Want Allah to Forgive You? Forgive Others
By Sheikh Salman al-Oadah
If we want Allah to forgive us, we should be forgiving of others and willing to overlook their wrongs. This is part of what it means to be good to others. Allah describes his believing servants as “those who restrain their anger and are pardoning towards people.” He then says: “Indeed, Allah loves those who do good.” [Sūrah Āl `Imrān: 134]
Indeed, Allah says: “And let not those of you who possess wealth and abundance swear against giving to the near of kin and the poor and those who have had to emigrate for Allah’s sake. They should forgive and forebear. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” [Sūrah al-Nūr: 22]
Righteous deeds of all kinds bring us closer to Allah, but especially kindness to others. We should show kindness to all creatures as well as to human beings, whether this kindness comes in the form of our personal behavior, our sharing of our wealth, giving assistance with our abilities and our influence, or praying to Allah on their behalf. We need to especially consider the disenfranchised, the widows and orphans, and the poor.
The Prophet (peace be upon us) said: There was a merchant who used to extend credit to people. If he found one of his customers to be in straightened means, he would say to his assistants: “Forgive them their debt, perhaps Allah will forgive us.” Allah did forgive him. [Sahīh al-Bukhārī (2078) and Sahīh Muslim (1562)]
Pardon, tolerance, and magnanimity should exemplify the way we treat one another. We should be willing to overlook the faults of others. We should even be willing at times to waive some of our rights. We should not always demand everything that is due to us. All relationships are a matter of give and take.
This applies to everyone we have dealings with. It is the way things should be between the husband and wife, between parents and children, between teachers and students, and between governors and the governed. In each of these relationships, there are clearly defined rights and duties, and we should do our best to fulfill them. However, in every relationship, people fass short at times. Forgiveness, forbearance, and pardon bring harmony and love into our relationships.
Imagine a marriage based solely on accounting for rights and obligations. Would there be any love or mercy in such a marriage, any room for tenderness and affection?
Tolerance and magnanimity, stabilize those relationships and bolster the esteem and human worth that people have for one another. By Allah’s grace, these qualities make our dealings more successful, and certainly make our dealings more pleasing to Allah.