Rana Rais Khan – Editor-in-chief Hiba
What bears heavily on our soul? What extinguishes the light inside our heart? When we have been wronged by someone, we feel most disturbed. It is worse when this deception is perpetrated by a dear one, a trusted companion or a source of strength. Is it not our right to despise this person and seek revenge?
Naturally, a person’s first reaction is to hate the perpetrator. In some cases victims fall into self-pity. Some harbour feelings of animosity and unload their emotions on the social media or slander in public for years to come, reliving every moment of hurt.
But will the scars made by the nails that have been driven into a wall ever go? Digging up the past, gossiping about it, maligning the deceivers will not lessen the pain, simply because our heart is not meant to be a vessel for hatred.
The only way to make peace with oneself is to make peace with others and leave it all to Allah (swt). Allah is al-Waarith, to Whom every matter and everyone returns. Also understand that there is nothing random or coincidental in our life. These people were deliberately placed in our lives to teach us a lesson that brings us closer to Allah.
The only thing that helps a person forgive and move on is the reliance on the absolute knowledge and Wisdom of Allah’s swt Plan and our role in it. Allah (swt) is Ash-Shaheed. He states about himself: “Allah is sufficient as a witness.” (An-Nisa 4:79). This understanding gives us hope that Allah will take care of the situation Himself.
Our plan to avenge or not to avenge an enemy will reflect our weaknesses and incomplete knowledge. Hence we cannot ever grant a just verdict. Allah (swt) is free from any weakness and insufficiency, and since He is the Rubb of us all, He knows best how to handle the situation.
When Yusuf (as) was wronged by his brothers, he trusted his Lord and accepted His Decree. When he was enslaved at a tender age in Egypt, he again trusted his Creator and accepted His Decree. Lastly, when he was falsely accused by the minister’s wife, Yusuf (as) reverted to Allah (swt). In spite of being incarcerated for 9 years for no crime, he patiently waited for Allah’s (swt) Decree.
He could have been a very bitter person after this endless series of trials and injustices, but what kept him steadfast and positive in the face of persecutions? The Knowledge of Allah’s (swt) Majesty and His Game Plan gave him hope. Yusuf (as) was able to forgive his brothers and the woman who maligned him because he knew that it would all end well as Allah (swt) was Al-Khabeer (The All-Aware).
Yusuf (as) revealed to his evil brothers’ years after their crime: “Allah has certainly favoured us. Indeed he who fears Allah and is patient, then indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good.” (Yusuf 12:90)
He said: “No blame will there be upon you today. May Allah forgive you; and He is the most merciful of the merciful.” (Yusuf 12:92)
Notice that Yusuf (as) not only forgives his cruel brothers but also invokes Allah’s (swt) mercy for them. This was possible only because he knew that worldly losses and insufficiencies become meaningless and trivial when you realize that trials in this world are a means to gain Paradise in the Hereafter.
Remarkably, Yusuf (as) never even mentions the lists of tribulations he experienced. Instead he chooses to remember all the great bounties that were given to him by His Lord.
“My Lord, You have given me (something) of sovereignty and taught me of the interpretation of dreams. Creator of the heavens and earth, You are my protector in this world and the Hereafter. Cause me to die a Muslim and join me with the righteous.” (Yusuf 12:101)
Yusuf (as) focused on what was left with him after his losses and worked with that to the best of his ability. That attitude of trust in Allah (swt) and belief in himself elevated his status not only in the world but also in the Hereafter.
So the next time you think of all those who have made you suffer, adapt Yusuf’s (as) strategy. Fear Allah (swt) and be patient.
“There was certainly in their stories a lesson for those of understanding. Never was it (i.e. The Quran) a narration invented, but a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of all things and guidance and mercy for a people who believe.” (Yusuf 12:111)