Walā taj’a fī qulūbanā ghillā lil-ladhīna āmanū rabbanā innaka ra’ūfun rahīm
Do not put any rancor in our hearts toward the faithful. Our Lord, You are indeed most kind and merciful.
(Sūrat al-Hashr, No.59, Āyat 10)
This is part of a verse that talks about the prayers of the believers who came after the early Muslims. Some commentators believe it refers to the Tābi‘īn – i.e. those who are of the second generation of Muslims. According to Tafsīr Namūne it can be applied generally to all Muslims who come after the first early Muslims.
In this verse the belivers ask Allah subhānahu wa-ta‘ālā to remove any negative feelings in their hearts towards other believers. This is a necessary part of the self-building process they have undertaken to progress towards God. ‘Ghill’ is a subtle, undetected movement that has an effect. Here it refers to negative diseases such as jealousy, hatred, spite, and other similar moral vices which can spread fast while remaining hidden and undiscovered. They cover the heart with darkness and prevent the light of Allah ‘azza wa-jall from being reflected within.
Removal of negativity from the hearts is a reward given to the people of Heaven. The Quran says: We will remove whatever rancor there is in their chests, and streams will run for them. They will say, ‘All praise belongs to Allah, who guided us to this’ (Q 7:43). Thus achieving it in the world is a preliminary glimpse of the sweetness of Heaven.
Negativity between two believers arises when there has been a disagreement or conflict. After it is over, the mind and heart harbors a certain degree of dislike which needs to be cleared. It is like a gloomy curtain that darkens the eyesight of the heart. Such feelings become stronger as they fester and can turn into anger and hatred. It hurts both: (i) the person harboring it and (ii) the person to whom it is directed.
Believers are aware of the dangers of such negativity and safeguard themselves from it. The following are some ways to protect oneself from rancor:
1. Be alert to our own emotions and recognize the disease.
2. Inspire oneself with teachings and examples of virtuous behavior.
3. Control the self through rejecting negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones.
4. Understand and empathize with the other person.
5. Take responsibility for our own role in the issue.
6. Ask Allah (swt) for help. The Du‘ā in the above verse beginning with, Rabbanā-ghfirlanā . . . should be memorized and recited often. In Du‘ā Makārim al-Akhlāq, Imam al-Sajjad (a) prays: O God . . . replace for me . . . the suspicion of the people of righteousness with trust (Sahīfa, passage 20:7)
To go back to Almighty Allah with a pure heart is the goal of every believer. There can be no place for hatred in a pure heart. Recite this verse often to remind you of the need to purge the heart of all negativity towards believers.