Some thoughts from “The Forgiveness, the undoing” Findhorn, Scotland
When one does not forgive someone for the harm caused to them, resentment takes a seat in the heart and digs it claws into it at every curb of life.
There are so many horrific events in the world that one can see, or experience. Some can be shared yet others are too shameful to ones own self in the view of society and are held secret adding another claw of resentment and guilt into the heart of the sufferer.
Resentment if left untouched or fed by further events can eventually poison each cell in our heart and body one by one till one is transformed into a raging inferno of hate and revenge.
Such a person or countries then wage havoc on others and create more violence and more trauma and post traumatic shock which then feeds into the unending cycle of resentment –hate-violence-trauma-post traumatic shock- resentment- hate and on and on.
As a Muslim after studying the Quran and trying to follow the Sunnah we know at a cerebral level that Hate, Revenge and Unforgiveness is anathema to a the core of being a true Muslim, however translating it into action in reality is difficult if not impossible nowadays.
The primary event may occur when ones basic rights are violated personally as in rape or spousal abuse or the bombing of a country or setting it to fire for a single act of aggression performed by a small group of people from that nation (eg Afghanistan)
The cycle that ensues in the uncontrolled mind of the individual who has been harmed and becomes angry and who then fuels the public with war songs challenging their patriotism, and thus spreading fear and paranoia. All of which is very successful if there is a scapegoat handy.
In the US the scapegoats were Japanese who were handy and available for revenge, in the Second World War. the Japanese Americans some who had never seen Japan in their life were pulled out of their homes and offices and sent to barracks with minimal food and water.
After 911 the Muslims have become the scapegoat of the anger of the unforgiving mind, this has started the tsunami of violence all over the world and its retribution of revenge and violence in return.
The question is how is this violence going to stop?
Here are some opinions:
- It has to be stopped with more violence otherwise the oppressors will win
- It has to be stopped by peaceful protests
- By boycotting goods made in that nation to put the financial squeeze
- By dropping the A bomb on the weaker nation and who does not have an A bomb yet.
Do any of these appeal to you? Please take our poll.
Most people confuse forgiveness with validation of the act and even reconciliation.
The question for Muslims who are being oppressed and whose nations are being decimated by war is:
- What does Allah Subhanawataala say in the Quran? And how did The Prophet pbuh conduct himself?
The questions asked at the Conference on Forgiveness at Findhorn revolved around the inner self, which then led to outer behavior:
- How does one stop oppression without violence?
- How does one protect the people of ones own nation should it be at the expense of the people of the other nations? And what happens if one does that, evidence is available historically in the near past.
- Is it even possible to forgive for a human being after a heinous crime (such as rape, murder and mass torture and executions of ones loved ones) has been committed against oneself?
- Will forgiveness of the crime lead to more crime?
The answers to these are complex and to get to them one has to lay ones heart open, empty ones mind of all preconceived notions and experience the answers from the soul rather than read them off a screen from our pre-programmed minds.
In Findhorn, at the Conference on Forgiveness, The people who walked onto the stage, speakers and audience alike, bared their pain, and the heart rending process of how they have crawled on bleeding knees towards forgiveness, not as much for the sake of the aggressor but for their own peace of mind and heart, seeking wholeness and prevention for such a crime to ever be repeated.
I was stunned, struck silent with reverence for the capacity of the human heart.