The Impact of the Attribute, the Oft-Forgiving

What impact should the attribute of Allah, the Oft-forgiving, have on our lives?

The Prophet (ﷺ) told us that with regards to the quality of Allah being the Oft-Forgiving, we should also reflect that quality in our dealings with others. One of the impacts of this attribute onto believers is that it should cause the believer to strive, to reflect this quality, and to radiate this quality to the environment in which he or she lives. That they should show forgiveness to those around them, as they seek forgiveness from Allah. They want Allah to be forgiving, Oft-Forgiving, then they also have to strive to do likewise. So Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) has said, in a hadeeth narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar (رضى الله عنهما):

“The Muslim is the brother of every other Muslim. He does not oppress him or deceive him. Whoever serves his brother’s need, Allah looks after his needs. And whoever removes a trial from a Muslim, Allah will remove one of the trials on the Day of Resurrection from him. And whoever covers a Muslim’s fault, Allah will cover his on the Day of Judgment.”[1]

Covering a Muslim’s fault is a part of being forgiving. We should not expose people’s faults, to bring them down in the eyes of others, the eyes of the society or the family or whatever. We should cover them as we would like our faults to be covered by Allah.

However, there are circumstances when one has to be open, one has to tell it like it is. In the case of marriage, for example, somebody comes and wants to marry your friend. A man says to you: “This man has proposed to my daughter, what do you know of him? Is he a good person? Would you recommend him?” Now you cannot work with the principle of covering your brother’s fault, not allowed here. No, you could not say: “Alhamdulillah, he is a good Muslim.” You know things about him because of which you will not marry your own daughter to him. For you not to inform that person who sought information from you, is wrong. You are deceiving your brother. Though you are covering the fault of this man, you have deceived your brother and harmed your sister. So, there is greater evil coming from your covering his fault at that point. Also, if it is in the court of law, for example, you are called for evidence, to give evidence. You have to give the evidence, even if it means your good friend or whatever would have to go to jail. You cannot cover his fault in these circumstances, which has to do with people’s right. In some circumstances, you must tell what you know. But other than that, if your telling is only just to bring that person down in people’s eyes, just to backbite and to slander the person, then of course that is evil. You should not do it. Cover your brother’s fault, and yours will be covered on the Day of Judgment.

Reference:

[1] [Al Bukhari (2310), Muslim (2580)]

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