The Secret Beyond Matter

In the Name of Allah, the All-merciful and Most Merciful


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Allah is Endlessly Generous and Accepts Repentance

All people are fallible, forgetful, misjudge situations, and make mistakes. They may not think carefully enough about many things, or may make wrong decisions and then engage in wrong actions. For this reason, Allah's endless mercy and compassion are great blessings. His eternal mercy provides people the chance to repent and reform themselves every time they make a mistake. Those who sincerely desire forgiveness can hope that Allah will grant their prayer, for "Tell My servants that I am the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful" (Surat al-Hijr, 49) In fact, He reveals His readiness to forgive:

Anyone who does evil or wrongs himself [or herself] and then asks Allah's forgiveness will find Him Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat an-Nisa, 110)

Anyone who does evil or wrongs himself (or herself) and then asks Allah's forgiveness will find Him Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
(Surat an-Nisa, 110)

Islam teaches that no one is perfect, for each person is weak and prone to sin and error. But since Allah is generous and forgiving, there is no need for despair over an intentional or an unintentional error, for He will accept the repentance of all who take refuge in Allah and do their best not to commit that mistake again. Of course, believers try hard to avoid all mistakes and sins and to stay within the limitations Allah has set for them. Nevertheless, they might make mistakes and sins. To repent and ask for forgiveness after such a behavior is a very favorable characteristic of Muslims. His names At-Tawwab (The Acceptor of Repentance), Al-Ghaffar (The Forgiving), and Ar-Rahman (The All-Merciful) are manifested in penitent believers who repent their mistakes and strive to do better:

When those who believe in Our Signs come to you, say: "Peace be upon you." Allah has made mercy incumbent upon Himself. If anyone among you does evil out of ignorance and then repents and puts things right, He is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat al-An'am, 54)

One of the things that distance people from the Qur'an's morality is the guilt complex that comes from committing sins which makes them begin to see themselves as incorrigible and unmitigated.. Such people, however, forget the name All-Merciful and Most Merciful of Allah, Who informs humanity that He is forgiving and eternally generous. Satan stirs them up by saying that they are sinners who will never be able to remedy their condition, that they should just accept it. Then he draws people into a morass, deceiving them into thinking that since they have sinned already, there is nothing to lose by doing it again. Satan exploits their resulting sense of shame toward Allah in order to distance them totally from Him. But like every wile of satan, this one too is weak, for committing a sin does not disqualify people from finding the straight path. Not only after committing a sin, even if one has committed the biggest sins numerous times, he always has the possibility of becoming a penitent and turning towards Allah. Regardless of the sin committed, Allah has informed us in the Qur'an that He will accept each person's sincere repentance and turning toward Him:

But if anyone repents after his [or her] wrongdoing and puts things right, Allah will turn toward him [or her]. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat al-Ma'ida, 39)

As for those who believe and do right actions, they will have forgiveness and a generous provision. (Surat al-Hajj, 50)

Those who fear [and respect] their Lord in the Unseen will have forgiveness and an immense reward. (Surat al-Mulk, 12)

Through His eternal mercy, Allah reveals that everyone is given the possibility to repent. For example, He accepted the repentance of those Jews who, after Moses (pbuh) led them out of Egypt, made a golden idol in the shape of a calf, and worshipped it:

And when Moses said to his people: "My people, You wronged yourselves by adopting the calf, so turn toward your Maker and kill yourselves. That is the best thing for you in your Maker's sight." And He turned toward you. He is the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful. (Surat al-Baqara, 54)

The Qur'an reveals that Allah will forgive anyone who, after making a mistake inadvertently, sincerely repents and turns toward Him. Allah informs us that no matter how big the dimensions of the flaws committed by the believers, they should never lose their hope of obtaining His mercy if they sincerely repent for what they did:

Say [from Me]: "O My servants, you who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of Allah's mercy. Truly, He forgives all wrong actions. He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful." Turn to your Lord and submit to Him before punishment comes upon you, for then you cannot be helped. Follow the best that has been sent down to you from your Lord before the punishment comes upon you suddenly, when you are not expecting it. (Surat az-Zumar, 53-55)

Allah's name Al-Ghaffar (The Forgiving) is one of His greatest and most accessible blessings to humanity. Therefore, it is unseemly for people to despair and to think that after committing all those sins, they will not be able to reform themselves again. Those who disregard Allah's compassion, mercy, and readiness to forgive are unjust to themselves and misunderstand the Qur'an's moral teachings. Those believers who sincerely repent and then abandon their sins raise their station in the Hereafter, for this process has a maturing effect that makes them more aware of their weaknesses and deficiencies, as well as their reality as Allah's servants. The important thing here is immediate repentance, for:

I am Ever-Forgiving to anyone who repents, has faith, acts rightly, and then is guided. (Surah Ta-Ha, 82)

… except for those who, after that, repent and put things right. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat an-Nur, 5)

But anyone who does right actions, being a believer, need not fear any wrong or belittlement. (Surah Ta-Ha, 112)

Perform prayer, give alms, and obey the Messenger so that, hopefully, mercy will be shown to you. (Surat an-Nur, 56)

As for those who believe and do right actions, We will erase their bad actions and recompense them for the best of what they did. (Surat al-Ankabut, 7)

… so that Allah can reward them for the best of what they did and give them more from His unbounded favor. Allah provides for anyone He wills without limit. (Surat an-Nur, 38)

Although people sincerely repent, they may commit the same sin again and again. However, when this sinful habit is finally broken, they may hope that Allah has accepted their repentance – provided that they are sincere. Some people think, mistakenly, that they can repent when they are older. But such an attitude betrays their insincerity:

Allah only accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and then quickly repent afterward. Allah turns toward such people. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. There is no repentance for people who persist in doing evil until death comes to them and then say: "Now I repent," nor for people who die as unbelievers. We have prepared for them a painful punishment. (Surat an-Nisa, 17-18)

Given these facts, all believers should remember that committing sins should not cause them to fall into sadness and despair, for Allah will accept their sincere repentance and forgive them. Despair does not please Allah, for He tells believers to be joyful and eager to draw close to Him:

Were it not for Allah's favor to you and His mercy ... and that Allah is Ever-Returning, All-Wise. (Surat an-Nur, 10)

Were it not for Allah's favour to you and His mercy . . . and that Allah is Ever-Returning, All-Wise.
(Surat an-Nur, 10)

Were it not for Allah's favor to you and His mercy ... and that Allah is All-Gentle, Most Merciful. O you who have faith. Do not follow in satan's footsteps. Those who do so should know that he commands indecency and wrongdoing. Were it not for Allah's favor and mercy to you, not one of you would ever have been purified. But Allah purifies whoever He wills. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. Those of you are wealthy should not make oaths that they will not give to their relatives, the very poor, and those who have migrated in the way of Allah. Rather, they should pardon and overlook. Would you not love Allah to forgive you? Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat an-Nur, 20-22)

In other words, believers always have a sense of Allah's generosity and mercy, for they know that they can live a good life only because of His mercy. One of the main reasons for their sincere prayers, deep faith, and eagerness when giving thanks for their blessings is their intimate sense of every moment of their lives being lived in Allah's name All Merciful, Most Merciful. Those who do not practice the Qur'an's morality and do not appreciate His beautiful names cannot conceive of the splendor of this name, and thus live in a state of pessimism, without joy and hope, and far removed from all of the good and beautiful things coming from belief. When they sin, they do not know that Allah is protective and very forgiving. They do not consider that He forgives those who repent, and that His mercy and compassion are infinite. But believers, on the other hand, always turn to Allah in prayer, repent, and ask forgiveness, knowing that He wants what is best for them. Therefore, He guides them on the straight path, protects them from evil, and shows them endless mercy and grace:

These are Allah's Signs, which We recite to you with truth. Allah desires no wrong for any being. That is on account of what you did. Allah does not wrong His servants.
(Surah Al 'Imran, 182)

Any good thing that happens to you comes from Allah. Any bad thing that happens to you comes from yourself. We have sent you [O Muhammad] to humanity as a Messenger. Allah suffices as a Witness. (Surat an-Nisa, 79)

Why should Allah punish you if you are thankful and believe? Allah is All-Thankful, All-Knowing. (Surat an-Nisa, 147)

If it were not for Allah's favor to you and His mercy, all but a very few of you would have followed satan. (Surat an-Nisa, 83)

Allah's mercy toward His servants is evident in His calling out to the unbelievers, through His holy books and messengers, to follow the straight path. He tests them with various anxieties and hardships, hoping that they will turn back to Him. All of the suffering, hardship, anxiety, dryness, and scarcity mentioned in the Qur'an are manifestations of His mercy and compassion toward those who have not yet found the straight path. He offers them a chance to find this path so that they can avoid Hell's eternal pangs:

We seized Pharaoh's people with years of drought and scarcity of fruits so that, hopefully, they would pay heed. (Surat al-A'raf, 130)

We will give them a taste of lesser punishment before the greater punishment so that, hopefully, they will turn back. (Surat as-Sajda, 21)

If you are ungrateful, Allah is rich beyond need of any of you and is not pleased with ingratitude in His servants. But if you are grateful, He is pleased with you for that. No one can bear another's burden. Then you will return to your Lord, and He will inform you of what you did. He knows what the heart contains. (Surat az-Zumar, 7)

We have never sent a Prophet to any city without seizing its people with hardship and distress so that, hopefully, they might learn humility. (Surat al-A'raf, 94)

The Qur'an tells us that disasters, hardships, and anxieties occur so that people will turn toward Allah, stop denying Him, and repent. Allah has created everything, including these tests, for a good purpose:

When a group of them asked: "Why do you rebuke a people whom Allah is going to destroy or severely punish?" they replied: "So that we have an excuse to present to your Lord, and so that, hopefully, they will take heed." (Surat al-A'raf, 164)

We sent Messengers to nations before you and afflicted them with hardship and distress so that, hopefully, they would humble themselves. (Surat al-An'am, 42)

The Qur'an states that Allah sends various warnings to people so that "hopefully, they will take heed" and "hopefully, they would humble themselves." In other words, He wants to include them in His mercy and in Paradise. The fact that He forgives their sins and provides them with countless opportunities to repent shows His great mercy and generosity:

If Allah were to punish people for their wrong actions, not a single creature would be left upon Earth. But, He defers them [His punishment] until a predetermined time. When their specified time arrives, they cannot delay it for a single hour nor can they bring it forward. (Surat an-Nahl, 61)

Your Lord is the Ever-Forgiving, the Possessor of Mercy. If He had taken them to task for what they have earned, He would have hastened their punishment. Instead, they have a promised appointment and will not find any refuge from it. (Surat al-Kahf, 58)

Therefore, it is never too late for people to become true servants of Allah through sincere repentance and striving to draw closer to Him. There is no need to dwell on past sins, for the believers have learned the appropriate lessons and have abandoned them:

Allah has pardoned all that took place in the past. But if anyone does it again, Allah will take revenge on him [or her]. Allah is Almighty, the Lord of Retribution. (Surat Al-Ma'ida, 95)

Say to those who do not believe that if they stop, they will be forgiven what is past. But if they return to it, they have the example of previous peoples [who were punished for what they did]. (Surat al-Anfal, 38)

Allah grants everyone a period of grace during which they can receive whatever advice and encouragement they need (Surah Fatir, 37). He sends messengers to warn and incite fear and awe and, through them, reveal His will. But in spite of this, those who persist in unbelief will certainly receive the pay for what they have done. Those who are unaware of His countless manifestations as the All-Merciful and Most Merciful and do not praise Him will be repaid in the most appropriate and just manner:

Say: "As for those who are astray, let the All-Merciful prolong their term until they see what they were promised, whether it be the punishment or the Hour. Then they will know who is in the worse position and has the weaker troops."(Surah Maryam, 75)


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