One who adopts forgiveness has adopted a divine attribute, the highest quality to which a human being can aspire, says Maulanaji

What is forgiveness? Forgiveness means to grant pardon for a person’s mistake or wrongdoing and not hold resentment against him or her.

For example, suppose that you are walking on the street and someone hits you with his bicycle. Then he alights from the bicycle and says: “I am very sorry, please forgive me.” You don’t become angry or show reaction; rather you say, “It is okay.” This, on your part, is forgiveness.

Our life is full of such incidents. Every day, you face experiences of this kind. If you react and try to punish the guilty, then that will go against the spirit of forgiveness. But, if you save yourself from provocation and instead of retaliating, you remain patient and maintain calmness, then that is in keeping with the spirit of forgiveness. 

It seems that forgiveness is for the other person, but in reality it helps one’s own self. Forgiveness is a great moment for your personality development. Every act of forgiveness enhances the process of your self-development. If someone offends you, it gives you a great opportunity. If you forgive at that moment, it means that you availed that opportunity. If you fail to forgive, it means you have lost a golden chance for your own development. 

Forgiveness is like a strategy for buying time. When you forgive a person, you avail that time for your own development rather than losing it by abusing him. When someone offends you, and you become angry, then you lose this moment. However, if you refrain from reacting, it is bound to take you to a higher level of thinking.

If before the cycle hit you, you were a dull mind, after the accident you will emerge energised. One common belief is that those who suffered in life, emerged as super achievers later, while those who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth and went through a smooth ride in their life failed to perform any creative work. 

Everyone is member of a society, large or small. The greatest identity of a person is for him to live in society as a giver member. Giving does not only mean giving something to people in terms of money. Forgiving others is also a way of giving.

Forgiveness is a very noble form of charity. The culture of forgiveness promotes positive values and constructive behaviour in society. Forgiveness means giving without taking, and giving without taking is the highest human virtue. Although forgiveness comes from the heart, it has a great external result. 

Forgiveness is a great tool of cultural reform. Someone has rightly said: ‘Change yourself, and you will be able to change the world.’ Adopt the culture of forgiveness and you will be able to change the character of all fellow-beings.

Forgiveness is directed at others, but at first, it is for one’s own self. The habit of forgiving makes one live with a peaceful mind. And, a peaceful mind is the source of all kinds of good. It gives one good health, a loving heart and friendly behaviour.

Forgiveness is of a divine character. God always forgives people for their wrongdoing. One who adopts forgiveness has adopted a divine attribute, the highest quality to which a human being can aspire.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, 95, is an Islamic spiritual scholar who has adopted peace as the mission of his life. Author of more than 200 books, he is known for his Gandhian views, and considers non-violence as the only method to achieve success.