There is a Hadith where the Prophet Muhammad said about a man about to enter the mosque that he was among the people of Jannah. He was from among the Ansar (the people of Madinah). This happened on three consecutive days. This Ansari was then followed by Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn al Aas to spend some time with him to find out what special deed he did to receive this honor. [Sidenote: An amazing thing about the sahabah- always willing to learn from others and find ways to be from among the people of Jannah]. Abdullah ibn Amr found in the Ansari a man who spoke nothing but good but also saw him offering no special prayers, no special worship- nothing explicitly out of the ordinary. As he was about to leave, Abdullah Ibn Amr spoke to him and that’s when he found out what it was that made him from among the people of Jannah- every night before he went to sleep, he would forgive every single person who had wronged him, and removed any animosity or ill-feeling towards anyone from his heart.
This is so beautiful. The man of Jannah was not so because of any special acts of Ibadah or worship. No special remembrance, no special fasts or prostrations. His ticket to Jannah was his forgiveness of others. It was the clean and malice-free state of his heart.
Every time I hear about or read about this particular incident, I have goosebumps. Because it makes me think about the state of my heart. When someone wrongs me, intentionally or unintentionally, how many times do I make excuses for them? How many times do I try and look at things from their point of view? How many times do I forgive them without them asking for forgiveness? And when they do ask for forgiveness, do I really forgive them?
Something to think about and work on as Ramadan begins. I pray that we all enter the blessed month with clean hearts free of malice or grudges. With hearts that forgive people so that our Lord may forgive us too. Aameen.