Muslim Teen Chat!

Lesson Forty - nine: obstacles to Obedience ( part III B) ctnd
The Lessons
Questions & Answers (FAQ)
Reader Contributuions
Message Board

 Why Forgiveness?



I. We forgive for our mental health and happiness.


To hold onto grudges is to hold onto bitter poison. Grudges replenish insult by keeping it ever fresh in our minds and hearts. While wallowing in despair, the insult digs deeper and deeper in our minds and hearts, and en-route unleashing bitterness, anger, and resentment. The ‘whys did she/he do this or that’ do not make our situation any easier. To help ourselves we must face insult head on; that is to forgive it, ignore and forget it, or seek revenge for it. This way we free our lives from anger and constant worry. Allah (SWT) advises:

“So lose not heart nor fall into despair; for you must gain mastery if you are true in faith (3:139).

Oh you who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance, strengthen each other and fear Allah that you may prosper (3:200).”

From the above verses it is clear that we must never give in to our problems. We must be patient and remain on top. Bitterness and resentment are mental blocks that stagnates growth in maturity and wisdom. They are a prison for our souls. In this state the soul remains timid without any will to venture out of its closet. People in this category neglect themselves. They also become mean to those near to them whose love, support and help they need to sail through their problems. Forgiveness is one way to free our souls from the crippling effects of anger and resentment. More importnt, when we forgive, we unmask the fear of helplessness deep down in our hearts which is the real cause of anger. It is this fear of our enemy or enemies which is the real problem for our souls. Fear traps our souls, and the soul does not like it. In response releases  the emotions of anger, bitterness and resentment. No soul can flourish unless this fear is exposed and confronted. This fear lies below anger and resentment. If we expel anger and resentment from our hearts, then the cover is off this fear. Then it is time for us to  confront the fear in our hearts. It is only through confronting this fear and defeating it or understanding it and putting it in its place, that we can gain mastery of ourselves and the situations that bother us.

II. Anger can be used as a weapon to control its victim.

In anger, our ability to think clearly is limited; our souls shy away and develop self pity. Persons in this category, the best they do is to complain, but  not so loudly that the aggressor hears. These people are not a threat at all especially to the aggressor. So the aggressor wins; the victim is contained in  a heavily walled cell of fear padlocked with anger and resentment. We can protect ourselves from this aggression by being alert. We must watch out for what we hear, see, or read. If it sparks the fire of anger in us, then we must stay away from such material – it retards the mind instead of nourishing it with knowledge. If, as it is sometimes true, we must hear or read such material, then we must be prepared to do something about it; that is either forgive and ignore, or avenge ourselves for the insult. If the material is imposed on us, for example, as a class subject, then we must hear it, reproduce it on the test papers, but never open our hearts to it.


To Be Continued