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Muslim Beliefs: Forgiveness

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‘Take to forgiveness, and enjoin kindness, and turn away from the ignorant.’(7:200).

Al-Ghafoor is an attribute of God. It means 'The All-forgiving'. Combining that with Al-Maalik or 'The Sovereign', Muslims understand that God can forgive without recompense. As a plaintiff who is also the judge, He has the power to forgive debts that are owed to him. A Muslim should ponder and try to take on the attributes of God in his/her daily life. Muhammad - peace be upon him - provided a roadmap for leading a life of forgiveness and compassion. Below we relate a few examples:

The Bedouins of Arabia did many disgraceful acts in the presence of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Once, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had a thick-bordered cloak on. A Bedouin pulled it so fiercely that a mark of the thick border was left on the Prophet’s blessed neck. The Bedouin said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) ‘load on my two camels with the fortune of God that is in your possession, because it is neither yours nor your father’s.’ The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) remained silent for a while and then said, ‘the fortune is Allah’s, and I am His servant. Do you not think you will be retaliated for the pain you have given me’. ‘No, I do not,’ answered the Bedouin. ‘Why?’ asked the Prophet. The Bedouin said, ‘because you do not react to evil with evil.’ The Prophet laughed and ordered to load the Bedouin’s camels with barley and dates.

Wahshi [ibn Harb, an enemy of Islam] heard that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) did not seek reprisal from envoys, so he went to see him with some envoys from Taif. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) asked him if he was Wahshi which he confirmed, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) then asked if he had killed Hadhrat Hamza. Again, he said yes. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) asked him the details of how he had killed his uncle and wept as he related the incident. He then forgave him but said if it was possible, could he not come in front of him again.

After the victory of Makkah, an order was given to kill Ikrama, a war criminal and a then extreme enemy of Islam. Ikrama flew towards Yemen when he heard of this. Meanwhile, his wife accepted Islam and chased after him. She found him by the coast about to board a boat. She brought him back by telling him that she had just come from the best among all people and that she had sought refuge for him. Ikrama returned and asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) if this was true. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) confirmed this, Ikrama recited the Shahadah and hung his head in shame. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) forgave all his transgressions and prayed, ‘O’ Allah, forgive every hurt that Ikrama caused me.’

Hadhrat Umer (may God be pleased with him) once said, ‘O Prophet of God, my parents be sacrificed on you, Hadhrat Nuh (peace be on him) thus prayed for his people: ‘…‘My Lord, leave not in the land a single one of the disbelievers;’ (71:27) But O Prophet of God, had you prayed in the same way about us, all of us would have been destroyed.’ The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had of course thus prayed: ‘O Allah forgive my people for they do not know what they do’.


This article and the accompanying slide show was inspired by Friday Sermon of Jan 14th delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Source: http://www.alislam.org/archives/friday/FSS20110114-EN.html

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