By Huda Azam
Being hurt can hold you back from moving ahead in life. Despite knowing that the past cannot be changed, you hold on to and are overwhelmed by the pain, regret, misery, and hopelessness. You wish ill for the person, who hurt you, and out of frustration, you want to seek revenge for giving them a taste of their own medicine.
Your feelings are valid. Do not hate yourself for experiencing negativity. It is human psyche to dwell on the hurt and wish for revenge. Yet, we are reminded repeatedly that Allah (swt) loves those who forgive.
The Quran states: “And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation – his reward is [due] from Allah. Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers”. (Ash-Shura 42:40)
Forgiveness is a difficult journey. One day, you want to forgive, but on other days, your misery takes over. It is like being trapped in a tangled web. You have to fight your negative impulses to earn the reward Allah (swt) has promised.
There’s something beautiful about this process of purging yourself from your feelings or pain and despair. Allah (swt) honors you with rewards, for He Himself states that He does not like the oppressors. Whoever hurts you, earns Allah’s (swt) displeasure. Emotional pain can sometimes be far more difficult to deal with, because it is not visible to others. It is easier to get sympathies for a visible physical injury. Therefore, Allah (swt) assures us that He knows what is within our hearts.
“And conceal your speech or publicize it; indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts.” (Al-Mulk 67:13)
He understands your struggles, and so He gives you a choice. You, as a victim, can rightfully choose not to forgive. The weight that keeps crushing you may not be recognized by others, but He surely does and takes it in His hands.
Abu Huraira (rtam) has narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “Whoever has oppressed another person concerning his reputation or anything else, he should beg him to forgive him before the Day of Resurrection, when there will be no money (to compensate for wrong deeds), but if he has good deeds, those good deeds will be taken from according to his oppression, which he has done, and if he has no good deeds, the sins of the oppressed will be loaded on him.” (Bukhari)
It is always better to seek advice from the Prophet’s (saws) life. He forgave Hind for killing Hamza (rtam), and he made peace with his deadliest enemies at the time of Conquest of Makkah, despite having all the power to take full revenge.
There is peace in forgiveness. When you do so, you not only follow a Sunnah, but you earn divine pleasure. Forgive, because it helps you heal emotionally and spiritually. Forgive, because Allah (swt) knows what is best for you.