Yusuf(as) dealt with his brothers with compassion and mercy even thought they harmed him. How do I behave with those who harm me?
Alhamdolillah learning the Quran has taught me that we have to do ihsaan with others, even when they hurt us. It is not at all easy to do this, of course; otherwise it would not have such a great reward. We can either have justice in this world, or akhira, and the justice of akhira is better, because the one judging is the most fair. Revenge is glorified in society, if you cannot take revenge then you are a coward, but we forget that it takes more strength to forgive than it does to take revenge. Doing good to those who do bad is a kind of da’wah in itself, especially today, when Muslims are being ridiculed for being so vengeful. We must prove that the ideals of Islam are forgiveness and peace, not anger and hatred. Our role models are exemplary in their forgiveness, and it is their example we must try to follow.
I harbor ill will as an immediate response. The good thing is that usually in the long run, I forgive the person. I don’t hold a grudge. What I do usually end up doing eventually is distancing myself slightly from that person knowing that this person has harmed me in the past. They don’t then become my very close friends or buddies after harming me. I don’t hate them, but I don’t buddy them either.
Immediately forgiving and overlooking is a trait that the Quran is helping instill within me. The story of Yusuf AS and also Prophet Muhammad’s experience with the Sahabas who left their post during the Battle of Uhud are examples of how we as Muslims need to behave after someone has hurt us or has not listened to us.
Another humbling point I think about when someone has hurt me, is how I have wronged Allah in not giving Him His haq with my previous life or my negligence of Salah or other ahkam. What if Allah also decides that he doesn’t want to forgive me or decides that He will not overlook, where would I stand then. In light of this, my behavior towards others has changed. Who am I not to forgive and forget? Who am I to harbor ill will, when I have so much forgiveness to ask of Allah myself? I am so small myself, so what if I have been wronged.
This approach usually helps me overcome the immediate hurt or anger.
Also sometimes, when someone has hurt you, it is a good idea to step back and reflect on your own amal. What have you done to contribute to this. We are humans. Usually along the way, at least I can identify a rectification point in my own amal to prevent a certain outcome. This helps with self analysis and self reflection. I do this then in light of whatever I have learned in the Quran and what Allah likes and dislikes.
I think this is one of the most beautiful qualities of Prophet Yusuf (AS). His forgiving nature and willingness to overlook others zulm towards him is a quality that I can only be in awe of. I think this quality is very rare in people and you can only attain it if you have patience, put absolute trust in Allah, and your ultimate goal is the Aakhirah.
When someone harms me I want to immediately retaliate, or tell others how I have been wronged, or hold a grudge against that person for like forever! And the ironic part is that the ‘injustices’ that I face are NOTHING compared to the injustices that happened to Yusuf (AS). You need to have a very big heart and compassionate nature. Allah please favor me with such qualities. Also, a motivating factor can be that if show mercy towards others, Allah will Inshallah show mercy towards us And I think we are all in a desperate need of Allah’s Mercy!