How far will we go to forgive others?

Muslim mother forgives one of the men involved in his son’s murder.

Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem,

For quite some time, I have been thinking about what to write to start 2018.  Until I came across a second video online where a  Muslim mother forgives one of the men involved in his son’s murder. His son Suliman Abdul Mutakallim rahimahullah (may Allah have mercy on him) was brutally shot in the head during a robbery.

She said in her own words:

” I know him well enough because I raised him and all my children to have the Islamic way of living their lives. So to honor him, I’m here and I am offering my family to help you and those who were with you to see a better way of life. So rather than have you go through more agony in the future, consider allowing our family to visit you, to work with you, to make sure that you have a skill that when you come out you can feed yourself and you never have to walk this path again.”

“I can’t hate you, it’s not our way, showing Rahmah (mercy) that is our way. I cannot hold this bitterness, I will not hold it.”

“His death was already ordained, and maybe the purpose is to save your life. Because you’re not going to be killed by this society. It would hurt my heart to the end if you came back to the same cesspool that you came out of. Because you will see no light, and you need to see light. There is a better way of life but you’re in control of it. I just want to help you so that I may be able to save someone else’s life including your own. And it’s not because I want something from you, I just want better for you.”

This came after a few months ago when the father of Salahuddin Jitmoub rahimahullah  (may Allah have mercy on him) forgives one of the men who were involved in his son’s killing.

He said in his own words:

“My nephew I forgive you on behalf of Salahuddin and his mother. My dear nephew Trey, I’m not angry at you for being part of hurting my son. I’m angry at the devil that misguided you and misled you to do such a horrible crime. Forgiveness is the greatest gift or charity in Islam. I have to pour myself out to forgive someone that has wronged my family.”

“I want him to reach out to God. You have a new chapter of good life coming. When you come out of your confinement do righteous deeds because your righteous deed will lead to the path that leads to God Almighty. That’s my message to my nephew.”

Where do they find this courage? How did they find the faith to forgive? Did what they say sounds familiar?

Remember when Yusuf alaihi salam after years of trials caused by his brothers when Allah reunited the family again as mentioned in Surah Yusuf verse 100:

Yusuf said:

“He (Allah) was indeed good to me, when He took me out of the prison, and brought you (all here) out of the bedouin-life, after Shaitan (devil) had sown enmity between me and my brothers. Certainly, my Lord is the Most Courteous and Kind unto whom He will. Truly He! Only He is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.”

One of the scholars said look at the way Yusuf a’laihi salam said it. Out of forgiveness, he said, “after Shaitan had sown enmity between me and my brothers” as if the wrong and ignorance are from both parties. And out of graciousness look at how he did not mention the wrongs of his brothers and attributed the enmity to Shaitan.

Remember the Conquest of Makkah. When the Quraisy heard the Prophet ﷺ was entering Makkah with an army of 10,000 men after they broke the treaty of Hudaybiyah they were terrified of the consequences.

But the Prophet ﷺ ordered them to take shelter in the house of so and so. And also whoever does not fight back they are promised safety. Until he ﷺ met with a group of people near the Kaabah who didn’t have a place to take shelter and asked them: “What do you think I will do to you?” They said: ” A noble brother, son of a noble brother,” The Prophet ﷺ said ” Go! You are free.”

These were the same people that expel him from his own home, that tried to assassinate him and tortured and killed his companions. But our Prophet is a Prophet of mercy ﷺ, he forgave them in hopes that they will repent and become Muslims.

Remember the story of Aisyah radiyallahu anha the mother of the believers when she was accused of fornication as mention in the beginning of Surah An-Nur where Allah proclaims her innocence. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (Aisyah’s father) radiayllahu anhuma who used to disburse money for Mistah bin Uthatha because of his kinship to him and because of his poverty,  Abu Bakar said, ‘By Allah, I will never give to Mistah bin Uthatha anything after what he has said about Aisha.’

Then Allah revealed in Surah An-Nur verse 22:

وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُولُو الْفَضْلِ مِنكُمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَن يُؤْتُوا أُولِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَلْيَعْفُوا وَلْيَصْفَحُوا ۗ أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ – 24:22

“And let not those of virtue among you and wealth swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah, and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

Abu Bakr As-Siddiq radiyallahu anhu said, ‘Yes, by Allah, I would like that Allah forgives me.’ and went on giving Mistah the money he used to give him before.”

What compels me to write today is to find out what is the difference between us and the father and mother who forgave their son’s killer? Don’t we learn the same stories of the Prophets? Haven’t we read the same Quran that they are reading? But why it doesn’t enter our hearts the same way it entered theirs.

Yet we still argue and hate one another for the paltriest of things. Some of us spend years neither talking nor visiting each other over a misunderstanding. Families that have been broken up and communities filled their hearts with animosity. We thought that forgiveness is a sign of weakness.

Maybe anger has clouded our judgments. Maybe we do not spend as much time in practicing what we learn. Maybe we did not ask Allah to open our hearts to forgive. Now is the time we change. We should love for our brothers and sisters that which we will love for ourselves.

Forgiving someone when they least expect you to, provide comfort and strength for them to strive to become better. Look at the brothers of Yusuf and the people of Quraisy who later on became Muslims and joined the Battle of Hunayn.

Look at what the mother of trey said to the family of Salahuddin:

“I am deeply sorry for your loss. And I thank you so much for comforting me and my family because I was shocked by your forgiveness.”

My dear brothers and sisters, let us start from today onwards to always choose to forgive others for their mistakes so that Allah will forgive our sins. The answer to all the conflicts and enmity might actually be simpler than what we envisioned; the noble act of forgiveness.

Allah says in Surah Aali Imran verse 134:

Those who spend (in the cause of Allah) during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people; verily Allah loves Al-Muhsinun ( the good-doers).

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“Sadaqah (charity) does not decrease property and Allah increases the honor of him who forgives and no one will humble himself for Allah’s sake except that Allah raises his status.”

Forgive, and we will be honored as a community.
Forgive, and we will be forgiven by Allah.
Forgive, and we will be loved by Allah!

Wasalallahu a’la nabiyyina Muhammad wa’ala aalihi wasahbihi wasallam
Walhamdu lillahi Rabbil A’alamin.

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