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Lesson Forty - Seven: Obstacles to Obedience (Part IIIB ctd)
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How to eject anger from our hearts
3. We must forgive those who annoy us

When we forgive, Allah (S.W.A) rewards us by instantly removing the anger caused by the forgiven insult. One may ask, “I have forgiven someone, but I still feel angry at him/her. Why?” This happens because although we may physically utter the word, ‘I forgive you’, the heart may remain adamant and refuse to forgive. True forgiveness can only come from the heart and until the heart feels comfortable, you will remain angry. When we want to forgive, we consult the mind to tell us why we forgive; but the heart has to accept, too. You may have a thousand reasons to forgive, but if the heart is not comfortable, forgiveness does not occur; one remains bitter; anger remains in the heart.

How do we then make a heart forgive? We have to convince the heart that Allah (S.W.A) recommends forgiveness highly even at a time when we are still boiling with anger (42:37).

Since Allah (S.W.A) is all knowing, we take him by his word. He says forgiveness is good, so we do it. It does not matter whether we feel it is fair or unfair; whether we know its benefits or not; we just do it. This is trusting in Allah (S.W.A). He says forgiveness is good and so we believe it is good, and we do just that!

Another closely related point is to forgive for Allah (S.W.A)’s sake. Forgive your insulators and treat it as a gift to Allah (S.W.A), like fasting. Allah (S.W.A) says that fasting is the only one thing we do for Him. All other duties or religious obligations benefit none but us. When we forgive for Allah (S.W.A)’s sake, we do not feel as if the insulter is getting off the hook easily. We have done nothing for the insulter. We just forgave to contain wrongdoing, and that pleases Allah (S.W.A). Therefore, our aim becomes pleasing Allah (S.W.A), and not letting the insulter get the better of us.

There is good and there is bad in the world. If we indulge in revenge, then the world will be filled with wrongdoing. To forgive is to block the vicious circle of wrongdoing. If we convince our hearts that we are forgiving for the sake of Allah (S.W.A), they will yield and forgiveness will be accepted, and then anger will exit.

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