Forgiving and Overlooking: A Closer Look

Today in our hifdh class, our hifdh teacher mentioned this gem.

Allah says in the Quran in Surah Maidah,

فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاصْفَحْ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

But pardon them, and forbear: verily, Allah loves the doers of good.

What’s the difference between عَفُوُ aُnd صَفَحَ? There is a subtle difference. عَفُوُ means to forgive like you have forgotten about the incident. صَفَحَ means to not just forgive, but to treat the other with ihsaan (outstanding behavior). It’s like going the extra mile for someone who hurt you. Why?

إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ: Truly Allah loves those who go the extra mile (muhsineen).

In the context of the ayah, Allah is telling the Prophet and the believers that you will discover that most of the Jews will betray you. Despite all of this, Allah is asking the Prophet to practice forgiveness of the best kind.

WAllahu alam.

One thought on “Forgiving and Overlooking: A Closer Look

  1. It’s amazing how Allah ta’ala uses the word safaha! I remember in tafseer class my teacher said that this is the same word used for pages, so when you do safh, it’s like you’re turning the page and turning away from the person’s mistakes.

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