Fruits for the Week

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On the authority of Anas (RA), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (SWT) saying: “Allah, the Exalted, has said, ‘O sons of Adam, as long as you supplicate Me and implore Me, I will forgive for you whatever issued from you, and I will not mind. O sons of Adam, even if your sin reached the clouds of the sky and then you sought My forgiveness, I would forgive you. O sons of Adam, even if you come to Me with nearly the earth’s capacity of sins and then meet Me without associating anything with Me, I will come to you with nearly its capacity of forgiveness.’” (Tirmidhi)

The hadith Qudsi above has been described as the most encouraging and reassuring narration in the Sunnah, for it contains good tidings for every believer who fears Allah and worships none but Him. Three causes have been cited that lead to Allah’s forgiveness through repentance and Tawheed. Each will be mentioned in turn:

1. Allah (SWT) has directed His servants to make a du’a (supplication) accompanied by imploring, which encompasses the meanings of both fear and hope. One who has sinned should thus supplicate Allah fearful of punishment for what he committed, knowing that it is deserved by him, apologizing, and humbly begging for his Lord’s mercy and pardon. At the same time, he entertains the hope that Allah, the All-Merciful, will regard his deep regret and generously overlook his many errors and sins. Some commentators have emphasized this aspect over fear, observing that implore means expectation, i.e., of Allah’s response: “And your Lord said, ‘Call upon Me; I will answer you.’” (Ghafir: 60)

The combination of fear and hope leads one to supplicate sincerely, intently, and often, which is pleasing to Allah and evidence of belief in His awareness and mercy. Hence, Allah forgives the servant’s sins, even those of which he may have been unaware.

But everyone should know that Allah (SWT) does not accept a supplication for something sinful or for cutting off relations between relatives or that of one who wilfully obtains and consumes what is prohibited.

Supplications by the tongue alone, while the heart is absent, are weak and therefore unlikely to bring a response, as are those of persons persistent in sin and unwilling to desist. On the other hand, the generally righteous person, drawing near to Allah through earnest supplication, can expect to be answered sooner or later, as Allah wills, for He said: “And invoke Him in fear and aspiration. Indeed, the mercy of Allah is near to the doers of good.” (Al-A’raf: 56)

2. The second cause of earning Allah’s forgiveness is seeking it and asking for it (istighfar). Again, this is not an act of the tongue alone but must be accompanied by true repentance. The merits of seeking forgiveness from Allah are mentioned in numerous Qur’anic verses and other hadiths, such as that related by Al-Bukhari in which the Prophet (saw) taught his companions the best supplication for forgiveness.

3. The third condition is that the servant does not associate anyone or anything with Allah in any aspect of His divinity, knowing that none is worthy of worship except Him. Allah (SWT) has said: “Indeed, Allah does not forgive that anything is associated with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills.” (An-Nisa’: 48)

Thus, when Tawheed is lost, forgiveness is lost as well; and when it is affirmed by the Muslim, it will earn him the Prophet’s intercession, and Allah’s forgiveness, and will save him from Hellfire. This can mean either of two things: that he is forgiven and thus prevented from entering it at all, or, that after entering due to the gravity of his sins and enduring a portion of his deserved punishment, Allah will forgive him and he will be removed therefrom and placed in Paradise, while the disbelievers, hypocrites and those who associated others in worship with Allah will remain in Hell eternally.

It is confirmed in the narration by Al-Bukhari, wherein the Prophet (saw) disclosed that finally “Allah will command that anyone who said ‘LA ILAHA ILLALLAH’ and whose heart contained good the weight of a barley or wheat grain be removed from the Fire.” Thus, the scholars have declared that Tawheed is the major cause of salvation, for its people will all eventually enter Paradise. “And if such is the case for the sinful of this ummah, what can the righteous expect, those who uphold Tawheed, worship and obey Allah throughout their lives, and avoid the major sin? Surely they can look forward to forgiveness of their major sins, protection from Hellfire altogether, and immediate entrance into Paradise. What greater success and what greater favor?”

by Umm Muhammad

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