by Sarah Ahmed
The Prophet (s) once asked his companions, “Do you want to see a man of Paradise?” He then pointed at a man who was passing by as a man of Paradise. One of the companions who was talking to the Prophet (s) wanted to know how that man had earned Paradise, so he decided to spend time with him and figure this out. He noticed that this man didn’t pray tahajjud or do anything outside the usual worship, so he decided to ask him if he did anything special. The man replied, “The only thing that I can think of, other than what everybody else does, is that I make sure that I never sleep with any rancor in my heart towards another.” That is what got him into Paradise, the act of never going to sleep holding anything against someone.
Think of the last time someone hurt you in any way. It could be big or small. Perhaps you told your friend a secret and he ended up telling several other people. Maybe your parents made an important promise and didn’t follow through with it. Or a classmate is spreading awful rumors about you. Whatever it is, what did you do after? Sometimes when we’re hurt, it’s easier to let go and at other times, it seems impossible to do so.
Now think about the times you’ve held onto the hurt, the times you didn’t forgive, the times you held something against someone. How did that feel? That feeling is often a negative energy, something that’s very burdensome and exhausting. Is that really something you feel like hanging onto? Martin Luther King, Jr. said “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” According to the Mayo Clinic, getting rid of that burden by forgiving allows you to be emotionally and physically healthier. You’ll have less anxiety, a stronger immune system, a healthier heart, lower blood pressure, and overall healthier relationships.
So how do you forgive someone? In the video below, Shaykh Saad Tasleem mentions three ways:
- We all need the mercy and forgiveness of Allah if we want to enter Paradise. One of the ways we attain that is forgiving others.
- What if this person died tomorrow?
- Can you guarantee that one day you will not be in that position? What if we need the forgiveness of someone else?
What are some other ways you’ve forgiven others before? Let us know in the comments!