By Dr. Musharraf Hussain
Human beings are social creatures, living together as families in neighbourhoods, communities and towns. The infrastructure of cities, roads, transport, institutions and facilities for leisure and recreation all are a testimony of hard work and a long torturous history. This economic prosperity is a result of many compromises where individuals and groups have willingly and unwillingly given and taken. People have been victims as well as perpetrators of injustice. However, people have learnt to forgive and move on. It is quality of being tolerant to others and the spirit of compassion that has been the force de tour of human civilisation and prosperity. The progress of Human civilisation is deeply rooted in forgiveness.
Islamic teachings make it obligatory for Muslims to develop the virtue of forgiveness as the Quran repeatedly tells them to forgive; It doesn’t just command forgiveness but teaches that God is the Forgiving (Ghafir), the absolutely Forgiving (Ghaffar) and the most oft Forgiving (Ghafoor). Thus, the Quran provides us excellent examples and role models of forgiveness. We will also read how wonderfully forgiving the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Islam was!
“Forgiveness allows us to let go of the pain in the memory and if we let go of the pain in the memory we can have the memory but it does not control us. When memory controls us we are the puppets of the past” (The Garden of Forgiveness in Beirut by A. Asseily).
Forgiveness is a powerful virtue for displacing hard feelings , it empowers the victim to release resentment, hatred, malice and thoughts of revenge. What you are doing is dissociating yourself from the negative feelings that keep reminding you of the offence done against you. This diminishes the negative feelings against the other and gives you a sense of control and freedom that results in a happier life.
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