Fruits for the Week

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Anas bin Malik (ra) reported that he heard the Prophet (saw) saying, “Allah the Exalted has said,’ Son of Adam, I shall go on forgiving you as long as you call Me and expect my forgiveness whatever your sins may be. I care not, son of Adam even if your sins should be so numerous as to reach the lofty regions of the sky. You should supplicate to Me for forgiveness and I shall forgive you. Son of Adam, If you come to Me with an earth full of sins and meet Me not associating anything with Me, I will grant you as much pardon as fill the earth.” (Tirmidhi)

The above hadith tells us that invocation for forgiveness is the gate of attaining one’s purposes, provided that he fulfills its prerequisites and avoids the obstacles that may hinder its acceptance. An invocation of forgiveness may not be answered if there is a missing prerequisite or an existing obstacle. The most important prerequisite for answering an invocation is uttering it with a sincere heart expecting the answer from Allah. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (saw) said: “Invoke Allah while you are sure His answer. Allah will not answer the invocation of an inattentive heart.” (Tirmidhi)

A worshipper is prohibited from saying:” O Allah! Forgive me if You will. He should be emphatic in invoking Allah as none will oblige Allah not to answer such invocation.” (Muslim).

A worshipper is also prohibited from abandoning invocation, because its answer was not immediate response. This is one of the obstacles that hinder answering the invocation. Even if the duration for not answering the invocation is long, a worshipper should persist in invoking Allah as He loves the voice of those who persist in invocation. Allah (swt) said: “And invoke Him with fear and hope; surely, Allah’s mercy is ever near unto the good-doers.” (Al-A’raf:56)

As long as a worshipper persists in invocation and hopes that Allah will answer it, the answer will be immediate. The most important things that a worshipper should invoke are forgiveness for his sins and the consequences of such forgiveness, such as salvation from Hell and entering Paradise.

Abu Muslim al-Khawlany said:Whenever I invoked Allah, I asked Him to be saved from Hell.” When a worshipper invokes Allah and He does not answer it, He compensates him for it either by preventing as evil that may have afflicted him, keeps it for the Hereafter, or forgives him a sin for it. Abu Saeed reported that the Prophet (saw) said: “When a Muslim invoke Allah for something, except a sin of severance of blood relationships, Allah will give him one of these three: answering his invocation, keeping it until the Hereafter or preventing an evil that could have afflicted him.” The companions said:Then, we invoke more.” The Prophet replied:Allah has more.””(Ahmad)

Persisting in invocation and expecting its answer from Allah lead to the forgiveness of sins. The most important reason that leads to the forgiveness of sins is the worshipper’s certainty that none but Allah will forgive his sins.

To attain Allah’s forgiveness, a Muslim must ask Allah for it even if his sins are as numerous as sand. Asking for forgiveness was mentioned in the Holy Qur’an many times. Sometimes, Allah enjoins us to ask for it. Allah says: “And ask Allah for His forgiveness. Truly Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” (Al-Baqarah: 199). Sometimes, Allah praises those who ask for it, as He says: “And those who, when they have committed fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse, etc) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins, and none can forgive sins but Allah.” (Al Imran: 135). Sometimes, Allah says that He forgives those who ask Him for forgiveness as He said: “And whoever does evil or wrongs himself, but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (An-Nisa: 110)

When a person says: “O Allah! Forgive me”, he is asking for forgiveness and this is considered as an invocation which Allah may answer, especially if it is said at any time of answering invocations such as pre-dawn and following the prescribed prayers. Abu Hurairah recorded that the Prophet (saw) said: “A man committed a sin and said:O Allah! I committed a sin. So forgive me.” Allah said:My slave knows that he has a Lord Who forgives sins or punishes for it. I have forgiven the sin of My slave.” The man committed a second sin, a third and even a fourth. Following the fourth sin, Allah said. Let My slave do whatever he wants.”” (Bukhari). This means that as long as he asks for forgiveness and he does not insist on sins, Allah will forgive him.

The best formula of asking forgiveness is that one should start by praising Allah, confessing his sins and asking for forgiveness. The Prophet (saw) said: “The best way to seek forgiveness is to say,O Allah! You are my Lord. There is none worthy of worship save You. You have created me, and I am your servant and I hold to your covenant as far as I can. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge the favours that You have bestowed upon me, and I confess my sins. Pardon me, for none but You has the power to pardon.’ He who supplicates in these terms during the day with firm belief in them and dies on the same day (before evening), he will be one of the dwellers of Paradise. If anyone supplicates in these terms during the night with firm belief in them and dies before morning he will be one of the dwellers of Paradise.” (Bukhari)

(Prepared by Abdul Muhaemin Karim)

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