Channel: Yasmin Mogahed
Published on Jan 2, 2018
Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah
Omri madisonian. Bocconi. How's everyone doing?
After making mummies out of toilet paper?
My topic today is a very, very
difficult but very important topic. And that is the topic of forgiveness. I want to break down this topic
and talk about the definition of forgiveness, why forgiveness is so important, and then talk about how we can begin to forgive.
First of all, it's very important for us to define the concept of forgiveness. And the reason why it's very important to define the concept of forgiveness is that oftentimes people misunderstand forgiveness as being a victim. So what do I mean by that sometimes people misunderstand the concept of forgiveness as being the same thing as turning the other cheek.
turning the other cheek means that if you come to me and you hit me on one cheek, I turn my cheek so you can hit me on the other. Okay, that is not an Islamic concept. turn the other cheek is from, from from different religious backgrounds, not ours.
And so I want to very from the very beginning, define forgiveness correctly, that forgiveness does not mean that you continue to allow yourself to be abused. That forgiveness does not mean that you continue to allow yourself to be mistreated. Or
our Deen is not a dean of injustice, it does not allow for injustice, it does not tolerate injustice, or oppression. In fact, we are told in our daily that the heart of the man is taking action against injustice. The prophets, I seldom said if you see something wrong, you should try to change it. He doesn't say if you see something wrong, then turn the other cheek. He doesn't say if you see something wrong, have sobor sister, he doesn't say that. He says if you see something wrong, you should try to change it with your hand.
And if you cannot, then with your tongue, and if you cannot, then at least hate it in your heart. And that's not the weakest of the madman.
What is he teaching us here? He's teaching us that it is part of Amen. To take action against what is wrong. It is part of a man to take action against injustice.
So from the very beginning, I want to clarify that forgiveness does not mean being passive. Forgiveness does not mean that you harmed me, I will forgive you and allow you to harm.
Okay, so from the very beginning, establish that understanding that this teaches us not to approve or
abuse or injustice, or mistreat whether that abuse or that injustice or that this treatment is happening to you, or your children, or the person down the road, or the person overseas. We as a dean, we are taught not to accept injustice, and not to accept abuse. So this is a lot of undoing that we have to do a lot of unlearning that we have to do because for a long time. We've been taught in some circles, that being religious, being a good woman or man means that you have to be quiet about abuse, you have to swallow it and keep a smile on your face. You have to turn the other cheek, you have to be passive.
You have to have
this is not the meaning of salsa. And this is not the meaning of forgiveness. So I want you to be very clear. We are a dean of action. We are not a passive D We are an active religion. We are interactive and we are the people
Stand up against injustice. The prophet SAW Selim said, help your brother if he is an oppressor or he is a threat. And the companion said, we know how to help him if he's oppressed, but how can we help him?
And the prophets, I send them replied, by stopping him from oppressing.
That is how we help our brother, whether that brother is a relative or a spouse. That is how we help our brother by stopping to pressure not by turning our our face to it, being passive about it, and then being complicit. That means that we are enabling oppression. And we will be asked about that. Because the law says that he does not allow for injustice done by himself or others, Allah does not approve of injustice, and we are asked about our mn we are asked about our amendment, what is our amendment? Well, myself,
my body is in
my heart and my soul and my mind is an amendment and if I do not take care of it, I will be asked. And if I allow it to be abused, I will be asked, it doesn't actually belong to me. It belongs to Allah. This is why I say in La La, la,
is because we know everything belongs to Allah and to Allah in return. So even my oldest cell is belonging to Allah, and it is an Amana. What's an Amana trust, a law has allowed me to have that body to have that part, that soul that mine for a while, but it doesn't belong to me, I am in charge, and I must take care of
My children are a trust, I don't own my children, my children are given to me by a Muslim final data, and I am responsible to protect that I am responsible to take care of them. And I will be asked, and if I allow my children to be in harm's way, even if it was coming from my spouse, I won't be asked that I allow my children to be abused, what did you do to protect your children from abuse, I will be asked for that because they are under my care. So be very, very careful not to do that it is righteousness, to turn your face to injustice or abuse, even if that's happening to you, or to your children or to your family. So forgiveness does not mean allowing injustice to continue. What
does forgiveness mean? Why does Mimi Subbu before I get to forgiveness, Subbu is a very deep term in the Arabic language that does not only mean patients
suffer, it also includes perseverance. Now perseverance is the ability to take action and to be consistent in that action. For example, it requires a son to wake up on time for fetchit every single day, that's an action. And it requires because it requires that that muscle a person
to take action against injustice is required.
So when someone says to someone who is being abused,
what they really mean is help somebody and get yourself out of that situation. That's type of software that you need in that particular circumstance. See, depending on the circumstance, the type of software that is required is going to be different. In the case where there is an action required, I require Subbable, to take that action and to be strong and to persevere in the case where something has happened, that I cannot control the loss of a family member.
And I cannot control it, there's no action that I can take to stop it. It is something out of my hands, then in that circumstance, sober requires accepting the decree of
And so it depends on the situation what type of software is required.
But we have to be very clear that when there's a situation of mistreatment or abuse or injustice is the type that is required is an active
and active according to the commands of the prophets. I said that who said that if you see something wrong, you have to try to change it. Try to change it with your hand and if you cannot then with your tongue and if you cannot do anything, at least he hated in your heart, and this is the weakest stuff. So he is leaving with taking action against
Now what is forgiveness? If forgiveness doesn't mean I allow you to continue to abuse, then what is forgiveness? forgiveness is an act of the heart. Forgiveness means that if you harm to me, I will forgive you in my heart.
But externally, I will take action to make sure it doesn't happen again. Yes, that is part of the whole picture. Forgiveness doesn't mean that I forgive you inside, and then you continue to abuse me. Forgiveness means I will forgive what has happened in the past, but I will make sure it doesn't happen again, in the future church. We are a religion of action. Now, why should we forgive? What are the things that keep us from forgiving? A lot of times, we cannot forgive the wrongs that have happened to us in the past. Because we feel that certain people don't deserve our forgiveness. Yeah, sounds familiar. But he or she doesn't deserve my forgiveness.
about that. I want to tell you guys a story.
So at the time,
was accused of being on track. And this rumor was being spread about Ayesha.
Now her father
found out that one of the people spreading the rumor about Ayesha
was a relative. And not only was he a relative, but he was a relative that
was financially supported. Can you imagine that? So not only is this a relative to slandering, or helping to spread slander about your daughter, but it's a relative who you're helping out financially? Can you imagine what our response
didn't go out, seek revenge, he didn't go out and hire a hitman. All he did was was stop the financial support for the financial support.
Now what happened when he did that? Allah
revealed an area
in which he addresses
let them harden and overlook. Now this is I want to pause for a second, a law is telling us
to partner and overlook with regard to the financial support
with regard to financial support. Now, keep in mind, this isn't about allowing this man to continue to abuse because I was proven innocent. But now it was about the financial support the forgiveness in his heart. And he says to him, Allah says, Let them harden and overlook. Now this is where we usually would say, why should why this person doesn't deserve my forgiveness. This person didn't come in and holla dies and try to make up for it. Look at the next part of a Alesis Ella buena, and
do you not love for Allah to forgive you. And there is the point, Allah subhanaw taala teaching us a very important principle here. And that is that how I treat others becomes a reflection of how Allah treats me. I'm gonna repeat that because it's so important. How I treat others is a reflection of how Allah will treat me. And so the point here, Allah wasn't saying, forgive him. Pardon, forgive, because he's really, really sorry.
He didn't say pardon and forgive, because he apologized. He took the man out of the equation, Allah, Allah is not talking about the man right round saying, lol.
So now this transaction is not between
this transaction is between me.
And the last.
And that is the point. It shifts the focus of how we treat people. Because when we're treating people, we're doing it for a law. And not only are we doing it for the sake of the law, there's another step further. And that is that you treat people you know the golden rule. Treat others as you would want them to treat you. Yeah, there's a different rule here. We'll call it the Platinum rule. Okay. Treat others
As you would like God to treat you
that's more powerful. Treat others as you would like God to treat you. This is why we are told again and again this connection, the prophet said that mercy to those on the earth and the one in the heavens will have mercy on
it another husband, the one who does not have mercy on people will not be shown mercy by God, that connection, and that connection is made in this area. ls una.
Do you not love for a lot to forgive you. So forgive that person, not because they deserve your forgiveness. Not because they apologize, but because you want them forgiveness.
And this is a transaction that alone makes with us. When we are
when we forgive others, we get the mercy and forgiveness of Allah subhanaw taala that is a transaction better than any other transaction. You know what?
It's like, like, how many of you guys ever shopped on Black Friday deals?
Come on now don't lie, is that Black Friday is when you get the deal, right? There are people who will stand outside in the freezing cold, right? Outside BestBuy.
Just to save a few $100 that's how we are right now. It's earlier and earlier, you go 2pm at the mall.
And pull off at the mall in the middle of the night, right. That's the time when we won't even pray to
god bless us. We love a good deal. That's the point. This is this is basic human psychology. Humans love a good deal. And in fact, I go to a lot of sacrifice to get a good deal. Now I'm gonna tell you a good deal.
Good deal better than any of these deals. I'm not talking a couple $100 off a laptop. This is a lesson. You forgive this person. I'll give you something priceless.
You get it? It's not 100 300. It's not $700. It's not $7,000. It's a loss, that you forgive this person, I'll give you my goodness. And the forgiveness of the law has no price, its price.
In fact, the prophets I send them said that no person will enter Paradise by their deeds alone. No one will enter Paradise by their actions alone. And the companions asked him even you odo sola and he said even except that Allah has mercy on me. So I think it's fair to say we're all in desperate need of the mercy of God. Yeah, you think it's fair, it's fair to
say that if you do this, this small thing of forgiving this person, then I will forgive you. And
now, here's the other thing I want to point out.
If you are the type of person
who is very harsh with people, if you're the type of person who refuses to forgive, then you should be a little scared.
And the reason for that is what was the Platinum rule?
treat others as you want God to treat you?
Do you guys get it? When you are harsh with others, when you refuse to forgive others, you are asking God to be that way with you. And that's very, very frightening. Because it
was that way with us. None of us would enter Paradise. We can only enter Paradise by His mercy and His forgiveness. And if we treat people that way, and allow her to treat us the way we treat people, we'd be in a lot of trouble. So there's some introspection we have to do. We have to look internally, and we have to change the way we are. And we have to realize that when you're forgiving those people, you are actually freeing yourself. It isn't about those other people. You know, there's this quote that says holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
Who is gonna suffer from the poison that you drink.
That's what happens with holding a grudge. holding a grudge and refusing to forgive is is hurting the other person, it's hurting you. And letting go of that anger and letting go of that.
And forgiving is actually freeing yourself.
And not only is it freeing yourself, but it's putting you in a position to be forgiven by God.
Now one of the things that make it difficult for us to forgive, not talk about that we talked about
stolen, deserve my forgiveness, right?
We took the person out of the equation, we said that it's actually about you and God, that I want to be forgiven by God, and therefore I will forgive this person. And it isn't about the person, it's about me and my Creator.
Another reason why it becomes difficult to forgive, is that sometimes we feel that certain people have hurt us and harmed us so deeply that we can never forget, we can never let go.
Now, I want to reiterate, forgiveness doesn't mean you allow yourself to continue to be mistreated. Forgiveness is about
remember, forgiveness is about how do we let go of
this idea that
ruined my life,
ruined this or that aspect of my life. To that I'm going to tell you guys a very, very deep,
but before I continue this, I want to ask you guys a question. This is a question that so many people struggle with, and has to struggle with this question.
even believe God or religion become atheists? And it's the question of why do bad things happen to good?
people struggle with?
Why do bad things happen to good people? The question.
So I want to ask you this question. Why do bad things happen to good people? Now, if I were to ask you, I get a lot of different answers.
But the interesting thing about this question is that
the question itself is,
the answer to this question is that bad things never happen to good people.
And you're gonna be like,
right? But I can tell you a whole list of bad things that happened to very good people, how can you tell me, and I'll repeat myself that bad things never happen to good people. You know what the problem is? It's all in our definition of good and bad.
The Prophet says,
The matter of a believer is straight. Why?
That all of his or her matters are good.
Do you know what that means? It means that bad things never happen to good people. It means that whatever has happened to you, as a believer, was actually good for you, even when it appears bad on the outside.
It might be that you hate something and it is good for you.
and it is bad for you will love
and Allah knows and you do not know. What are we learning from these principles
is that things might happen in our lives.
And they may hurt us. Don't get me wrong. I acknowledge that they may hurt us. But ultimately, the prophet is telling us
that they are a believer is always good.
Even when it's through hardship, even when it's through struggle, even when it's even when
the outcome is always good.
And the prophets I seldom emphasize, this is only the case for a believer, and that is because of the response of the believer that no matter what happens to them, then it's good. He says if something comes that you'd like
the believer responds with gratitude. And so it is good for them.
Without a doubt, and if something comes to the believer that they do not like pain loss, struggle,
hardships trial, if that comes to a believer, the believer is patient, and so it is still good for him or her.
What is that change about our outlook? Well, it actually changes everything. And the reason for that is if you start to change the way we see your life circumstances, if you start to change the lens, by which you understand your past, the lens by which you understand everything that has happened to you, and even everything people have done to you, you start to change, and you start to see that
it was the outcome was good for you.
The outcome was good. Let me give you guys an example.
You take a child to the doctor, and you give the child a shot.
Now inside of that needle, maybe medicine that is curing that child of a disease. But does the shot feel good or bad?
It feels bad, right?
Is the child happy about this whole experience? No, not so much the child is actually quite upset, screaming angry has no consciousness of the medicine, the child only feels the pain. And that's because of the understanding of the child.
But if you take a little bit older child who can understand, so they're 10 years old, and you explain to them, I know it's gonna hurt
Right, but you take an adult
and you give them a shot.
What does the adult respond with? And the answer is, thank you doctor grad
content, this is called
This is called. Now what is the difference between these three people, the baby, the 10 year old and the adult, they're all getting the exact same shot, the exact same experience the exact same pay the differences in their understanding of what what happened in their in
their understanding is at different levels. And when you get to a point where your understanding is higher,
then you don't respond with anger anymore. Do you get your response changes, once your understanding changes, your response changes once your changes, and you start thinking deeper. And so when you go back and look at your life,
and you change your understanding of it.
And you stop thinking that so and so's ruined me or ruined my life? Or or did this to me and did
you see it differently?
To me, in the end, it was good.
Because in the end, I grew I learned I changed, I wasn't sure
and none of that is
The fact that the prophets I send them said that no pain or hurt or anxiety or worry or depression or sadness in the believer even before
removing from like leaves falling from a tree. So nothing else if it was a purification for you. If nothing else, it becomes the reason that you enter Jeddah then did that person hurt you? Or should you be sending them? Thank you.
Did that person really hurt? Yes, they hurt. But there's external hurts. And there's real internal, the real kind of harm. And the truth is, no one can actually harm you.
It's all dependent on your response.
And if you're in the right way, then the words of the prophecy apply to you that everything is good for you.
Roku that has his his matters are all good. It is in our hands. It's not in the hands of the people. It's in our hands.
Because when we choose how we respond, we choose how we respond. And if a person responds in the way the Prophet tells us, either patients or gratitude, then no matter what people do to you, they can't actually hurt you.
No matter what people do to you, no matter what comes your way, nothing can actually harm. Even if externally it looks like it was hard to understand.
It hurts. But the reality is that it has actually
become our our choice, we have to take back that power, we can't let other people have that power over us, we have to take back that power in how we respond. And we don't allow others to break.
The way in which you do not allow others to break you is by your ability to respond in the way that throws you, rather than breaks you. And by forgiving,
forgiving, you're taking back that power, because you're saying you can't control your brain, I am going to take whatever has happened in my life, and I'm gonna use it to become stronger. And I'm gonna let it go. And I'm gonna forgive, not for you. But actually, for me, I'm gonna forgive because number one that frees me. And most importantly, it allows me to get the forgiveness of the law. So it's a win win.
But you have to change the way we see a loss of final tallies, giving you an opportunity to gain the forgiveness of a law by forgiving those who have hurt you.
Now, how is it?
How is it that we can get to a point where we've changed the way we view our history? Our
See, if you change the way you see what that person or that situation did to you, it becomes a lot easier to forget. Because no longer did they destroy you. No longer did they did they ruin your life, because you realize that it was actually good for you.
Lastly, I want to
end with this inshallah
realize that this life was never designed to be perfect. One of the problems that we fall into is when we expect perfection. And if we expect that perfection, when it is not perfect, we become extremely deeply.
And the level of our devastation is in proportion to the level of our expectations. So we expect perfection from people, we expect that perfection from life. And life isn't perfect, and people aren't perfect. And so it becomes a lot easier to forgive. When you have the proper expectations. See if I expect it's kind of like, I'll give you a strange analogy. Yeah, we live in America, and we're using a certain level of luxury. We're used to a certain level of customer service. Right? So if you go on an airplane, you're always gonna know the Americans because they're the ones who work.
And the reason we complain more than other people is because we have a certain level. And when we don't get that and I'm part of that I'm American, what can I say?
a certain level of treatment a certain level. And then when we don't get that we we that's not cool. And we can't just let it go. It's something that has to do with our expectation. But when you don't have any expectation of something called Customer service is there are a lot of other countries.
So you're not going to be upset.
You went to any other country in America,
customer service is key, right? So we get used to that and go somewhere else.
But this is an expectation, right? And so we have an expectation of perfection from people, we're gonna be less likely to let things go we're gonna be a lot more angry. But if we realize that that people are
if we realize that life is imperfect
A lot more, more able to forgive.
Right? Again, let me reiterate, assuming that it is not abuse
or mistreatment that you continue to allow.
But we forgive the past. And we forgive because we are desperately in need of the forgiveness of Allah subhanaw taala and allow to remind you of Allah subhanaw taala tells us in the Quran just to put things into context
Do you think that you will enter territory without going through that those who came before you went through?
Was was the new?
meta Nostromo they were they went through hardship, adversity, they were so shady. Until even the messenger and those with the messengers called out asking when will the hell of
a lot of us we've reached a point in our lives where we felt
but Allah subhanaw taala is reminding us that we are on the same path as those who came before us. And they went through things so difficult that even the messengers and the people with the messengers as meta,
we are not alone. And Allah reminds us and
indeed the house of Allah is near akoni Cody had