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الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ (The Beautiful Names of Allah)

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#76 [Permalink] Posted on 10th October 2020 08:12


الْعَفُوُّ is translated as The Forgiving and The Effacing. It comes from the word عفو meaning forgiveness.


Linguistically it means to let go / to leave something, so it means to overlook acts of disobedience or to erase them. It is similar to الْغَفُورُ and التَّوَّابُ but الْعَفُوّ is more expressive. الْغَفُورُ is that Being Who conceals sins on the Day of Judgment and though they will be in the book of deeds, others will not be able to see them whereas الْعَفُوّ means to totally erase the sins from the book of deeds. Therefore there are different levels of forgiveness and الْعَفُوّ is considered higher than الْغَفُورُ or التَّوَّابُ.

Another way to understand is it is The One Who removes the consequences of sin meaning punishment is not given. There is considerable amount of overlooking of sins and Allah ta’ala’s general Sifat is to forgive and this Sifat is more expressive of that.

Different ways Sins are Forgiven

Allah ta’ala forgives sins with Tawbah or Istighfaar or through the intercession of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam on the Day of Judgment. Sins are also forgiven due to good deeds.

وَإِنِّي لَغَفَّارٌ لِمَنْ تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا ثُمَّ اهْتَدَىٰ

but the one who repents, becomes a believer, does good deeds and follows the Right Way shall be forgiven [ Surah Taha:82]

So Hidaayah comes through the combination of doing Tawbah, working on one’s Imaan and doing good deeds.

In the Qur’an

It is mentioned 5 times in the Qur’an of which four times it is paired with الْغَفُورُ and it is like intensifying or emphasizing the forgiveness.

وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَفُوًّا غَفُورًا - for Allah is indeed an absolver of sins, much-forgiving. [Surah Nisa’: 99]

It comes with Qadeer in the following verse. Allah forgives even though He is powerful.

إِنْ تُبْدُوا خَيْرًا أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ أَوْ تَعْفُوا عَنْ سُوءٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوًّا قَدِيرًا

If you do good deeds openly or in private or forgive an evil, then surely Allah is Pardoning, Powerful. [Surah Nisa’:149]

Forgiving despite being able to take Revenge

A truly forgiving person is one who has the power to take revenge but still forgives. A person who is in a weak position, not able to take revenge and forgives someone is not the same as one who forgives despite having the power to take revenge. Through the verses regarding forgiveness, Allah ta’ala is inviting us to be forgiving to people because Allah ta’ala Himself is forgiving.

Another word used in the Qur’an for forgiveness is صفح which most Scholars say is a higher level of forgiveness than عفو.

In Surah Baqarah (Verse 109) Allah ta’ala says,

فَاعْفُوا وَاصْفَحُوا - Forgive them and bear with them.

Therefore there are different levels of forgiveness where you forgive but remind the person and you forgive and do not remind or malign the person who wronged you. It is difficult to forgive and be patient however the reward will be greater.

Story – Forgiveness despite having power to punish

Zaynul ‘Aabideen, the grandson of ‘Ali RA has a female servant who broke something and injured his face. She looked at him and said,

وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ - who control their anger. So he controlled his anger.

She then said,

وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ - and forgive other people. So he forgave her.

Thereafter she said,

وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ - for Allah loves such charitable people, [Aali ‘Imraan: 134]

So he freed her. He forgave her even though he had the power to punish her. (This shows how much knowledge of the Qur’an even a slave woman had in those days.)

There are many such episodes in the Seerah where the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam forgave those who hurt him and fought against him i.e. Abu Sufyaan RA and Wahshi RA.

Story – Abu Bakr’s RA Forgiveness

During the episode of the slander of Aishah RA, one among those who spread the rumours was the cousin of Abu Bakr RA, Mistah bin Uthatha RA who was poor and Abu Bakr regularly gave him money. After the verse was revealed regarding Aishah’s RA innocence, hurt and angered by Mistah’s previous allegations, Abu Bakr RA took an oath that he will never spend on Mistah again.

Then Allah Ta’ala revealed:

وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُوْلُوا الْفَضْلِ مِنكُمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَن يُؤْتُوا أُوْلِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلْيَعْفُوا وَلْيَصْفَحُوا أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

And let not those among you who are blessed with graces and wealth swear not to give to their kinsmen, al-Masaakeen [the poor], and those who left their homes for Allah’s Cause. Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Al-Ghafuwr (the Most-Forgiving), Ar-Raheem (the Most Merciful). [Surah Noor, verse 22]

Abu Bakr RA despite his anguish and hurt feelings immediately responded by exclaiming, “By Allah, I would love it that Allah forgives me!” He resumed his spending on Mistah.

This was the mercy and forgiveness the Qur’an teaches, the mercy and ties of kinship that Allah is pleased to see in His servants.

Being Forgiving

Our Deen has a very balanced concept of social and human interactions. We live with families and extended families and everyone at some stage is hurt or wronged. Our Deen teaches us to be forgiving.

خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجَاهِلِينَ

Keep to forgiveness (O Muhammad), and enjoin kindness, and turn away from the ignorant.
[Surah A’araaf:199]

To be forgiving one has to be a person of Sabr and Tahammul.

Du’a for Forgiveness

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

O Allah, you are the Forgiver, You love to forgive, so forgive me.

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#77 [Permalink] Posted on 14th December 2021 10:38


The Kind, the Tenderly Merciful and Consoling


Imam Zajaj RA says: ra'fah and rahmah is the same thing, but according to some there is some difference. Ra'fah is the next level of kindness. If someone is Raheem, it will be said that "he is Raheem" but if his rahmah increases beyond that then he will be referred to as "Rauf".

In the Qur'an

The name "Ar-Rauf" is mentioned ten times in the Qur'an.

إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ

1. "Indeed, your Lord is Kind and Merciful."

إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ

2. "Allah is full of gentleness and mercy to mankind."

وَ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ بِکُمۡ لَرَءُوۡفٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ

3. "And indeed, Allah is to you Kind and Merciful."

4. It is from the gentleness amd mercy of Allah that he does not let any deed go to waste. In Surah Baqarah Allah says:

"And Allah will never leave your faith to waste. Allah is full of gentleness and mercy to mankind."

5. "The Day is approaching when every soul shall find itself confronted with whatever good it has done and whatever evil it has wrought. It will then wish there is a wide space between it and the Day! Allah warns you to beware of Him; He is most tender towards His servants." [3:30]

6. "He it is Who sends down Clear Signs to His servant so as to bring you out from darkness into light. Surely Allah is Most Kind and Most Compassionate to you." [57:9]

7. "Allah relented towards them. Surely to them He is the Most Tender, the Most Merciful." [9:117]

8. "and they carry your loads to many a place which you would be unable to reach without much hardship. Surely your Lord is Intensely Loving, Most Merciful." [16:7]


• One who wants to develop a relationship with this name should narrate the blessings and favours of Ar-Ra'uf and should also remember them in his heart and express his gratitude.

• One should be gentle and kind with his subordinates and affiliates so that he gets a share from this name. He should also make du'a that: O Ra'uf and Raheem take away the hardness of my heart and soften it.

• One should keep making this du'a:

یا رَءُوْفُ اُرْؤُفْ بِي

"O kind! Please deal with me kindly. "

We should always make du'a to Allah ta’ala whenever we face a problem. If someone's parents or boss is kindhearted then his subordinates do not hesitate in asking for anything, similarly our lord Allah ta'ala's name is Ar-Ra'uf therefore all of His creation whether they are sinner or pious do not hesitate in asking anything from Him.

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