The Middle 10 days of Ramadan: Seeking Allah’s Forgiveness

 Allah (SWT) is Ar-Rahman (The Beneficent), Ar-Rahim (The Merciful) and also Al-Ghafur (The Forgiving). His Mercy overtakes His punishment and anger. He is more merciful to His creations than a mother can be to her infant. He created man with enormous weaknesses; thus knows that humans will constantly make mistakes, err or sin. No human is perfect. Iblis (Satan), the cursed one, out of envy to Adam, has promised to himself to attack children of Adam on their way to their journey toward God, so that those who fall prey to his attack will also have the same fate as himself. So he says, “I will attack men from the front, behind and sides.” (Q7:17)

This means he will disguise himself as our friend, as our opponent, and other side distractions of the world. He will then make us do wrong by presenting evil as good, making us angry, jealous, envious, and unjust- falling prey to his temptation. Iblis and his followers have a feast of joy and laugh at man’s foolishness, until the man realises his mistakes, repents and asks for forgiveness. Allah (SWT) forgives, and then Iblis cries and then tries again. As human beings, we are responsible for our actions and in constant need of forgiveness from Allah (SWT). Islam speaks about two aspects of forgiveness: a) Allah’s forgiveness; b) Human forgiveness. We need both, because we do wrong in our relations to Allah (SWT) as well as in our relations to each other. For the purpose of Ramadan, we will concentrate on Allah’s forgiveness.

 Allah is merciful and forgiving, and only Allah (SWT) forgives sins. We all make mistakes, and all that is needed is to recognize the error, rectify it, and ask for forgiveness. Some Qur'anic verses that give man hope of the mercy of Allah (SWT): Say:

O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of God: for God forgives all sins (except shirk): for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’ (Q39:53)

“And it is He who accepts repentance from His servants and pardons the evil deed and knows what you do.” (Q42:25)

 In order for forgiveness to be accepted, these conditions should be met:

1. The sin is committed out of ignorance, not with evil intent.

2. Upon realising your ignorance, you should repent immediately

3. Then seek forgiveness from Allah (SWT) “

If any of you did evil in ignorance, and thereafter repented and amended (your conduct), lo! Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Q6:54)

The Qur’an teaches that Allah is a Judge and He also punishes, but Allah (SWT) is not bound to punish. The justice of Allah (SWT), according to Qur’an is that Allah (SWT) does not and will not inflict undue punishment on any person. He will not ignore the good of any person. But if He wishes to forgive any sinner, He has full freedom to do that. His mercy is unlimited and His love is infinite. There are many verses in the Qur’an and sayings of the prophet (PBUH) on love, mercy and forgiveness of Allah (SWT). In one of the prayers that the Prophet taught, he said, “O Allah, You are most Forgiving One, You love to forgive, so forgive me.”(Reported by al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah).

We need Allah’s mercy and forgiveness all the time. It is wrong to assume at any time that one will find eternal salvation without the forgiveness of Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an:

“Those (are the true believers) who, when they commit an evil deed, or wrong their souls, remember Allah, and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who but Allah forgives sins? They do not insist upon the sins they have committed, and they know (that Allah is forgiving).” (Q3:135)

Hadith Qudsi: Allah (SWT) has said: O Son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O Son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O Son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins as great as the earth, and were you then to face Me ascribing no partners to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it. How does Allah forgive us? When we commit a sin, four witnesses are established against us;

 a) The place we did the crime) “On that day, the earth will reveal all its secrets.” (Q99:4)

b) The organ we used to commit the crime. “When their ears, their eyes, their skin will testify against them.” (Q41:21) “That day we seal up mouths, and hands speak out and feet bear witness to all that they did.” (Q36:65)

c) The Angels who record the deeds (Kiraman Katebeen). “The honored writers know what you do.” (Q82:11)

d) “We record that which they send before them, and their footprints, and all things we have kept in a clear register.” (Q36:12)

 Now, with four such strong witnesses, how can we present ourselves to Allah (SWT)? So He (the Al-Wakeel–the Defender), like a smart lawyer, removes all the witnesses against those whose repentance has been accepted, so that we present ourselves with a clean record. The case is thereby dissolved due to lack of witnesses. Hadith is like this. “When Allah accepts repentance and forgives His servant, then recording angels erase their records, organs lose their memories, and earth removes its stains of evidence so that when that person appears before Allah, there is no one to be a witness against him.” Subhana Allah. Du’a to seek forgiveness from the Qur'an; Waqur rabbighfir warham wa'anta khayrur rahimeen. So say, "Our Lord! Grant us forgiveness and mercy! For You are the Best of those who show mercy." Quran 23:118 Rabbi inni zalamto nafsi faghfirli. Oh my Lord, I have indeed wronged my soul! Qur'an 28:16.  Du’a to seek Allah Forgiveness From the Sunnah Astagh firol lahal-lathi la ilaha illa howal hayyal qayyoma w'atooba ilayh. I seek forgiveness from Allah. There is no deity but Him, the Living, the Eternal. And I repent unto Him.  (Repeat 3 times.)

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