Forgiveness

Forgiveness is an attribute which has received due attention in Islam and has been extensively discussed in the Holy Qur'an and Hadith. But, nowadays people are lacking in attention, and it seems very hard to practice forgiveness in daily life. That is the reason why we hear news of wars everywhere, people are fighting and killing each other. Every one is blaming other parties and neglecting the virtue of forgiveness. Thus, it is important for us to re-inculcate the value of forgiveness in our lives. Think and ponder first, do we really know what is forgiveness?. What is the importance of forgiveness?. How to inculcate the value of forgiveness in our lives?

1. TWO ASPECTS OF FORGIVENESS:

A) Godís forgiveness.

B) Human forgiveness.  

We need both, because we do wrong in our relations to God as well as in our relations to other human beings.  

A. Godís Forgiveness:

God is more merciful to His creations than a mother can be to her infants. He created "man with weakness; thus He knows and we should know that "to err is human," and "no one is perfect".

B. Human Forgiveness:

It is also necessary to base human relations on forgiveness. We cannot expect Godís forgiveness unless we also forgive those who do wrong to us. Forgiving each other, even forgiving oneís enemies is one of the most important Islamic teachings.  

 2. TYPES OF FORGIVENESS:  

i) We forgive someone when we are unable to take vengeance. This kind of forgiveness is, in fact, synonymous to patience and forbearance. It is a kind of helplessness and  tolerance.  

ii) We forgive someone when we have the power to take revenge. This is the most desired forgiveness, that is we forgive even when we have the ability to take revenge.

  3. KINDS OF FORGIVENESS  

There are three kinds of forgiveness, all interrelated.  

i) Forgiveness of God - that assures us of our worth and strengthens us.  
ii)  Forgiveness of others - the forgiveness that we extend to others and receive from them, intimates and enemies.
iii)  Self-forgiveness - which enables us to release our own guilt and lack of perfection.  

4. IMPORTANCE OF FORGIVENESS :  

1. For the after-life or life in the hereafter - seeking forgiveness is a sign of humility and forgiving others is a sign of nobility.  

2. It brings happiness in the worldly life Ė forgiving improves our relations with people by bringing good reputation and respect. Psychologically it brings happiness to the person forgiven and to the person who forgives. 
 

Forgiveness must not be selfish. If one desires to be forgiven by others for his offenses he must learn to forgive others. If one seeks forgiveness from God, he should learn to forgive others. If one desires that God overlook his weaknesses, he should learn to overlook weaknesses of others.

5. HOW TO ASK FORGIVENESS?  

There are no particular words to say for asking forgiveness, there are many ways it which forgiveness can be requested.
(i)  For example, Muslims are taught many phrases and words to ask Godís forgiveness, such words as, Astaghfiru-Allah meaning, "I ask forgiveness from Allah."  
(ii)  In the case with other people, we can say, "Iím sorry" or "please forgive me"

6. Requirements To Receive Forgiveness From God :

i)  Recognizing the offense itself and admitting it before God.  
ii) Making a commitment not to repeat the offense.  
iii)   Asking for forgiveness from God.

However the forgiveness must meet the criteria of sincerity. God, has the knowledge of everything including whatever a person thinks but does not express in words or deeds. If the above three conditions are met in sincerity, forgiveness from God is assured. Sincerity protects a person from repeating the same offense. If a person is sincere he will be helped by God not to repeat; in addition, God will change his punishment for the offense into a reward. If the offense was committed against another human being or society, a fourth condition for forgiveness is added and the order is changed.


a.   Admitting the offense before those against whom the offense was committed and before God.  
 b.     Committing oneself not to repeat the offense.  
c.        Doing whatever needs to be done to rectify the offense (within reason) and asking pardon of the offended party.  
d.  Asking God for forgiveness.  

 
7. CONDITIONS FOR FORGIVENESS TO BE ACCEPTED:  

 In order for forgiveness to be accepted, these conditions should be met:  

i)  The crime is committed out of ignorance, not with the intention that, "Let us go ahead and commit this crime as God is forgiving, so He will forgive us.";  
ii) Quickly turn to shame and repentance after committing a crime out of ignorance;  
iii) After asking for forgiveness, make a promise or pledge to "mend your ways", and to keep to your promise. Quran : "...if any of you did evil in ignorance, and thereafter repented and amended (your conduct), lo! Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." ( 6:54 ) !  

Courtesy: www.islamic-world.net


Holy Quran


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