As the theme-based approach to Juz 25, 26 and 27 draws to a close, this episode focuses on the grand capacity of God’s mercy by looking at two specific forms of it: His hidayah (God’s extra guidance) and His maghfirah (forgiveness). This is an important topic as God’s forgiveness holds a massive role throughout the Quran, whereby Allah (swt) consistently mentions the showering of His mercy upon us. The episode covers the close relationship between the themes of maghfirah and hidayah, by exploring how both of them together helps our journey towards God, and the ways in which both work as manifestations of Allah’s (swt) mercy.
Inna Hadha Al-Qur'ana Yahdee li-latee hiya aqwamu wa yubashshir Al-mu'mineen al-lathi ya'malun al-salihat anna lahum Ajran Kabira (17:9) [Indeed, this Qur'an guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward (17:9)].
Juz 27. 'A'udhu billahi min al-shaytan al-rajim. Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim. I begin in the name of Allah, compassionate to all, merciful to each. As-salamu alaykum and welcome to the 27th episode in this podcast series titled: "Journeying Our Eyes through the Qur'an, Exploring 30 juz in 30 days". Today InshaAllah we will continue our journey through the pages of the Qur'an and the discussion that we started yesterday, which means another topic from juz 25 to 27.
For today's topic, we'll be discussing the vastness of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala's mercy, His Rahmah in two forms are manifestations of His mercy, one being in His extra guidance, His Hidayah and another in His forgiveness, or Maghfirah. Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala's mercy plays a huge role in the Qur'an, where it's a major theme throughout it. When we speak of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala's Rahmah, it's a type of Rahmah, it's a type of mercy that encompasses everyone and everything.
Creation itself is a manifestation of this Rahmah. There are some types of mercy that are accessible for everyone and others that are a little bit more exclusive. This is usually how commentators explain the difference between the two names of Allah subhana wa Ta'ala, Rahman and Rahim. Rahman is explained as a type of mercy that is more elaborate and more encompassing of everybody, whereas Rahim is more exclusive and sometimes perhaps more specific to His servants.
Throughout the Qur'an, we see that Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala mentions that His mercy is constantly showering down on us. If He removed His mercy from us for even an instant, we would not and could not exist. In today's episode, we will explore how the two themes of Maghfirah and Hidayah are tied together and how these two themes of forgiveness and guidance, can work together to help us in our journey towards Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala and how both of these are manifestations of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala incredible Rahmah and mercy. For today's episode, we will focus particularly on a few verses from Surah Muhammad, starting with the first two verses of this chapter where we read the following:
Alladheena kafaroo wa saddoo'an sabeeli Illahi adalla a'maalahum (47:1). Wa alladheena amanoo wa 'amilu as-saalihati wa aamanoo bimaa nuzzila 'alaa Muhammadin wa huwa al-haqqu min Rabbihim kaffara 'anhum saiyiaatihim wa aslaha baalahum (47:2). Those who are themselves faithless and bar others from the way of Allah. He has rendered their works fruitless (47:1). But those who have faith and do righteous deeds and believe in what has been sent down to Muhammad and it is the truth from their Lord, he shall absolve them of their misdeeds and set right their affairs (47:2).
In these two verses, we read a couple of interesting things. One is that those who are faithless and active in their rejection of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala and their aggression, will only have fruitless works. However, on the other hand, those who are trying, those who have faith and those who act righteously and who do good Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala treats them a little bit differently. He covers their misdeeds and He fixes or in this verse He says:
'wa aslaha baalahum' (47:2) - that he corrects their Baal. But what is Baal? The word Baal in Arabic means inner soul or heart or Fitrat, according to some Mufassareen. This last part of the verse is rather interesting because it ties together both a form of Maghfirah and Hidayah. When we seriously seek forgiveness from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala and what this means is that even sinners have a place in Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala forgiveness and mercy.
Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala not only covers our errors and absolves us of them for giving us for them, but He aids us even further in terms of helping us fix the mess that we might have created, guiding us more and more to the best of ways. One of the interpretations of what Baal means, is that it means the Fitrat or inner soul and this is tied to our primordial nature. Our Fitrat is what ties us to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, and it serves as an internal light and guide for us.
But the unfortunate reality is that this Fitrat is sometimes extinguished with the darkness of our sins. In order to access it, we need to go through a purification process where we seek forgiveness from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. According to Ayatullah Jawadi Amuli there are a couple of powerful ways to purify our Fitrat and regain access to its full splendour, one of them being through the process of Tawbah, as alluded to here in these verses where it mentions this process and another is in the recitation of the Qur'an.
Since the Qur'an has been revealed in the lingua franca of the Fitrat, it's also something that helps to purify it. This aid that Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala grants us in purifying our Fitrat and allowing us to return to our natural, divinely inclined state means that even when we err, wa aslaha dalahum, he fixes our affairs, we are not doomed or boxed into our past. Thinking about this and the magnitude of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala's mercy can be overwhelming, especially when we think about how we tend to forgive or more often tend not to forgive others.
Imagine a scenario where you have wronged someone, for example, by spreading a rumour about them or back biting about them or lying to them or accusing them of something that they didn't do. And now you realized your mistake and you want to fix it. So you start by asking for forgiveness from them.
Usually we might hope for a level of forgiveness, but imagine that you went to this person and that when you ask them for forgiveness, they not only forgave you, but they helped you further. They rewarded you. They showered you with gifts. Despite you being the one at fault. How incredibly merciful would you consider this person to be? This is how Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala is with us. He not only overlooks our errors, but in another verse of the Qur'an, it says that he does the following.
Illaa man taaba wa 'aamana wa 'amila 'amalan saalihan fa ulaaa'ika yubaddilu Allahu saiyiatihim hasanaat, wa kaana Allahu Ghafoora Arraheemaa (25:70). Except for those who repent and believe and do good deeds. These God will replace their bad deeds with good deeds. God is ever forgiving and merciful (25:70). This is to say, as mentioned in these verses, that when someone comes to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala for forgiveness, He actually replaces their negative deeds with rewards, and good deeds. One of the rewards is what we mentioned earlier, which is that He fixes and sets aright our inner heart, which is what Allama Tabatabai mentioned is our fitrat.
This verse in this concept is mentioned twice. And so that's Muhammad first and verse two, which he read earlier, and then again in verse five, which will read now: Sa-yahdeehim wa yuslihu baalahum (47:5) He will guide them and will fix their inner state (47:5).
Here what Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala expects from us is that we act according to His orders, even though it may be difficult. And He says that when we sincerely repent and work to reform, He will help us, He will help us from his incredible mercy. He will lift the impacts of our sins. He will clean our hearts and our fitrats, and He will enhance us in our guidance. This concept is yet again mentioned in verse seven of Muhammad, where he says the following: Ya ayyuha alladheena aamanoo intansuru Allaha yansurkum wa yuthabbit aqdaamakum (47:7). Oh, you who have faith, if you help Allah, He will help you and make your feet steady. And once more, just for a little extra emphasis in verse 17, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala says the following: "Wa alladheena ahtadaw zaadahum hudan wa ataahum taqwaahum (47:17). As for those who are rightly guided, He enhances their guidance and invests them with their God weariness (47:17).
From these verses, we can see a few things: that when we try, when we ask for forgiveness and when we act in God's way, He forgives us and He increases us in our guidance. He helps us along the way. God's mercy, Rahma and Maghfira have no bounds when we sincerely turn to Him from whatever it is that we have done in our lives, from whatever sins we have committed, He turns to us with open arms, waiting and ready for us to return to his divine embrace.
As we come closer to the end of this beautiful month marked by its beautiful forgiveness and potential to cleanse us and our souls, let's take the time to make the intention to take advantage of this mercy from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala to change and reform our souls and to turn to him in absolute obedience.
Ulaaa'ika alladheena nataqabbalu 'anhum ahsana maa 'amiloo wa natajaawazu 'an saiyiaatihim fee Ashaab il-jannati wa'da as-sidqi alladhee kaanoo yoo'adoon (46:16)[These are they from whom We accept the best of what they have done and pass over their evil deeds, among the dwellers of the garden; the promise of truth which they were promised.]
Wa Al-Hamdulil-Lahi Rabbi Al-Alameen, wa salla Allahu alaa nabiyyina Muhammadin, wa alihi, al-tayibeen, al-tahireen. Wa as-salamu alaykum, wa rahmatullahi, wa baraktu.
Rabbana La tuzigh Qulubana (3:8) [Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate (3:8)]