Tuesday 17 January 2023

Four Conditions of Forgiveness (Selected verses from Qur'an)

Al Ghaffar (الغفار) - The Repeatedly Forgiving is one of the many attributes of Allah. That is no matter how many times a believer sins and repents, Allah is repeatedly forgiving. In the 82nd verse of Surah 20. Ta Ha, Allah Himself proclaims that He is the Perpetual Forgiver of whoever repents. However, He lays down four conditions for forgiveness as mentioned in the selected verse below:

وَاِنِّىۡ لَـغَفَّارٌ لِّمَنۡ تَابَ وَاٰمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًـا ثُمَّ اهۡتَدٰى‏  
(20:82) But indeed, I am the Perpetual Forgiver of whoever repents and believes and does righteousness and then continues in guidance.

The above quoted verse in fact is the follow up of the Divine address to the children of Israel which takes place in previous two verses:
(20:80) Children of Israel! We saved you from your enemy and made a covenant with you on the right side of the Mount and sent down on you manna and quails,
(20:81) saying: "Partake of the good things that We have provided for you, but do not transgress lest My wrath fall upon you; for he upon whom My wrath falls is ruined.

Now connect verse 82 with the last sentence of verse 81, which says that if you transgress, then do not blame the Divine wrath. However, if you repent, then your Lord if repeatedly forgiving. 

According to this (verse 82), there are four conditions for forgiveness: (1) Repentance: to refrain from rebellion, disobedience, shirk or disbelief. (2) Faith: sincere belief in Allah and the Messenger and the Book and the Hereafter. (3) Righteous works: to do good deeds according to the instructions of Allah and His Messenger. (4) Guidance: to follow the right way steadfastly and to refrain from straying into any wrong path.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
(وَإِنِّى لَغَفَّارٌ لِّمَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحَاً And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes and does righteous good deeds,) meaning, "Whoever turns to Me in repentance, then I will accept his repentance regardless of whatever sin he did.'' Allah, the Exalted, even accepts the repentance of the Children of Israel who worshipped the calf. 

Concerning Allah's statement:
  • (تَابَ who repents,) This means to turn away from what one was involved in of disbelief, associating partners with Allah, disobedience of Allah or hypocrisy. 
  • (وَآمَنَ and believes) This means the person's belief in his heart.
  • (وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحَاً and does righteous deeds,) his action with his bodily limbs.
  • (ثُمَّ اهْتَدَى and then Ihtada.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah related that Ibn `Abbas said, "This means that he then does not doubt.' 
Qatadah said, (ثُمَّ اهْتَدَى and then Ihtada.) "This means he adheres to Islam until he dies.'' We see here that there is a specific order in which these things are presented. 

This is similar to Allah's saying: (ثُمَّ كَانَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَتَوَاصَوْاْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَتَوَاصَوْاْ بِالْمَرْحَمَةِ Then he became one of those who believed and recommended one another to perseverance and patience and recommended one another to pity and compassion.) [90:17]

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki
With this warning against indulgence in easy pleasures and neglect of the task assigned for them, the door for repentance is left open for anyone who slips so that he may return to the proper path. “But I certainly forgive all sins for anyone who repents, believes and does righteous deeds, and thereafter keeps to the right path.” (Verse 82)

Repentance is not merely a word we say with our mouths. It is a resolve in one’s mind that manifests itself in strong faith and good deeds, as well as practical behaviour. So, when faith is settled in a person’s heart, faith is purged of all alien traces, and confirmed by good deeds. In this way, man sets himself on the right path, guided by faith and benefiting by the guarantee provided by good action. Achieving guidance is shown here as the result of strong faith and determined action. Thus ends the scene of victory and the comments the sūrah has to make on it. The curtains fall and lift again to show us the second scene of an address made directly to God by the side of Mount Sinai.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
    Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3

    An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
      In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from the following sources: 
      • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
      • Muhammad Asad Translation
      • Yusuf Ali Translation
      • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
      • Qur'an Wiki
      • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
      • Towards Understanding the Quran
      In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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