grudge1During the course of this journey, namely 'life', sometimes people's words and actions can leave a psychologically disturbing and detrimental effect on us for years to come. Such people may deem what they uttered maybe within a matter of a few minutes & the span of a short conversation to be light and insignificant, yet, what they fail to realise is the tremendous affect and impact such hurtful words may have on the other. Painful words may at times resonate within the victim's mind and heart for years to come, bringing about stinging grudges to the point that some have suffered from certain depressing complexes, unrest, and a lack of self-worth and confidence. Hence, grudges have the power to affect one's relationship with one's own self and as a result, with the people around oneself also...if one allows them to.

To prevent ourselves from falling into this same sin of hurting others, we should bear in mind our own experience of how painful words can be, and therefore exercise caution in what we say to others - which can't be done without the fear, love and hope in Allaah (s). Furthermore, another beneficial exercise is to think back in time to someone who hurt your feelings when you were younger, maybe in school or college. Then bring yourself back into the present and realise how time healed that pain. The memory is there, but the pain deteriorated, and the issue no longer seems to hold the same relevance in your life anymore. Time is a healer, especially for the believer.

Of course, the best way to deal with such a situation is to forgive, forget and talk it through with the person concerned. But the real problem is when one can't talk it through with that certain individual, either because the issue wasn't dealt with appropriately by the one who was hurt when the time was right, or because of that person's psychological / social level. Worse still, it may be feared that such a person will use one's weakness, lack of experience and pain furthermore to victimize the hurt individual. Sometimes one just has to learn to let go, for the sake of the social circle one is amidst, whether that's family, relatives or friends. As the saying goes: 'Be selective in your battles, sometimes peace is better than being right...'

Whatever the case, the Qur'aan and Sunnah in numerous places commands us to forgive and forget. But in doing so, it also offers practical advice on how to go about doing this and never leaves one alone and in pain.

The following Prophetic narration provides an amazing, easy and affective principle when it comes to the usage of the tongue and how to restrain it towards only good. Just as it has helped me, I pray that it will also be a source of help for you also for years to come, Allaah Willing. Please try and memorize the words, even if it's just the translation, and keep this is as one of your principles throughout your life. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏

‏"‏ ... ومن كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فليقل خيراً أوليصمت

"... and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak good or remain silent." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

It's interesting that the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the above narration placed the conditions of one believing in:

1) Allaah

If the belief in Allaah (s) is not there then a person will feel the need to be recompensed by others for the pain in one's heart. And a sad fact of life is that some people are just not willing to say 'sorry' and mend rifts. Hence, where does a believer look towards for reward and recompense? Allaah, the Glorifed, the Majestic, whose knowledge is never lost, nor does He forget. When He Decrees, he Decrees by His Wisdom. All good is attributed to Him, He says about Himself in 5 verses or more of the Qur'aan:

وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَيْسَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ

"...and because Allah is not ever unjust to [His] servants."
(Aal-'Imraan [3]: 182)

2) The Last Day

Sometimes the problem is that our perception is limited. We think everything is about the here and now. But we forget about the final destination, the Hereafter and that this life is transient. Therefore, the believer must remember the Hour which is both fast-approaching and near at hand; this would in turn strengthen one's Imaan and empower us through it's remembrance. Allaah Almighty describes it as:

إِنَّ يَوْمَ الْفَصْلِ مِيقَاتُهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

"Indeed, the Day of Judgement is the appointed time for them all."
(Ad-Dukhaan [44]: 40)

We must remember that the above Prophetic Narration came from a man, the Noble Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was hurt many times by his own people. His own loved ones were killed and tortured, yet he never became angry for himself and was quick to forgive, even when, at times, people continued to be haughty and arrogant...and even if it hurt.

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