A short reminder titled “Forgiving others” by Sheikh Zahir Mahmood [apologies for the loud nasheed in the background].
Just as it is important to believe in the mercy and forgiveness of Allah, it is also necessary to base human relations on forgiveness. We cannot expect Allah’s forgiveness unless we also forgive those who do wrong to us. Forgiving each other, even forgiving one’s enemies is one of the most important Islamic teachings. In the Qur’an Allah has described the Believers as “those who avoid major sins and acts of indecencies and when they are angry they forgive.” (ash-Shura 42: 37) Later in the same Surah Allah says, “The reward of the evil is the evil thereof, but whosoever forgives and makes amends, his reward is upon Allah.” (al-Shura 42: 40) In another place the Qur’an says, “If you punish, then punish with the like of that wherewith you were afflicted. But if you endure patiently, indeed it is better for the patient. Endure you patiently. Your patience is not except through the help of Allah.” (an-Nahl:126-127)
In one Hadith, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said that Allah has commanded him about nine things; one of them he mentioned was “that I forgive those who do wrong to me.”
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was the most forgiving person. He was ever ready to forgive his enemies. When he went to Ta’if to call the people to Islam, its people mistreated him. They abused him and hit him with stones.
He left the city humiliated and wounded. When he took shelter under a tree, the angel of Allah visited him and told him that Allah sent him to destroy the people of Ta’if because of their sin of mistreating their Prophet. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, prayed to Allah to save the people of Taif, because what they did was out of their ignorance. He said, “O Allah, guide these people, because they did not know what they were doing.”
“Let not those among you who are endued with grace and amplitude of means resolve by oath against helping their kinsmen, those in want and those who migrated in the path of Allah. Let them forgive and overlook. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? Indeed Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-Nur 24:22)
The Messenger of Allah said: “The best deed before Allah is to pardon a person who has wronged you, to show affection for relatives who have broken ties with you, and to act generously towards a person who has deprived you”. Thereafter he recited the following holy verses: “Turn to forgiveness and enjoin good and turn aside from ignorant” (7:199).
“He who is not merciful to people Allah will not be merciful to him.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].