How Can We Forgive Without Accepting Further Abuse?

12 August, 2020
Q How do you genuinely wish well for those who look down on you or spurn you? How do you interact with them in a way that gives them their rights while still upholding your own dignity and respect?

Answer

Short Answer: 

  • Wishing well for those who wronged you doesn’t mean that you pretend that they did no wrong. I mean… it’s your right to prevent yourself from being harmed, so part of preventing yourself from being harmed is to create a sufficient distance between you and the source of the harm, so that you are not harmed. And sometimes that can be difficult to figure out… Don’t try to do it yourself. Consult those learned, consult those experienced, consult friends.

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Asalamu Alaikum,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani from SeekersHub addresses this question in the video below:

Transcript:

Sh. Faraz Rabbani:

“How do you wish well for those who wronged you? Wishing well for those who wronged you doesn’t mean that you pretend that they did no wrong.

It doesn’t mean that you behave as if nothing happened.

I mean… it’s your right to prevent yourself from being harmed, so part of preventing yourself from being harmed is to create a sufficient distance between you and the source of the harm, so that you are not harmed.

And sometimes that can be difficult to figure out… Don’t try to do it yourself. Consult. […]

Don’t try to be resilient… Embrace consulting. Consult those learned, consult those experienced, consult friends. Don’t try to figure it out yourself.

Part of it is to see that it’s all from Allah… and these are all Allah’s creating, and it’s all a test.

And in many ways… the test is not only in the things that you don’t like. The test in the things that you do like is greater.

[…] Your wealth and your children… your family, they’re tests. And you’re more likely to fail in the test of the good then you are in the test of the bad.

In the bad, you turn to Allah. What else is there to do? But the tests of the good things… it’s rare that in the good things people will turn to Allah through them.

Ibn al-Arabi, his wife was a righteous woman, and he said that one day she remarked… that most human beings refuse to turn to God except in distress.

Distress really is a blessing! What else is there to do?! When things are good, most people run away from God…

So, in those difficult situations, the thing is, the adab [manners] with testing situations is to see it from Allah, and then see what response will be pleasing to Allah, and pursue it.

It’s nothing personal; you’re a servant of Allah.

What do you have to do in the good? Serve Allah. How? By gratitude.

In the bad, how do you serve Allah? By not responding to the bad with bad, but respond to the bad with good—that which is just, and, if you can, that which is virtuous.

So, it’s nothing personal… and see the opportunity in that.

When someone is being bad to you, this is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity. Why … an opportunity? Not in that relationship, because you have a higher concern, which is to seek the pleasure of Allah.

So if you see the opportunity in that test… then that test is not a difficulty, it’s an opportunity.

[A well-known Muslim scholar] says… “If you see Allah’s giving in the things that he withholds from you, then his withholding becomes from giving itself.”

So, see it as being from Allah, and it puts things in perspective. […]

This is a spiritual positive thinking. There’s delusionary positive thinking, where everything will be fine as long as you think it’ll be fine.

No, our positive thing is with Allah, subhannahu wa ta’ala…”


Watch the video to learn more.

I hope this helps answer your question. You can also check out more from SeekersHub at the link here.

Walaikum Asalam. Please keep in touch.


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