How can we forgive the people who have harmed us?

Details of the Question
How can we forgive the people who have harmed us?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Man needs to avoid wronging others; similarly, he needs to prevent others from doing wrong. This is a duty. However, there are some Islamic criteria about eliminating the wrongs inflicted upon us or others. It is necessary to comply with them.

For instance, it is the order of the Prophet (pbuh) to prevent an evil, an unfair deed through hands, if not possible through the tongue and if not possible, to dislike it through the heart. This hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) has been explained as follows by our scholars:

To prevent an evil through the handis the duty of the state and the other authorized people. To prevent an evil through the tongue is the duty of the scholars and the people who have enough knowledge about the issue. Those who have no authority and knowledge need to dislike that evil through their hearts.

Accordingly, it is necessary to apply to the authorities when one is wronged in order to eliminate that wrong treatment and to make the people who have power to interfere. If all of these ways are used and if the evil cannot be prevented, it means that person will receive his right in the hereafter on the day of reckoning in the Gathering Place.

As for the issue of waiving one's rights and forgiving,it is a virtue; a person can forgive the transgressions committed against his own rights if he wishes. Those who do not retaliate against the bad deeds committed by their believing brothers and forgive them will definitely receive their great rewards in the hereafter. They can demand their rights if they wish. It is up to them to decide.

"He is the One that accepts repentance from His Servants and forgives sins: and He knows all that ye do."(ash-Shura, 42/25)

As it is stated in the verse above, Allah is the most forgiving. As people who comply with the ethics that Allah likes, we, believers, prefer to forgive the other people when we are wronged by them and do good deeds in return for bad deeds. It is the characteristic of the people who have taqwa to show patience when they are wronged, to forgive a person who does a bad deed, not to nurture revenge and to overcome one's fury. The expression of this attitude is the consent and love of Allah. Allah states the following in the Quran:

"Those who spend (freely) whether in prosperity or in adversity; who restrain anger and pardon (all) men; for Allah loves those who do good."(Aal-i Imran, 3/134)

A person who does a good deed in return for a bad deed and forgives the person who does a bad deed becomes a means of a peaceful life both for himself and the people around him. It is definitely a very easy, peaceful and comfortable life that cannot be compared to a hard life that is full of the feelings of grudge, hatred, enmity and revenge all the time. Man will have to show patience and make an effort for a while in order to get rid of the feelings of fury and grudge that he has at the beginning; however, he will lead a life full of love, respect and peace thanks to this ethics he nurtures. Allah addresses believers as follows: in the Quran:

"Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate! And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint none but persons of the greatest good fortune." (Fussilat, 41/34-35)

Allah presents people a nice and easy life in return for high ethics. Around a person who is not forgiving are people who nurture grudge and hatred against him; however, a person who is forgiving finds a life full of peace and sincere friends in the world. In the hereafter, he will be rewarded for this high ethics in the best way; The following is stated in a verse in the Quran:

"Their Lord doth give them glad tidings of a Mercy from Himself, of His good pleasure, and of Gardens for them wherein are delights that endure."(at-Tawba, 9/21)

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