To forgive, or not forgive: that is the question.

I thought I was really good at forgiving, but that’s probably ego speaking. Because I’m not, all I did was live in another dimension where everything was fine, fine, fine. 

So yeah I need to figure something else out, this wasn’t really working out for me. How does forgiveness work, anyway? Is it not ”to err is human, to forgive divine”, therefore if we want to be better as a species should we not forgive, forgive, forgive.

And there’s that Hadith, it’s always thrown around:

The Messenger of Allah SAW was sitting with a group of the Sahabah (ra) in the mosque and he said “A man will now enter [who is] from the people of Paradise.” and a sahabi (companion) walked in. Later it happened again, and then a third time. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘aas (ra) wanted to find out what was so special about this man, so he asked the man if he could stay over his house for 3 days. The man allowed him to stay. ‘Abdullah noticed that the man didn’t do anything out of the ordinary: He didn’t fast all the time, he slept some of the night and prayed some of the night, and so on. So after the 3 days, ‘Abdullah told him the real reason why he requested to stay with him, and he asked him what it was that could be the reason why he was from the people of Jannah.

The man (ra) couldn’t think of anything, but after a bit he said “Every night, before I go to sleep, I forgive whoever has wronged me. I remove any bad feelings towards anyone from my heart.”

(Kitab al-Zuhd by Ibn al-Mubarak – Number 694)

You have to draw the line somewhere, though, surely. Sometimes, the cuts run too deep, too knotted to just undo and pretend you’re fine with what has transpired, that simple words can withdraw the metaphorical dagger.

At the same time, would you not also want forgiveness, for with forgiveness comes an element of retribution?

I forgive as I hope to be forgiven, because as I see it, when someone asks for forgiveness, they’re acknowledging they’ve messed up and cause damage, emotional or otherwise. It’s a very difficult thing to do, to apologise. It shows integrity of character and sincerity to the other person. It is The Right Thing To Do™.

But where do you draw the line? It’s tricky writing about this without specifics (that’ll come out eventually, I’d say) but when does an apology just not cut it?

That is to say, are you required to forgive? Can you forgive someone and still not want to be in any contact with them – does that still count as forgiveness?

I’m seeking the The Right Thing To Do™ in that prospect. I’m not a pushover by any means, but the whole ”live and let live” thing didn’t work out for me – I was stuck in a rut for most, if not all, of my final years as a teen.

I’ve forgiven the past – I just don’t know what it means for the future. It’s frankly quite scary, but I’m proud. For once, I figured out that The Right Thing To Do™ was to look out for me, myself, first, before everyone else. I’ve also finally figured out how valuable solace is, worth any price.

Maybe it’s fine to forgive and forget. I have nothing to lose, all to gain. Except this time, it means I can move on, because as a wise woman Taylor Swift once said – ”Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes.”

 

…okay sorry, I’m disappointed in myself too.

But that’s exactly it, is it not? Once you’ve shattered something, you’re past the point of no return. There’s no resent, just a desire to learn and move on. And that’s fine.

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5 Comments

  1. They say that forgiveness is less about the other person who did wrong, and more so you can seek closure for yourself and move on. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to have the same level of trust with that person that you had once before. It’s more about not having any grudges left in your heart, so you can have more peace within yourself. The level of difficulty in forgiving someone varies from situation to situation, person to person; but what always helps me is to remember to forgive that person for the sake of Allah and so that I can move on.
    Really great piece Hiba! Here’s to putting yourself first and moving on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really like this, peace for myself first and foremost. Thanks for reading, and dropping by Nafisa – I needed that! ❤

      Like

  2. You know… when Aisha (Ra) had been slandered against, one of the people who had engaged in that talk about her was a man who sometimes used to borrow money from Abu Bakar As Siddeeq, and out of his disappointment and hurt, the only thing Abu Bakar did was stop lending that man money…
    And Allah revealed then to the messenger peace and blessings be upon him that the one who forgives has a great reward on Allah.
    And after hearing that Abu Bakar actually forgave that man and started lending him again..
    Muslims have a right upon each other to be forgiven by each other..
    And when you forgive you will have something so great from Allah.. so great that even Allah didn’t put it in words..
    He just said there’s a huge reward for it and it’s on me.
    I think we can try to take a little heed from here..

    Liked by 1 person

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