Âb-ı Hayat

Don’t Let Them Steal Your Repentance

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None of the sins ever greater than the mercy of Allah.

Clarifying the answers to these two questions within our effort to understand the Beautiful Names of Allah in this very journey, will give us a map with more concrete lines: The first question being “How is Allah (c.c) known? And the second one is, “ Are these names able to explain the particular qualities of Allah in all aspects?”

It is impossible to claim to have understood the names of Allah (c.c) according to His Supremacy and realize the manifestation of the names on one’s self. While we are contemplating on the Names and Verses, it is important to do the consideration without ever forgetting that we are only humans. Allah wills us to find Him with trueness through the universe we live in by establishing a sincere bond with Him which is why Allah declares some of His Names after giving examples from the Verses. It is important to keep this point in mind while studying the Beautiful Names of Allah. So this week, we will try to understand one of the Beautiful Names of Allah “Al-A’fuww (c.c.)”  with this respect.

“Al-A’fuww” is the plural form of the word “Afiyah”. The very first meaning of the word is redundancy, excessive and replicate. Another meaning of the word includes to delete, to remove and to erase. This name of Allah is close in meaning with al-Ghafoor which  is used to describe as the exterminator and eraser of all the sins however Al-A’fuww constitutes the meaning of wiping all the sins by repenting. It is said that forgiving is much more better than covering it up for forgiving erases every negative attitude and behavior. In this way, it is well understood that Allah  also makes His angels forget and erase the sin from the Honourable Recorders’ book as well as their hearts. (The Honourable Recorders’ book is where the angels on your right and left side write down your good and bad deeds to be revealed and weighed on the Day of Judgement)

In the verses 97, 98 and 99 in Surah An-Nisa, the Holy Book Quran addresses the people, at the very moment when their souls were about to be taken when they wronged themselves, angels ask them: “Why did you die in this way? Was not Allah’s earth spacious enough?” The name Al-A’fuww (c.c.) is the beautiful Name used for those who answered as “we were of the weak and not able to find any other solution or way”. In the other usages of the word within different verses, we can see that it is used again as forgiving those people who are in desperation. Followed by other beautiful names which states mercy dominantly, we come to realize the value bestowed upon every human being and this name explains how we should behave when we are confronted unwanted situations and problems in the society.

It is almost impossible to figure out the reason why a person has exhibited an unwanted attitude which may mot seem right for us. This being the case, we should avoid ourselves from creating a negative assumption towards that person in the first place. We should always bear in mind to bring in these people to the community contemplating the name Al-a’fuww as a warrant for those whom Allah has bestowed for the desperate rather than excluding them from the society without slapping on the face the sin one committed.

Another important that should be taken into consideration is; with the name Al-A’fuww the person is forgiven but the responsibility of a person as a subject is not removed. Nonetheless, it is of no coincidence that the name Al-A’fuww is followed by the names er-Rauf, er-Raheem, el-Gafuur (c.c). These names coming one after another is almost as the same as Allah, who is Rauf and Raheem(c.c), addressing to people saying, “I have forgiven thee however you have not been dismissed of servitude. I have forgiven thee out of love,  not out of pity. Therefore, you are to carry on your duties as a servant?.” In that case, the responsibility that falls on us is to continuously ask for forgiveness and mercy and not give up on hope from Allah. Before we are called back by Allah, we should not forget that we have got to wash up ourselves in repentance water by saying “none of the sins is greater than Allah’s mercy” and find shelter in the One who keeps the door of forgiveness open at all times and stand up from where we’ve fallen by remembering we are His subjects.

In order to save us from struggling in the pit of despair and drowning in the thickness of the shades of negligence caused by the repentless sins, let us give ear to Mawlana Jalal-ad-Din Rumi’s this particular warning;

“Children are fond of playing games however they take them home dragging. A child takes off his/her clothes to play games, and the thief steals and takes away the shoes and the clothes. The child is so attentively engaged in the game that s/he totally forgets the hat or the clothes. It is only then he realizes what happened when s/he is about to go home and doesn’t dare to go back home.” And this worldly life is not but diversion and amusement.” Just like the children we are caught up in playing games and we got our hats and clothes taken by another person. The night of the death is approaching, come and abandon the play and ride on the horse of repentance and try to catch the thief. It is such a wondrous horse that with one single leap it can reach out the heavens. Behold, do not let the thief, who got your clothes and hat, steal your horse. ”

Supplication;

Thou are Munteqeem who takes revenge from the ones who does wrong to their own selves, you are Al-A’fuww at the same time who is abundantly forgiving, do grant us your forgiveness.

“Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu anni” O Allah, you are forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me.

Ameen.

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