I will never forget where I came from. I remember being oblivious to what Islam is. I didn’t know and I didn’t want to find out because the so-called ‘religious’ people I knew did not show me the depths of what Islam really is. They didn’t teach me in a way that would encourage me to learn and so eventually, Islam was put to the back of my mind. I used to associate religion with strictness, harshness, intolerance and a lack of leniency. But to be a Muslim, one must be kind, loving, understanding, compassionate and also forgiving. Before I knew this, I used to carry so many grudges and bad feelings in my heart. Without Islam, you don’t know what to do with these feelings, how to get rid of them or how to bring positivity back into your life. When you learn about Islam and apply the teachings to your life, everything becomes easier. You know that Allah is watching over you and you realise that He is the One who carried you out of the darkness into the light. I could never thank Allah enough for this. This is why I can’t judge others. You never know whose heart Allah will guide.
I forgive everyone who has hurt me in the past and I pray that Allah forgives us and guides us all. Every single one of us sins; we often wrong each other and we disobey Allah. But we should never lose hope in His mercy. He forgives all sins, as long as we repent to Him and seek His forgiveness. If a disbeliever, someone who commited shirk (the biggest sin), comes back to Islam, Allah will forgive him. Allah can forgive us for the major sins we commit. We cannot limit the mercy of Allah. We should never lose hope in His mercy. If Allah can forgive major sins, He is even more able to forgive us for the minor sins we commit everyday. Turn back to Him with a sincere heart. Turn back to Him and your heart will find peace.
You may not feel ready to do this yet, but when you’re able to reconcile everything in your heart, forgive others for the pain they’ve caused you. It won’t be easy. From my own experience, I understand that it takes a lot of courage to do it. You’ve already experienced the bad side of life and you’re afraid to be hurt again. But when you feel strong enough and after you’ve built yourself up, forgive them. You will feel so free and so liberated after letting it go. I mean it from the depths of my heart when I say it’s the best part of the healing process. You’ll find in yourself a beautiful strength that you never knew you had.
Pray for their forgiveness, as much as you want to be forgiven yourself. Free yourself from the pain and let go of the bitter hate. Forgive them, even if they’re not sorry. Forgive them because the longer you hold the grudge, the deeper the poison will seep into your heart and the longer it will take for you to recover. Forgive them so that you can find the peace in your heart. I know you’re hurt and I can’t imagine the pain you’ve been through but I can tell you now, the pain will subside and you will heal.
Life has its ups and downs. When you let go of the grudge, it will lift the heavy weight from your heart that you seemed to be carrying forever. You won’t regret letting it go.
Allah knows how hard it is for us to forgive others who have caused us to suffer. As human beings, we want justice to be established when we are wronged. That’s why some people believe that murderers should be given the death penalty to recompense them for their crimes. Why do we want people to be punished for their crimes? We want fairness; we don’t want to feel as though we’ve been cheated. We don’t want to be hurt. We don’t want to feel vulnerable. We want to be safe. Everyone wants to have a peace of mind and a sense of security. We want to know that when injustice is done to us, we will be protected and given our rights. Sometimes we are given justice and the wrong doer is given a suitable punishment for what they’ve done.
But what do we do when people get away with the crimes they committed against us? What if we don’t think the punishment they got was enough? This is where we need to have faith in Allah and belief in the day of Judgement. We would go mad if we believed that people could do the most horrendous of crimes and get away with it. Belief in Allah and the day of Judgement is the anchor of our sanity and morality. We can be sure that one day, there will be total justice and Allah will be the Judge. He will judge everyone and everyone will be given what they deserve.
Allah sent us the Prophets as examples to follow. Remember that even the Prophets and the righteous people who came before us were hurt by the people around them. Prophet Yusuf was betrayed by his own brothers but he chose to forgive them. When prophet Ibrahim tried to save his father from the hellfire, his father threatened him but Ibrahim still prayed for his forgiveness. When Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) went to Taif to call the people to Islam, they threw stones at him until blood soaked his clothes but he made dua that their children would be Muslims. There are so many more examples of forbearance and forgiveness in the lives of our role models. Despite the pain and the betrayal they endured, they never lost faith in Allah. They never stopped believing. They kept hoping that things will get better and they knew that the reward for their patience is with Allah. After all the hurt and heartbreak, their hearts were strong enough to forgive.