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We believe that a true and comprehensive understanding of Islam would not be possible without careful recognition of the Prophetic Tradition and the Prophet's Household. And Allah is the Source of Strength.

Forgive For God

" This paper is a submission by Muhammad Moiz

Today, the need for man to do good and avoid the bad is derived from 03 things.

The first is the law of the land (in most cases); a law abiding citizen vs someone who breaks the law and is penalized by the penal/legal system of the land. It is important to maintain order in the society vs anarchy hence man has evolved into societies which developed strict systems in place.

The second source is the religion. All religions tell us that in addition to preservation of order, practicing good also leads to the ultimate objective of human beings in the earth, getting closer to God and promise of rewarding in a life which we have not seen yet.

The third source is the social peer pressure. What will the people say if i did something against the norms of the society? Generally the norms of the society are "good".

But that is for today, what about half a million years ago when man was still a homosapien and living in caves? The most important challenge for current times may be law & order to sustain civilization, but the most important challenge in pre-historic periods was survival (when man predated civilizations).

Altruism, courage, kindness, truthfulness they make logical sense for primitive human to exercise as they help increase the chances of preservation, unity and strengthening of family, tribe or clan even if we assume that there was no divine moral compass available for human beings.

How can one explain forgiveness in the evolutionary timeline of mankind? Forgiveness does not make logical sense from an evolutionary point of view. Where man (if) learnt all of its traits today through millions of years of evolution and learning, forgiveness does not fit the story. Why should a primitive cave dweller forgive a rogue member of his clan for murdering another It makes no sense, the clan , the family is already faced with the challenge of survival and forgiveness could signal weakness or encouragement of anarchy and hurt chances of preservation of the tribe. There is no need no incentive for a caveman to forgive another.

It gives impetus to believe that forgiveness was a trait that man learnt because of divine intervention. Generally, religion works in polarity. There is a good deed, practicing the opposite of which is forbidden. If an act is rewarded, the doing of its opposite is punishable. Praying salat is rewarded missing it is punishable. Saving a life is rewarding killing is punishable. The only good deed that is rewarded, while its opposite is also rewarded and not punished as well, is forgiveness. 

Retribution is prescribed by the religion, by the society and law as a tool to maintain order and justice. However, you increase your merits if you do opposite of it, you may forgive, for a greater good, for God.

It is important here to differentiate kindness and forgiveness. The opposite of kindness is cruelty and hatred, you are discouraged to practice them but the opposite of forgiveness is – eye for an eye the corner stone of justice and fairness.

Retribution, revenge, eye for an eye is the natural law of land and nature of man, serves the purpose of justice, survival and ensures law and order. Its opposite, forgiveness, is one divine attribute that is most difficult to practice and human beings at large lack the capacity to forgive, which is simple to see from the above cave dweller argument. Forgiveness has no immediate incentive! Unimaginable acts of forgiveness are a common thread in lives and acts of Prophets, the people closest to God.

Muhammad (SAW) forgave the Meccans (who fought the Prophet (SAW) throughout their lives) during conquest of Mecca, Imam Hussain (AS) forgave Hur (AS) (who stopped the Imam (AS) and forced him to camp at Kerbala while more troops arrived) on the morning of Martyrdom. Yaqub (AS) forgave his sons despite them forcing Yaqub (AS) to spend all of his life in grief for Yusuf (AS), such grief that Yaqub (AS) lost his eyesight.

If an act of kindness brings you a mile closer to God, an act of forgiveness will get you more than a mile. Because forgiveness is against fundamental human nature and when practiced, will only be for the pleasure of God.  "

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