Ramadhan Lesson 1- Forgiving Others

We are all children of Adam (alayhi salaam) and so we all err. When we have wronged someone, we should ask for forgiveness from that person, and likewise, when we are wronged, we should forgive those who have wronged us. But some of us find it harder than others to forgive.

Image <– I love this quote but allow me to change it up a little bit because I believe everyone deserves to be forgiven. I will get to that point soon. My version of it: “Forgive others not solely because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.”

..And it’s true. Even though God has given us that right to withhold forgiveness, He certainly does not encourage it! It torments you!- refusing to forgive another is like holding on to hot coal! It disturbs your inner peace. It haunts and torments you. It is painful.

It takes a certain kind of humility to be the bigger person. What good lies in not forgiving that other person anyway? It just indicates the amount of pride and arrogance you have in you, withholding something of which you’re not a rightful owner to in the first place. I’m talking about ‘forgiveness’; this is not our forte. This is not something we humans are experts of. Don’t act like we’re bosses, choosing who we like to forgive and who not to forgive. Therefore, give. it. up. We’re already losing the fight even before it started. Since only Allah is Al-Ghafour, the All-Forgiving, it is He who forgives. It is His attribute. It is a Godly one. Since we do not have that capacity in the first place, let’s not pretend we do and start punishing people more than they deserve to be punished.

Those who wrong you have the duty to ask for Allah to forgive them for this wrongdoing of theirs and it is a responsibility upon them to ask for you whom they have wronged, to forgive them. Unfortunately, this is the harder part. Since Allah is the All-Forgiving and He loves to forgive, He is most likely to forgive this person (provided that they are sincere in their repentance and show that they are remorseful for their wrongdoing). But us..? We have the cheek to not pardon a fellow human being who by the way eats, sleeps, and sins just like us, in front of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). What reason, what excuse, what’s our justification for refusing to forgive them? Do we think we’re able to refuse them Jannah if we impose on them this ‘debt’ that will extend until the Day of Reckoning? Then by Allah, you must think who you will answer to! Allah, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth and all in between forgives this person. And us, who are unable to guarantee other people, let alone ourselves, Paradise, have the cheek to refuse a person entry to Jannah..? Are you for real?

We need to seize every opportunity of doing good, as much as we can. My mother taught me that whenever I’m finding certain good deeds very difficult to do, look at them as Jannah access cards. Applying this to the issue at hand, I then realise that since forgiving is a good deed that I find hard so to do, then struggling to do it for the sake of the value and weight it carries on my scales in the Hereafter just makes it sweeter, easier to do. Who knows that our sincerity in forgiving that person who has wronged us will manifest into a prize for us on the Day of Judgment? Yes, I know that that person might have betrayed us, hurt us badly, slandered us etc., but us forgiving them even though they don’t deserve it, is for our ownselves. It is an investment for our own Aakhirah :)

When Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was rejected by the people of Tai’f, there he was pelted with stones and driven out of their village, bleeding till his sandals filled with blood, still he forgave them. He was the Nabi! A prophet! So he could have asked for Allah to destroy them but he forgave them and even prayed for them, and for himself. He forgives his enemies. He forgives those who harm him physically and verbally. With hands raised towards the heavens, he says, “…So long as You are not angry with me, I do not care. Your favour is of a more expansive relief to me.” Still in such a position, he does not even think about sending harm their way, or holding grudges. Instead he wanted to confirm if Allah is pleased with him or not. Such humility, subhanAllah!

If you’re not even dealing with that big of an issue i.e. not with an ‘enemy’, …fair enough. Let me relate to you about a man during the time of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) who was given the glad tidings of Jannah. When a Sahabah heard this, he observed that man from the time he wakes up until he sleeps for 3 days. And he didn’t find anything which the man did that made him stand out from the rest of the Sahabah who were in fact, seemed to be doing more good deeds. The Sahabah then gave up and asked the man directly who then finally revealed a virtuous act which he never fails to do every night; “Every night, before I go to sleep, I forgive whoever has wronged me. I remove any bad feelings towards anyone from my heart.”

Forgiving others results in you finding peace within yourself. You will thank that person for the experience. I know I’ve stopped holding grudges when I look at that person who had wronged me 5 years ago, and feel nothing against them. I know I’ve forgiven a person when I see it has not affected them (outwardly at least), the fact that I haven’t forgiven them. Just looking at them go by life so easily, my intentions of wanting to torment and hurt them by not forgiving them failed miserably. It backfired on me instead. They know their duty is to seek forgiveness from Allah and He has forgiven them and that gives them peace enough. Allah is enough for them. They ought to ask for my forgiveness too, but when I turn them away, they know they’ve done their best. Still Allah remains enough for them.

So Allah should be enough for me too.

I deserve peace. Others deserve peace.

Advertisements

‘Go easy on the judging’ -Sister Megan Wyatt

Haya for women? Listen up sisters! We need to stop deciding that other women are not following haya because they are active, speak loudly, communicate well, or become leaders.

Haya is not the same as meekness, shyness, quietness, or being awkward around men.

It’s about your internal state, your motives, frame of mind, and how you carry yourself. Every woman KNOWS when she is trying to be liked, attractive, interesting, and appealing to a man. You just KNOW deep down when it’s happening.

But it ain’t all about dress code, and being visible. It’s more about the energy and presence you bring into a room. (And that’s for men too)

I used to joke that I was the “sister with no haya” because I could go to a table of food at the same time as a brother in the MSA or at a masjid iftaar and get the starving girls some food because the brothers forgot to stop munching at the buffet table. I used to be the “go to girl” to raise my hand to ask questions from other teachers because sisters claimed they were too shy out of haya to ask.

I challenge you: Is it haya or is it fear of being judged? Is it truly fearing Allah in your actions or fearing what “the brothers” will think of you?

I read recently a sister was saying that a woman who isnt covered properly was leading a meeting with brothers and sisters, and how could we blame the brothers if they decide not to participate again because of her since the were uncomfortable looking at her.

Since when did Islamic activism or organizations become for the perfect, and may Allah forgive the one who thinks that they are above another. MSAs, ISOCs, board meetings, the MASJID is a place for people to BE a Muslim, and being a Muslim is a daily struggle of submission.

If a brother is uncomfortable it’s because the brother himself has issues he has to own up to and fix – it’s not because of the sister. SubhanAllah, we have all this judgment in our little meeting rooms, but these same guys are going out into university to become doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, artists…whatever…. mixing with the WORLD where women exist. If they can’t hold their own in a meeting with an uncovered sister while talking about Islam, then I fear for them in the real world.

We sisters are not responsible for creating your safe haven from the “fitnah” outside. That safe haven is found wherever you go by fearing Allah and lowering your gaze in public and in private. You brother, are in charge of finding your self control, not your sisters in Islam.

Let people be a part of the Muslim community as they are, and focus on changing who you are so you can accommodate them.

People get all into “dawah” talk trying to help non-Muslims find Islam, but they have zero tolerance for their own fellow Muslim brothers and sisters. (I shudder at my early days of Islam when I too, fell into such a trap)

If Allah blessed you with steadfastness to worship Him and obey Him than that should create a greater humility in your heart, not pride. So she doesn’t cover, and you judge her, but then you want to turn around and try to call people to Islam? Seriously? 

“But sister Megan, she knows better.”

And you know better too, and thank Allah for all the sins He covers up for you, all the backbiting you’ve done, or looking at haram behind closed doors, or any other hidden sin you hide. How many times could someone catch you and say “you know better?” Be careful of finding arrogance because your sins are harder for others to see. 

“But shouldn’t we tell her to at LEAST cover up at the MSA/ISOC/IslamicClass…? I mean it’s fard…”

Unless she is praying and her prayer isn’t going to count without her covering – then no, you don’t need to tell her. I mean seriously, do you think that a Muslim girl in attendance with tons of other women in hijab is so clueless to not know that other people prefer she covers? Most know, but they aren’t ready, they can’t, they are scared, they feel insecure, they have so many reasons not to….

But they do want what you want: and that is to become a better Muslim, to make a difference for the sake of Allah.

How could you stand in someone’s way because of this?

We have to start learning how to focus on ourselves, and be HAPPY when someone wants to participate in Islamic activities. Give people a chance to learn and grow without judgment, and soon you’ll find those same people become your teachers and you are their students. 

I know women are jealous of other women, and I know that men struggle to not sexualize women.

We all know that – but in order for our Muslim communities to become strong, we have to work from the INSIDE out, not the OUTSIDE in here in the West.

When a person is ready, because of your character, and you following the Sunnah – they will change, they will want to change, and then they will come and seek advice and counsel from you.

Let’s chill on the judging, and get busy! and Allah knows best.

(Source)

(Read 2nd part on Hijab)