About forgiveness in Islam?

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About forgiveness in Islam?


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Concept of forgiveness

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


‘Forgiveness in Islam’ is obviously a vast and inexhaustible subject and we are unsure whether you wish to inquire about the guidance of ‘forgiveness’ in Islam between man and fellow man, or the forgiveness of one’s sins which one seeks and expects from one’s Lord Creator.


If it’s the Lord Most Merciful’s forgiveness towards the sins of human beings is what is being inquired, then it has two distinct aspects:

  1. The Lord’s Mercy and Forgiveness towards those who seek sincere repentance for their sins before they meet with their appointment of death.
  2. The Lord’s Mercy and Forgiveness towards human beings in the Realms of the Hereafter.


Ref-1: The Lord’s Mercy and Forgiveness towards those who seek sincere repentance for their sins before they meet with their appointment of death.

Whatever deeds one might have done in one’s past, if one turns to Allah Subhanah in sincere Taubah and seeks forgiveness before one is faced with one’s appointment of death, Allah Subhanah has promised in the Holy Quran that He will forgive all the sins of such a person, even if one has committed the gravest sin of all: ‘Shirk’!  Not only that, our Lord is so Merciful and so Generous, that He not only will forgive all the sins of such amongst His repentant slaves, He will change their evil deeds done into good deeds in their ‘Book of Records’!  


The conditions or ways to seek sincere Taubah or Repentance from the Merciful Lord are:

  • One is aware that he has sinned, and feels sorry and ashamed at his sin.
  • Makes a solemn covenant and promise with Allah that he will not repeat his sin again.
  • Turns to Allah and seeks forgiveness, before he has met with his appointment of death.
  • Is a believer and does righteous good deeds thereafter. 


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumur verses 53-54:

(O Prophet) say: “O My servants who have wronged their own souls….Do not despair of Allah’s Mercy!  Surely,  Allah forgives all sins.   He indeed is the All Forgiving,  All Merciful.   Return to your Lord and submit to Him before the scourge overtakes you;  for then you may get no help from anywhere.”


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imraan verse 135-136:

Allah likes such good people very much, who,  if ever they commit a base deed or wrong their own soul by the commission of a sin,  remember Allah instantly,  and ask for forgiveness from Him for their shortcomings.  For who,  but Allah,  can forgive sins?   (And Allah loves those) who do not knowingly persist in the wrongs they did.   These will be rewarded with forgiveness from Allah,  and with Gardens beneath which canals flow,  and they will reside therein forever!   How excellent is the reward of those who do good deeds!


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 25 Surah Furqaan verses 63-71:

The (true) servants of the Merciful are those who walk humbly on the earth.   When the ignorant people behave insolently towards them,  they say, “Peace to you”;  (And those) who pass their nights in prostrating themselves and standing before their Lord and pray, “O our Lord,  save us from the torment of Hell,  for its torment is killing!  It is an evil abode,  and an evil resting place”.  (And those) who,  when they spend are neither extravagant,  nor miserly,  but keep the golden mean between the two extremes.  (And those) who do not invoke any god but Allah Alone,  nor kill a soul unjustly,  which Allah has forbidden,  nor commit adultery… He who does this shall be punished for his sin,  and his torment shall be doubled on the Day of Resurrection,  and he shall abide in a state of ignominy;  EXCEPT THE ONE WHO MAY HAVE REPENTED (AFTER THOSE SINS),  AND HAVE BELIEVED AND DONE RIGHTEOUS DEEDS.   For then,  Allah will change his evil deeds into good deeds,  and He is very Forgiving and Merciful.   In fact,  one who repents and does righteous deeds,  returns to Allah as one rightly should!


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 54:

When those come to you who believe in Our Signs,  say: "Peace be on you!  Your Lord had inscribed for Himself (the rule of) Mercy.  Verily if any of you did evil in ignorance,  and thereafter repented and amended (his conduct),  Lo! He is Oft-Forgiving,  Most Merciful."


Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2357        Narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "He who repents of a sin is like him who has committed no sin."


Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2338        Narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "Allah accepts a servant's repentance (taubah) till he gives up his spirit in death."


In light of the above absolutely clear guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah, it is evident that there is no sin which the Lord Most Gracious, Most Merciful is not willing to forgive…..provided the person turns unto his Lord in ‘taubah’ and seeks sincere repentance for his sins before he meets with his appointment of death; for as soon as one comes face to face with one’s appointment of death, the doors of ‘taubah’ or repentance are permanently closed!


Ref-2: The Lord’s Mercy and Forgiveness towards human beings in the Realms of the Hereafter.

If one were to commit the heinous abomination and crime of ‘shirk’ in the life of this world and was fortunate enough to turn unto their Lord Creator and seek sincere forgiveness for his sin before his appointment of death….it is expected that they will find their Lord Forgiving and Merciful.  But if one were to die in the state of ‘shirk’, then it is the Decree and Decision of the Lord Most Majestic that He will never never ever forgive such a person his sin of ‘shirk’ in the Hereafter, and Hell Fire will be their guaranteed and eternal abode!


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 72:

Whoever commits ‘shirk’ (invoking anything with Allah), Allah shall forbid for him Paradise, and Hell shall be his abode.  And for such wrong doers there will be no one to help.


The Lord Most Majestic, Most Supreme has singled out the abomination of ‘shirk’ as the single biggest, gravest, and most heinous crime one can commit……and the Lord Most Supreme has made it absolutely incumbent upon Himself to never ever forgive a person who dies in a state of ‘shirk’ in the Hereafter!


Allah says in the Quran: Chapter 4 Surah An-Nisa Verse 48
Shirk (associating other deities with Allah) is the only sin that Allah does not forgive, and He forgives, whomsoever He pleases, sins other than this.  For whosoever associates any other partner with Allah, does indeed forge a big lie and commits the most heinous sin


If one abstained from committing the abomination of ‘shirk’, but were to meet their Lord in a state whereby they committed sins other than ‘shirk’ but did not seek sincere repentance for those sins before their death….then their case is with their Lord Most High Alone.  If their Lord Wills, He may forgive them their sins, and if their Lord Wills, He may hold them to account for those sins.  But the Lord Most Majestic, Most Supreme has made it abundantly clear in all His Revelations that in the life of the Hereafter, never never ever will He forgive those who die in the state of the abomination of ‘shirk’.


Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 442         Narrated by Anas ibn Malik

Anas heard the Prophet (saws) say: “Allah, Exalted and High is He, has said: ‘O son of Adam! Certainly I shall continue to pardon thee so long as thou supplicatest Me and hopest (for My forgiveness), whatever may be thy faults and sins, I don't care. O son of Adam, even if thy sins pile up as high as the sky, and thou askest for My forgiveness (before thy death), I will forgive thee. O son of Adam, if thou comest to Me (in the Hereafter) with an earthful of defaults and meetest Me, not associating anything with Me, I will come to thee, with an earthful of forgiveness."


Hadith Qudsi 34

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said that Allah Subhaanh Said: ‘O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me (before thy death), I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind.  O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me (before thy death), I would forgive you.  O son of Adam, were you to come to Me (in the Hereafter) with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great at it!’


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,






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