Muslim Forgiveness

Some will be surprised, if they have never read the Qur’an, as to the continuous command to believers to show mercy for those you cause them harm. It is often said that the God of Islam and the Hebrew scripture is so cruel, but Jesus (pbuh) is so forgiving. But God is full of forgiveness and he does so inexhaustibly. The source of Jesus' (pbuh) compassionate and forgiving teachings is ALLAH.

Al-Qur'an 42:39 And those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, (are not cowed but) help and defend themselves.

42:40 The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) loveth not those who do wrong.

42:41 But indeed if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong (done) to them, against such there is no cause of blame.

42:42 The blame is only against those who oppress men and wrong-doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a penalty grievous.

42:43 But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs.

If anyone is familiar with the Bible, they knows that Moses(pbuh) gave the punishment “an eye for an eye” (Leviticus 24:19-20). Jesus (pbuh) later suggests that one should turn the other cheek and forgive, instead of using the “eye for an eye” method (Matthew 5:38-39). Later Jesus (pbuh) uses a whip to clear out the temple and asks his disciples to buy swords to defend against those opposing him (John 2:14-15, Luke 22:36). Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) reconciles these two images of Jesus (pbuh) depicted in the Bible, as well as the Law of Moses (pbuh). It is permissible and acceptable to harm someone as they have harmed you in self-defense, as long as you do not transgress bounds (2:190), meaning commit a sin in doing so (a Muslim cannot kill an innocent family member of one who kills his family member because this is a sin), but it is more beneficial to you if you forgive them for their transgressions and reconcile your differences with words. This type of Muslim forgives even when they are angry (42:37), because Allah recommends forgiveness.

Muslims are to forgive the non-Muslims for all the problems that they caused (45:14). This includes those who try to turn him away from Islam (2:108-109). The Qur’an accuses the people of previous scriptures of changing, forgetting or distorting the message of God on several occasions (2:59, 2:57, 3:78), but the Muslims is told to forgive and overlook their deceit (5:13). Those who wage war on ALLAH and the Prophet and cause mischief in the land can repent for their sins (5:33-34, 9:74). How can this be a violent religion, a religion spread by the sword when apostates can try to kill the Prophet and they are still eligible for forgiveness?


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