The moral values of ignorance -3

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Being Vindictive

There is no reason for a person whose mind has no complete grasp of the Hereafter to be forgiving and tolerant. The rationale commanding him merely suggests that this life is short and temporary, and thus one has “to make the most of it.” Under such circumstances, personal interests should be guarded resolutely and “a good lesson” should be given to those who are a hindrance to the furtherance of these interests. This rationale further commands that a person should never forget any misbehaviour. With a sense of grievance, he should always occupy his mind with the remembrance of unjust conduct towards him and make plans to take his revenge as soon as possible.
 
Nursing grievances almost becomes a habit with such a person; sometimes a minor mistake is not forgotten for decades. Mostly, misbehaviour is really quite minor; so minor that it is not recalled by the perpetrator. Yet the "supposer" believes that a wicked intention lies behind the mistake. In the ignorant society, the passion to take revenge often results in undesirable incidents like injury or murder.

However, such an attitude does the most harm to the person himself. He feels anxious and believes that the people around him feel enmity towards him. He evaluates every incident in the light of this baseless distrust. Devoting all his energy and skills to following the negative inspirations of his soul, such a person eventually becomes bereft of creativity and productivity. Moreover, he is set adrift by hatred and grief, and totally loses his joy in life.

Nevertheless, the joy that forgiveness and tolerance gives to man is incomparably greater than any satisfaction arising from being in a furious state of mind, — the consequence of hatred and the desire to take revenge. Forgiving people, contrary to how it is perceived in the ignorant society, is a virtue and is conduct worth praising. In the Qur’an, forgiveness is praised thus:

 

Keep to forgiveness (O Muhammad), and enjoin kindness, and turn away from the ignorant. (Surah Al-Araf: 199)

Let evil be rewarded with like evil. But whoever pardons and seeks reconcilement, his wage is the affair of Allah. He does not love the wrong-doers. (Surah Al-Shura: 40)



Contrary to this gloomy life of ignorance, the principles of the Qur’an offer a very “warm” environment. This is also shown to be a characteristic of Heaven. Hence it reminds us that forgiveness is conduct of the highest virtue:

And We shall remove from their hearts any lurking sense of injury. Beneath them will be rivers flowing, and they shall say: “Praise be to Allah, who has guided us to this (felicity): never could we have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of Allah: indeed it was the truth, that the Messengers of our Lord brought to us.” And they shall hear the cry: “Behold! the Garden before you! You have been made its inheritors, for your deeds (of righteousness).” (Surah Al-Araf: 43)
 
2009-12-15 23:12:10
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