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Islamic Creed- Names of Allah- Names of Allah in Brief Lesson (02-30): Al-Ghafoor (The Ever-Forgiving)
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful  

 Among the Beautiful Names of Allah is Al-Ghafoor:

 We are discussing the manifestations of the Name Al-Ghafoor in Ramadan, but before that let us consider the meaning of this Name. Al-Ghafoor is derived from the Arabic verb "Ghafara" (forgive) in the sense of covering something. Accordingly, the word "Ghafr" (cover [noun]) means the seal, whereas the word "Al-Ghafoor" describes the One Who forgives sins abundantly (i.e. Allah). Man is created with the potential of sinning, and Allah is the One Who forgives these sins. Allah orders His servants to ask for His Forgiveness, so that He will forgive them. Hence, Allah is Al-Ghafoor in terms of covering His creations' sins, forgiving them and saving them from His Torment. 

 Man sometimes forgives another man, because he is too weak to claim his right. Allah, on the other hand, is not like that, for the Name Al-Ghafoor means that Allah is Omnipotent to such an extent that when He decrees something, He just says "be", and it will be, and with such Ultimate Omnipotence comes His Forgiveness. 

 Al-Ghafoor is The One (i.e. Allah) Who is The Ultimate Omnipotent, and when He forgives, He forgives out of Favor and Ihsan (Benevolence). Allah the Almighty says: 

﴾ "If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, verily You, only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise ."﴿

 [Al-Ma'idah', 118] 

 Here, Jesus PBUH did not say "If you forgive them then you are The Ever-Forgiving", but rather he said as Allah the Almighty narrates: 

﴾ Only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise ."﴿ 

 [Al-Ma'idah', 118] 

 He said so, because if Allah forgave them, no one in the universe dares to ask why He did that. 

 ﴾ He cannot be questioned as to what He does, while they will be questioned.﴿ 

 [Al-Anbiya', 23]

The Name of Allah Al-Ghafoor is mentioned in the Noble Quran:

 Al-Ghafoor is mentioned in the Noble Quran in close to 90 Ayat. Allah the Almighty says: 

﴾ Allah will not call you to account for that which is unintentional in your oaths, but He will call you to account for that which your hearts have earned. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Forbearing.﴿

 [Al-Baqarah, 225] 

 In another Ayah, Allah the Almighty says: 

﴾ Except for those who (having fled away and then) came back (as Muslims) with repentance before they fall into your power; in that case, know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.﴿ 

 [Al-Ma'idah', 34] 

 If they repent, and you have the upper hand over them following their repentance, then you do not have any Sultan (you cannot punish them) upon them. The following indication is derived from the previous Ayah, "The rulings should not be applied in retroactive effect." 

﴾ Know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.﴿ 

 [Al-Ma'idah', 34] 

 Al-Ghafoor accompanies the Name Ar-Raheem (The Most Merciful) and the Name Al-Haleem (The Forbearing). Hence, out of Allah's Forbearing, He forgives you repeatedly, and out of Allah's Mercy, He forgives you in general. 

﴾When those who believe in Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) come to you, say: "Salamun 'Alaikum" (peace be on you); your Lord has written Mercy for Himself, so that, if any of you does evil in ignorance, and thereafter repents and does righteous good deeds (by obeying Allah), then surely, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.﴿ 

 [Al-An'am, 54]

   Pay attention to the following Ayah: 

﴾ Declare (O Muhammad PBUH) unto My slaves, that truly, I am the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful* And that My Torment is indeed the most painful torment.﴿ 

 [Al-Hijr, 49-50] 

 After Allah mentions His Great Mercy, Forgiveness and Forbearance, He tells us that His Torment is painful, which means that Allah will forgive His servant if the latter turns to Him with repentance, asks for His Forgiveness and fixes his errors. 

﴾ But those who committed evil deeds and then repented afterwards and believed, verily, your Lord after (all) that is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.﴿

 [Al-A'raf, 153]

When is the believer entitled to be included in that Name?

 The believer is entitled to Allah's Forgiveness, when he asks for Allah's Forgiveness continually, covers the sins he witnesses, forgives others' errors, accepts the excuse of his brother in Islam, treats him with Ihsan, meets his errors with forgiveness. The one who attains such conducts will be like a tree with flourishing shade, and though people might throw rocks at it, it gives them back fruits. This is the example of the believer. 

 Ramadan is the month of forgiveness:

 In Ramadan, the month of forgiveness, the Name Al-Ghafoor is manifested in Its most sublimed and exalted meanings, so no one should leave Ramadan without being forgiven by Allah. 

(Anas bin Maalik may Allaah be pleased with him who said, I saw the Prophet (Peace be upon him) climb on the steps of the mimbar, then say, "Ameen!" then climb the second step and say, "Ameen!" Then climb the third step and say, "Ameen!" then mount and sit down, so his companions said, On who do you send Ameen? He said: "Jibraeel came to me said, May his nose be rubbed in dust, who remembers you and does not send peace on you, so I said Ameen, so he said, May his nose be rubbed in dust, who attains parents/father and does not enter the Paradise, so I said Ameen, so he said, may his nose be rubbed in dust, who attains Ramadan and is not forgiven by it.)

 [Al-Bazzar in his Musnad]

(Abu Huraira reported: Verily the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: The five (daily) prayers and from one Friday prayer to the (next) Friday prayer, and from Ramadhan to Ramadhan are expiations for the (sins) committed in between (their intervals) provided one shuns the major sins.)


[Ibn Habban in his Sahih and Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak] 

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