Tuesday 17 December 2019

99 Attributes of Allah: Al Ghaffar - The Repeatedly Forgiving

Allah is Al-Ghaffār " ٱلْغَفَّارُ " The Repeatedly Forgiving, Absolute Forgiver, Pardoner, Condoner [He Who is Ready to Pardon and Forgive].

One of the many attributes of Allah is that He is the Most Forgiving and Repeatedly Forgiving, for as long as a believers realizes his bad acts or sins, repents and asks forgiveness of Allah. This attributes is repeated many a times in the Qur'an to reassure believers that He is there to forgive their sins as long as they continue turn to him:

وَاِنِّىۡ لَـغَفَّارٌ لِّمَنۡ تَابَ وَاٰمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًـا ثُمَّ اهۡتَدٰى‏ 

(Surah 20 Ta Ha: 82) "But I am indeed Most Forgiving to him who repents and believes and does righteous works and keeps to the Right Way."

Allah exhibits his attribute of Perpetual Forgiver in the above said verse and reassures all believers that He will forgive all those who repent and thereafter do righteous things. Here one must remember that repentance has four stages: (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.

فَقُلۡتُ اسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡا رَبَّكُمۡؕ اِنَّهٗ كَانَ غَفَّارًا ۙ‏

(Surah 71 Nuh: 10) I said to them: “Ask forgiveness from your Lord; surely He is Most Forgiving.

We must always be repenting and asking forgiveness f Allah. You never know He likes your true repentance and forgives all your sins. But asking Al Ghaffar is the first step. If one shies away and does not ask for forgiveness, how would he be forgiven. One has to invoke Allah's mercy for being forgiven.

Al Ghaffar stems from the root gh-f-r which means (1) to cover, veil, conceal, hide (2) to pardon, to forgive, to set aright (3) to cover a thing to protect it from dirt.

In Qastalānī's commentary on Bukhārī, it is said that the root gh-f-r means a covering or protection which is either between man and the commission of sin [protecting, or watching over], or between sin and the effects of that sin [forgiving, veiling or concealing].

Here we must also remember that Allah veils and shields most of the sins and keeps our honour intact. Had it not been Allah's countless bounties and being oft forgiving attribute, most of us would stand naked and exposed of our sins we commit everyday. He does so that being grateful for this great favour of His, we may repent and earnestly request Him to condone our sins and misdeeds, which may otherwise lead us to the Hell Fire.

It may be added here that the root gh-f-r has given rise to three Beautiful Names that are all used in the Qur'ān: Ghaffār, Ghafūr and Ghāfir. We have already written about the attribute Al GhafūrHowever, only Ghaffār and Ghafūr were included in the list of 99 Names narrated by Tirmidhi. In al-Nihāyah (a dictionary of hadīth), it is said that Ghāfir refers to the One who protects us from the commission of sins, and that Ghafūr refers to the One who forgives our sins and faults.

The word "Ghāfir" appears in the Quran as under:

غَافِرِ الذَّنۡۢبِ وَقَابِلِ التَّوۡبِ شَدِيۡدِ الۡعِقَابِ ذِى الطَّوۡلِؕ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَؕ اِلَيۡهِ الۡمَصِيۡرُ‏ 

(40:3) the Forgiver of sins, the Accepter of repentance, the Stern in retribution, the Bountiful. There is no god but He. To Him are all destined to return.

One of the companions of the Messenger of Allah was asked once, "What did you hear the Messenger of Allah say with regard to one's silent supplication?" He answered by saying that he had heard the Messenger of Allah say, "Allah, the most Honored, the Most Great, will touch His servant who believes in Him with His mercy by veiling his sin from the public in the life of this world, and in the life hereafter He will ask him about each and every sin and fault he had committed. Once he admits all of them and realizes that he is going to perish on their account, the Almighty will say, `I have veiled your sins in the past short life, and in this one I am going to forgive them.' Then he will be handed the book of his good deeds."

In view of Allah's attribute of Repeatedly Forgiving, we must not hesitate to ask forgiveness umpteen number of times for it is Allah's promise that He would forgive each repenting believer till death finally starts knocking on his door. So never be disappointed and dejected in case you sin, for the doors of repentance is always open.

Disclaimer: The data for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If any one differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

You may refer to our post "99 Attributes of Allāh" for complete list of 99 attributes of Allah Almighty with meaning and explanation.

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran

Photo | References1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |

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