At-Tawwab – ‘The Superbly Relenting”

“At-Tawwab” is the name of Allah that we will talk about today.  This name renews hope in our life.  Basically, it means that if a sinner returns to Allah in repentance Allah will accept him happily and He will never reject his slave’s apology.  Allah says what can be translated as, “And He is (The One) Who accepts repentance for His bondmen” (TMQ: 42:25(“Do they not know that Allah He, Ever He, accepts repentance from His bondmen” (TMQ, 9:104). 

Allah always accepts apologies and never rejects them, even if humans do.  People fear rejection of their apology by others, so some tend to avoid that, but with Allah they need not have this fear because ‘The Superbly Relenting’ always accepts your return to Him (SWT)[3].

Do you think your sins are major and unforgivable?  Even though, your true apology will still be accepted.  When Allah says that He accepts repentance from His slaves, He does not address one particular group.  Rather He addresses all sinners, even if they have committed sins such as, adultery, disobedience to parents, bribery, betrayal, drinking alcohol, marital abuse, gossiping, etc.  Whatever your sin is, He will happily accept your return to Him.

On the Day of Judgment your bad deeds will be listed openly and you will be in a shameful situation that could be avoided by going back to Him (SWT) in this world.

What are you waiting for to reconcile with Allah?  Return to Him.  In fact Allah is the one telling you to return to Him.  He (SWT) Himself is calling us to go to Him although He has no need for us, and we are the ones in need of Him.  There is a place in hell called saqar; it is prepared for those who do not pray and do not help the poor.

Spare yourself from facing a great torture by Allah ‘The Superbly Relenting’. 

Furthermore, those who are aware of their sins usually repent and return to Allah more easily than those who are unaware of their sins.  Those who are aware of their bad deeds tend to get frustrated by their wrongdoings and hence repent, but those who are unaware of their mistakes cannot repent, for they do not know!  This is a critical position that many might find themselves in.  Everyone should think of what they have done to improve the world.  Try to recall the sins you have committed and repent.  Save yourselves from a terrible hereafter by recalling your sins or mistakes and repenting for them.  Return to Allah; He has given you this chance to return for He is ‘the Superbly Relenting’.

The Prophet (SAWS)[4], whose sins are already forgiven, used to ask for Allah’s forgiveness and repent a hundred times a day.  What about you? Allah named himself ‘the Superbly Relenting’ because He likes you to return to him.  He likes you to repent and go back to Him.  Allah (SWT) misses us when we are away and He will accept our repentance at any time.  Humans on the other hand grow tired of your mistakes and may reject your apologies.  Notice how mothers are so caring for their children, forgiving them when they do wrong and apologize; Allah is even more caring than a mother. Praising Allah and being thankful makes you increase your strong points.  Repentance, however, makes you work on your weak points.

Allah (SWT) always wants us to return to him and He is even happier than you would be by your return. Allah’s happiness is not like that of mankind because there is nothing like Him. Moreover, the happiness of one who gives is more than that of one who takes. Allah rejoices at our repentance more than we do. Besides, Allah rejoices at the repentance of His slave as he feels submissiveness and humbleness towards Allah, which represent the best way of worshiping.  I am sure that each of us knows his sins; so, let us repent to Allah now.  Note also that repentance raises your rank and brings you closer to Allah.

When Allah banished Satan from jannah (Paradise), he (Satan) swore by Allah’s might and majesty to misguide mankind as long as they lived.  Allah then swore by His Might and Majesty to forgive us, mankind, as long as we ask for His forgiveness.  Allah forgives us because He chose us to be His successors on earth and to be reformers.  That is why He (TWT)[5] says what can be translated as, “And (remember) as your Lord said to the Angels, “Surely I am making in the earth a successor.”  …” (TMQ, 2:30).  Imagine what might happen if Allah does not accept our repentance?  We will commit the same sins again and again and consequently mischief will be widespread on earth.  The purpose of repentance is to introduce and maintain reform in our societies.

Repentance gives us hope, and helps us reduce our weaknesses.  It also helps us to get to know Allah, because as we repent to Allah, we know that He is The Ever-Magnificent, The Ever-Merciful, The Avenger and The Ever-Forgiving.  Allah could have preserved us against committing sins, but He wants to polish us.  If we commit no sins, we will feel arrogance and conceitedness just like Satan.  Ibnul-Qayem relates that Adam cried when he descended from jannah because he had eaten from the tree.  As a result, Allah told him that if He preserved him and his offspring of sins, whom would He shower with His mercy, forgiveness and patience?  Before committing his sin, Adam used to live in the jannah like a king; however, after eating from the tree, Adam became a mere slave.  Allah prefers a sin that makes a slave submit to Him than a fair deed that makes him boast.  Allah prefers the moaning of a repenting sinner to the glorification of a boaster.

Allah wanted Adam to go down to earth to reform and spread devoutness.  Allah’s name, The Superbly Relenting is related to His name The Ever-Merciful.  Allah loves to reckon us with His mercy instead of His justice. If He reckons us with His justice, He will let us do whatever we want in this life then enter hellfire in the hereafter.  With His mercy, He will guide us to repentance even by treating us harshly.  Sometimes He guides us by a small sign, sometimes by leniency and at other times by a trial[6] if we do not repent to him quickly.  Hence, either we hurry to Allah, or He will get us to hurry to Him.

Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as“…thereafter He relented towards them that they might repent…” (TMQ, 9:118).  This means that Allah’s forgiveness precedes the repentance of His slaves.  However there is another ayah[7] that can be translated as, “Except (the ones) who repent and act righteously and ascertain the evidence; then, to those I relent, and I am The Superbly Relenting, The Ever-Merciful.” (TMQ, 2:160).  In this ayah, Allah’s forgiveness follows His acceptance of the repentance of His slaves.  Allah first guides us to repentance, and when we repent, He accepts it.

There are four conditions for repentance to be accepted.  Three are between us and Allah while the fourth is between us and others:

1-     To regret our sins with true remorse (shedding tears, performing umrah[8] or asking Allah’s forgiveness…)

2-     To stop committing the sin

3-     To be determined not to return to this sin again.  At the time of Musa (AS) (Moses), the rain stopped for a long time.  When Musa and the Israelites performed the prayers for rain, Allah told him that the rain would not fall unless a sinful person among them, who had committed sins for 40 years, left them.  The man decided to repent to Allah, because if he left, his wrongdoing would be revealed, and if he stayed, they would all perish of thirst.  When the sky rained, Musa (AS) asked Allah how it rained although no one had left.  Allah told him that this was because He rejoiced at the repentance of this person.  When Musa (AS) wanted to know who he was, Allah told him that He had covered him as a sinful person, so He would not expose him after his repentance.

4-     If you owe any person a right because of a sin you should give it back to them.

Allah forgives us every time we commit a sinful deed, as long as we repent to him.  If we do the same sin again and again to such an extent that we feel ashamed to repent, we must do good deeds in return.  Allah says what can be translated as, “… Surely the fair deeds will put away the odious deeds…”(TMQ, 11:114).


[4] Salla Allah alayhe Wa Salam [All Prayers and Blessings of Allah be upon him]

[5] Tabaraka Wa Ta`ala [Blessed and Exalted be He].

[6] A tremendous trial by Allah, in which the faith of a true believer is being tested.

[7] A verse in the Qur’an

[8] Voluntary short pilgrimage that can be performed at any time of the year

excerpt:  In Thy Name  by Amr Khaled

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About theCall

“Invite to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious..”
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