Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,
This post is not intended to explain Qur’an from my own (limited) understanding. Rather, these are merely my reflections of certain verses which I came across that left an impact on me when I was reciting the Qur’an.
“Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [25:70]
There is a beautiful recitation of this Suraah by Qari Mansoor Az-Zahrany which has been attached at the end of the post. I find that the highlighted part of the ayaah is amazing subhan’Allah. A lecture that I was listening to gave a brief tafseer on that ayaah. The Sheikh said that the Scholars’ understanding is that either:
- Allah will turn his sins into good deeds, OR
- The sinner becomes a better person and he/she performs many good deeds.
Masha’Allah, how merciful is He!! We commit sins daily knowingly or unknowingly but all He wants from us is that we turn back to Him and our sins are changed into good deeds! The conditions attached are (as stated in the ayaah itself):
- Believe in Islamic Monotheism
- Do righteous deeds
During the Al-Maghrib seminar Sh Riad asked the students whether there was anyone who feels that Allah will not forgive them for the sins they have committed before. A few hands shot up and and some shared why they felt that way. But subhan’Allah, Allah is Al-Ghafoor Ar-Raheem – He is more merciful that our own mother!
Umar Ibn al-Khattab (ra) relates that some prisoners were brought before Allah’s Messenger (saw) and amongst them was a woman who was frantically searching for someone in the crowd. When she found a baby amongst the prisoners, she took it in her arms, cradled it next to her chest and suckled it. So Allah’s Messenger (saw) said: “Do you think that this woman would ever throw her child into the fire?” We said: ‘By Allah, Never!’ So he said: “Allah is more merciful to His believing servants than that mother could ever be to her child.”
[Bukhari (10/426) & Muslim (18/80)]
I was also thinking of something which might be related to this. When I was growing up, one way to keep us kids disciplined is by using the ‘scare’ tactic. “If you don’t do this, Allah will be angry with you. If you do that, you will be punished in the Hereafter!” I’m sure this method of disciplining children is something most of us have seen or grew up with. Ironically enough, if you look through the Asma ul Husna, there are no names which describes Allah as being ‘Angry’ or ‘Unmerciful’. We have forgotten that Allah is All-Loving (Al-Wadud) along with the other 98 beautiful names in the Asma al husna but we choose to only focus on the negative.
I use the theory of how this method to scare children never actually works because when we remove the ‘object of fear’, fear will not be present too. For example, you place a candy on the table and you tell a child not to take it. He/She will not take it under your watchful eyes but imagine if you leave the child on his/her own. I wouldn’t be surprised if the candy disappears the second you leave! The same applies if we instil fear of Allah in children, it works as parents are around to watch over them. But when they are older and more independent, the fear might not exist as there isn’t anyone to remind them to ‘fear Allah’.
However, there should be a balance between hope and fear. As stated by Ibn Qayyim Rahimullah,
Ibn Qayyim says in his Madarij al-Salikin:“The Heart, in its journey to Allah (swt) is like that of a bird:
Love is its head, and fear and hope are its two wings. When the
head and two wings are sound the bird flies gracefully; if the
head is severed, the bird dies; if the bird loses one of its wings, it
then becomes a target for every hunter or predator.”
How are all these linked to the ayaah? I diverted a little bit from the actual ayaah on repentance and sins being converted to good deeds ; but expounded a little on the beautiful names of Allah as a reminder that having this mentality that ‘Allah only punishes us‘ is indeed something we should try to expel from our thoughts because it portrays the image that He is not merciful and unforgiving thus not Just to His creations.