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Saturday, January 29, 2022

A Unique Invocation by the Angels for Forgiveness of the Repenting Believers

We have been sharing selected invocations / supplications from Qur'an for the guidance of believers as to how to bow down to Allah and supplicate to ask for the forgiveness of their mistakes / misdeeds and sins. Even prophets of Allah have been supplicating on behalf of their people to invoke Allah's countless blessings to forgive the sins of their people.

But you will be surprised that the revered angels up in the Heavens also move the compassion of Allah and ask for the forgiveness of the true believers who repent frequently and ask for forgiveness of Allah. Today, we share the two verses of Surah Al Mu'min, the 40th Surah of the Qur'an wherein Allah has quoted in His revelation to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ telling him that even His angels feel for his people and are oft invoking His blessings to forgive the repenting believers. 

اَلَّذِيۡنَ يَحۡمِلُوۡنَ الۡعَرۡشَ وَمَنۡ حَوۡلَهٗ يُسَبِّحُوۡنَ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّهِمۡ وَيُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِهٖ وَيَسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡنَ لِلَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا​ ۚ رَبَّنَا وَسِعۡتَ كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ رَّحۡمَةً وَّعِلۡمًا فَاغۡفِرۡ لِلَّذِيۡنَ تَابُوۡا وَاتَّبَعُوۡا سَبِيۡلَكَ وَقِهِمۡ عَذَابَ الۡجَحِيۡمِ‏ 
(40:7) The angels that bear the Throne and those that are around to extol your Lord's glory with His praise, they believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for the believers, saying: “Our Lord! You encompass everything with Your Mercy and Knowledge. So forgive those that repent and follow Your Path,9 and guard them against the chastisement of Hell.
" The angels that bear the Throne and those that are around to extol your Lord's glory with His praise, they believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for the believers " This thing has been said for the consolation of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) companions, who were feeling greatly discouraged at the impudence and rebellious attitude of the disbelievers of Makkah as against their own helplessness, as if to say: Why do you feel grieved at what these mean and worthless people say? You have the support of the angels who bear the divine Throne and of those who stand around it. They are interceding with Allah for you. The mention of the angels who bear the divine Throne and of those who stand around it, has been made, instead of the common angels, to impress the fact that not to speak of the common angels of divine kingdom, even the angels who are the pillars of this kingdom, being nearest in rank and station to Allah, bear deep sympathy and regard for you. Then the words: They affirm faith in Him and ask forgiveness for the believers, show that the relationship of the faith is the real relationship, which has joined the heavenly creatures and the earthly creatures together, and which has induced sympathy and esteem in the angels stationed around the Throne for the mortal humans inhabiting the earth, who affirm faith in Allah just like them. The angels affirming the faith in Allah does not mean that they could disbelieve, and they adopted belief instead of disbelief, but it means that they believe in the sovereignty of Allah, the One, alone there is no other being that may be commanding them and they submit before it in utter obedience. When the same attitude and behavior was adopted by the human believers, a strong relationship of cherishing a common creed and faith was established between them and the angels in spite of the great disparity in species and remoteness in rank and station.
“Our Lord! You encompass everything with Your Mercy and Knowledge. " That is, the weakness, lapses and errors of Your servants are not hidden from You. You indeed know everything, but like Your knowledge, Your Mercy also is infinite. Therefore, forgive the poor creatures in spite of knowing their errors. Another meaning can be: Forgive by Your Mercy all those about whom by knowledge You know that they have repented sincerely and have, in reality, adopted Your way.

" So forgive those that repent and follow Your Path, and guard them against the chastisement of Hell." To forgive and to save from the torment of Hell are although not related, and there seems to be no need to mention the other when one has been mentioned, this style, in fact, reflects the deep interest the angels have in the believers. It is customary that when a person who is deeply involved in a matter, finds an opportunity to make submissions before a judge, he presents the same petition humbly over and over again, in different ways, and does not rest content with making the petition just once.
And save those who have given up disobedience and rebellion, adopted obedience and followed the way which You Yourself have shown.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
(رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُـلَّ شَىْءٍ رَّحْمَةً وَعِلْماً Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge,) meaning, `Your mercy encompasses their sins and Your knowledge encompasses all their deeds, words and action.'

(فَاغْفِرْ لِلَّذِينَ تَابُواْ وَاتَّبَعُواْ سَبِيلَكَ so forgive those who repent and follow Your way.)'' That is, `forgive the sinners when they repent to You and turn to You and give up their former ways, following Your commands to do good and abstain from evil.'

(وَقِهِمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire!) means, `snatch them away from the punishment of Hell, which is a painful, agonizing punishment.'

Qur'an Wiki's Explanation:
We do not know what this throne is, we have no image of it. Nor do we know how those assigned to carry it do so or how the others are present around it. It is futile to try to determine something which is beyond the reach of human understanding or perception. No purpose can be served by arguing about something over which God has not provided information. All that can be said concerning this fact is that there are some creatures who are close to God, and these 'extol their Lord's limitless glory and praise, and have faith in Him.' Although the fact that they are believers can be taken for granted, this is specifically mentioned in the Qur'an to emphasize the bond between them and human believers. Having extolled God's limitless glory, these servants of God pray for the believers among humanity, requesting the best that one believer can ask for another.
They begin their supplication in a very polite way, in the process teaching us how to couch our own prayers. They say: "Our Lord.' You embrace all things with [Your] grace and knowledge." As they address God, they make clear their request that God bestows His grace on people, that they are relying on the fact that His grace embraces all, and that His knowledge encompasses everything. Thus, they do not make any assumptions; they simply refer to God's grace and knowledge. "Forgive, then, those who turn to You in repentance and follow Your path, and shield them from the suffering in the blazing fire." This reference to God's forgiveness and people's repentance corresponds to the opening of the surah where God is described as the One who forgives sins and accepts repentance. Likewise, the reference to the `suffering in the blazing fire' corresponds to the earlier description of His retribution as being severe.
And thereafter, they still go on and request the Almighty to enter the believers, after their repentance has been accepted and forgiven, to the Paradise including their parents, spouses and progeny:

رَبَّنَا وَاَدۡخِلۡهُمۡ جَنّٰتِ عَدۡنِ اۨلَّتِىۡ وَعَدْتَّهُمۡ وَمَنۡ صَلَحَ مِنۡ اٰبَآئِهِمۡ وَاَزۡوَاجِهِمۡ وَذُرِّيّٰتِهِمۡ ؕ اِنَّكَ اَنۡتَ الۡعَزِيۡزُ الۡحَكِيۡمُ ۙ‏ 
(40:8) Our Lord, admit them to the everlasting Gardens You have promised them, and those of their fathers and spouses and progeny that were righteous. Surely You alone are Most Mighty, Most Wise;

" Our Lord, admit them to the everlasting Gardens You have promised them " Here again there is the same state of solicitude as referred to in E.Ns above. Obviously, forgiving and saving from Hell by itself amounts to admitting to Paradise. And then soliciting Allah for granting the believers the same Paradise which He Himself has promised them, seems to be unnecessary, but the angels are so earnest in their desire of well-being for the believers that they go on repeating their good wishes for them although they know that Allah will certainly bless them with these favors in the Hereafter.

" and those of their fathers and spouses and progeny that were righteous. " That is. join with them their parents and their wives and children for the comfort of their eyes. This same thing Allah Himself has stated as among the blessings which the believers will be granted in Paradise. For this see (Surah Ar- Raad, Ayat 23) and (Surah At-Toor, Ayat 21). In the verse of Surah At-Toor, there is also the explanation that if a person will deserve a higher rank in Paradise, which his parents will not deserve, he will not be lowered in rank to be joined with them but Allah will raise them to join him in the higher station.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
(رَبَّنَا وَأَدْخِلْهُمْ جَنَّـتِ عَدْنٍ الَّتِى وَعَدْتَّهُمْ وَمَن صَـلَحَ مِنْ ءَابَآئِهِمْ وَأَزْوَجِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّـتِهِمْ Our Lord! And make them enter the `Adn (Eternal) Gardens which you have promised them -- and to the righteous among their fathers, their wives, and their offspring!) meaning, `bring them together so that they may find delight in one another in neighboring dwellings. ' 
This is like the Ayah: (And those who believe and whose offspring follow them in faith, -- to them shall We join their offspring, and We shall not decrease the reward of their deeds in anything)(52:21). This means, `that all of them will be made equal in status. In this way they may delight in one another's company; the one who is in the higher status will not lose anything. On the contrary We will raise the one whose deeds are of a lower status so that they will become equal, as a favor and a blessing from Us.' Sa`id bin Jubayr said that when the believer enters Paradise, he will ask where his father, son and brother are. It will be said to him, `they did not reach the same level of good deeds as you did'. He will say, `but I did it for my sake and for theirs.' Then they will be brought to join him in that higher degree. 
Then Sa`id bin Jubayr recited this Ayah (8): (Our Lord! And make them enter the `Adn (Eternal) Gardens which you have promised them -- and to the righteous among their fathers, their wives, and their offspring! Verily, You are the Almighty, the All-Wise.) Mutarrif bin `Abdullah bin Ash-Shikhkhir said, "The most sincere of the servants of Allah towards the believers are the angels.''

Then he recited this Ayah: (Our Lord! And make them enter the `Adn (Eternal) Paradises which you have promised them) He then said, "The most treacherous of the servants of Allah towards the believers are the Shayatin.'' (You are the Almighty, the All-Wise.) means, `the One Whom none can resist or overwhelm; what You will happens and what You do not will does not happen; You are Wise in all that You say and do, in all that You legislate and decree.'

Qur'an Wiki Explanation:
These servants of God continue with their supplications, praying now for the admission of believers among human beings into heaven, in fulfilment of His promise to His good servants: "Our Lord, admit them to the gardens of perpetual bliss You have promised them, together with the righteous from among their ancestors, spouses and offspring. You alone are the Almighty, the Wise." Admission into heaven is a great triumph and means a life of bliss. When there is added to this the company of righteous ancestors, spouses and offspring, another dimension of bliss is thus granted. Moreover, this is an aspect of the unity of all believers. It is in the bond of faith that fathers, spouses and offspring are united. Without it, all their ties are severed. This part of their supplication highlights God's attributes of power and wisdom. It is this combination that determines how people are judged.
Remember: There is nothing selfish in prayer. We pray for all who are true and sincere. But just as Evil is catching, so Goodness is catching in another sense. The associates of the Good and those near and dear to them also share in their goodness and happiness, if only they try to walk in the same Way. And the Grace of Allah is working for all, all the time.
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 Invocations / Dua " دُعا " from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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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 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 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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