In last week’s Friday reflections, I presented the Hadith in which the Messenger (peace be upon him) said there are four great verses of the Quran; Ayat al-Kursi, the Friday sermon verse, the verse that cheers up the believers and one in which the believers delegate their affairs to Allah. Today I want to unpack the last two verses in a bit more detail.
The third verse aims to cheer up believers, Allah says “Say: my servants who have wronged themselves, do not despair of Allah’s kindness, indeed Allah forgives all the sins. He is the Forgiving the Most Kind” (Al-Zumar: 53).
When passions are running high even the most thoughtful can slip and do terrible things, when flames of vengeance alight the gentlest of us will let go of reins of justice and take revenge. An evil atmosphere can throw us into temptations. The heart hardens, becomes stained and resistant. You now become deaf, dumb and blind to the truth. There is no goodness, it’s all darkness. The conscience becomes dead and no longer able to distinguish right from wrong. The sinner with a dead conscience; is there any hope? Any wonder such person will despair? The Quran is a book of guidance, here it comes to the aid of the struggling sinner, hopeless, helpless in the laps of Satan and wretched people. It comes to rescue those wandering aimlessly in the valley of dejection and death. It provides a beacon of light. So, is there any room for forgiveness? This verse keeps hope alive that yes you can be forgiven if you acknowledge your wrongs, regret your wrongs and feel ashamed of them. It builds confidence in Allah’s benevolence.
Some people who were on the verge of accepting Islam came to the Messenger (peace be upon him) and said, “our former lives are tainted with the evil of murder, cheating, adultery and unspeakable crimes how can we be forgiven?” This verse was revealed to reassure them that Allah’s forgiveness is vast and kindness is like the free-flowing oceans. This is Divine munificence and generosity, that’s why the Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “this verse is the most valuable thing for me in the whole world.”
The fourth verse is a solemn reminder about entrusting our affairs and concerns to Allah, Allah says: “Whoever is mindful of Allah, He shall make a way out for them and provide them sustenance from where they could not imagine. Those who put trust in Allah should know He is enough for them. Allah will complete their task. Allah has prepared a precise measure for all things” (At-Talaq: 2-3).
As we struggle through the Pandemic, loss of jobs, mental health issues, loss of social contact, it looks a formidable task. Well, here is the solace, Allah provides solutions in unexpected ways, from unexpected sources and unexpected people! Enemies can be reconciled; a travesty of justice can be righted and stolen goods returned. The secret is to put trust in Allah, delegate the responsibility to Him, that doesn’t mean relinquish your responsibilities.
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