What is the significance of the attribute of Allah, The Most Forgiving?
The significance of this particular attribute found in the name Al Ghafir, as well as the name Al Ghaffar, and the name Al Ghafur is that Allah’s quality and names are manifested through human sin. Some people ask why did Allah create Satan when He knew that he was going to cause Adam to eat from the tree? The point is that though the act of Satan was evil, and Adam’s acceptance of Satan’s suggestions was wrong, and his eating from the tree, the forbidden tree, was sin, at the same time after doing that act, Adam turned back to Allah and sought repentance. By turning back to Allah and seeking repentance, Adam did a great act of worship, seeking repentance from sin, because it is the nature of human beings to sin. As Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) has said:
“All of Adam’s descendants constantly make error...”
When we look at the names of Allah, AlGhafir, Al Ghaffar and Al Ghafur, they all relate to forgiveness. All of them address the quality of Allah to forgive sins of His creatures when they turn to Him in repentance, or they do acts, which lead him, through his pleasure, to forgive them other sins. We know, about a woman from the Israelites who was a prostitute; she came to a well, she saw a dog dying of thirst, unable to get into the well to get water. So she tied her scarf to her shoe, climbed partly into the well, put her shoe into the water, brought it out and fed the dog. On feeding the dog, Allah, pleased with this merciful act on her part, forgave her of her sins. That is Al Ghaffar, Al Ghafur and Al Ghafir. So we are talking about this issue of sin, human beings committing sin and Allah forgiving them. And we spoke about why Allah created Satan, knowing that he would tempt Adam and lead Adam into sin. What we pointed out here was that, when Adam sinned, he then turned back to Allah and sought forgiveness, and for that Allah forgave him of his sin. As the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said:
“One who repents from sin is like one without sin.”
So, this act of repentance is a major act of worship. And this was the good, the great good that would come out of Satan’s act of tempting Adam. So Allah created Satan, knowing what he was going to do, because of this greater good that would come from that act. And also, we have a hadeeth from the Prophet (ﷺ), narrated by Abu Ayyub and Abu Huraira, they said that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) has said:
“If you did not commit sins, Allah will sweep you out of existence, and replace you with another people who would commit sins, ask Allah for forgiveness, and He would forgive them.”
If we did not commit sins, Allah will remove us from existence, and replace us with people who would sin, ask Allah’s forgiveness, and He would forgive them. So in the sin that a human being commits, when he turns back to Allah, seeks Allah’s forgiveness, Allah’s attribute of being the Oft-Forgiving is being manifested. So this is the great good that comes from that evil root. And this is why Allah created us human beings, knowing full well that we would disobey Allah and that we would commit sins.
In another narration from Anas ibn Malik; he related that the Prophet (ﷺ) has said:
“Allah is more delighted with the repentance of His servants than one who suddenly finds his camels lay with supplies after losing it in a barren land.”
As a person would be so much in joy and happiness after losing their camel at the point of death, dying of starvation, and all of a sudden, the camel reappears. How happy he would be! The Prophet (ﷺ) said Allah is happier with His servant who turns to Him in repentance. So t.his is the great value of repentance with regards to Allah .
 [At-Tirmidhi (2499).Sheikh Albani said hasan in Saheeh a’Tirmidhi (2499)]
 [Ibn Maaja (4250)]
 [Muslim (2749).]
 [Muslim (2747).]< Back to Questions