The key to knowing God begins with knowing oneself.
“Keep in mind, the key to know one’s self begins with knowing one’s own self first. How would you achieve knowing the other when you do not know about your own self?”
Imam Ghazali expresses the science of knowing Allah as “marifatullah” in his work “Alchemy of Happiness” as; “Keep in mind, (that) the key to know one’s self begins with knowing one’s own self first. How would you achieve knowing the other when you do not know about your own self. ( Shortly, there is no one closer to you than yourself ). In short, there is no one close but you. If you do not know thy self, how could you recognize and understand the others?”
This notion of knowing thyself before knowing Allah (c.c.) is presented with simple sentences in order to draw our attention at the very beginning chapter of the book and the subject of “knowing thyself” appeared as the main theme of the masterpiece. Thus, the mechanism we call as “the brain” is able to understand the unknown by taking reference of the known. Once again, this formulation of coherence is declared in the very same work as a prevailing key in knowing Allah. This is also one of the meanings pointed in the Hadith, “He who knows himself knows Allah”.
Starting first by not knowing one’s self, it is again the merciful-beautiful names of Allah (c.c.) come to help to rescue when one thickens the curtain of negligence during the daily routines without ever thinking the cause of existence, where s/he comes from and goes to.
Starting first by not knowing one’s self, it is again the beautiful names of Allah (c.c.) which are full of mercy that comes to our rescue when a person continuously thickens the curtain of negligence whilst daily routines without ever thinking his/her cause of existence, where s/he comes from and goes to.
Allah (c.c.) said; Say, ˹O Prophet, that Allah says,˺ “O My servants who have exceeded the limits against their souls! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all sins. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Az-zumer, 39/53)
This week we will take a close look at the beautiful names of Allah; Al Ghafur and Al Ghaffar. El-Gafur and El-Gaffar through our Graceful Holy Book Quran’s merciful verses which are blessing for us, the believers.
The names “Gafir, Gaffar and Gafur” stems from the roots, ga- fa- ra. The origin of the word has the meaning of “covering, concealing” which shares the same meaning as in “mighfer ( helmet)” that is used to cover the head from the strikes in a war.
The beautiful name Al Ghafiir (c.c.) unites people to become one as a society and live together by covering up the deeds which are unwanted to be seen and known by others or the all kinds of malicious thoughts that lie within everyone’s inner world.
The name Al Ghafur (c.c.) is the name of Allah meaning who does not question His subjects due to committing sin and who forgives all sorts of sins.
The name Al Ghaffar el-Gaffar (c.c.) means the source, the beginning of forgiveness, the ultimate doer of the act of forgiving; the One who pardons all the sins as if they were not committed at all and the One who covers all the hideousness of the sin with the fairness of the good deeds. It means the One who does not punish you right away when you do wrong but forgives you like a compassionate mother, even at the very moment you say to yourself “I really deserve the punishment”.
You see, this deed of a compassionate mother presents the reflection of the name Al Ghafiir who covers up the mistakes and disgraceful thoughts and actions even if she notices them, talk to the child to make him/her understand the wrongdoings and lead the child to the right path, and thus, thanks to this give a chance to the child to grow mature even to regret it and repent for it. It is unquestionable that the compassion of Allah (c.c.) is way greater than that of a mother to her child. Transforming this mercy into “maghfira” and a “mighfer” (helmet) that becomes a protection shield is only possible with the repentance of a person.
Allah is the One who has bestowed water and earth for a person’s physical purification and again Allah is the One who washes away all the hardship and makes way for relief from distress and it is again Allah who has made this repentance as the key to the door for a spiritual cleaning .
From the word “istighfar” (asking for forgiveness / the prayer for forgiveness) which acts as the key that will open the door for forgiveness to uttering the word “astaghfirullah” which declares the apology at any given time expressing remorse without any particular preparation and to the “Seyyidul istighfar” prayer which is granted to us by our beloved Prophet (PBUH), the door to forgiveness is open for us in various forms.
Thou are Ghafur, the forgiver of all the sins and Settar the covering up the sins. O Allah (c.c.) thou are Ghaffar who forgives us at all times, we have come to thee with a gleam of hope that you accept our repentance.
“If somebody recites it during the day with firm faith in it and dies on the same day before the evening, he will be among the people of Paradise and if somebody recites it at night with firm faith in it and dies before the morning he will be among the people of Paradise” said our beloved Prophet.
Allahumme anta Rabii. “O Allah you are my Lord, none has the right to be worshipped except You”
Laa illa ha’illaa anta khalalaqtanii. “You created me and I am your Servant, and I abide to Your covenant”
Wa ana abduke wa anana alaa ahdika wawa’dika mastatha’tu. “And promise (to honor it) as best I can”
Uudzu bika min syarri maa shana’tu. “I take refuge in You from the evil of which I committed”
Abuu ‘ulaka bini’matika alayya wa abuu ‘ubizdanbii. “I acknowledge Your favor upon me and I acknowledge my sin”
Faghfirlii fa innahu ala yaghfirudzunnu ba illa anta. “So forgive me, for verily none can forgive sins except you”