Pearl of Wisdom
when he was asked about sincere repentance, said, '[It is ] when the inner self becomes identical to the outer behavior, and even better than it.?
Imam Ali ibn Muhammad al-Hadi [as]
Bihar al-Anwar, v. 6, p. 22, no. 20
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"... surely Allah forgives the faults all of them; surely He is the Forgiving, the Merciful" (Quran, 39:53).
"Al-Ghafoor" is derived from the root word ghafr, veiling or covering.
He is al-Ghafoor because He quite often veils the sins and forgives those who commit them. He does not dispute about them with His servants. Maghfira means the covering and the forgiving of sins. Allah's forgiveness means His protection of a servant of His against His torment. Its verb means: to openly overlook his sins. Al-Ghafoor is the Master whose power is perfect; He may unconditionally forgive due to the favors He bestows upon His servants, and to His benevolence.
The Holy Quran has referred quite often to forgiveness, and Allah has diversified it so that the hearts of those who disobey Him may not lose hope of His mercy, and so that no criminal will despond of the mercy of Allah. He forgives the sins and accepts the repentance. In Surat Ghfir, we recite this verse: "The One Who forgives the faults and who accepts repentance, who is Severe in punishing, the Lord of bounty" (Quran, 40:3). Other such references are as follows:
... So forgive us and have mercy on us; You are the best of those who forgive. (7:155) most surely I am the most Forgiving to one who repents and believes and does good deeds then continues to follow the right guidance. (20:82) He has created the heavens and the earth with the truth; He makes the night cover the day and the day overtake the night, and He has made the sun and the moon subservient (to His will): each runs to an assigned term; surely He is the Mighty, the oft-Forgiving. (39:5)
As regarding the verse saying, "Inform My servants that I am the Forgiving, the Merciful" (Quran, 15:49), and some companions of the Prophet were once indulged in laughter as the Messenger of Allah passed by.
He greeted them then said to them, "Do you laugh while the fire is before you?" They regretted and felt extremely depressed. He soon went back to them and said, "Gabriel has just come to me and said that Allah asked why I caused some of His servants to lose hope in His mercy," then he repeated 39:5 quoted above.
The lot of one who wishes to personify the Attribute "al-Ghafoor" is that he constantly seeks His forgiveness; he forgives His servants time and over again. This is the key to obtaining the forgiveness of Allah as referred to in 24:22: "Do not let those among you who possess grace and abundance swear against giving to the near of kin and the poor and those who have fled in Allah's way; they should pardon and overlook. Do not you love that Allah would forgive you? Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."