Qalbun Salim: Tawbah (Part 2)

And let not those among you who are blessed with graces and wealth
swear not to give (any sort of help) to their kinsmen, the poor,
and those who left their homes for Allah’s Cause.
Let them pardon and forgive.
Do you not love that Allah should forgive you?
And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

[An-Nur 24:22]

In the previous Qalbun Salim Series, we learned how the magicians during the time of Musa a.s. were willing to be tortured by Fir’aun as long as they could remain in faith so that Allah s.w.t. may forgive their sins. In this ayah we will learn a practical way to attain the forgiveness of Allah s.w.t, insya Allah.

The above ayah was revealed in relation to the case of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq r.a. with one of his family relatives, Mistah ibn Uthatha. Abu Bakr r.a. was known for his generosity to his relatives and strangers alike. Mistah was a poor man, so much so that much of his living necessities were helped by Abu Bakr r.a. Mistah was not an evil person, for he was one of those who had migrated for the sake of Allah s.w.t. However he was not infallible, and he got involved with the spreading of the slander regarding the chastity of the Mother of the believers, A’ishah r.a.

When Allah s.w.t. revealed the innocence of A’ishah r.a., the believers were happy and content with the outcome of this incident. Those believers who were involved in the spreading of the slander, including Mistah, repented and the prescribed punishment had been carried out justly upon them.

But surely there must had been a feeling of sadness or disappointment within Abu Bakr r.a. towards Mistah. So he swore that he would no longer help Mistah because of what he did to his daughter, who is also the beloved wife of Rasulallah s.a.w. But Allah s.w.t. soften his heart towards Mistah. When this Ayah was revealed, Abu Bakr r.a. then said:

“Of course, by Allah, we love – O our Rabb – that You should forgive us.”

So Abu Bakr r.a. resumed his spending on Mistah and said, “By Allah I will never stop spending on him” to counteract what he had said previously, “By Allah I will never spend on him.” This proves that he indeed deserves to be called As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him and his daughter.

This is a beautiful example on being forgiving towards others in hope to attain Allah’s forgiveness. But there is another very important point that we often miss out when we read this ayah.

[Let them pardon and forgive] actually means two things:

1. Let them pardon – We should forgive those who have wronged us in the past

2. …and forgive – And with these same people who have wronged us in the past whom we have forgiven, we should forgive them AGAIN if they make the same mistake in the future.

In simple BM:
Untuk kesalahan yang telah mereka lakukan – maafkanlah,
dan untuk kesalahan yang mungkin terjadi pada masa hadapan – berlapang dadalah.

Masya Allah.
At this point, most of us would probably be thinking:
Forgive him/her?? After what this person did to me?? What do I get in return?!

To that, Allah s.w.t. beautifully responds:

Let them pardon and forgive.
Do you not love that Allah should forgive you?
[An-Nur 24:22]

Our forgiveness towards someone who have wronged us is not a sign of our weakness, and it’s not about losing or winning. Being forgiving towards others is not just about helping and benefiting the other person, because even if we forgive and help the person all we could to the best of our ability, there is simply no guarantee that the person would rectify his bad behaviour towards us. We leave that for Allah s.w.t. to judge. But being forgiving towards people – and earn the opportunity to earn Allah’s maghfirah – benefit us FOREMOST!

Imagine that there is a scale. On one side is the weight of my anger and on the other side is the weight of my love to be forgiven by Allah. I am given this choice whenever I get upset. Which is more important to me? Is my anger and revenge worth more than Allah’s forgiveness?

My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, remember: If we forgive those who have wronged us, Allah s.w.t. will forgive us for wronging HIS commandments. Therefore do not look at the difficulty of the act, but look at the immensity of Allah’s forgiveness – which is infinitely more valuable than this whole world and whatever glitters it contains.

Dengan sebab kesediaan kita untuk berbuat baik kepada orang yang berbuat jahat,
Allah s.w.t. bersedia untuk memaafkan kesalahan kita terhadapNya.
Oleh itu jangan dilihat betapa beratnya perbuatan ini,
tetapi lihatlah betapa agungnya pengampunan Allah s.w.t. itu.


Qalbun Salim: Tawbah (Part 1)

So the magicians fell down prostrate.
They said: “We believe in the Rabb of Harun and Musa.”

(Fir’aun) said: “Believe you in him (Musa) before I give you permission?
Verily he is your chief who has taught you magic!
So I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides,
and I will surely crucify you on the trunks of date-palms,
and you shall surely know which of us (Fir’aun or the Rabb of Musa)
can give the severe and more lasting torment.”

They said: “We prefer you not over what have come to us
of the clear signs and to Him (Allah) Who created us.
So decree whatever you desire to decree,
for you can only decree (regarding) this life of the world.”
[Ta-Ha 20 : 70-72]

The ayat of when the magicians bravely stood up against the evil tyrant Fir’aun astonish the readers. Where did they find such strength in the face of a massive powerful figure, well known for his excessive cruelty towards everyone, and who will, without a doubt, cut off their limbs on opposite sides and then crucify them! What is the source of their fearlessness when just prior to this, they took Fir’aun as their everything, as their GOD when they swore:

“By the might of Fir’aun, it is we who will certainly win!”
[Ash-Shu’ara 26:44]

But after the magicians saw the signs of Allah through Musa AS, they replied to Fir’aun fearlessly:

“Verily! We have believed in our Rabb,
that He may forgive us our faults, and the magic to which you did compel us.
And Allah is better as regards reward in comparison to your reward,
and more lasting (as regard to punishment in comparison to your punishment).”
[Ta-Ha 20: 73]

Where did this sudden burst of courage come from? The source of their strength are indicated in the above ayah, which are:

1) Iman – they have fully, wholeheartedly, without a single doubt, believe in Allah and everything that He has revealed.
2) The desire for Allah’s Forgiveness – there is absolutely nothing else that they hope for, nothing more precious, except that Allah forgive their previous shirk and magic practices, for fighting Musa AS, and for every other type of sin.

The magicians know the value of Allah’s forgiveness, so much so, that they’re willing to let Fir’aun torture them in the most excruciating ways possible, as long as they remain in faith. They understand the immense value of an accepted tawbah. The magicians abandoned their status, their wealth, their lives – just for the sake of being forgiven by Allah. Someone who truly knows and understands the value of Allah’s forgiveness would be willing to do anything and absolutely everything to gain it.

So I remind myself, and then to others: Know that Allah’s forgiveness cannot be bought by our status, wealth and sinful way of life. Even if we own the whole planet and everything that it contains, and we have another planet of the same amount of richness – they will still not be accepted as ransom on the Day of Judgment.

“And if every person who had wronged possessed all that is on earth,
and sought to ransom himself therewith (it will not be accepted),
and they would feel in their hearts regret when they see the torment…”
[Yunus 10:54]

So be ready to abandon everything that will lead to Allah’s displeasure – our bad habits, our laziness, our evil thoughts about others, our sins of the tongue and limbs – everything, if we truly, desperately want Allah’s forgiveness. The forgiveness of Allah is not cheap. So never feel tired or lazy in our search of His forgiveness. And never feel secured nor feel that we have done enough.