I remember someday I used to wonder what would somebody ever do to deserve to be punished? I had this Heavenly pure attitude thing, I believed that we should forgive each others ALL the time because nothing in the world deserves the revenge attitude.
One of my favorite Muslim scholars said:
You can have revenge, it’s allowed in Islam to do so, but can you measure it? No! And if you exceeded the limit, then you’ll become a transgressor yourself instead of a victim, so forgive, and this is a higher level in Islam.” Shaikh Sha’rawi
I lived by this concept my entire life, but the more I grow, the bigger shocks I face, the harder to forgive, and the more the revenge idea hits my mind.
Forgiveness Levels in Islam
- Who restrains anger;
- Who pardons the people;
- And Allah loves the doers of good (to even do good to people who did wrong to you) those 3 levels are in one verse. (Qur’an/3/134)
But can everybody reach that third -most extreme- level of forgiving? Actually no, some people would go crazy over losing a killed child, or raped daughter, at then; either you let them have their payback by a fair judge in order to give them a relief, or they’ll turn to be criminals themselves cause of heart burning they feel!
A Conversation with a Very Spiritual Person
I was discussing the issue of Banning the Execution Penalty with a friend, and I was trying to tell her that if someone kills another for example, we can’t let the criminal get away with that, she told me that people make mistakes, and I was like: “What if this person repeats the same mistake and kills more?!” By killing just one person; you’re killing an entire family, and some criminals won’t stop killing more. She told me that we can’t appoint ourselves as guardians on others and prejudge them, and that if someone killed then maybe he/she didn’t mean to do so. And I was like: “Whow, what about the wounded people who lost their kids? And what about criminals who continue to kill more people every time?” Which is happening already, in fact not a fairytale.
This Formula is so Wrong!
You can’t sacrifice the life of a punch of humans only to avoid punishing one person. You can’t let happen 10 more victims because you don’t want to prejudge, this is a post-judgement not a prejudgement.
From real life examples: A man stabbed 22 children in China, thank God none of them died, but I can’t figure how would forgiveness take place in this situation, forgiveness here becomes a crime in itself, if we forgave him then we’re participating in this crime!
How to Do -REAL- Good to a Criminal?
How to benefit a criminal isn’t by letting him do more crimes, it’s actually by forbidding him from doing harm to himself and to others.
Prophet Muhammad said:
– “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or is oppressed.”
– A man enquired: “O Messenger of Allah! I help him when he is oppressed, but how can I help him when he is an oppressor?”
– He (peace & mercy be upon him) said:
You can keep him from committing oppression. That will be your help to him.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim].
Being a victim of oppression is not only a wrong thing you do to yourself, but also a wrong thing you do to the oppressor himself. It’s a relationship split which you let to happen when you don’t take any action against, it’s a mistake which you can stop him from; but you choose not to; and by the way, by “your brother” the Prophet meant all believers, not just siblings.
Is there a Repent for Killing Crimes in Islam?
Yes there is, there are two types of killing crimes, intentional and unintentional, and they are not equal in Islam, the family of the victim are given the choice either to ask for the punishment of the killer, to take an amount of money as a compensation or to forgive entirely.
Also one the most beautiful things in Islam is that freeing a slave is an expiation for killing, so a soul against another in a very positive way, or fasting for two months if no slaves can be found!
By some Revenge; Continues some Livings
Revenge can be a sick attitude when it exceeds limits and becomes a profession you live for, or when your life becomes all about it, but it also -within reasonable limits- avoids us from losing more lives. I’m telling you this when I am still in total mindset of the forgiving attitude as I used to be, but I reconsider when the transgressor has no more control on his/her crimes, & has nothing inside to call him/her back, when power and weapon become an addict for some sick people, and they won’t stop unless they’re forced!
And there is for you in legal retribution [saving of] life, O you [people] of understanding, that you may become righteous.” (Qur’an/2:179)