who fought so many battles, was forgiven, and anyone who stayed in his house was also forgiven
The leaders of T'aif, who engaged scoundrels to throw stones at him when he visited that town in order to invite them to Islam, were also forgiven Abdullah bin Obey, leader of the hypocrites of Medina, was forgiven Muhammad Sallalahu Alihi Wa Sallamoffered his funeral prayer and prayed to God for his forgiveness The Qur'an mentions this incident in these words: "And never (O Muhammad) pray for one of them who dies, nor stand by his grave Lo! They disbelieve in God and His Messenger, and they died while they were evil doers" Abdullah bin Obey worked all his life against Muhammad Sallalahu Alihi Wa Sallamand Islam and left no stone unturned in bringing him into disrepute and in trying to defeat his mission He withdrew his 300 supporters in the battle of Uhud and almost broke the backbone of the Muslim He had engaged in intrigues and acts of hostility against the Prophet Sallalahu Alihi Wa Sallamof Islam and the Muslims It was he who raised the incident Of if k through his allies to discredit God's Messenger by spreading scandal about his wife, A'isha
"Lo! They who spread the slander are a gang among you Deem it not a bad thing for you; nay, it is good for you Unto every man of them will be paid that which he has earned of the sin; and as for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be an awful doom" [Qur’an 24:11]
"An Abyssinian slave, who killed Hamza, Muhammad's uncle, in the battle of Uhud, and after the victory of Makkah embraced Islam and came to him, was forgiven The wife of Abu Sufyan had cut the chest of Hamza and torn his liver and heart into pieces in the battle of Uhud She quietly came to the Prophet Sallalahu Alihi Wa Sallamand accepted Islam He recognized her but did not say anything She was so impressed by his magnanimity and stature that she said, "O God's Messenger, no tent was more deserted in my eyes than yours; but today no tent is more lovely in my eyes than yours"
Ikrama, son of Abu Jahl, was a great enemy of God's Messenger and Islam He ran away after the victory of Makkah and went to Yemen His wife embraced Islam and brought him to the Messenger of God Muhammad was pleased to see him and greeted him with the words: "O emigrant rider, welcome" Sufwan bin Urnaya, one of the chiefs of Makkah, was also a great enemy of Muhammad Sallalahu Alihi Wa Sallamand Islam He sent Umair Ibn Wahab, with a promise of reward, to kill Muhammad Sallalahu Alihi Wa SallamWhen Makkah was conquered, he ran away to Jeddah and hoped to go to Yemen by sea Umair Ibn Wahab came to Muhammad and said, "O God's Messenger! Sufwan Ibn Umayya is a chief of his tribe He has run away from fear and will throw himself into the sea" He was given protection When he came back, he requested Muhammad Sallalahu Alihi Wa Sallamto give him two months to think He was given four months and then he became a Muslim by his own will
Habir Ibn al-Aswad was another vicious enemy of Muhammad Sallalahu Alihi Wa Sallamand of Islam He had inflicted a grievous injury to Zainab, daughter of the Holy Prophet She was pregnant and was emigrating to Medina The polytheists of Makkah obstructed her and Habbar bin al-Aswad intentionally threw her down from the camel She was badly hurt and had a miscarriage He had committed many other crimes as well He wanted to run away to Persia but then he came to Muhammad, who forgave him
He was all for forgiveness and no amount of crime or aggression against him was too great to be forgiven by him He was the complete example of forgiveness and kindness, as mentioned in the following verse of the Qur'an:
"Keep to forgiveness (O Muhammad), and enjoin kindness, and turn away from the ignorant"         [Qur’an 7:199]
He always repelled evil with the good of forgiveness and kind behavior, for, in his view, an antidote was better than poison He believed and practiced the precept that love could foil hatred and aggression could be won over by forgiveness He overcame the ignorance of the people with the knowledge of Islam, and the folly and evil of the people with his kind and forgiving treatment With his forgiveness, he freed people from the bondage of sin and crime, and also made them great friends of Islam He was exact image of the following verse of the Qur'an:
"Good and evil are not alike Repel evil with what is better Then he, between whom and you there was hatred, will become as though he was a bosom friend"                                                                    [Qur’an 41:34]

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