When we are hurt, insulted or faced with injustice, we have 2 options to deal with our feelings: either to forgive and forget or to hate, harbor grudge and rancor and live to seek revenge. Both choices are hard, but their results are completely opposite. Hatred, bitterness and hostility intoxicate your body. They throw you into frustration, weaken your system and make your nerves tense. It will yield nothing but pain. On the other hand, forgiveness transcends the soul and frees you from your destructive negative energy. Forgiveness heals you not only emotionally but also physically and mentally. Is it not worth it to get rid of the burden of anger, hatred and resentment, to be able to restore your position in social life, giving and receiving support?
Lots of people refuse to forgive, thinking it a sign of weakness; they think that by forgiving they are surrendering to their offenders. On the contrary, by forgiving you cease to be the victim of hatred and anger and you triumph over your own evil. Now comes the most important question:
HOW TO FORGIVE?
It is a challenging task requiring a fight against our own selves, it is considered by Islam as a sacred type of Jihad. Prophet Muhammad S.A.W said
“A mujahid is one who engages in jihad against his own self in obeying Allah.” (Baihaqi)
Therefore, I would like to share a few helpful tips:
1. Allow yourself enough time to heal, let yourself fully express your feelings; do not just deny the pain and turn your back on it, expecting it to disappear on its own.
2. Perform regular breathing exercises: the easiest one is simply to observe your breathing. Do not try to control it or force it, just watch it and relax.
3. Practice thinking that this life is just a transient path and those little events make up the bridge on which we can cross to the next world. So, take what is absolutely necessary for you to cross it and leave what is not.
4. Honour the Divine Wisdom behind every event. Live in harmony with Allah’s will, rather than fighting it.
5. Keep your mind engaged with more important things. Think about Allah’s Oneness, Justice and Mercy, about the rewards of conquering your anger and forgiving the offender\
“Whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah.” (Asy-Syura: 40)
6. Fear the punishment of Allah upon those whose hearts are filled with with anger, hatred and resentment.
7. Consider each event a lesson and every person a teacher, regardless of how you choose to judge their actions, it is useless to hate or blame them for the situation you are in.
8. Hatred is a heavy burden to carry, it does not benefit you or harm your offender in any way. It is a blinding sentiment that can eventually take full control of all your thoughts and actions.
9. Look for the good in everyone. Each person has to have a good side, we are human after all.
10. Know that Allah does not love anger, hatred or revenge.
11. Fill your heart with love and spread it all around you to extinguish the fire of rancor and anger.
Healing Body and Soul, Amira Ayad