17 The Importance Of Forgiveness In Islam
Allah, the one and only rulers in Islam has a name “Al Ghaffur”, means The Oft-Forgiving. Every believers in Islam should ask for Allah’s forgiveness every time, because we don’t know how many sins we have committed. Allah said:
“… Allah forgives what is past: for repetition Allah will exact from him the penalty. For Allah is Exalted, and Lord of Retribution.” Al Maidah (5:95).
Forgiveness is very important in Islam. The importance of the forgiveness in Islam are:
1. Forgiving is one of Allah SWT’s quality
Allah has promised in the Holy Quran that He will forgive everyone who repent for his sins and mistake. One of Allah’s name is Al Ghafur (the Oft Forgiving), mentioned more than 70 times in Quran. As said in Quran,
“. . . and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” – An Nur (24:22)
Also read: Best Way to Seek Forgiveness from Allah
2. Forgiveness removes the burden of sins
All of the sins that human committed during their life in the world should be accounted in the Day of Judgement. But Allah Almighty is merciful and giving the chance to human being to repent for their sins as long as they still alive, with the guarantee of forgiveness from Allah. Allah is Al Afuw which means “to remit”, “to release”, and “to heal”. It shows that Allah will release all the burden human beings should carry because of their sins. Al Afuw mentioned five times in the Quran.
3. Allah would not judge anyone until they ask for forgiveness
No matter how many sins and mistake we have done to Allah, The Almighty never judge His worshiper quickly. Allah is mild and lenient, patiently waiting for His subject to as for his forgiveness. Allah is Al Haleem, the “forbearing”, “indulgent”, “lenient”, and “mild”
“And if Allah was to impose blame on the people for what they have earned, He would not leave upon the earth any creature. But He defers them for a specified term. And when their time comes, then indeed Allah has ever been, of His servants, Seeing.” – Fatir (35:45)
4. Forgiveness means Allah SWT’s love
Allah has the most two common names used my most of Muslims in the world: Al Rahman and Al Rahim. The former refers to the abundance of Allah’s mercy and the latter refers to the consistency that the mercy will always present. Al Rahman mentioned 57 times in Quran while Al Rahim present 115 times.
5. Allah is a forgiver and human should follow suit
Even if our sins is as much as the foam in the sea, Allah will forgive you anytime we asked for. Thus, human doesn’t have any reason not to forgive each other. Allah knows forgiving someone who hurt us is hard, but remember that Allah did the same way to us.
“Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant.” – Al A’raf (7:199).
Also read: Surah for Forgiveness of Major Sins
6. Allah SWT values forgiveness
Islam strongly recommends forgiveness because Allah is valuing it. Numerous verses in Quran and Hadith talk about the importance of forgiveness in Islam. Forgiveness is an encouraging act with the promise of reward from Allah Almighty. However, Islam allow revenge taken to some certain extent of damage.
“The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) loveth not those who do wrong.” – As Shura (42:40)
7. Forgiveness is an honor
People who forgiving with their heart will raises their merit in the eyes of Allah. Forgiveness is a golden ticket to enter the paradise. Instead of becoming the signs of weakness and humiliation, forgiveness is an honor and charity (sadaqaah). The Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said,
“Charity does not decrease wealth, no one forgives except that Allah increases his honor, and no one humbles himself for the sake of Allah except that Allah raises his status.” – Muslim.
8. Forgiveness is proof of faith
Every Muslim give their faith to Allah and worship Him until the end of the world. Faith cannot be showed only by words, but through action as well. One of the importance of forgiveness in Islam is because it comes from taqwa (piety), a quality only possessed by the Allah-fearing people.
“The believers are those who spend in charity during ease and hardship and who restrain their anger and pardon the people, for Allah loves the doers of good.” – Ali Imran (3:134).
9. Forgiveness with lighten the heart
There are many scientific proof that forgiveness will lighten the heart of the forgiver and the one who asked for it. American scientist discovered that people who has the habit to forgive others are having minimal risk of insomnia, backache, and stomachache. Not only it good for health, but forgiveness is also a good source of reward from Allah.
10. Guarantee of Jannah
Allah knows that holding up the pain is not easy and not everyone simply able to do it. Thus He promise the best things He could offers to the forgiver: His forgiveness and Jannah. Allah forgives everyone who forgive their brothers, and promised through the Messenger of Allah (PBUH),
“I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.” – Imam Abu Dawud.
Also read: Seven Heavens in Islam
11. Forgiveness is a good behavior
Muslim should possess good behaviors that Prophet Muhammad shows and teach. In one of his sayings, the Prophet emphasized the importance of forgiveness in Islam:
“It is not permissible for a man to forsake his Muslim brother for more than three days, each of them turning away from the other when they meet. The better of them is the one who gives the greeting of salaam first.” – Bukhari & Muslim.
12. Allah SWT forgive those who forgive
To be able to enter the Jannah, Muslim have to earn forgiveness from Allah upon the sins he committed. But Allah forgiveness only come when a Muslim is forgiving their brother. As said by the Messenger of Allah (PBUH):
“Be merciful to others and you will receive mercy. Forgive others and Allah will forgive you.” – Musnad Ahmad.
13. Muhammad SAW is a forgiver
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the ultimate role model to Muslim of how they should live their life. One of the quality of our Prophet is forgiveness. This character was cited by his beloved wife, Aisha as told to Abu Abdullah Al Khadali:
“The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was not indecent, he was not obscene, he would not shout in the markets, and he would not respond to an evil deed with an evil deed, but rather he would pardon and overlook.” – At Tirmidhi.
14. Forgiveness is crucial for the Hereafter
Forgiveness is really important because one forgive to earn the forgiveness from Allah. Other than that, by forgiving we are suppressing our ego and feeding our heart with good things. We may not feel the benefits much when we lived, but once we have reach the door to Paradise we’ll know the true goods from forgiveness as said by Messenger of Allah, reported by Abu Sa’id Al Khudri:
“When the believers pass safely over (the bridge across) Hell, they will be stopped at a bridge (the siraat) between Hell and Paradise where they will retaliate against one another for the injustices done among them in the world, and when they are purified of all their sins, they will be admitted to Paradise. By Him in Whose hands the life of Muhammad is, everybody will recognize his dwelling in Paradise better than he recognizes his dwelling in this world.” – Bukhari
Also read: Quran Verses about Love
15. Forgiveness really matters as steadfast determination
There are many ways to describe steadfast (istiqamah) in Islam. One of them is doing what in favors of Allah and stay away from things that He doesn’t. Forgiveness is one quality that Allah wished His servants to possess. Allah Himself will forgive no matter how many and how big the sins we have committed, then why can’t we do the same thing to our brothers? As mentioned in the Holy Quran:
“Whoever is patient and forgives, verily, that is among the matters of steadfast determination.” – As Shura (42:43)
16. Forgiveness as an honor to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Nobody in the world do not know that Prophet Muhammad always forgive everyone, including the one who did him wrong. He never return evil with evil, anger with anger, instead he forgives them. Abdullah ibn Mas’ud one reported:
“I saw the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, tell the story of a prophet who was beaten by his people and he wiped the blood from his face, saying: My Lord, forgive my people for they do not know.” – Bukhari.
17. Forgiveness brings peace
Living in the world is a piece of a cake. It won’t be eternal, thus Prophet (PBUH) and Allah Almighty warns us to live in peace and goodness. One good way to make peace is by forgiveness. There will be no war, chaos, and fight if one and another has a big heart to forgive.
Those are the importance of forgiveness in Islam. May us blessed with forgiveness, living a full live and continue to do good deeds that would help us in the Hereafter.