Forgiveness – An Islamic Virtue
Islam attaches great importance to the concept of pardoning of sins by Allah so that one may be saved from Hellfire. On several occasions, The Holy Quran gives such prayers as “Pardon us, forgive us our sins, and have mercy upon us” (Quran 2/286).
Allah assures us that no matter what our sin, if we truly repent and seek His forgiveness, and take steps to put right our wrongs, He will forgive us. The Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) said, “My heart is clouded until I have asked God’s forgiveness seventy times during the day and night.”
We are likewise asked to show mercy to our fellow men. (Quran 90/17) Since God is Himself forgiving, He desires that people should cultivate this attribute and show forgiveness to other human beings. (Quran 24/22; 64/14).
The Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) taught his followers that the individual who pardons his enemy, even while having the power to extract revenge, will be nearest to God in the Hereafter. Once the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) was asked, “How many times are we to forgive our servants’ faults?” He remained silent. The questioner repeated his question. But the Prophet gave no answer. But when the person asked a third time, he said, “Forgive your servant seventy times a day.”
The Holy Quran makes it clear that a strong, adverse, emotional reaction such as anger does not befit the true believer, and instead cites as a mark of excellence the quality of forgiveness: “When they become angry, they are forgiving.” (Quran 42/37)
By: Maulana Wahiduddin Khan