Importance and Benefits of Forgiveness in Islam | Learn from Quran and Sunnah

Seeking forgiveness from Allah with repentance is a virtue. Human beings are not perfect. Forgiveness is a critical aspect of Islam as everybody makes mistakes in life and unintentionally commits sins. Muslims believe that Allah is Merciful and Forgiving.

There are two kinds of forgiveness in Islam: Allah’s forgiveness and human forgiveness. We as human beings are in need of both since we make mistakes in our relations to Allah as well as our relations to each other. In Islam, all that is needed is to recognize the mistake or sin, improve it and seek forgiveness from Allah Almighty and also from other human beings.

Forgiveness from Allah Almighty

In Quran, the word “Allah is Most Merciful” is repeated many times. In religion Islam, anyone who has committed sin can ask forgiveness directly from Lord, there is no one between Allah and the one who is asking forgiveness from Him. In Quran, Allah says: “God loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and He loves those who keep themselves pure.” From this verse, we can conclude that if someone asked forgiveness with repentance then Allah will love him/her and surely He will forgive him/her but there is one condition and that is he/she should not commit that sin or mistake again.

Forgiveness from another Human Being

If someone did wrongs to another human being, the act must first be redressed with the wronged person or human being who should be asked for forgiveness before asking forgiveness from Allah. Islam teaches human beings to be forgiving and if someone sincerely asks for forgiveness, the wronged person should forgive him. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever suffers an injury and forgives (the person responsible), God will raise his status to a higher degree and remove one of his sins.” If we expect forgiveness from Almighty Allah then we also have the ability to forgive others.

Forgiveness in the Quran

In Holy Quran “forgiveness” and “mercy “are mentioned around 100 and 200 times respectively. An entire chapter of the Quran is devoted to the quality of mercy that is (Surah Rahman). We all know that Allah is the Most Merciful and He forgives those who ask forgiveness with repentance. There are so many Ayahs related to forgiveness in Quran some of them we will discuss below:

In Holy Quran Allah Almighty says:  “. . . And let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran 24:22). In this ayah we are given the greatest motivation to push ourselves to forgive; it’s Allah’s forgiveness.

In another verse of Holy Quran, Allah Almighty says: “The reward of the evil is the evil thereof, but whosoever forgives and makes amends, his reward is upon God.” (Quran, 42:40). Whoever forgive others from the heart then Allah Almighty will give him reward and we know Allah’s rewards are best from all.

Allah Almighty says: “Whosoever desires honor, power, and glory then to Allah belong all honor, power, and glory [and one can get honor, power, and glory only by worshipping Allah (Alone)]. To Him ascend (all) the goodly words i.e. and the righteous deeds exalt it (the goodly words i.e. the goodly words are not accepted by Allah unless and until they are followed by good deeds), but those who plot evils, -theirs will be a severe torment. And the plotting of such will perish.” (Quran, 35:10).

In another verse of Holy Quran, Allah Almighty says: “That [is so]. And whoever responds [to injustice] with the equivalent of that with which he was harmed and then is tyrannized – Allah will surely aid him. Indeed, Allah is Pardoning and Forgiving.” (Quran, 22:60). From this verse, we can say that Allah Almighty is all forgiving and pardoning we should seek forgiveness from Him and try to forgive others too.

Forgiveness from the Sunnah of Prophet (SAW)

Our beloved Prophet (SAW) was so kind and forgiving with all no matter he is a believer or non-believer. We have so many examples from the life of Prophet (SAW) about forgiving others and show kindness to even those who were so rude to Him. Some of the examples from the life of Holy Prophet (SAW) are mentioned below:

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Be merciful to others and you will receive mercy. Forgive others and Allah will forgive you” (Musnad Ahmad). If we forgive others then Allah will forgive us so try to be kind and forgiving so that we can get kindness, love, and forgiveness from Allah Almighty.

Abu Abdullah Al-Khadali reported: I asked Aisha about the character of the Messenger of Allah Prophet (SAW). Aisha said: “The Prophet was not indecent, he was not obscene, he would not shout in the markets, and he would not respond to an evil deed with an evil deed, but rather he would pardon and overlook.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhi)

One example of Muhammad’s practice of forgiveness can be found in the Hadith, as follows: “The Prophet (SAW) was the most forgiving person. He was ever ready to forgive his enemies. When he went to Ta’if to preach the message of Allah, its people mistreated him, abused him and hit him with stones. He left the city humiliated and wounded. When he took shelter under a tree, the angel of Allah visited him and told him that Allah sent him to destroy the people of Ta’if because of their sin of maltreating their Prophet. Muhammad (SAW) prayed to Allah to save the people of Ta’if because what they did was out of their ignorance.”

Aisha (R.A) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH), said: “O Allah, You are forgiving and generous. You love to forgive.”(Sunan At-Tirmidhi)

Abu Hurairah said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, “I swear by Allah that I seek Allah’s Pardon and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet (SAW) said: “O people! Ask for the forgiveness of Allah and repent to Him as I ask for the forgiveness of Allah and repent to Him one hundred times a day.”

These are some of the examples from the life of Prophet (SAW) and sayings of Him. From these examples and sayings we came to know that: Whoever does not show mercy will not receive mercy. Whoever does not forgive others will not be forgiven. Whoever does not pardon others will not be pardoned. Whoever does not protect others will not be protected. So try to forgive others to receive mercy and forgiveness from Allah Almighty and others.

Benefits of Forgiveness

There are so many benefits of asking forgiveness from Allah Almighty some of them are given below:

  • Forgiveness from Almighty Allah brings joy reassurance and peace of mind. Allah Almighty says in Quran: {And [saying], “Seek Forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him, [and] He Will Let you enjoy a good provision}(Quran 11: 3)
  • Forgiveness from Lord Results in the healthy and strong body free of diseases and disabilities.
  • Forgiveness saved from Fitnah and afflictions.
  • If someone wants righteous kids, lawful money and expanded sustenance then he/she should ask forgiveness from Almighty Allah.
  • Want to increase rewards and sins to be forgiven ask forgiveness from Almighty Allah. The Almighty Allah Says: “And say, ‘Relieve us of our burdens.’ We will [then] forgive your sins for you, and We will Increase the doers of good [in goodness and reward].”(Quran 2: 58)
  • In Holy Quran, Allah Almighty says: “Kind Speech and Forgiveness are better than Charity “A kind and courteous word and forgiveness are (much) better than the charity that is followed by (such an emotional) abuse. Allah is free of all wants and the most Forbearing.” (Quran, 2:263)

In short, when sincerely asking for forgiveness, the intention should be not to knowingly repeat the same sin again. A Muslim is to think better of Allah. No denying the fact that Allah is Mighty, Just and Wrathful, however, at the same time He is Merciful and forgiving. May Allah give us the strength to forgive others and also ask forgiveness from them! Ameen