Three causes to attain Allah’s forgiveness -Ibn Rajab

In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful

Three causes to attain Allah’s forgiveness

Explained by al-Haafidh ibn Rajab al-Hanbali may Allah have mercy on him

The great Imaam who died 795 AH mentions this point of benefit in his famous explanation of Imaam Nawawi’s 40 hadith entitled, “Jaami’ Uloom wal Hikam”. This particular benefit can be found in his explanation of the 42nd hadith narrated by Anas ibn Maalik.

On the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say,“Allah the Almighty has said:

‘O Son of Adam, as long as you invoke Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind.
O Son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and you then asked forgiveness from Me, I would forgive you.
O Son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the Earth, and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it [too].’ ”
It was related by at-Tirmidhi, who said that it was a hasan hadeeth.

This hadith includes three causes to attain forgiveness:

The first of them is: Supplication with hope

Indeed supplication has been commanded by Allah and He has promised that it will be answered. Allah the most High said,

“And your Lord said: ‘Invoke Me, (ask Me for anything) I will respond to your (invocation).’” (surah Ghaafir: 60)

And collected in the “Sunan Arba’ah” (Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nisaai, Ibn Maajah) the hadith of Numaan ibn Basheer where the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“Verily supplication is worship” Then he recited the ayah mentioned above.

Supplication is a reason to necessitate acceptance by completing its conditions; from its greatest condition is to have an attentive heart and hoping for acceptance. Just as what Tirmidhi collected from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah,

“Call upon Allah while being certain of being answered, and Allah does not respond to a supplication from the heart of one heedless and occupied by play.”

This prevents the slave to say in his supplications, “O Allah! forgive me if You wish; O Allah bestow mercy on me if You wish.’ But beg from Allah with certitude for no one has the power to compel Allah.” (as mentioned in the hadith collected by Bukhari and Muslim narrated Abu Hurayrah)

The second reason to attain forgiveness is: to seek and ask Allah for forgiveness.

Al-Istighfaar is to seek forgiveness. Al-Maghfirah is to ask to be shielded from evil sins along with hiding them.

The most virtuous type of istighfaar is for the slave to begin by praising His Lord, then acknowledging the sin, then asking Allah to forgive him. Just as what was reported by Shaddaad bin Aws that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

The best supplication for seeking forgiveness (Syed-ul- Istighfar) is to say:

اللهم أنت ربي، لا إله إلا أنت ، خلقتني وأنا عبدك، وأنا على عهدك ووعدك ما استطعت أعوذ بك من شر ما صنعت أبوء لك بنعمتك علي، وأبوء بذنبي، فاغفر لي فإنه لا يغفر الذنوب إلا أنت

(O Allah! You are my Rubb. There is no true god except You. You have created me, and I am Your slave, and I hold to Your Covenant as far as I can. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge the favours that You have bestowed upon me, and I confess my sins. Pardon me, for none but You has the power to pardon). (Bukhari)

The third reason to attain forgiveness is: Tawheed/maintaining the oneness of Allah

This is the greatest reason so whoever is deprived from this is deprived from forgiveness. And whoever comes with it has brought the greatest reason for forgiveness.

However, this is by the will of Allah. If Allah wills then He will forgive him and if not then he will be punished for the sins that were committed. His time in the fire will not be forever (only until his sins are burned off) and he’ll be taken from the fire and placed into paradise.

Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam

الفقير الى الله

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