How Can I Truly Forgive Someone and Heal Completely?

14 March, 2021
Q Assalam Aleikom.

I met an American Muslim brother who is very much attractive. We had much in common. He exposed me to many things that I only had an idea about but never experienced. We never had sex (how Great Allah is for protecting me), but still the consequences of my haram actions really did a number on me. I was betrayed in the cruelest way. I hurt too much to explain in words. We were together for three years. I was still seeing him with hopes of marriage. I was led to believe that he was going to marry me, but he didn’t. Instead, he was still seeing me just weeks before his nuptials.

I came to find out two weeks shortly before his wedding day through a mutual friend who (knowingly/unknowing of our relationship, only Allah SWT knows) invited me to the wedding. It has been a year since he got married, and it has been the most painful and dramatic ever since. He is now married. I have accepted the fact, and I have finally cut him off from my life even after he was chasing me as a married man. In short, I was left very much wounded, but I am healing, alhamdulillah.

My current situation: it has been a year and Alhamdulillah, Allah has blessed me with many positive changes in my life. After many prayers for forgiveness and working hard on my taqwah (piety), Allah (SWT) has truly blessed me and I am in a much better place today than when I was with that brother. But sometimes, I remember his texts of insults which hurt so much . He still finds ways to approach me using the excuse of trying to forgive each other so we could heal; yet, when I give him an opportunity, he turns around and hurts me more with his words.

Lately, he has been targeting my faith and using the religion to attack me. Making statements such as that Allah knows best for making him chose to marry the other woman and not me; that I was not the choice that Allah made for him; that he is a better Muslim and hence, life is going smoothly for him. This makes me feel miserable as he makes me feel that I am not a good Muslimah. reminded him that I had forgiven him, but he was still responsible for his haram actions and words of insults. But his answer was “Allah is the best of planners and Allah knows best”. This statement is truly beautiful if applied in a manner to ease one’s pain, but he uses such statements and many others to make me feel like Allah favors him more than me.

I don’t want to lose faith in Allah (SWT), but this man is attacking my faith. Please help me with your advice as to how to handle such a manipulative person. The pain is excruciating and I feel I am going back to how I was a year ago before I had cut him off completely and focused only on Allah (SWT). I want to forgive him and I mean truly forgive him without feeling any pain because I know that is the only way for me to heal.

But how do you forgive someone who doesn’t seem to think that he has done wrong, and would use any opportunity to pull me down? Especially one who wants to destroy my faith...JazakaAllah khayran in advance for your help.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

•Try to understand that you are not defined by your past with this person. Whatever this person thinks about you is his own issue.

*He is trying to hook you by engaging you in this kind of destructive arguments, so he can keep you focused on him

*It is no one’s business who Allah (swt) will forgive. The only person you need to focus on now in becoming a better person for Allah (swt) and for yourself is yourself. Tell this to yourself!

*Then focus on your own iman (faith) without this person in your life at all. He can worry about his own iman

*Surround yourself with friends for a while and enjoy socializing with some women friends until the pull toward this person becomes lighter and goes away completely.

• It is our own best interest to forgive another because forgiveness sets us free.


As-Salam ‘Alaikum Z,

Thank you for writing us. I want you to understand something important: you are not defined by your past with this person. Whatever this person thinks about you is his own issue. He is trying to hook you by engaging you in this kind of destructive arguments, so he can keep you focused on him. As a result, you are psychologically trapped in his web and emotionally vulnerable. This way, if he ever wants to use you inappropriately again, you will be an easy target.

It is no one’s business who Allah (swt) will forgive. The only person you need to focus on now in becoming a better person for Allah (swt) and for yourself. Tell this to yourself! Thus, if the only person you need to worry about is you, in relationship to Allah (swt), then focus on your own iman (faith) without this person in your life at all. He can worry about his own iman.

I am only reinforcing what you have been trying to say and affirming that you are correct. This person is manipulative, and you don’t want to be caught in his web. If and when he wants to get help for himself, he can get it; he is not your responsibility.


Check out this counseling audio:


Forgiveness Sets Us Free

Forgiveness is something that happens within our hearts. Letting go of pain, hurt, and anger, after someone has hurt us, is forgiveness. Over time, you will be able to do that genuinely, IF you stay away from this person who still behaves badly.

This person may or may not be consciously aware of his destructive and manipulative behavior. This is why we forgive him anyway. It is our own best interest to forgive another because forgiveness sets us free.

With that said, you are really forgiving him for your own sake, and not for his. This is perfectly good. This person doesn’t ask for forgiveness from you as he is too arrogant to be able to humble himself or even acknowledge that he wronged you. He may know this in his heart, but he is too prideful to be authentic with his feelings. There is nothing you can do to change that. Let Allah (swt) heal this person; walk away, and let Allah (swt) heal you.

The way to do this is to get your phone number changed. Do not talk to him if you see him in public and never call him again. You are destined to walk different paths, and Allah (swt) will give you the strength that you need to do this. So, surround yourself with friends for a while and enjoy socializing with some women friends until the pull toward this person becomes lighter and goes away completely. Our iman comes from Allah (swt), and He (swt) will strengthen it if you follow the principles of faith.

A Practical Tip

Here is an exercise I want you to do: make du`aa’ (supplication) to Allah (swt). Ask Him (swt) to guide you, and then stand up. Imagine that you are standing in front of this person. Say the following to this person (in your mind, or silently to yourself, or whisper it quietly): “I appreciate everything that I learned from you and from being in a relationship with you. I thank Allah (swt) for making me the woman that I am today. I forgive you now for any pain I might have perceived from you, and I pray that you forgive me for any pain that you may have perceived from me. We are destined to travel on different roads. I leave you with my blessing and wish you joy and happiness on your journey. I must meet Allah (swt) where I am comforted and free. Goodbye.”

You can change the words, of course, but use this idea of letting go of all attachment to this person as you speak to him (in your imagination). Then, turn assay, walk toward Allah (swt), and pray again. Give Allah (swt) a prayer of thanksgiving and praise Him (swt) for being your friend, the Healer of emotions, the Guide, and Protector.

Now, go about your daily activities and let the energy of this person fade away from you. Discover who you are as a human being without any engagement with this person again in your life. If you do this, over time, you will notice that you have completely forgiven this person. You will reflect upon this time in your life years from now, remember a few things, and realize that you do not harbor any ill will in your heart. The negative energy will be gone, and you will smile.

Salaam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

Forgiveness: A Gate That Never Closes

https://aboutislam.net/science/faith-science/heal-yourself-through-forgiveness/

A New Year… 3 Ways Lead to Forgiveness

About Maryam Bachmeier
Dr. Bachmeier is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the mental health field for over 15 years. She is also a former adjunct professor at Argosy University, writer, and consultant in the areas of mental health, cultural, and relationship issues.