Tuesday, March 4th, 2014


How many grudges do you carry in your heart? Are you calling them to mind? Against whom do you hold a grudge?

Are those grudges helping you on your spiritual path?

In a series of instructions to believers, Allah (swt) says in Sūrat Āl ʿImrān, {Who spend during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good.} (3:134)

We are not to be people of bitter hearts, but rather forgiving hearts that pardon the shortcomings and perceived wrongdoings of people.

The Prophet ﷺ was hurt on a personal level when his Uncle Hamza (r) was killed and mutilated. Hind bnt. ʿUtba was behind his murder, for he was not killed as a result of war, but because of a well-placed spear by an assassin who had been hired to commit the act in return for his freedom. Hamza’s (r) corpse was mutilated and Hind came forth and attempted to eat his liver. It was pure maliciousness. Yet when she came to the Prophet ﷺ after Fat-h Mecca as a new convert to Islam, he accepted her with grace and forgiveness. He answered her questions and gave her personal advice about her marriage. Here is a crime that one could hold a grudge about – or so it would seem – yet our Prophet ﷺ was not a man of grudges. He forgave, he cared, he accepted.

What of those of us today who hold grudges because we were not invited to a wedding in a timely manner? Or because someone said something bold and hurtful to us?

Abu Bakr (r) used to give money to a relative of his who was poverty stricken. When the gossip and shameful slander of his daughter ʿĀʾisha (r) occurred, and once it was resolved, he swore never to give him money again because of his involvement. And Allah the Exalted sent down a verse of the Quran admonishing Abu Bakr (r) for this begrudging behavior, {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.} (24:22)

Thus it is clear that holding a grudge, and consequently acting upon it, are dangers in the path of our own forgiveness.

And indeed, once a grudge begins, it tends to hold on tight, squeezing the heart of empathy, kindness, compassion, and other qualities of a believer.

A Quality of Iblis

Iblis is the king of grudge holders (may we be protected from Shayṭān). He resented our status with Allah (swt) and refused to bow before us. When Allah (swt) questioned him, he did not seek forgiveness and quickly attempted to rectify his mistake, but he let the bitter burning of resentment build within. His only request was to take us down with him.

Are we being dragged down the bitterness road? Have we begun to imitate Shayṭān instead of the Prophet ﷺ?

We seek refuge from the cursed Shayṭān, let us not take on his qualities.

Wash your grudges from your hearts. Refuse to be bitter.

Choose joy. Choose forgiveness. Choose faith.

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