QUESTION: Allaah is All - Forgiving; He is al-Ghafuur, al-Ghaffaar and al-Ghaafir. Does this mean that Allaah will always forgive His believing slaves at all times?
ANSWER: These three names refer to Allah's forgiveness. The name al-Ghafir means the Forgiver,while the names al-Ghafar and al-Ghaffar are more emphatic, indicating that Allah is most forgiving, oft-forgiving. Taken together, these three names occur in the Quran ninety-eight times. Allaah says: "Announce, (O Muhammad) to My slaves that verily I am the Forgiving, the Merciful." (QI5[al-Hijr]: 49). And He also says: "I am Forgiving to those who repent and believe and do good, and afterward follow right guidance." (Q20[TaHa]: 82). In one instance, the Quran refers to Allah as being "the best of those who forgive" when relating where Muusa offers the following supplication: "You are our Protector: so forgive us and give us Your mercy; for you are the best of those who forgive." (Q7[al-Araf]: 155). When Allah mentions the claim of the Christians who say: "Indeed Allah is one of three." In the very next verse, Allaah says: "Will they not turn to Allah and ask His forgiveness? For Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. " (Q5 [al-Maidah]: 74)
Allah speaks about those who persecuted the believers of the past, saying: "Surely (as for) those who persecute believing men and women, then do not repent, they shall have the chastisement of Hell, and they shall have the chastisement of burning!(Q87[al-Buraj]: 10) As for those who turn to Allah in sincere repentance, Allah will turn to them in forgiveness. Allah calls all the polytheists, sinners, and transgressors to seek His forgiveness and declares to them that the doors to His mercy are wide open: "0 My servants who have transgressed against their souls! Do not despair of Allah's mere)) for Allah forgives all sins. He is Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Q35[al-Zumar]: 53)
This verse affirms for us that Allah forgives all sins, without exception. Allah is willing to forgive even polytheism Allaah is All - Forgiving; He is al-Ghafuur, al-Ghaffaar and al-Ghaafir. Does this mean that Allaah will always forgive His believing slaves at all times? and unbelief, as long as the perpetrator renounces such falsehoods and sincerely repents. Allah forgives whom He pleases. Allah makes it clear that His forgiveness is determined by his will. :Allah does not forgive that partners be associated with Him, but He forgives other than that for whomever he pleases." (Q4[al-Nisaa]: 48)
This is with respect to those who believe in Allah and adhere to His guidance. If they perpetrate a sin or transgress ion, whether great or small, Allah has decreed that He can forgive that sin if He pleases or punish its perpetrator as He pleases...1 Can Forgive Them" It is affirmed in the Sunnah that Allah calls forth during the last third of the night, saying: "Is there anyone beseeching me, so I can give? Are any seeking my forgiveness, so I can forgive them? Are there any penitent people for me to pardon? Is anyone calling to me so I can answer?" (Muslim) This is an example of Allahs generosity and boundless favour.
Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) relates that Allah says: "O child of Adam! However much you beseech Me and place your hopes in Me, I will forgive you without any reservation. 0 child of Adam! If you have sins piling up to the clouds and then ask My forgiveness, I will forgive you without any reservation. O child of Adam! If you come to me with enough mistakes to fill the Earth, and meet Me without associating anything as a partner with Me, I will come to you with enough forgiveness to fill the Earth." (Muslim)
Allah refers to Himself as the Oft-Forgiving because He created us knowing that our natures- would make us prone to sin, and that we would seek His forgiveness and He would forgive us. Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, if you were a people who did not commit sin, Allah would take you away and replace you with a people who would sin and then seek Allahs forgiveness so He could forgive them." (Muslim)
Allah already has a creation which is sinless.He has the angels who "never disobey Allah in what He commands them and carry out whatever they are told to do." [Surah al-Tahrim: 6] They glorify Allah without fail.Some are standing in prayer, some are bowing, and some are inprostration saying: "Glory be to the the possessor of the dominion and its possessions! Glory be to the possess or of might and irresistible power. Glory be to the Living One who never dies!" The Prophet (sallallaahualayhiwa sailam) said: "I see and hear what you do not. The heavens heaved, and they have a right to do so, since there is not a place the width of a handspan. that is not occupied by Qn angel prostrating his forehead to Allah." (Tirmidhi)
Inspite of all this. Allah in His wisdom wanted to create beings besides the angels- human beings who would need to be guided to the proper path and who were capable of going astray. Allah says: "Lo! We have shown him the way, whether he be grateful or disbelieving." (Q 17[al-Insan]:3). A Nature that errs Should Seek Forgiveness" This is the nature upon which Allah created the human being. It is unavoidable that people will err. Therefore Allah has permitted us to ask for His forgiveness.
Indeed, He exhorts us to do so, and He promises us His forgiveness. We should make it a habit to seek Allahs forgiveness as often as we can. Constancy in beseeching forgiveness is a cure for the maladies of the heart as well as a means of having our sins erased. How much Allah is willing to forgive us can be seen in the following hadith: "Someone committed a sin and then said: "0 Allah! Forgive me my sin." Allah said: "My servant committed a sin, but knew that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes sins." Then he committed the sin again and said: "My Lord! Forgive me my sin." Allah said: "My servant committed a sin, but knew that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes sins." Then he committed the sin again and said: "My Lord! Forgive me my sin." Allah said: "My servant committed a sin, but knew that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes sins. Do as you will, for I have forgiven you." (Bukhaari)
We understand from this hadith that when Allah forgives a sin, it is forgiven. If the person commits the sames sin again, Allah will not revoke His forgiveness for the previous time the sin was committed, but will only hold the sinner to account for the present occurrence. Forgiveness is something Allah gives, and He does not revoke what He gives.Once a sin is wiped from our records, it is wiped away for good.Someone asked me about the hadith: "Committing a sin after repenting for it is worse than committing it seventy times before repenting." I told him that this hadith is inauthentic. It is not established with a sound chain of transmission back to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). Moreover, the Quran and authentic Sunnah are quite clear that no matter how often a person commits a sin and repents, Allah will accept that persons repentance. Whenever someone beseeches Allahs forgiveness in earnest, Allah will forgive that persons sins without reservation.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited