Tolerance in Islam

A five years old girl asking her father: what’s “gracious forgiveness” … my mother insists on while talking to my brother when he is angry???

Father: it is when your friend in school destroys your favorite toy just to make you angry, and you are angry, you have her toy in your hands, you can destroy it too but you choose to give it back to her with a smile and say (I forgive you because Allah likes us to forgive gracious forgiveness …)

YES, it is that simple, when you are annoyed …draw your full stop for the whole situation…and Smile, forget and forgive because Allah likes us to forgive gracious forgiveness.

Life is a trip, where we might suffer from any kind of abuse, a word or action or even a mean glance. What makes it worse when it comes from closest people around you…many people around you may encourage you to fight back or might even offer their help to take revenge, this is a repetitive scenario for most of us.

It is not easy and not common to forgive, you are weak and with low self-esteem if you let others hurt you and you just let it go. So most of the time we end the scenario by thinking hard how to fight back and show our strength, show everybody that we are strong and can fight regardless any other details might led to this situation.

Let me take you to the other end for the same scenario that Islam is drawing for us and let us listen to Allah’s promises if we follow that ..

What Islam says: at this point, you should stop showing your strength and think of Allah’s power and remind yourself of (forgive with gracious forgiveness) AlHijr(15-85)

You don’t live alone, you are a part of a society and it is expected to face such situations because people are different in opinions , manners, habits and even priorities and the most important is that the whole thing could be misunderstanding that happen every day. When you face people who gets you angry, you ought to train yourself to control your reaction. That is Islam. Our religion emphasizes FORGIVENESS.

You can do it, just try and Allah promised to help.

Allah said: (And let them forgive, and let them overlook. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful) Annour (24-22)

Be sure that you can’t do it unless you grant that to gain Allah’s forgiveness…Allah

(But if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah)Ashura (42-40) Can you realize what that means (his reward is due from Allah)… you will be rewarded from the king of the kings…it is guaranteed… is not that attempting. It is worth trying and practicing is not it?

Here is another attempting promise.

(Good and evil are not equal. Repel evil with good, and the person who was your enemy becomes like an intimate friend).Fusailat(41-34)

In addition to being rewarded by Allah, you even gain your enemies and they became your intimate friends…. Another promise..

All the prophets, Allah’s messengers realized that fact well, they worked hard their whole life to gain Allah’s reward. They are people not angels, can’t we follow them, aren’t they our models on earth. They faced hatred and abuse of the unbelievers, but they still forgive them and pray for them because they know how big the reward from Allah is. When talking about tolerance and prophets, of course, no example of tolerance can be greater than that of the Prophet Mohammed himself.

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) 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: (O Allah, forgive my people, they do not know)

Another example, when he entered his hometown as a conqueror, he would not seek vengeance against anyone – even the killer of his dear uncle. The people of Makkah were waiting for the punishment of fighting him and preventing him from visiting Makkah, but he asked them: how do you think I’m going to treat you? What I’m doing with you?

They answered: you are kind and your father too… He said his famous saying “go you are free

Many situations show how tolerant he was…, when he was struggling in Makkah with a few followers, he would not raise his voice against those who heaped rubbish on him. When he went to Ta’if he would not curse those who stoned him. When he saw his beloved wife and uncle die during the years of expulsion and starvation, he would not raise his hands against those who decimated his beloved family members.

Of course, the Prophet did stand up against oppression, unprovoked aggression and injustice. There was a balance in his behavior. The Prophet taught us tolerance and taught us its limits.

To sum up, Islam emphasized tolerance and encouraged forgiveness and Allah promised his reward and that even your enemies will be friends. There are many examples show that it is possible to live with it in real life. But it has limits as everything in life, as long as it doesn’t contradict with your faith and believes you always can forgive and get your reward.

Amal Alhajri

November 1st, 2016

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