رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِالْإِيمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِي قُلُوبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا
O Our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers (and sisters) in Religion who have preceded us in faith, and let not our hearts entertain any ill-feeling against any of the believers. (Al-Hashr 59:10)
First of all, we should point out that the real place where “the human heart” will be free of ill-feelings is Paradise in the Hereafter. If these ill-feelings, which are an important element of humankind’s trial or testing, had been taken from “the heart of human beings” when they are in this world, human beings would have been angels in nature. God Almighty has created human beings and sent them to this world with a nature predisposed to both good and evil. For this reason, even if the ill-feelings were taken out of the human heart in this world, like the cut nails and hair growing anew, they would re-appear. It is because of this reality that God Almighty does not order us to remove ill-feelings from our hearts; instead, in order to teach us that only God is able to remove such feelings from our hearts, He orders us here in this verse to pray to Him, saying, “O Our Lord! Let not our hearts entertain any ill-feeling against any of the believers.” Therefore, what we need to do is to try to remove these feelings, which may be regarded as spiritual thorns that hurt our hearts, through verbal and active prayers. That is, while we do what falls to our will-power in order to be able to remove them from our hearts, knowing that it is God Almighty Who will enable us to do that, we should pray to Him to take them out of our hearts. By doing so, we will be purified from them to be qualified for Paradise, and we hope that God Almighty will be pleased with us.
This verse has a message for us. We should be respectful of our Muslim predecessors. We should neither entertain ill-feelings about them nor remember them with their faults. We should be respectful especially for the earliest generations of Islam, just as the generation following our Prophet’s Companions was respectful for the Companions and the second generation after the Companions was for their predecessors. We should always be respectful for the generations that left us a massive Islamic legacy in Qur’anic interpretation, Islamic jurisprudence and theology, and Hadīth.
Another point presented to us in this verse is that everybody gets pleasure and feels pain according to the development their feelings. For instance, if the perceptiveness of a sensitive person is developed well, he or she derives different meanings from every behavior of the person before him or her. That would sometimes cause pain and sometimes be a blessing for that person. From this perspective, we may say that everyone will receive delight and pleasure from Paradise in accordance with the extent of the development of their senses and feelings. It is possible that those people of Paradise whose senses and feelings were not so developed will wish they had developed them while in the world. Or they will ask God to send them back to the world so that their senses and feelings may develop. Therefore, in order to benefit from Paradise perfectly, it is important that ill-feelings such as rancor, jealousy, and enmity are removed from the heart. This verse should be viewed from this perspective as well.
In fact, the verses, “The believers are but brothers” (Al-Hujurāt 49:10), and “The believers, both men and women, are guardians, confidants, and helpers of one another” (At-Tawbah 9:71), declare that due to their bonds of belief and their brotherhood in faith, the believers should love each other, be respectful especially toward their predecessors, and ask God for their forgiveness by disregarding some of their possible shortcomings. And they should never feel enmity, hatred, and jealousy toward all other believers, especially toward their predecessors. Those who claim to be the followers of Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, should always think well of other Muslims, speak to and act gently toward them, and always act with feelings of good, as commanded in the verses, “Help one another in virtue, goodness, righteousness, and piety, and do not help one another in sinful, iniquitous acts, and hostility” (Al-Māedah 5:2).
How much we need such consideration and state of mind especially in these days!
O Our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers (and sisters) in Religion who have preceded us in faith, and let not our hearts entertain any ill-feeling against any of the believers. O Our Lord, surely You are All-Pitying, All-Compassionate! Amen!