“If you cannot forgive another, how can you expect to be forgiven………” Allah Subhanawataala explains the logic of the human act that will either soften your heart ready to receive and give or will harden it into stone. No LIGHT can pass into a hardened heart and the owner of such a heart will remain imprisoned in the darkness of despair and will forever be walled off from the love and nearness to The Beloved…….
To create an example for mankind the perfect man (pbuh) who was sent as a mercy for mankind asked for forgiveness numerous times all day long.
In one of the last surahs (Surah Nasr) that were revealed in Hajj al Wida Allah Subhanwataala while handing the opening of Mecca to the Muslims, which was followed by droves of people entering the faith of Islam, instructs them to live a life of Istighfaar (asking for forgiveness).
Ayesha RA says that after Surah Nasr was revealed the Prophet pbuh would make this dua copiously:
Subhanallahe wabe hamdeh wa istighfirullah e wa atubu alaik
(Courtesy Imam Daoudi in tafseer of Surah Nasr)
One of the 99 names known to us of Allah via the Quran is “THE FORGIVER” I find that we often invoke it when we are deliberately committing an infraction that will either hurt our self or others and is a blatant disobedience of Allah in an act that he dislikes or prohibits. Yet we rely on his being “THE FORGIVER” to all and sundry of every act heinous or minor.
However when it comes to overlooking or forgiving a blatant or a subtle disobedience to us personally or as a nation to another nation, we are merciless in our punishment.
Sometimes to the extent that a powerful nation punishes every single man woman and child of another weaker nation for a crime committed by a few from that nation. Many a time the powerful nation will profile entire nations as criminals and punish its people everywhere in the world if they match the color, language, ethics, culture, faith and even thoughts.
Forgiveness is considered as a trait of weakness in the lingo of nations scrambling for power over the weak ready to pillage their resources.Their motto and mentality is “Take no prisoners”
“Jesus forgives and so do I” are words said from the pulpit and remain on the pulpit. These words never really enter the hearts of the true Christians be that be for a simple crime or a major one.
Some folks confuse forgiveness with condoning the act or crime requiring forgiveness.
It is this confusion that causes walls to be built around hearts. It is this long unforgiving memory and promotion of vendetta of past events that has been justified for clashes between the Shias and Sunnis.
The horrific chapter in history written with the blood of the grandson of the Prophet pbuh. Is repeated again and again with transference of the vendetta to the generations to come of the perpetrators or those who follow the same faith, ethics or praying methodology.
Similarly a continuous manhunt for the 80 and 90-year-old Nazi camp guards who had no jobs in the Germany of those times also comes under an act of unforgiveness and delayed revenge for a past act that cannot be removed or repaired by that person.
Neuroimaging studies have has demonstrated that those who do not forgive develop a sickness of the brain which is seen as structural changes in the anatomy of the brain.
Thus unforgiveness is more injurious for the person who is unforgiving than the person who needs to be forgiven.
Thus with this understanding of Forgiveness ………….I am at Findhorn to learn from an international community that has lived and worked all over the world in horrific conditions and faced crimes of all sorts.
In order to survive and break the cycle of revenge and violence, those crimes have to be erased from their hearts and mind ………… an act that is impossible without forgiveness.