Forgive Yourself

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By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

First, ask Allah for forgiveness. Then, if you’ve harmed someone, ask their forgiveness as well. Do tawbah, then forgive yourself. Don’t carry guilt and shame around in your heart like a poisoned dagger. Constant regret for the past is a waste of spirit.

You are not an angel, nor am I, nor any human being on this earth. It’s part of Allah’s plan that you commit sins, and He forgives you. That’s why He has written that His mercy is greater than His wrath.

Don’t despise yourself. Forgive yourself. It’s okay to let go of the past. Self respect and dignity come from who you are right now. You have a good soul, or you would not be here, reading these words.

Tomorrow is a new day. Wake up and thank Allah, and do your best every day. Have faith in Allah’s love and mercy, and reflect that in your actions toward others. Be peaceful, and strive to be happy.

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Article by Wael

Wael Abdelgawad is an Egyptian-American living in Fresno, California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including Zawaj.com and IslamicAnswers.com, and also of various technology and travel websites. He is a writer and poet, and has been a web developer since 1997. This project, IslamicSunrays.com, is very dear to his heart, as it has allowed him to express ideas that have growing inside him for many years. Wael is divorced and has one lovely young daughter. He practices and teaches martial arts (somewhat obsessively), and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and vanilla fudge ice cream. Wael is an advocate for human rights and blogs about these issues at AbolishTorture.com. He is also a volunteer with the MyDeen Muslim youth organization in Fresno. Wael tagged this post with: , , , , , Read 266 articles by
14 Comments Post a Comment
  1. María M says:

    As salamu alaykum,

    I was rereading this post, and it brought to my memory the hardest times of my life, it took me a long time to forgive, and when I did it, I thought, well this is done, I can close the door. Which was my surprise, that everytime I tried to close the door, the door remained opened, for one reason or another, until I realized that what didn´t let me close the door was that I was unable to forgive myself, at this point, I saw that I was being my hardest judge, I wasn´t able to forgive myself, the only way I could get over this situation was asking God to let me find the way to be able to forgive myself, this was an open bleeding wound for such a long time that Alhamdulillah, I learnt there is no way to blink an eye without Allah´s consent and approval.

    Thank you very much for sharing.

    María

  2. Truthseeker says:

    Assalam aleikum,

    I like this positive message. 🙂 However, I feel I can not forgive myself for certain sins cause then it feels like I am not honest in repenting. Shouldn’t we ask for forgiveness on a daily basis?

    Another question; is it obligated to ask others (who you have harmed) for forgiveness? Even when he does not want to talk to you, or when he is wrong too, or when you know he will not accept it anyway?

    • wael says:

      When I speak about forgiving yourself, I assume that you have stopped the sin and made tawbah. And yes, you should ask forgiveness on a daily basis.

      If you wronged someone, then yes, you should ask him for forgiveness, even if he does not want to talk to you, and even if he will not accept it. But you don’t have to pester him. Just ask for forgiveness, and if he refuses then leave it to Allah.

      Wael

  3. Truthseeker says:

    well then if we have to ask for forgiveness for that sin on a daily basis, then why you also say we have to forgive ourselves? Shouldnt we keep hating what we did wrong? I mean I like the positive message , like i said before, im just not sure if this perspective is right according to Islam.

    • wael says:

      You should regret the sin that you committed. That is one of the conditions of tawbah. But that does not mean that you have to hate yourself. People say, “I’m shameful, I’m useless, I’m a disgrace,” and they go on hating themselves and feeling worthless even after they have made tawbah.

      Islam did not come to destroy people’s self esteem and make them hate themselves. It came to lift people up and give them hope. If you’ve made your tawbah, then be at peace with yourself and move on, resolving to do better next time. There is no need to dwell on the past.

      Read the post again, I think you’ll see what I’m saying Insha’Allah.

      • zerin says:

        Assalamualaikum….we know what is repentance when we feel a pain that surface from depth of our hearts.We might not even fathom at the time whats it and why this pain,’cos for a long time it was deep burried under our ego.The moment ,that divine light reflects on our hearts,this pain which was so severe was surprising me and it amazed me rather than torturing me.The tears that trickled from the pain was a sort of releif when i realized they washed away my sins.

  4. binteadam says:

    Assalaamu alaykum,

    jazakaallah, this is a wonderful site found in my trying times(i am at the verge of getting divorce) ok my story goes like this….

    I was attracted to a person in my teens and we like use to hang out in many occasion(astagfirullah) but later on i realised the grave mistake i was into but we had promised each other of marriage,when this was disclosed to my parents ,like any other parents they opposed it and i in the mean time realised he is not the person i wanted to marry since we had many misunderstandings and there were compatibility issues as well i was infact forcing myself into the relationship because i was fearing that i will be committing a sin if i reject him at that stage….my parents turned out to be very tough and rejected this proposal and i didnot wanted to disobey my parents so i called it off,even thhough he pleaded many times not to leave him,i camedown very harsh on him and simply turned him down….i had hurt him to the core!!!and he left me and he suppose he would have cursed me..

    i have repented for this many many times,but i cannot call him back n seek forgiveness but i have heard Allah doesnt forgive us until the person we have harmed forgives us….how is dis possible?

    and three years later i was married to this person who was not a normal person(suffering from OCD,and other personality disorders)which his parents has hidden from me i was not able to tolerate it as the illness makes him do things very late and sometimes he speaks to himself, prays all night without making 1 rakat properly and all other abnormalities we had many fights but later on i seeked psychiatric help to save the marriage bu nothing seems to work and he has worsened more after 2 n half years he is still the same now i dont want to continue …as i am losing my own mental stability due to the stress he is causing me we have a 18 month old son as well…..i am thinking of initiating divorce….

    so my question is this all happening to me because of the sins i committed,the person i left wud have cursed me and i have no clue of seeking his forgiveness… i need help!!!!

    • Farrukh says:

      Hello binteadam.

      No person has the power to execute the curse without the help of Allah. You did what was right. It is only Allah who can teach us a lesson. Thus, liberate yourself from teh guilt that some guy from your past will curse you.

  5. M says:

    This is beautiful. It helped a little. Jazakallah khair

  6. bane says:

    but that doesn’t answer her question. or mine. even im in the same situation. im in love with this guy and we used to hang out a lot until i realized that it was wrong in Islam. at first, i tried to distance myself from him without hurting him but he didn’t let go. so i had to hurt him in order to preserve my religion. i dont even know if what i did is right or wrong. and i have a friend too. she was destroying my faith as well ( she’s the reason i started talking to this guy in the first place) so i stopped being her friend too. but she was very attached to me so now both of them are miserable. and every time i meet them or see them, its like torture. and i cant forgive myself for hurting them even though i know i did it with atleast the right intention…to protect my faith….
    i think i have no right to forgive myself…even though i have repented…..

  7. Fatima Amenda says:

    Asalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatu

    Allahu Akbar, I am a revert to Islam on 2 Ramadan 1433H after hearing the call to prayer during the Egyptian Revolution on 8 Rab’i Al Awwal 1432 H.

    I have struggled to overcome the past from growing up with Non Muslim influence. I am so grateful Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala is so forgiving and sent Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasallam as a mercy and to bring us the right way of life. Sometimes flash backs occur and my heart sinks to know I was if I had died at that time would have been an inmate to the Hellfire.

    Although I know I have been forgiven of my past I still sometimes can’t get out of my heart this aching feeling.

    I googled about forgiving ourselves in Islam and the first result was you brother. Alhamdulillah, and the name Wael also mean’s ‘rescuer / protector’

    Jazak’Allah Khairan for your efforts in this blog and May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala grant you much peace and success in this life and the highest of Jannah in the next … ameen

  8. Jay says:

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been struggling with a problem. I’m afraid that I may commit a great sin, having sex before marriage. Lately, I’ve been having these thoughts and they’ve been getting stronger and stronger as the days go on. I ask Allah all the time to forgive me for my thoughts and just hope that I don’t do this. I always thought it would be easy for me, and now as I get older, it seems to be getting harder for me. I’ve not been the best that I possibly could in other aspects as well and I have been hating myself for it. My friends told me to watch pornography and I did. I honestly don’t even like it but I can’t stop watching it and it’s tearing me apart inside. I just don’t feel that I can forgive myself for being my worst enemy. I ask for Allah’s forgiveness and guidance everyday, several times a day. Does anyone have any advice for me, I think I’ve become depressed because of all of this.

    Thanks in advance,

    Jay

  9. I’m not a Muslim, yet I think your post on self-forgiveness is beautiful. It calls on the best in us. I sent it to my Muslim friend. Thank you.

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