Many of you (Muslims) do not speak to one another, your brothers and sisters. How many daughters-in-law do not speak to their mothers-in-law anymore? Worse, even between parents and their children, there is no longer the flow of communication. This list unfortunately remains very long.
It goes without saying that a true believer seeks the forgiveness of Allah, but one of the actions we forsake, whether through ignorance or ego, is to forgive the one who has wronged us. It is good to know that Allah forgives whom He wills: “He forgives whom He wills, and punishes whom He wills. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Al-Imran 3: 130).
A question we can ask ourselves - Why do I have to forgive? If Allah forgives us, despite all our shortcomings, all our faults and bad deeds, how is it so difficult for me to forgive my mother, my father, my own brother or my own sister, my children, in-laws etc.?
It is the quality of the prophets of Allah to forgive. But we are not prophets, you would say to me. But the prophets are the best creatures of Allah that we must take as models. When studying their lives, it will be noticed that they have won people’s hearts by forgiving them. This is the quality of a good servant of Allah. In the Holy Quran, Allah (swt) tells us that among the Muttaqun who will enter paradise, are those who have forgiven their brothers. If we really want to be considered as such, then we must develop in ourselves the will to forgive our brothers and sisters; Allah says concerning the Muttaqi: “(Those) who restrain their anger and forgive others [...]”. (Al-Imran 3: 135).
What makes one a Muttaqi is his capacity to control his anger and despite his strength and courage, he forgives those who have wronged him. We are not dishonoured by forgiving. He who forgives his brother, not only does he lose nothing, but is honoured by Allah. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Allah will raise (the status/ degree of) the one who forgives for the sake of Allah.” (Muslim).
Forgive others so as to receive divine forgiveness and the forgiveness of the people. The prophet has commanded us to act toward others in the same way that we would like them to act toward us. If it happens that someone has been wronged or hurt by our word, we would like him to forgive us, is not it? So let’s forgive others so that they forgive us too.
The Messenger of Allah has also taught us that when we forgive our brother (fellow human being), we benefit from Allah’s forgiveness. Allah forgive those who forgive others. One way to benefit from His forgiveness is to develop in us the will to forgive others. We should avoid attracting the wrath of Allah by forgiving others, for if we do not forgive others, we close the door of our own salvation.
The Messenger of Allah said: “Be merciful to others and you will receive mercy. Forgive others and Allah will forgive you.” (Ahmad).
How many times can we forgive?
According to the Hadiths, it is understandable that a believer is willing to forgive his brother in abundance. It is reported by Abdullah Ibn Umar (ra): A man came to see the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and said: “O Messenger of Allah! How many times should I forgive my servant [worker]?”.
The prophet remained silent; then he asked him the same thing, and he (pbuh) was yet again silent; then when he questioned him the third time, he (pbuh) said, “Seventy times in each day.” (Abu Dawud).
I hope this sermon will help you turn into humble, wise, gentle, non-arrogant people and that love for all will reflect in every part of your body and soul and that hate, boycott and other evils from each one of you (my followers and other Muslims) will be reduced to ashes, and burnt as fire burns dry leaves. Insha-Allah. At that moment, you will become true believers of God.
If each person forgives his fellow human being, then I am sure that peace will reign throughout the world. A world where there shall be no war and killings – the killing of humans just like you. So to have peace in the house, in the family, in society, in the country and in the world, it is necessary that each of us learns to forgive, Insha-Allah. May Allah open our hearts and minds to forgive and become humble Insha-Allah - Ameen Summa Ameen.
--- Friday Sermon of 27 July 2018 (13 Dhul Qaddah 1439 AH) delivered by Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.