Growing up we are told that Allah SWT has 99 names. As we grow older we understand that these are more like attributes of Allah SWT. And when we contemplate the Quran and Allah SWT we realize that these attributes are there so that we can grow to understand who our Creator is through the 99 names or attributes He has taught us about Himself.

One of the attributes, Al-Ghaffar is translated to be the Most Forgiving and the Repeatedly Forgiving. Allah SWT mentions this attribute of His in various places in the Quran. The imam reminded us of His attribute in the 133rd ayat of Sura Imran which is translated to say:

And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous

Dear brothers and sisters, todays reminder addresses one of the primary attacks of Shaitaan in that he is consistently trying to convince us that we are unforgivable.

By addressing the attribute of the Most Forgiving, we are able to recognize that the thoughts or feelings that Allah SWT won’t forgive us is not accurate. To think and feel this way is falling to feelings of despair which are all tactics employed by Shaitaan.

Despair then leads to hopelessness which inevitably leads to the Son of Adam moving away from asking Allah SWT for mercy and help. This is the reason why we must be wary of this tactic and steer clear of it.

And the level of mercy and forgiveness shown by Allah SWT is for the whole of mankind. The imam reminded us of the following hadith in which the Prophet SAWS is translated to have said:

None, or nothing, is more patient about the offensive statements he hears than Allah. Verily, they ascribe a son to Him, yet He still grants them good health and sustenance.

Dear brothers and sisters, we can see from this that the level of blessings and mercy shown to each and every one of us is greater than what we can ever repay in our good deeds and worship.

However, this lesson on Allah SWT’s forgiveness is both a lesson on His mercy on us but also a lesson on how our conduct ought to be with others.

The imam referenced the 40th ayat from Sura As-shura to highlight this point. It is translated to say:

And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation – his reward is [due] from Allah. Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers.

Alongside this the imam also mentioned the following hadith to highlight this point. It is translated to say:

“Sadaqah does not decrease property and Allah increases the honor of him who forgives and no one will humble himself for Allah’s sake except that Allah raises his status.”

Dear brothers and sisters, we should make the most of this lesson and learn to forgive those who have wronged us. Let us be of those who can forgive so that we can earn our reward and forgiveness in turn from Allah SWT.

And so with the month of Ramadan approaching us, we are looking for ways to achieve the most from this blessed month. One of the greatest achievements we can hope for is for our sins to be forgiven by Allah SWT.

And so, this reminder concludes with the following hadith from Aisha, may Allah SWT be pleased with her who narrated, ‘I asked the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) ‘O Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), if I know what night the night of Qadr is, what should I say during it?’ He said, “Say: “Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa a‘fu anni”
O Allah, You are the Pardoner and You love to pardon, so pardon me.”

Dear brothers and sisters, the month of Ramadan is nearly here. This is the month by the end of which we can aspire to have the sins of a new-born. We can achieve this by asking the One who is Most Forgiving and Repeatedly Forgiving so let us use this month to achieve this for ourselves by asking it of Him regularly.

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