The Paradox of Forgiveness

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutba) by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - date unknown - 26 mins 43 secs


In this sermon, the sheikh discusses the Divine Attributes of Justice and Forgiveness, and how we can understand the relationship between these two apparently contradictory qualities. We know that God Almighty will manifest both His Justice and His Forgiveness absolutely on the Last Day without compromising either, because He transcends our comprehension. But how can we act upon His Divine Commands to enforce justice or grant forgiveness when they seem to conflict? The sheikh explains how we can try to overcome this through the perfect example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). In the Qur'an, the Prophet is enjoined 'Keep to forgiveness, command what is right and turn away from the ignorant' (7:199). Thus, although he strove to secure justice for others, especially the weak, the prophet in many instances when he himelf had been wronged set aside the case for strict justice and chose forgiveness. Through the profound and subtle wisdom granted to him by God, therefore, the Prophet exemplified the resolution of this apparent paradox, and guided us toward a clearer understanding of the Divine Guidance.

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