Forgiveness: A way of life

By Abdellatif Sharaa

Saturday afternoon, just before the curfew came into effect, a policeman stopped a motorist over a traffic violation. They then started to exchange words that no longer had anything to do with the violation, and almost turned into a heated confrontation if it was not for the wisdom of the policeman, who calmed down and asked the man to do so too, and apologized for any words that he did not like or were inappropriate.

The driver obliged, as the policeman was enforcing the law, and things ended with a handshake. Mind you, a few cars were stuck at the exit until the dispute was over. What a nice ending, especially during this holy month of Ramadan.

It is among the most noble acts to forgive, as Almighty Allah and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) ordered us to do. Forgiveness is done when the person is able, and should overlook the mistakes of others, and even to look for excuses for them, and look for what is good in them instead of focusing on their mistakes.

Life is short and time is passing fast, so there is no need for us to have grudges. Let us have respect and love for each other so that we can have peace of mind. It is for sure that if an offense is answered with another, offenses will not end at all; rather, mutual respect confirms that mistakes are forgivable regardless of what they may be.

Forgiveness is needed by every individual, so that disputes and differences among them can be wiped out. Forgiveness is when a person forgives those who deserve punishment, although they can carry the punishment out, and we must not treat the offensive person with a similar offense.

Forgiveness has many forms, the greatest of which is the forgiveness Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) gave to his people as in a hadith that was narrated in Al-Bukhari about the condition of the prophet when he was attacked and blood trickled down his face. He said: “O Allah! Forgive my nation, for they have no knowledge.”

One may wonder – how can I be forgiving? This is actually in the individual’s wish to be happy, and for that he should forgive bad deeds and remember the good ones, and should ignore mistakes of others while seeking the acceptance of Allah. Forgiveness has great effects on the individual and society, and this will create a strong and prosperous society that is free of grudges, which cause problems.

Final word: “Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” -Jonothan Lockwood Huie

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