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  2. The Forty Sayings- by An Nawawi
  3. Hadeeth 42 : The Expanse of the Forgiveness of Allaah The Most High

Hadeeth 42 : The Expanse of the Forgiveness of Allaah The Most High

Auther : Abu Zakaria An-Nawawi
32555 2008/02/07 2024/05/26

on the authority of anas (radiallaahu anhu) who said : i heard the messenger of allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) say :

allaah the almighty has said : o son of aadam, as long as you invoke me and ask of me, i shall forgive you for what you have done, and i shall not mind. o son of aadam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and you then asked forgiveness from me, i would forgive you. o son of aadam, were you to come to me with sins nearly as great as the earth, and were you then to face me, ascribing no partner to me, i would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it [too].

it was related by at-tirmidhee, who said that it was a hasan hadeeth.

explanation of hadeeth number 42

in this hadeeth are immense good tidings, clemency and great generosity, and what cannot be enumerated of the types of grace and beneficence, compassion and mercy and what demands gratitude. and similar to it is his (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) statement: "allaah is more joyous by the repentance of his slave, than the joy of one of you when he finds his lost camel [in the desert]".

from abu ayyoob (radiallaahu anhu), when he was on his death-bed, that he said:

"until now i have hidden from you something that i heard from the messenger of allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). i heard him say: 'if you did not commit sins then allaah would create a new creation who would then commit sins [and repent], so he would forgive them'".

and there are many other narrations which are in agreement with the meaning of this hadeeth.

as for his, 'azza wa jall, statement: "o son of aadam, as long as you invoke me and ask of me" then this is in agreement with his statement: "i [treat my slave] in accordance to what he supposes of me, so let him deem of me whatever he wishes". and it has been narrated that when a slave commits a sin and then feels remorse, and says "o my lord! i have committed a sin, so forgive me, for surely none can forgive sins except you!"; so allaah ta'aalaa says "my slave knows that he has a lord, who forgives sins and [also] punishes for them. so i testify to you that i have forgiven him". then [the slave] does the same a second time, and a third, and so allaah 'azza wa jall replies the same way each time. then after that he says: "do as you please, for i have forgiven you!", meaning when he commits a sin and then repents for it.

know, that for the acceptance of repentance there are three conditions:

  1. cessation from the sin,
  2. remorse for what has preceeded,
  3. and firm resolve not to return to performing the sin.

and if the sin involved taking the right of another person, then he must hasten to return his right and absolve himself from this transgression. and if the sin was between him and allaah ta'aalaa, and a kaffaarah (expiation) is required for this sin, then it is also necessary that he fulfills this kaffaarah, and thus this becomes the fourth condition [for the acceptance of repentance]. and so, even if a person were to commit a sin many times in a single day, and then repent each time with its conditions, allaah ta'aalaa would still forgive him.

and his, subhaanahu, statement: "for what you have done" implies that allaah will forgive despite the repetition of the sin.

and his, subhaanahu, statement: "o son of aadam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and you then asked forgiveness from me, i would forgive you" means that if these sins had a physical form then they would fill the space between the sky and the earth - and this is the limit of multitude. however, even then his generosity, clemency, and forgiveness are still more and greater than that, and there can not even be the thought of comparison between them. so the sins of the creation are wiped away by his clemency and forgiveness.

and his, subhaanahu, statement: "and were you then to face me" means that if the slave were to die upon eemaan, without associating any partners with allaah. and there can be no solace or contentment for the believer until he has faced his lord. and allaah ta'aalaa has said:

"verily allaah does not forgive that partners be asscociated with him [in worship], but he forgives [all sins] other than that for whomsoever he pleases" [soorah an-nisaa', 48].

and abu hurayrah (radiallaahu anhu) said that the messenger of allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

"having good supposition of allaah is from the best worship of allaah".

and allaah knows best.

summary :

  • that the door of repentance is ever open to a person
  • that allaah forgives no matter how much we sin, as long as we truly repent
  • that asscociating partners with allaah (shirk) is a sin which he does not forgive
  • that if we seek to live a life upholding tawheed, then we have great hope that he will turn to us in mercy
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