Saturday 26 September 2020

Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents and the believers on the Day of Reckoning

Quran is full of prayers for believers to recite everyday to ask for the forgiveness not only for self, but also for one's parents and all believers anywhere in the world. One of the most remembered and frequently offered supplication " دعا " which we also recite during all five prayers is the 41st verse of  Surah 14. Ibrahim:

رَبَّنَا اغۡفِرۡ لِىۡ وَلـِوَالِدَىَّ وَلِلۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ يَوۡمَ يَقُوۡمُ الۡحِسَابُ
"Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents and the believers on the Day when the reckoning will take place." 

We must as believers, must ask for our forgiveness, but also for the forgiveness of parents, provided they are believers, and all believers in general. Why I have mentioned " forgiveness of parents, provided they are believers." we should the background of this verse.

This prayer or supplication is attributed to Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him) in which he also prayed for the forgiveness of his father who was a disbeliever, for the revered Prophet had made promise that he would pray to his Lord for his forgiveness as it appeared in 48th verse of Surah Maryam, Ayat 47: 
" Abraham answered: "Peace be upon you. I shall seek pardon for you from my Lord. My Lord has always been kind to Me."
But afterwards, when he realized that he should not pray for his forgiveness because he was an enemy of Allah, he absolved himself of that promise as it appears in 114th verse of Surah At-Tauba:

وَمَا كَانَ اسۡتِغۡفَارُ اِبۡرٰهِيۡمَ لِاَبِيۡهِ اِلَّا عَنۡ مَّوۡعِدَةٍ وَّعَدَهَاۤ اِيَّاهُ​ ۚ فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهٗۤ اَنَّهٗ عَدُوٌّ لِّلّٰهِ تَبَرَّاَ مِنۡهُ​ ؕ اِنَّ اِبۡرٰهِيۡمَ لَاَوَّاهٌ حَلِيۡمٌ‏ 
"And Abraham's prayer for the forgiveness of his father was only because of a promise which he had made to him.112 Then, when it became clear to him that he was an enemy of Allah, he dissociated himself from him. Surely Abraham was most tender-hearted, God-fearing, forbearing. "

It should be noted that even the wording and the tone of the prayer for his father were very guarded, but when Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) realized that the person for whom he was praying was an open rebel against Allah and a bitter enemy of His Way, he refrained himself from saying even such a guarded prayer for him and declared in clear words that he would have nothing to do with him in future, even though the rebel was his father who had brought him up with love and care.

The words awwah " اَوَّاهٌ " and haleem " حَلِيۡمٌ‏ " which the Quran uses for Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) are very comprehensive in meaning. Awwah is the one who is lamenting, humble, weeping, grief-stricken and God fearing. And haleem is the one who can keep control over himself under all circumstances, and is neither beside himself in anger and enmity nor transgresses the proper limits in his affections, friendships, and relationships. Here both the words have been used in their comprehensive senses. Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) prayed for his father because he was tender-hearted and lamented for him that he would become the fuel for the fire of Hell. As he had full control over himself, and was very forbearing, he prayed even for that father who had persecuted him cruelly in order to hinder him from the way of Islam. Lastly, he was God fearing and did not want to go beyond the limits in his love for his father; so he broke off all his relations with his father when he realized that he was an enemy of Allah.

Yusuf Ali interprets the 41st verse of  Surah 14. Ibrahim: as under:
Having prayed for his progeny, Abraham now prays for Allah's grace on himself, his parents, and the whole Brotherhood of Faith, irrespective of family or race or time, to be perfected in the ideal of Islam.

My parents. Abraham's father was an idolater (xliii. 26; vi. 74). Not only that, but he persecuted the Faith of Unity and threatened Abraham with stoning and exile (xix. 46); and he and his people cast him into the Fire to be burned (xxi. 52, 68). Yet Abraham's heart was tender, and he prayed for forgiveness for his father because of a promise which he had made (ix. 114), though he renounced the land of his fathers (Chaldea).

At the final Reckoning, all that may seem inequality or injustice in this world will be redressed. But the merits of the best of us will need Allah's Grace to establish us in that lasting Felicity which is promised to the righteous. And Abraham, as the father of Prophecy, prayed for all,-for the Universal Faith perfected in Islam.

We should therefore, specially the reverts, take care when asking for the forgiveness of their parents if they are disbelievers. May Allah help us understand Qur'an and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'an

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
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Reading the Holy Quran 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.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy 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. [2]  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the 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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