Forgiveness in Islam – How to “Have a BIG Heart!” by Mufti Ismail Menk

Surat `Abasa (He Frowned)

Sahih International

I take refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan

In the name of God the Gracious the Merciful

The Prophet frowned and turned away (1). Because there came to him the blind man, [interrupting] (2). But what would make you perceive, [O Muhammad], that perhaps he might be purified (3). Or be reminded and the remembrance would benefit him? (4). As for he who thinks himself without need, (5) To him you give attention (6). And not upon you [is any blame] if he will not be purified (7). But as for he who came to you striving [for knowledge] (8). While he fears [Allah], (9) from him you are distracted. (10) No! Indeed, these verses are a reminder ;( 11) So whoever wills may remember it. (12) [It is recorded] in honored sheets, (13) Exalted and purified, (14) [Carried] by the hands of messenger-angels, (15) Noble and dutiful. (16) Cursed is man; how disbelieving is he. (17) From what substance did He create him? (18) From a sperm-drop He created him and destined for him ;( 19) then He eased the way for him; (20) then He causes his death and provides a grave for him. (21) Then when He wills, He will resurrect him. (22) No! Man has not yet accomplished what He commanded him.(23) Then let mankind look at his food – (24) How We poured down water in torrents, (25) Then We broke open the earth, splitting [it with sprouts],(26) And caused to grow within it grain (27) And grapes and herbage(28) And olive and palm trees (29) And gardens of dense shrubbery (30) And fruit and grass – (31) [As] enjoyment for you and your grazing livestock. (32) But when there comes the Deafening Blast (33) On the Day a man will flee from his brother (34) And his mother and his father (35) And his wife and his children, (36) For every man, that Day, will be a matter adequate for him. (37) [Some] faces, that Day, will be bright – (38) Laughing, rejoicing at good news. (39) And [other] faces, that Day, will have upon them dust. (40) Blackness will cover them. (41) Those are the disbelievers, the wicked ones. (42)

In the name of Allah the Gracious the Merciful, praise be to God of the Worlds, and peace and blessings are upon the noblest of all Prophets and messengers, our Prophet Mohamed and upon his Family and companions and followers and who followed them with beneficence till the Day of Judgment, and then, my brothers and sisters in Islam we thank Allah the Almighty for giving us another opportunity to sit together to be reminded of the goodness that Allah the Almighty has bestowed upon us. The duties we have upon us and to remind us to be the best of people and to live up to the term Muslim. May Allah the Almighty make us truly from amongst the Muslimeen.

This evening I don’t wish to take up too much time as you can see, perhaps some of the networks have not sent the SMS across although it was sent twice, we ask Allah the Almighty to grant us a reward for having made the effort to attend; but at the same time I have a very short topic, it is connected to a duty upon us; if you take a look at the Qur’an, it has in it lots of duties that are between us and Allah, praise be upon Him; so you have Salaah (prayers), and you have the Ibadaat (worships), the tilawaa (recitation) of the Qur’an, the learning of it, the putting in to practice of it; we also have other acts of worship such as for example, the fasting; we have the act of worship as the Hajj/pilgrimage, where we are spending our wealth and at the same time we are going out fulfilling what Almighty God has asked us to fulfil, spending wealth and also making an effort with our bodies.

So some acts of worship are only connected to the body, some are only connected to the wealth and some are connected to both, the body and the wealth. Like for example you have Zakat, Zakat is connected to your wealth, not necessarily much of your body but how would you be able to get that wealth, mostly you will need to make an effort which would require your body also to have made that effort. But at the same time from another angle, some acts of worship are connected to Allah the Almighty alone, and there are other acts of worship that are connected to human beings alone, and there are acts of worship that are connected to both the Almighty God as well as the human beings. So there are termed Huqooq Allah. Huqooq Allah means the Rights of Allah. You fulfill your Salaah (prayer), that’s a right of Almighty Allah; you abstain from eating pork, from drinking alcohol, from listening to music, and so on, this is between you and Allah. You have not usurped the right of another human being; it is just your relation with Allah. In these matters it is important for us to know that Allah forgives anything and everything known as Huqooq Allah (Rights of Allah) where there is a discrepancy of faltering for as long as you ask Allah’s forgiveness, so if I acknowledge myself, I regret it, I ask Allah’s forgiveness, and I promise Him I wont do it bad again. If those four conditions are met, the sin is wiped out for as long as that sin is one of those as known as Huqooq Allah Rights of God, which means it is something between you and Allah. So a person has, say for example, committed adultery, a person may be involved in something sinful/haram between him and Almighty Allah, person hooked on to pornography, a person who might have other bad habits between him and Allah, Glorified and Exalted, these are forgiven by Allah, Glorified and Exalted, as soon as you ask Allah’s forgiveness sincerely. We have mentioned the conditions; you don’t need to ever confess any of those sins to a human being, never ever no matter who he is or she is, they don’t need to know, it is between you and Allah, Glorified and Exalted. Spirituality is really that connection between yourself and Allah, Glorified and Exalted. Sometimes family members like to dig, the sins of their spouses, may be their children, may be their parents, may be their brothers and sisters may be; these sins that are not usurping your rights, you don’t have the authority to go in dig and spy; the spying is haram/sinful. Allah, Glorified and Exalted, says you want to spy, you pay for it. How do you pay for it! You are not most forgiving, most merciful, I am most forgiving most merciful; this person link can be very very powerful with me; after then having repented, after then having been the mock but with you if you want to go and spy and pry, you’ll never ever be able to understand that they could have been cleansed purely by Glorified Exalted God. Yet they did not take any of your rights and you might hate them forever perhaps even land up in divorce and so on based on something that was between them and Allah, the Glorified and Exalted. They must have been the best people to you, they never usurped your rights; they always respected you, they were always the top of the knot and so on. They were never evil people, so if we go in and become policemen for Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, we pay for it. Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, says clearly that a person is responsible between him and Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, his sins between him and Allah will remain between him and Allah, the Glorified and Exalted and Allah. May Allah Subhana wa ta’ala grant us goodness. Yes, if a pillar of Islam is being ignored completely, then it is our duty to come in, in a positive way. Say your spouse is not reading Salaah (prayers). The beauty is we, if a spouse is not reading Salaah (prayers), we don’t really have a big issue. The minute you find an SMS from another female, or in the other case from a male, it’s over. Yet we don’t understand what is the bigger crime here; the bigger crime we have is actually looked, overlooked completely and the one that might be, we are not saying it’s right, but it is wrong, but it is of a lesser degree, definitely although its nature is very high, but in comparison to Salaah (prayers) one takes you out of the fold, for example and the other one keeps you within the fold but as a sinful person, and sometimes what happens we take that one more seriously because we’ve become policemen, we’ve become people, I know of people who might have had some very illicit relation within marriage for a short period of time and before their spouse ever knew anything, they came out of it and they repent it to Allah and they became the best of people and the spouse never ever knew anything; never knew anything, and yet they’ve come for help sometimes or sometimes they’ve told someone you know I had this issue and so Mashaa Allah I am totally free of this and Allah’s. These are phases and that human beings sometimes go through; and sometimes we think we know a lot, nobody can say they haven’t sinned. Obviously the nature of the sin is very different, no one is saying that everyone has sinned in the same way; but nobody can say they haven’t sinned at all and nobody can say that they are not in need of the mercy of Allah, the Glorified and Exalted; so it’s up to us to realize that sometimes we overstep when it comes to policing people when we are not supposed to be policing and as a result we don’t understand what’s the mercy of Allah, what’s the tawba (repentance) from Allah, the Glorifies and the Exalted, and we begin to say that you know this person has actually wronged me. There is one term that I’m going to say here that actually is not an Islamic term but we use it, and we use it a lot, and we wouldn’t mind using it to refer to others who even sometimes do the cases that may affect us closer at range; we say: he cheated on me, have you heard that word, he cheated on me, the truth is he cheated on Allah! Yeah, he cheated on me, who are you! Allahu Akbar – God is Greater! I’m the wife! She cheated on me! I’m the husband! To be honest with you, did he fulfill your rights. Does he fulfil them and so on? May Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, bless us! He requires your help. She requires your help because she or he has cheated on Allah. That’s what it is but sometimes we fail to understand and realize this because we think that they cheated on me so Allah is out of the equation, Taken out totally. It’s nothing to do with Allah. This person sinned against me. Are you a God that he sinned against you? No, did he direct you? Did he not pay any maintenance or something? Does he not look after you? Is there you know, is there anything else that is happening and so on, so perhaps he has wronged Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, he’s hurt you, that’s how you should be wording as a Muslim. May the Almighty God grant us the ability to abstain from hurting one another, it is bad; I am not saying it is acceptable, don’t get me wrong, I am only trying to modify the way we look at things because sometimes we don’t realize a spouse whom we have stood by through thick and thin when they overcome the weakness of theirs, we will be a house on fire, believe me. Those who are the happiest in the world are those who have helped each other through difficult days not those whom first thing you saw “I am home!” This is a weakness! Yes, if you’ve been smacked or if you’ve been Ah should I say let me try word it little bit more appropriately, if someone has abused you in a proper way, you know there is proper physical abuse, there is mental abuse, sometimes verbal abuse beyond the point of being able to help them, you see verbal abuse if a person says,” hey, you stupid “ , may Allah protect us, I don’t even like to say that, even not even here; but if that word” stupid” is used with me or with you, and then we make a big court case to say “ You know I was verbally abused, so I want to end up the marriage!” So, what did he say, he said I am stupid; then you are …definitely stupid. Allah Akbar/God is Greater! May Allah protect us! I am sorry to say that, but what that means is that word is bad we don’t like it, but the man needs help, you probably need help as to how to help him, and sometimes it is the woman, but now if a man swears big swear words, that is now verbal abuse, unacceptable! Yes, he needs help for the word “stupid” we agree, he needs bigger help for bigger words, but when it becomes intolerable, you have the right really to complain to say I’m being verbally abused; this is what it is, I cannot take it anymore, and this is I need to know how to be helped…to take the next step! There we are, so this is a very balance statement, we are not saying that you should ignore it, but we are saying there is a fine line between the period of helping one another, and the period where you now can no longer help them so you try to seek guidance as to what to do next, notice I am not even saying “ You know separate” because today any small thing people are not prepared to sacrifice, yet marriage is based upon “sacrifice”. Anyone who doesn’t have that in their lives, they won’t be happy in their marriages -anyone. That’s without exception. You have to sacrifice even if you are the happiest in the dunya (worldly life), there has been a sacrifice that you’ve made in order to be happy, and happiness comes to that sacrifice! What is the sacrifice? To learn to help one another; to stand by one another; to help each other in your weaknesses, you don’t just marry a perfect guy, or a perfect woman, finished; she is a perfect ideal bride! Wow! Now she comes in the next scene you notice something, she’s lazy, and that’s a big problem, lazy! Ok! How to help her! Helping her will not be, “you’re very lazy”; when you phone her mum,” you know what, this daughter of yours is extremely lazy”, or to be honest, all you are doing is you putting water on the sea that you even making her even more lazy, because she will become rebellious; but there is a way of helping. There is a way of assisting. There is a way of saying things, and if you don’t know you need guidance, we cannot just say it in two three minutes here; but the truth is let’s use that example, so there is a problem; you have to sacrifice then you will be happy. What was the problem? Laziness. Say for example a man, very vulgar, sometimes and I know of this complaint. Oh this man is quite dirty! Yea, this is quite a big complaint. If someone is dirty, dirty meaning they don’t pick up after themselves; they, they, you know they’re messy. They actually, I hope they are not smelly but at the same time, Allah protect us, if that’s the case, there is a sacrifice. You don’t say I want out, help them; you know try and see how best and we need to treat them, I don’t want to say like patients, but sometimes you need to treat them like a person who really requires a lot of help… a lot of help; that is how you get closer to Allah. Help those whom Allah has brought into your life. You know the problem is sometimes we look at things and like I said we think oh this person has gone against my rights… finish. I don’t want to have anything to do with him again.

But you were so excited before the marriage, during the marriage, immediately after the marriage. What happened? What happened? Was there an eclipse when we went on our honeymoon? So, now the moon is no longer sighted? And the honey was gone? Allah Akbar! As you know a lot of fake honey nowadays, Mashaa Allah! You need the genuine stuff. My brothers and sisters it’s something very interesting if you look at it where … ask yourself if anyone is complaining of a marriage that is in turbulence, ask yourself what am I doing to help the situation? And to complain is not helping. To just come up and say this person is bad, I can’t do this anymore! No. What are you doing? What have you done? Have you got to the boiling point? You know what I mean by a boiling point? Each person has a different point where you’ve tried your best may be few years, five years, six years, ten years, some people more; some people see happiness after ten years; then they say Mashaa Allah, you know we work so hard. We went through all, all roller coasters up and down. Now we’ve settled down completely because sometimes people take time to mature, both male and female. Some people complain that today people want to get married at fifteen, but they don’t know that they mature at 35. Allah Akbar, it’s happening! You know, the sooner they want to marry, sometimes the later they mature. So now between 15 and 35 you’re going to have a bumpy ride, you know and you’re going to have really a roller coast ride in the sense that one day you’re OK, the next day there is something wrong, but it does not warrant a divorce. No, it doesn’t.

A divorce is something serious, and if you think you will be happier with someone else, when your spouse only has one or two weaknesses. That someone else whom some people already have in mind once they marry has 10 weaknesses. Allah Akbar! May Allah protect us! The scurge is … really it is a menace today! May Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, protect us all! So, if you have two issues, five issues. Work on them. We are not saying that OK you have to live with oppression. Not at all, but at the same time what you need to know is you need to live to the extent. You need to try your best! Have you tried your best? How long have you spent? What have you done? What sacrifice have you made? Don’t ever look at someone else’s bungalow and destroy your hut! We’ve heard that so many times. So people say look at those people, they’re so happy; they’re happily married, just take a look at them! Oh they’re holding hands! Wow! Well I can actually triple ex your hands to your husband if that means anything? Hands mean nothing. They can hold hands and hug and kiss in public. That actually shows how they don’t get along behind closed doors. So they are just creating a big show in the public; to say you know what we are actually getting along.

We just want you guys to notice. May Allah protect us. May Allah Subhana wa Taala grant us goodness.

So as I’m saying the rights of Allah Subhana wa Taala, remember you need to help people fulfill them, and like I was saying if it’s a pillar of Islam then you obviously take it more seriously. Different steps can be taken and so on. However, let’s get to the rights of fellow human beings. We have to greet one another. That’s a right. What is Haqul Muslimi alal Muslim? (What is the Right of Muslim on Muslim?) You know there is Hadeeth which says “What is the Right of a Muslim has over another Muslim?” and several things are mentioned. One of them is that you greet the person. One of them is when they sneeze and they say Al Hamdu lellah (praise be to Allah), you say Yarhamukullah – May Allah have mercy on you! SubhanaAllah. And then they are supposed to say: Yahdeekumullah (May Allah guide you). And one is when they pass away, you’ve got to bury them. Someone somewhere has to bury them. I mean it is card kifayaha which means, for as long as a group of people who are sufficient for that burial have taken or have engaged in it, then this duty will be lifted on the entire community, but if no one does it, the whole community is sinful. That’s the meaning of Fardu Kefayah (duty of efficiency).

So, that is a duty of a Muslim. And then when a person is ill, one has to visit him. It is a duty. It is one of the rights. It might not be a compulsory thing, but a right meaning something to fulfill as a believer. You are a true believer! How keen are you to go and visit the sick and ill? May Allah make it easy for us. It is so big. You know some of the churches around us, I know of them making committees only to visit the sick, committee! So you go there, you tell them who is sick. The SMS goes through. The committee from the church goes and visit the sick.

We have that as in Ebadah (worship). Where are we? Someone is sick. They’d say, “Don’t go there. It is contagious! You’ll get sick as well.” Allah Akbar. You’ve got to think and this is why it’s important for us to know visit them … at least phone them, at least ask them if you know who they are and obviously sometimes even if you don’t know who they are, but perhaps you might want to go with someone who knows them. And just visit them, “Salam alikom(peace on you), we are just here to make duaa (supplication). No extra speech. We need to remember you know when we visit people, we need to be focused upon why we are here? Why we are here? So say I am visiting a sick person or sometimes we go to a person’s house where someone has died. May Allah protect us all – myself included. Typically, a person passed away. So we go, it becomes a social gathering, “Hey, how is it? Hey, nice dress you got!” Sorry to say dress. More ladies would do this sometimes. So you know what “Oh, this perfume is smelling really nice! What’s the name?” You know what, please, somebody just passed away here. Come on, did you come here to market all the products or what’s the story here? So, be focused. Another would say, “Oh this person is looking very arrogant. Look at that how they are sitting in that corner … so stuck up. They don’t even want to look in this direction”. That person might be making big Duaas (supplication) really in their own little corner! Look at us. What are we saying to others! What are we thinking! The thoughts we have. We need to fine line these thoughts. Let’s not do that. This is why go the minute your mind starts wandering; you may greet them and walk away. You will have protected yourself. Wallahi, that’s a duty.

The same applies to someone sick, when you go and you start chatting about everything else. Sometimes you’re bringing embarrassing things, you know. For what? Why is that entering into personal details and so on and sometimes we see dirty and cheap, you know and yet we’ve gone to visit the sick which is an Ebadah (worship). Allah says that on the Day of Judgment a person will come in, he will be told, “You didn’t visit me when I was sick” and he will say,” Oh Allah, how could I’ve visited, how could you have been sick?” He says, “Why didn’t you hear ,,, that so and so was sick? Had you visited them, you would have found me there.” Which means that is a place where Allah the Glorified Exalted God has definitely granted a much higher status and value than other little places. Obviously all places have different value, but this is very high, lofty. You go and see someone who is sick, remember it’s an act of worship. Say good words! One day, I was sitting. This is a true story. I was sitting with someone who was terminally ill and in comes a man and he says,”You’re looking bad, Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilahi Rajioon (to God we belong and to God we return). Where is your report?”, He looks at it and he said “Ah, I think here’s just 2 or 3 more days left. So don’t worry. Just bear it out.” And I’m like, What! I am busy trying to tell the guy, may Allah create a miracle for you. May Allah help you because we believe in miracles. Wallahi (I swear to God) we believe in miracles. We all do but imagine a man; this was quite an elderly man and he comes in and he just burst a bubble. Completely gone and he says, “You know what I think 2 or 3 days. Don’t worry. Just stick it out. Now it is almost over.”

Come on man! What are you talking about! I could never have believed that this would have happened if I didn’t witness it with my own eyes. Come on! Are you that despondent? And I am busy thinking, uncle! One day you are going to be there. I wouldn’t like to come and say, “Uncle, 20 more minutes. Just, just bear with me. Astaghfirullah! Wallahi, this is terrible.

Whenever we visit a sick person, we need to do two things. Firstly, obviously we make Duaa(supplication) for him, and on top of that, so we pray for them. We ask them. You know the Duaa (supplication) we ask Allah Subhana Wa Taala to cure them, to give them … to grant them miracle, and then we give them hope. We give them courage. We tell them, you know, good things – you know.

I’ve also witnessed people. It’s interesting to visit the sick sometimes because you know you see people say so many things. When we walk to other one place, one man tells me, “Hey, this person Allah is cleansing all their sins because that I know a lot other sins this person has committed.” Oh! The first part of your statement was OK, that you know Allah is cleansing us of sins but you can’t say I know the sins they have committed because perhaps it is not. Perhaps really we need to know that we are taught as Muslimeen whenever you’re sick, even if you’re pricked by a thorn the Hadeeths says that is elevation of your status in the sense that a few things happen.

One is with your sabr (patience) , your sins are expiated meaning they are completely wiped out and the more you bear sabr (patience) the more you are cleansed and once you are left with no sins, then obviously your status is being elevated higher and higher; but for someone to come and say I know the sins this person has been committing. Please! May Allah the Almighty protect us from these type of words. They are cutting. They are hurting.

The second was actually backbiting, I had to say, “Uncle, please, don’t ever say this again. Ask for forgiveness.” He says, “No, no. Ok at least I am guided. You know I should.” I said, perhaps, it’s got nothing to do. Those sins you may know, I don’t even want to know them, but they may probably have been forgiven a long long time ago. How do you know? What should we – why should we be bothered in that life between them and Allah and their spirituality except in a positive way! So if you want to be positive, tell him, “Oh Mashaa Allah/God protect, God grant you this and that. Don’t worry and you know you do this and do that. Wallahi, that’s what it is.

I normally tell people, and this is what I do myself. We make a lot of Esteghfar (act of seeking forgiveness) a day. Every time we ask Allah’s forgiveness. Not to say we know sins we’ve committed now today. Even if you don’t know the sins you’ve committed, ask Allah’s forgiveness. It is a very high value statement if it is coming with sincerity – very high. It can actually take you to Paradise.

Just ask for forgiveness constantly on a daily basis with sincerity. That alone can actually grant you entry into Paradise! That’s the mercy of Allah, the Glorified Exalted!

So when we visit the sick and ill, we need to remember it is a duty. We speak to them with good words, but the problem with us we become despondent. We want to have nothing to do with anyone else. Yes, society – to be honest with you, not everyone – will be good. Not everyone has good habits and traits, but sometimes a little visit from you can actually change the life of a person. Don’t underestimate them.

You and I are all ambassadors of Allah, the glorified and exalted. He has put us as vicegerents on earth and to be honest we have a duty to fulfil. What is it? To improve ourselves and to reach out to others in a positive way! You may change the life of a person with one phone call. You may change the life of a person with one visit! You strike the right chord at the right time. Allah could have used you to guide one man and that the Hadeeth is “as better for you than Humur El Ne’am”, Humur El Ne’am are the red camels which were termed at the time most valuable of material items in the world at that time. Imagine!

Now let’s get to the crux. The main point that I want to raise. My brothers and sisters, every one of us, we will come across issues with people. Everyone one of us. There will be issues with people. Who are these people? Sometimes family members. Sometimes family members and others. Sometimes perhaps others alone – not family members, but normally as you grow older there will be issues. They have to be issues! So why are they issues? There won’t be a single extended family in my experience that will not have issues, and when I say issues here, I am not talking of major things, but things that you will need to overlook. You will need to sacrifice. You will need to forgive. You will need to have a big heart if you are a Muslim and if you want to meet Allah, the Glorified and Exalted with a smile. Why do these things happen? The reason why they happen as a Muslim is because Allah wants to test your reaction! That’s all. Put a full stop there. There you are. That’s all.

So you have a problem with someone, whether it is an uncle, an aunt, a grandfather, a nephew, a niece, an in-law, your in-laws, your brother’s in-laws, anyone else, whoever, your sister’s in-law, whatever names you can think of. I am sure everyone of us, the only reason there is an issue is for Allah to test how you react. That’s all. Put a full stop there and keep on asking yourself:

How am I reacting?

And Allah wants to watch you. What do you do with these people? Your own son, your own daughters, your own blood! How do you treat them? What do you tell them? How do you speak to them? What do you hold against them? What is it?

This is really something that will make you fulfill the rights of fellow human beings starting with those who are most important … those who are the most important. So this is why you will find there is no extended family that does not have issues. The best would still have minor issues. When I say minor issues, I mean small things, they have overlooked. If you see people that get along very very well, it is not because they are getting along very very well from thin air, but it is because they’ve made a sacrifice to get along very well. They’ve made a sacrifice. Wallahi, without that sacrifice, you won’t get along.

Look at Abu Baker El Seddeeq, may Allah be pleased with him, powerful example in the Qur’an. A nephew of his. What is a nephew? A close relative. This man wasn’t too well to do and so on, and Abu Baker, Allah be pleased with him, used to spend on him. Until one day, the Almighty Glorified God, wanted to test a whole lot of people. So someone happened to start making accusations against the best of woman who was Ayesha, may Allah be pleased with her, the daughter of Abu Baker El Seddeeq, may Allah be pleased with him, and the wife of God’s Prophet, peace be upon him. What happened is, the man who was related to them, was one of them who spread the rumor. You see in our language, in our language he said, “she had an affair”, Astaghfirullah, God forgive us, in our language he said, “she had an affair”, and that hurts, it hurt a lot, why! Because that statement is now from Huqooq al Ebad (rights of people). It is now the rights of a fellow human being because their dignity, their status you are not allowed to backbite, slander, spread rumour about.

Backbiting is to speak the truth about someone that they would not like it if they were present; that’s backbiting. Slander is to lie about them. Imagine the difference.

Today when we speak the truth about someone behind their back, we don’t even consider for a moment that this is backbiting. It is a major sin. May Allah grant me steadfastness and everyone else. So, what did Abu Baker El Seddeeq, may Allah be pleased with him, do? He reacted. Human nature. What’s human nature? What? This man is talking? And I am spending on this man, ok; I am never going to give him anymore! No more! Wallahi, I’m not going to spend on him again!

Now, was he wrong? To be honest with you if someone has really hurt you, is it wrong for you to say, “I’m no longer paying the kid’s school fees!” Is it wrong? It is not wrong. Let’s be honest, if you’re just helping someone voluntarily and then you happen to … you’re confirmed that this person is the one who is spreading rumors about you; and if you say, ‘listen, just don’t come to me anymore. I don’t want to pay you anymore.’ Would you be wrong? You wouldn’t. It is in your rights to do that. You’re not wrong but Allah Subhana Wa Taala chose to respond to Abu Baker El Seddeeq to guide him. That guidance is there for us.

This is what I want to highlight today. You know what Allah says,

“And let not those of virtue among you and wealth swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah, and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

Two things are mentioned: those of virtue and wealth among you. Two qualities are mentioned of Abu Baker El Seddeeq, may Allah be pleased with him. Allah says,”those who have virtue and wealth”.

Abu Baker has high virtue. He has a high rank. He’s a virtuous person; those who have virtue and “Al Sa’ah”, here refers to ease in terms of the “Donia” worldly life, also Allah has given you. Allah’s bestowed upon you. So, those who have virtue and they have been blessed with sustenance from Allah the Glorified and Exalted, it is not befitting for them to take an oath that they are not going to spend on a person who is a poor relative of theirs, who is “ a Muhajer”(an immigrant), a poor relative of theirs for this particular reason.

Let them forgive. Let them embrace. Don’t they want that forgiveness of Allah the Almighty! Wallahi, we could speak about this verse for a lifetime. You know why?

We have relatives closer to us than that person related to Abu Baker El Seddeeq, may Allah be pleased with him, we are doing less for them, meaning we are not even spending so much. They have said statements against us that are not as bad. Still we will not talk to them for a lifetime. That’s the thing. Why we fail the test? That’s the thing! We don’t want.

If my son does not do what I want him to do, it’s game over. I will not talk to him. Finished. He is, and I can tell you what happens. May Allah the Almighty grant us all goodness. They say he’s sold. Sold to who? I don’t need to say it. Allah Akbar (Allah is greatest)! He is not sold. There is nothing like that. No ways. Gives them their space. Come on. Give them their space! They are human beings. Perhaps we are being hard. Perhaps we are being difficult!

May Allah The Almighty God open our doors. So, it’s an understanding coming from the Qur’an where Allah is telling Abu Baker El Seddeeq, ‘Yes, you are hurt. He accused your daughter of adultery. He is going around spreading the tale, but we want to tell you your virtue keep it going. Forgive him because Allah will forgive you.

You know what! We wrong Allah in a big way, every day! Sometimes through our dress code, through the way we speak, through our missing of Salahs (prayers), Astaghfirullah (may God forgive us)! That is a major major sin. May Allah forgive us and grant us steadfastness! Make us strong in our Salaah (prayers). But sometimes we are lazy. Sometimes even the laziness we feel for reading Salaah (prayers), do you know that’s a sin. You are not supposed to feel the laziness. But if you fight it off, you get a reward. So in a way depending on how you’ve ultimately reacted, you can convert something that would have ultimately been a sin into a good deed by warding it off completely. So, we commit so much. Sometimes we lie. We say things … we waste time. We do so much on a daily basis each one would know. A lot other times we have even within our dress code, and our associates … so many different things, and we want the forgiveness of Allah, but we are not prepared to forgive someone else who has hardly done much against us. We are not even prepared to say: look I don’t even want him to come and say I am very sorry. I forgive them before that. It’s over. I don’t, and really we don’t need to go around tell him, ‘I got a big heart… I’ve forgiven.’ That’s a sign you’ve a small heart. Because your heart is so small that you can go to the whole world and tell them it is big! If it was big, you don’t need to say so.

You’ll feel happiness with a big heart! Never mind. Leave them. Forgive. I have no space for hatred in my heart. No space for it. I might stay away from certain people. Alhumdulillah (praise is to God). That’s not wrong. Sometimes you know people are the cause of your distress by merely looking at them because it brings bad things and so on. I’ve… you may have forgiven them. You may not be associating with them, but you don’t have hatred in your heart. Something you need to know, there is no space for hatred and leave them. Allah forgive them. I don’t want hold anything against them, and this is why we say to Allah:

Oh Allah, I am forgiving this prime enemy of mine. Totally completely, oh Allah! Grant them Paradise. Grant it to me, as well. If you are genuine, you will have before them because through your prayer, they will get Paradise. Do you think you won’t get it? Allah Akbar (God is Greater) But it is not easy! That is why we’ve got to keep on talking about it. And if you have the right company and you have the right frame of mind. You talk to the right people. It becomes easy, very easy to forgive others and you’re not telling …ah…you know and let them carry on. Alhumdulillah. Allah has blessed us in so many ways and may Allah grant them goodness, as well. We don’t need to say, “Allah destroy them. Allah curse them. Allah break them. Allah, you know, Allah show them. Allah fix them up!” Those are words you might feel right sometimes. You might feel, eh…they wronged me; they must have it! But what if Allah used the same equation for us? Just what if!

For example, they wronged us. So we say Allah break their back and next thing we wronged Allah in big ways and our back is starting to break. It can happen, so the beauty is … consider this: what we want from Allah, we should want it for others. We want forgiveness from Allah. Learn to forgive. It’s your right. Some people are so hurt and I do know there are dangerous people out there. The world is changing fast. Some people are so hurt that they do not find it in their hearts to forgive. But we still tell them, look deeper. Search. Search a little bit more. What are you going to earn by wanting to see them penalised? Ok! The man was penalised. Right now I am happy. Did your life change? In the sense that did that give you any more money or did that make you a happier person or, for me, I would ask did that guarantee my place in paradise? If it did, well, it doesn’t!

To want to see retribution all the time does not guarantee your place in Paradise, but I’ll tell you what does: to learn to forgive almost guarantees your place in Paradise. Depending obviously the reason why I say ‘almost’ is there are other factors included there: you have to have Eman (faith), and so on. But almost in the sense that you have a big heart, Mashaa Allah. And Allah knows it, and you know what Allah the Almighty has told us, “You come close to me this much, I come close to you this much”, meaning handspan I come close to you whole. So if you’re showing the quality of forgiveness to thirty centimetres, for example, Allah will show you the quality of forgiveness to three meters! This is the thing, but sometimes we don’t realise. We don’t understand. Why? We have never been spoken to … we’ve never been spiritually come through, to look at things in a different way. We’ve always had hatred. We always live. We’re unhappy. We don’t want to get up in the morning, why? That person depresses me, this one you know, I can’t do this! No. Change your attitude. Your approach must change.

Yes there are bad people on the globe, but the test is for me. If they are really bad I do have the right to get my own rights from them. You know someone steals a million dollars from you. You can’t just say, ‘the other day we heard a talk … Forgive. Allah will give you paradise.” That’s a different type of a right that you set! That’s not just a rumor that was spread. That’s a different type of a right.

You have every right to say, you know what, I’d like to press charges against an individual because they usurped a million dollars of mine. Or, let’s make it more realistic ten thousand dollars. May Allah the Almighty forgive us, but sometimes when a person is not your motor vehicle and this example I have used it in the past, it might be in the best of your interest to just tell him, you know what, carry on and I’ll carry on. Sometimes it might have been the best of your interest to do that. The reason is, in our country I am talking about if you say for example, just off the cuff I’m just thinking of this example, say someone bumped into your vehicle and there is a slight dent at the back. Now you’re in the middle of a very very packed jam street at half seven in the morning, and the whole world is stopping and everything is happening and people are two kilometers back, and if you come out, the first thing you have to wait for the police, as you know, unless you amicably sorted out, so you know what guy, don’t worry you go I go. Why? Because for me, for me, I am talking of personally the loss of spending five hours waiting for the cops and then getting your statements done and then getting back to a further stage and sometimes it goes to court because it’s contested and then you find, statements have been changed and suddenly you’re guilty so now you have to pay everything as it is yet it was a simple accident with someone else knocked you! You know what I am talking about, it depends who you know and how you know them and what amount you’ve known them for! Allah is greater! This is what happened in some countries. So the best thing to do would say look, this thing here would cost me 5 hundred dollars to repair if I am to stop here for 5 hours, that’s 5 thousand dollars I’d rather save myself 4.5 and walk away. But not everyone thinks this way. I think this way and I’ve done it, to be honest with you. It doesn’t mean bump my car, please, but at same time it does mean that is consider the damage, sometimes if it is bad and so on, yes you have every right you will wait, it is better for you to wait, but the point being raised is weigh your pros and cons, see what there is for you there, and act reasonably, you know, may Allah the Gloried and Exalted bless us! So getting back to work, we were saying, within our families, within our communities we will also have feuds, we will have issues, why? There is no community on the globe that has no issues. No, not even one, not even the non Muslims, whether they are Christians or Jews or Hindus or Buddhists, or whoever else, there are issues within the communities, there have to be. For us, it is a test from Allah, how do you react to it! May the Almighty God bless us, may He open our doors, remember!

And I want to raise this point as a closing point, Inshaa Allah! We need to have, if you want to live a happy life in this world, you really need to have a big heart, you really need to reach out to those who sometimes might have been negative against you. You really have to reach out to them. You have to be courteous and kind even to those who are sometimes unkind and you’ll find you’ll be very happy and yes where they have trampled a little bit much, you may want to consider being a little bit more firm in the way you’ve reacted, I’ve worded it a little bit carefully, but at the same time you need to know you cannot just react the way that TV teaches you to react, no, not at all. Someone does something and next thing my marriage is broken, next thing my children are all gone, next I am a difficult person that why my children are gone! Let’s look at it that way, why do we always have to say they are difficult, maybe I am difficult. We always have a crisis every time where the generation gap makes it seem to the older people that my children are being disobedient, they’re disrespectful, they’re leading their own independent life but they don’t understand; it is just a generation gap. The understanding is now slightly different, it is a bit panel beaten, we could use phones which were Mashaa Allah pressing the buttons, now it is touch screen, and then comes Siri; up to today I still cannot speak properly to Siri, she gets upset every time I try, Allah Akbar. But the new generation have a good conversation, that’s them, so that means they have a slightly different way of looking at things; perhaps they use different technology, they have different understanding. Give them a bit of their space.

Yes, remind them of their duties unto Allah, don’t be hard and fast about other things; you have to do this way, you know, I entered a house and the people were arguing, this is in another country, and I am wondering, I am here as a guest and here is a debate, you know what the debate was? The mother was insisting that on the day of Eid, we all need to wear the same clothing, and one daughter in law says, ‘who are you?’, you know what she says, ‘I am the mother of your husband’. Come on, now they asked me what do you think, I said, ‘Do me a favour, every one wear different clothing.’ And you know I could almost hear the mother growling in the background, may Allah Subhaanawataala protect us, really, but that’s being unreasonable because you want everyone to eat in one place, everyone must be, you know make a show of pretending to be united when in actual fact one wants to go to the zoo and the other wants to go to Honolulu, and they are busy sitting around your table because they’re looking at you and saying the the witch is looking. Allah protect us. You rather say for example, don’t worry you guys go to the zoo, you guys go there, you guys carry on your holiday, you people…, and you know what, we myself and your dad, we’ll just be eating at home, it is the day of Eid! Allah Akbar! They’ll message you: Mum I love you! Wow! The other one will say, Mum we brought you a gift, the other one will buy you…, why they love you because you are not trying to control the lives more than the control of Allah Subhaanawataala! That’s the new generation, so if you want happiness, learn also to apologise, I know of a problem and a crisis, that the older generation sometimes they say ‘WHAT? Me?, to say I am sorry?’, ‘Not Sorry!’, but if you are not sorry, then you’re going to have to face a cracking and breaking up of you whole family before you die. Your children won’t talk to you; your families will split, why?, just because mum or dad could not say I’m sorry. It is not bad, it is a good thing, sometimes you know, that old mentality just today I was talking to someone and saying, you know, my generation and I’m sure some of you here are older than me, you’ve seen how we were punished corporally, and to be honest with you, that would build us. According to me corporally punished, we had fear, you know when they say, ‘He peed in his pants’, it may happen to some of us. May Allah protect us. When you see your dad and you just look at him, and you freeze into thin air, it is no longer like that; the world has changed totally. Today dad sees his son and he’s freezed! That’s what’s going on, believe me, life has changed because son has become bigger than you and he says: Dad! And dad says Sorry! Yes!? Everything has changed, Allahho Akbar! May Allah bless us!

My brothers and sisters we need to enjoy our life, but as I say within the limits of Allah, we remind of Allah Subhaanawataala but at the same time please for Allah’s sake and for your sake, broaden your heart a little bit, don’t want everything your way, ‘My – this must happen this way, that’, let them have it, you know protect them, let them have it their way, don’t want to show the world that altogether together when the hearts are far apart rather let us physically we can be different parts as the globe, but our hearts are so united that not a few days pass and we’ve got a call, hey, how are you? What’s happening I’m missing? Mashaa Allah it’s good! Rather than saying, and I’ve had this happen where people say, when is she going to die, she is living, she’s healthy, she’s so old and look at her she can walk from to there without even bending, Allah Akbar! May Allah not do that to us!

May Allah Subhaanawataala bless us! I really enjoyed this evening, mashaa Allah and I hope to be putting this up in a few minutes, inshaa Allah online for the benefit of the others. May Allah Subhaanawataala grants us all goodness and peace and blessings are upon our Prophet Mohammad, praise to Allah, we repent to you and we testify there is no God but you, we repent to you and ask your forgiveness.

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Mufti Ismail Menk
Dr Mufti Ismail Menk is a leading global Islamic scholar born and raised in Zimbabwe. He studied Shariah in Madinah and holds a Doctorate of Social Guidance from Aldersgate University. Mufti Menk’s work has gained worldwide recognition and he has been named one of “The Top 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World” since 2010. He has millions of followers across his social media platforms. Mufti Menk’s personable style and down to earth approach has made him one of the most sought after scholars in our time. He has endeared himself to people with his much loved lecture series, a Mufti Menk trademark. He travels the world spreading a simple but profound message: “Do good, help others while preparing for the Hereafter”. He is active in the international arena and is a strong proponent of peace and justice, speaking up against all forms of terrorism.

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