Sophie Miller: Forgiveness & Friendship in the Qur’an


“In a society of friends, there is no need for justice, but in a society based on justice there is still need for friends.” This statement perfectly represents how impactful friendship is, both individually and within large groups. If there were more friendship between different nations and faiths, the there would be less of a need for justice and less disagreements. On the other hand, if we base our society on laws and justice there is less of a drive to become friends with different nations and people within different faiths. This is because there are differences in opinions and therefore people from different nations or within different faiths do not believe those who think differently are correct and that causes tension. If society was more focused on affection and understanding rather than who is “right,” then I believe there would be less arguments and more listening to others.

Hajj is a wonderful example of bringing people together. The way in which people gather next to strangers, create a sense of community, move together, and forgive within the community.

These ideas are shown in the Qur’an, “Perhaps Allah will put, between you and those to whom you have been enemies among them, affection. And Allah is competent, and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’an 60:7) To me, this verse means that Allah will forgive and be merciful to any evil or wrongdoings from your past and bring you together with those that you may not have gotten along with in the past. In international relations and interfaith discussions, I think that forgiveness can sometimes be forgotten or just disregarded. By dismissing the idea or mercy and forgiveness, it seems like the ideas regarding friendship also seem to be neglected.

Friendship and forgiveness are two concepts that are emphasized in the Qur’an that, if actually thought about and used, would really change the ways in which people interact and feel towards those that may be from a different place or believe in different things. Both friendship and forgiveness have to do with basic understanding of one another and trying to think about where other’s are coming from and how together we can work towards a more peaceful society and a world filled with friendship.