View Full Version : Limitations in forgiveness?

11-13-2014, 09:54 PM
Asalamualykum eveyone

Hope your all well in sha Allah.

Does anyone have any useful articles or hadiths regarding forgiveness and when and why we should forgive? In particular, the limitations of forgiveness. When do we not forgive an individual?

I know Allah swa will not forgive shirk that is something considered as a major sin so as humans what should we overlook and what should we not overlook? I feel i overlook the wrong in people too much and either i forgive, forget or stay quite when am thinking bad of someone lol - people generally think that 'people walk all over me' - maybe this is true in some areas ( but i feel those areas are not important to me i.e trivial worldly matters you find yourself in).

When i feel someone is unjust or has over-stepped the mark i will put them in their place - because that's important in life. Certain individuals need to know what the boundaries are. The main reason for this thread is i need some advice when we as humans should not forgive an individual and does forgiveness have limitations? If yes, what do they include?

Examples could include - brother & sister - the brother has repeatedly broken the trust of the sister - broke many promises and is not a trusted individual - how many times do we forgive this individual and when do we say enough is enough and i will not carry you anymore? I know this is hard because Islam stresses the importance of family so it makes it even more difficult.

Another example could be mother & son - the mother has misused her status as a parent and abused her child physically by beating him up regularly. In Islam humans have dignity and respect how many times does the son forgive the mother and let things go before he stands up for himself and gives the mother the option to stop or he will go?

I am mainly interested in dealings with close loved ones - so marriage, parents - children relationship - brother and sister relationship - individual and friends relationship.

Would be interested to hear everyone ideas and input in sha Allah. I know sabar patience is a great value but how long does one be patient till? What if the wrong act of the family member is hurting the individual? Do we ignore reality? With every hardship comes ease in sha Allah.

Keep smiling people :-)

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11-13-2014, 10:23 PM
I forgive people easily and give plenty of chances to people but a time comes when it's better to part from those who continue to repeat the same behavior over and over again. Even those people, I forgive and even pray for them. I don't hold a grudge against anyone. However, one thing I can't forgive ever is the person who does black magic.

I think whether you forgive someone or not depends on the individual situation. Sometimes, in family relationships especially, you may forgive someone and continue to treat them well but you have to be assertive regarding your own rights. For example, a person cannot continue to let their relative beat them or treat them in a bad manner. This doesn't mean that they part with them altogether. What it means is taking steps to put a stop to the abuse, to be assertive regarding your rights.

However, many times matters are more complicated and difficult not just because Islam stresses family relations but also because of culture and the person's circumstances. For example, whether a person is married, unmarried, working, not working, living with the person in question or away from them, dependent on them, etc. all these things will affect how successful the person is at dealing with the situation. Culture also plays a role. For example, in some cultures, its alright for a person to leave home and live alone while in other cultures such behavior is considered shameful for the family. So how people deal with the situation will be influenced by many factors.

11-14-2014, 02:32 AM
Best is to forgive. Our prophet (saw) was exemplary on this matter as a story that was narrated about a blind person who spat and threw rubbish on him and yet he showered the person with kindness and personally fed him (or her) and another story related (I can't remember where in this forum) about how can we ask Allah for forgiveness if we can't be forgiving ourselves?

We ought to forgive but it is a different thing altogether too forget!


11-14-2014, 12:53 PM
But certainly there must be limitations and conditions, in some situations.

Should we forgive murderers and let them out of prison? Is not keeping someone locked up for life, or executed, the very epitome of them having been unforgiven? Or, is this sense of "justice" categorized differently from personal forgiveness in the Islamic faith?

And what exactly is forgiveness within Islam? Is it something strictly spiritual, or are there worldly actions which may accompany the act of forgiveness? Here is an example of what I mean: you loan someone money and they refuse to pay it back. You forgive them. Would it be contrary to your forgiveness to not loan them money in the future? Or, is the act of loaning them money again the very act of forgiveness itself?

So I guess what I am asking is...

...in Islam, is forgiveness an idea or an action? Can it be both? Is it always both? Or can the idea of forgiveness and the action of forgiveness be mutually exclusive at certain times?

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11-14-2014, 01:28 PM
Good question. My first consideration would be that the times have changed in a way that we are ruled by secularist laws.

Now it not the case where I can simply forgive a murderer and he will go free. He is bound by laws and if found guilty he will face the penalty.

In Islam repentance is accepted.

11-14-2014, 01:38 PM
for this i think it's best to learn the verses in Holy Quran about forgiveness and also learn our Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H) life.shukran

11-14-2014, 01:51 PM
Originally Posted by greenhill
Now it not the case where I can simply forgive a murderer and he will go free. He is bound by laws and if found guilty he will face the penalty.
Of course, however, are the judges who sentence the murderer guilty of not forgiving? What of the police who apprehend him? Those who report him?

If God, the Most Forgiving, gives pardon to those who seek repentance, does this imply that repentance is required, per se, for God's forgiveness? Does the same apply to humans? Are humans obligated to excuse punishment for those who ask forgiveness?

11-14-2014, 02:25 PM
Only Allah knows what's in the hearts of human. Hence His accepting the repentance or rejecting it depends on the sincerity of it. And He knows.

We, on the other hand, don't. A fair judge would not pardon an offence of a person if the victim did not express his intention.

With regard to social laws, if accepted as norms, the police are earning their livelihood. It is not their job to forgive.

Unfortunately, despite the best of intentions, man will always find a way to abuse the 'trust' placed on them. A few people cross the line and the masses lose out on the benefits.

11-14-2014, 02:38 PM
I see in the Quran it says:

And that ye slay not the life which Allah hath made sacred, save in the course of justice. (Sura 6 Verse 151)

Of course I can understand this, and see that it certainly does differ from forgiveness. Clearly a person can be forgiven in a sense, but punishment (the consequences of action which restore balance) may not be withheld.

So, justice appears to be what limits (or perhaps defines) forgiveness in certain capacities.

11-14-2014, 03:43 PM
Put that way, forgiveness is a state of being. Punishment is a consequence. Entirely different and mutually exclusive.

Good to get to the bottom of things.. (famous last words)


11-14-2014, 04:51 PM
Alas, if only.

The guerdon of an ill-deed is an ill the like thereof. But whosoever pardoneth and amendeth, his wage is the affair of Allah. Lo! He loveth not wrong-doers. (Surat Ash-Sura Verse 40)

So, is to be pardoned (excused) the punishment of an ill action equal to forgiveness? Here it seems that we are being instructed in how to mete out punishment (equal punishment for equal crime--not less and not more--which is an aspect of Justice). In the quoted verse, it appears to me that forgiveness and the withholding of punishment are sometimes linked.

And whoso defendeth himself after he hath suffered wrong - for such, there is no way (of blame) against them. (41) The way (of blame) is only against those who oppress mankind, and wrongfully rebel in the earth. For such there is a painful doom. (42) And verily whoso is patient and forgiveth - lo! that, verily, is (of) the stedfast heart of things. (Surat Ash-Sura)

Now here we are given guidance for our defense. Of course we should defend ourselves, but is what we perceive as Justice a form of defense in the case of how people are judged in society for society's crimes? In other words, is sending someone to prison for a crime categorized as "defense" ? Or, since it is after the fact, should it be better to forgive (and pardon) the criminal, particularly if he is asking for forgiveness?

Eric H
12-01-2014, 08:30 PM
Greetings and peace be with you Eshai;

In other words, is sending someone to prison for a crime categorized as "defense" ? Or, since it is after the fact, should it be better to forgive (and pardon) the criminal, particularly if he is asking for forgiveness?
There are some crimes that can never be put right whilst we spend our time on this Earth. I met a man who had been stabbed in the back 27 years ago, this left him paralysed from the waist down, he has never been able to walk since. They caught the man responsible, and he walked out of prison after four years, and is still walking.

The man in the wheelchair said he had to deal with two diseases, his disability and the greater disease is the burning hate for the man responsible. In time he came to forgive the man, even though he was not sorry, this is something he has to fight every day as he gets in his chair.

Even if they broke the legs of the man responsible, it just leaves two disabled people, true justice would be for the man never to have been stabbed in the first place.

Only Allah can put this right with a greater good life after death.

In the spirit of praying for forgiveness for those we have hurt.


01-10-2015, 04:47 PM
Do you hate someone? Do you really hate someone? You haven’t spoken to him for a while? You’ve been blaming him?

You’re not the only one; the Muslim Ummah today is diseased with this to the extent that almost every Muslim knows another Muslim who he hates.

The Ummah is like a building with the Muslims as it’s bricks, brotherhood is the cement. Without forgiveness you cannot have brotherhood.

OK then, he wronged you. He deceived you. He backbited you. He lied to you. But even in these extreme situations the Qur’an and the Hadith teach us that we have to forgive others (especially those who hurt us the most) if we wish to earn the forgiveness of Allah on the day of judgement. We have all committed many sins, made many mistakes and no doubt we have wronged others, we have deceived others, we have backbited others and no doubt we have lied to others.

So what makes us focus onto brothers’ and sisters’ errors while we remain unconscious of our own. Not to forgive is like to live in arrogance, and ignorance of our own shortcomings.

Forgiveness is linked with piety and God-consciousness, is there anybody who is not without sin? Is there anybody who can be arrogant enough to say that he does not need to forgive? Do we not know that Allah forgives those who forgive others? Therefore, we should realise the difficulties of others and forgive them. Allah says in the Qur’an:

“Be quick in the forgiveness from your Lord, and pardon (all) men – for Allah loves those who do good.”

[Surah ali Imran; 3:133-134]

And we know that Allah Himself is Ar-Rahmaan (the Most Compassionate) and Ar-Raheem (the Most Merciful) and that His Mercy is infinite, and that no matter the sin (except shirk) Allah is always willing to answer the person’s call for forgiveness. In fact Allah loves the tear drop that falls from the eye of one who sincerely seeks the forgiveness of his Lord.

And Allah loves us to have hearts that are ready to forgive.

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) once asked his companions;

“Do you know what will cause you to have high walled palaces in Paradise (as a symbol of great reward) and will cause you to be raised by God?” When they replied in the negative, he said,

“To be forgiving and to control yourself in the face of provocation, to give justice to the person who was unfair and unjust to you, to give to someone even though he did not give to you when you were in need and to keep connection with someone who may not have reciprocated your concern.”

Similarly the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said that the best of people are those who are slow to get angry and quick to forgive. On the other hand the worst of people are those, he said who get angry quickly but are slow to forgive.

The characteristic that makes a person most likely to forgive is the purity of his or her heart. Apologies must be accepted, the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said that:

“Whoever apologises to his brother and that apology is not accepted, then the person who refuses to accept the apology bears the sin of one who takes the property of another unjustly.

And the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) also said that:

“The doors of the Garden are open on Monday and Thursday. Every Muslim slave who does not associate anything with Allah is forgiven except for the man who has enmity between him and his brother. It is said, ‘Leave those two until they have made a reconciliation. Leave those two until they have made a reconciliation.’”

If we look at the example and the character of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) we can see that he was always forgiving and never showed enmity to anyone except those who waged war against him. There was an old lady who used to throw rubbish in his way every day, on one occasion she did not throw rubbish in the street, so he decided to go and see what was the matter. She was ill in bed, to her amazement, the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) came to see her and find out about her.

She accepted Islam.

This is the example of the man whom we claim to follow.

Thumamah, as the chief of his tribe had killed many Muslims. On his travels, he was caught by the Muslim soldiers and was taken to the Prophet’s masjid and tied to one of the pillars. The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) commanded his companions to untie him and give him the best food. The Messenger of God (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was indeed a mercy for the worlds.

We should similarly be merciful with each other. First of all, we ourselves should not do anything to upset our brothers and sisters (because this is in itself a part of mercy) and then we should forgive those who have upset us or made us angry. We will never be a strong ummah if we are not able to forgive.

Some might say that to forgive is a sign of weakness and humiliation, and for them it is better to be strong and preserve their honor. But honor in the eyes of Allah lies in forgiveness.

“But indeed if any shows patience and forgives that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs.”

[surah 42:43]

If we are to be really strong then we have to be strong against Shaytaan and forgive our brothers and sisters, and in this way maybe Allah will decide insha-Allah to forgive ourselves for our many mistakes.
” …honour in the eyes of Allah lies in forgiveness…..”

so,Are You going to forgive someone ????

Got this from Islam: Religion of Peace in Facebook

01-29-2015, 01:48 PM
Umar Ibn Khattab Radhiallahu Anhu said
"Forgive people so that God may forgive you."

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