Thursday 18 March 2021

And whoever does evil, but seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful

All religions forbid fornication, extra matrimonial relations or any form of sin. Islam goes a step further and advices the believers even not to go near a sin or a society or a group of people which may lure them into conditions which lead to lewdness or any other form of sin. 

But Allah does know that no matter who much restraint one may observe, there is always a likelihood of evil forces prevailing upon them, thus leading them to committing any form of sin or wrongdoing. Remember, even Prophet Adam and his wife Eve fell into the trap of the Satan and sinned. In order to protect His servants from the trap laid out by Satan and the devil forces, Allah always stresses that whosoever commits a sin, does evil or wrongs himself, he must instantly repent and ask forgiveness from Allah, for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

In ayah 110 of Surah 4. An Nisa mentioned below, we see the Wisdom of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in order to save sinners from total disappointment. It was said that a sin was a sin, big or small. When a sinner repents and seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he finds Him forgiving, merciful. As obvious, there is an element of persuasion for those who have committed sin suggesting that they still had the time and the hope to just desist and repent sincerely; nothing is lost, Allah will forgive everything:
وَ مَنۡ يَّعۡمَلۡ سُوۡٓءًا اَوۡ يَظۡلِمۡ نَفۡسَهٗ ثُمَّ يَسۡتَغۡفِرِ اللّٰهَ يَجِدِ اللّٰهَ غَفُوۡرًا رَّحِيۡمًا‏ 
And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful

The above said Ayah 110 tells us that all sins, whether they affect others or affect one’s own self i.e. whether they violate the rights of human being or the right of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, can be forgiven by one’s repenting and praying for forgiveness. But, it is necessary to know the reality of showing repentance and seeking forgiveness. Mere verbal declarations of, “I seek Allah’s forgiveness” and, “I turn to Him in repentance” are not acts of genuine repentance as such.

Therefore, according to a consensus of Ulema / Scholars, the person who is involved in some sin, is not ashamed of it and does not leave it or, at least, does not resolve to leave it in the future, then, his verbal declaration of Astaghfirullah  " أستغفر الله " is an open mockery of repentance.

In short, for repentance to be genuine, three things are necessary:

1. Being ashamed of past sins.
2. Immediately leaving the sin one is in.
3. Resolving to stay away from sin in future.

However, forgiveness for sins related to the rights of the servants of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has to be sought from the wronged party itself; or, one should, to begin with, pay what was due or fulfill what was denied. These are binding conditions of genuine repentance. [1]

Please read more about two attributes of Allah mentioned in the above said verse by clicking on the links:
  • Al-Ghafur (الغفور) - The Forgiving, The Pardoner
  • Ar Rahim (الرحيم) -  The Most Merciful
Tafsir Ibn Kathir: [2]
The Encouragement to Seek Allah's Forgiveness, and Warning those who Falsely Accuse Innocent People - Allah emphasizes His generosity and kindness, in that He forgives whoever repents to Him from whatever evil they commit. 

Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas commented about this Ayah, "Allah informs His servants of His forgiveness, forbearing generosity and expansive mercy. So whoever commits a sin, whether minor or major,

(" ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ يَجِدِ اللّهَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا " but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful), even if his sins were greater than the heavens, the earth and the mountains.'' Imam Ahmad recorded that Ali said,

"Whenever I hear anything from the Messenger of Allah, Allah benefits me with whatever He wills of that. Abu Bakr told me, and Abu Bakr has said the truth, that the Messenger of Allah said:
مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يُذْنِبُ ذَنْبًا، ثُمَّ يَتَوَضَّأُ فَيُصَلِّي رَكْعَتَيْنِ، ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ لِذلِكَ الذَّنْبِ، إِلَّا غَفَرَ لَه
No Muslim commits a sin and then performs ablution, prays two Rak`ahs and begs Allah for forgiveness for that sin, but He forgives him. He then recited these two Ayat, وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ (And whoever does evil or wrongs himself), (4:110) and, وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُواْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ (And those who, when they have committed Fahishah or wronged themselves with evil).'' (3:135) 
Remember this verse leaves the door for repentance wide open for anyone who seeks God’s forgiveness and acceptance. “He who does evil or wrongs his own soul, and then prays to God to forgive him, shall find God Much-Forgiving, Merciful.” God is there, ready to forgive and bestow His abundant grace on anyone who turns to Him in repentance. Anyone who does evil wrongs himself and others. He may wrong only himself if his sinful action affects only his own person. In any case, God, the Merciful, the Beneficent, receives those who seek His forgiveness at all times, and extends to them His forgiveness and mercy. There is simply no condition, no intercession and no barrier between them and Him. Whenever they turn to Him in repentance, He turns to them in acceptance and bestows on them His grace.[3]

Please listen to the explanation of verse 110 of Surah An Nisa by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman ali Khan:

May Allah help us understand Qur'ān 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'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Reference: | 1 |  2 | 3 |
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.

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 plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • 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. [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
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • 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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