During the pre-Islamic days of ignorance, the one who was treacherous, proud, and dishonest was feared and considered strong. But revelation through the Qur’an and Sunnah teach us otherwise. The Prophet (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) didn’t just win battles, but hearts as well. He was known for his gentle nature and kindness, even to the ignorant and ill-mannered. People took their shahadah and entered Islam just by experiencing his humble, gracious, honest, and courteous mannerism There are so many examples in the seerah, I couldn’t possibly do justice by delving into them here but encourage you to examine them. Through his behavior, he displayed the true and distinguished identity of a Muslim as desired by Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala).
Unfortunately, with the passage of time many Muslims have forgotten to practice the manners taught by our religion. We have forgotten the teachings of Quran and ahadith and instead let our egos rule us. If you wish to live your life as a ProductiveMuslim, always try to recall the teachings of our best example, our Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam).
Shaytan, your greatest enemy will play all the tricks to stop you from saying sorry. You might experience the following thought pattern: “Oh come on! You can’t apologise. It will be so embarrassing. Actually, you didn’t do anything wrong really, it’s not such a big deal. Everyone makes mistakes, it was so-and-so’s fault in the first place.” Embarrassed that you spoiled a treasured relationship, your ego may tell you to run the other way and not face the situation. But you shouldn’t ignore the situation. We can’t have healthy relationships if we don’t learn how to handle mishaps and humbly ask for forgiveness.
If you are willing to apologise, but are hesitating, below are some easy tips that should help you overcome this shyness to say sorry:
1. If you have wronged or oppressed the person, you should turn to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala to ask for forgiveness.
“Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous. Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men, for Allah loves those who do good.” (3:133-134)
2. Push aside your ego; we have to remove any pride in order to humble ourselves to genuinely apologise. This shows that you value your relationship. Even if you don’t think you’re in the wrong, apologize and be kind for the sake of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.
3. Be quick to apologise.
“It is not lawful for a Muslim to desert (stop talking to) his brother beyond three nights, the one turning one way and the other turning to the other way when they meet, the better of the two is one who is the first to greet the other.” [Bukhari]
4. Admit to your shortcomings and take responsibility. Don’t sound insincere or cold. Muttering “I apologise” or a stern “sorry…” under your breath isn’t very genuine; be sincere and mean what you say – ‘I’m so sorry, [insert person’s name]’ sounds better, doesn’t it?
5. If the situation calls for it, talk it out and explain what happened. Try to restore their trust and confidence in you.
6. Show you care by asking the other person what could be done to amend it.
7. Learn a lesson from this incident. Set your morals and correct your behaviour. Our interactions with people are also a part of our deen, and our character will weigh heavily on the Day of Judgment. It is reported that Muadh ibn Jabal said, “The last advice the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, gave me when I put my foot in the stirrup was that he said, ‘Make your character good for the people, Muadh ibn Jabal!’”
“Fear Allah wherever you may be; follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out , and behave good-naturedly towards people.” [At-Tirmidhi]
Taking responsibility for our wrongdoings and/or mistakes is a sign of strength, humility, and wisdom – and at the end of the day, it’s just the basics of good manners, which are what every ProductiveMuslim should strive for.
About the Author
Uzma Awan has her own blog where she writes about her experiences and observations. In addition, she is a volunteer blogger at sustainablepakistan.org where she writes on topics concerning the environment.