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Forgiveness: Don’t go to bed without it!

Releasing anger and irritation before the sun goes down is a mercy worth ritualizing

28) Create a short end-of-day ritual to ask for (and extend) forgiveness with those you live with. “Do not let the sun set on your anger” (Eph. 4:26). — 56 Ways to Be Merciful During the Jubilee Year of Mercy

Women’s magazines are always stressing the importance of not going to bed with your makeup on. It’s true – unless removed with gentle cleansing, makeup residue left to linger overnight can attract dirt, clog pores, and eventually trigger flare-ups of inflammation and ugly blemishes.

In our everyday spiritual lives, the opposite is true. Scripture warns us against going to bed without making up. “So then,” Paul writes to the Ephesians, “putting away all falsehood, let us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil.” (Ephesians 4:25-27).

Spiritual advice can sometimes be complicated, but this is one teaching that makes pure and perfect common sense. The effects of not reconciling with one another – our family members, friends, coworkers, even ourselves, and especially our God – on a regular basis are much like the effects of leaving makeup on overnight. Grudges held attract the dirt of more anger and irritation. Withholding forgiveness (or stubbornly refusing to ask it from those we have wronged) clogs the pores of the soul and the arteries of the heart. The smoldering embers of anger will inevitably stir into explosive flames of rage when we least expect it, and give rise to outbreaks of sin’s ugly blemishes.

Don’t believe it? Think about the last time you took your spouse’s head off for installing the toilet paper roll facing the wrong direction.

Making up – acknowledging and forgiving and setting ourselves free of the day’s burden of aggressions, micro and macro – is more than just good spiritual and psychological hygiene. It’s a mercy, a participation in God’s merciful making up with humanity in Christ Jesus, every day until the sun shall shine no more. And as such it is an act of spiritual combat, because the devil is defeated when we make peace.

Those magazine articles about removing makeup before going to bed stress the importance of making nightly skin care a habit. If you build in the time to cleanse your skin and do it regularly for a couple of weeks, it will become routine. You will be less likely to skip the step “just this once,” because you’ve made the practice of removing makeup consciously important.

In other words, you’ve created a ritual.

This week’s suggestion for how to practice mercy in the Jubilee Yearprompts us to think about doing the same thing with making up: “Create a short end-of-day ritual to ask for (and extend) forgiveness with those you live with.” That is, don’t just have a general good intention not to go to bed mad. Act, with conscious deliberation, to clear the decks of anger each day before the lights go off.

“Creating a ritual” doesn’t have to mean composing a liturgical office, wearing special forgiveness vestments, and selecting suitable hymns. (Good luck with that last one, in any case, because getting any two Catholics to agree on what constitutes a suitable hymn is more likely to trigger an all-out war than to celebrate reconciliation!) No, the important thing is doing something that is meaningful to you and yours, over and over again, until it becomes second nature. Your ritual will depend a lot on who you are and who you live with, but here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Before falling asleep, hold hands with your spouse, look into each other’s eyes, and say “I’m sorry. I forgive you.”
  • When praying bedtime prayers with your children, take a minute to mention and let go of the crankiness and arguments and sulks of the day. Let kids do this with one another and with you as parents.
  • When things have been particularly stressful, invite family members to write notes to place on one another’s pillows. The message can be as simple as “Let’s make tomorrow better.” Children can draw pictures.

If you live alone, adapt these ideas to your circumstances. Sometimes that will mean calling or texting others at the end of the day to ask “Are we good?” Often it will mean finding ways to let go of the old angers that keep you isolated and lonely. Always, it will mean asking God to help you make up with yourself and with him before the sun goes down.

“Do not make room for the devil” – or the nasty pimples of rage. Say goodnight, Gracie, with grace and mercy, every night.

Source: https://aleteia.org/

Forgive and Forget

How can one earn the forgiveness of Allah and be rewarded with His Paradise? There is a way for this – and that is to forgive others. Today people call it “the general forgiveness.” and that is for every night, to forgive and forget. Apply each night at bedtime; to pardon anyone who has insulted you and has spoken ill of you. In other words, cleanse this heart of anger, envy and hostility.

How much should you give way to feelings like envy, hatred, deceit, resentment, and hostility?

By Allah, how will peace be made with this heart? If you do not forgive and forget you will be the victim of this before the punishment of the Hereafter. You’ll be the one that suffers and not the one you’re upset with, or want to take revenge on…

A man once said: “Whoever carries hostilities with him, their toe furnaces the fire, and advances it to the chest. That oven than burns you.”

We therefore need to forgive people, in the hope that Allah forgives us. He saw) said: “And when you accompany rage, then forgive and Allah loves the righteous.”

Our life cannot bear to have a hostile attitude towards others. A life of hatred towards people results in living in a (created) prison, a punishment for man. I want us, if were lucky, to earn the forgiveness and Paradise of Allah (swt). So if there is someone who has wronged you, and has misbehaved in front of you then forgive! That you show mercy towards all Muslim men and women and that you remember the rights of others that you forgot and also the rights to others you meet. If you will do this, you will experience peace and tranquility.

The Messenger of Allah (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was sitting with a group of the sahabah (RAA) in the masjid and he said “A man will now enter [who is] from the people of Paradise.” and a Sahabi (companion of Muhammad (saw) ) walked in. Later it happened again, and then a third time. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘aas (RAA) wanted to find out what was so special about this man, so he asked the man if he can stay over his house for 3 days. (He made up an excuse). The man allowed him to stay. ‘Abdullah noticed that the man didn’t do anything out of the ordinary: He didn’t fast all the time, he slept some of the night and prayed some of the night, and so on. So after the 3 days, ‘Abdullah told him the real reason why he requested to stay with him, and he asked him what it was that could be the reason why he was from the people of Jannah. The man (RA) couldn’t think of anything, but after a bit he said: “Every night, before I go to sleep, I forgive whoever has wronged me. I remove any bad feelings towards anyone from my heart.”

One of the scholars said: “When you go to bed, clean your heart – so to forgive seven times, and the eighth time with mercy.” Then say: “May Allah forgive all men. May Allah forgive those who have wronged us. May Allah guide us, and forgive those who have misbehaved. May Allah be merciful to those who have spoken ill of us. May Allah forgive us, and every other Muslim.” In other words, know the rights, so that the reward of Allah will find you and Allah (swt) treats people the way they treat His servants.

The one who forgives others and shows mercy, Allah forgives him and gives him favors, and the one who does not do this, Allah (swt) makes it difficult and troublesome for him on the Day of Judgement.

In that he (peace be upon him) said: “O Allah, the person who is entrusted of my community and shows mercy, be merciful to him. And the person who is entrusted of my community but makes it difficult for them, then make it difficult for him.”

You must therefore know that someone who does something, he is also met with it, so what you do here, you will also find there (i.e: Hereafter).

May Allah forgive us, and all Muslims. May Allah forgive us, and His servants. May Allah grant you and I the Gardens of paradise, and may He gather us together in His Paradise.


By – Shaykh Aid al Qarni

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