Continuing the Quranic Reflections series, I wanted to do something a little bit different for this month. This month, we are going to cover a few verses from the Quran, break them down more deeply, and reflect upon each Aya rather than a general summary of all. The reason why I chose to do this is due to the importance and impact of Ayat 53:59 from Surat Al-Zumar. In these verses, Allah ﷻ is speaking about repentance. Specifically, Allah ﷻ is telling his servants how to turn back and repent to Him as well as warning us to do so before it is too late. By the will of Allah ﷻ, we will cover a couple of verses from the last few pages of this Surah each month as a series. We will cover verses 53-54 for the month of August.
“Tell them, (O Prophet): “My servants70 who have committed excesses against themselves, do not despair of Allah’s Mercy. Surely Allah forgives all sins. He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
This is talking about people who maybe had a good life, things were going well, and now they lost that luxury. Things are not going so well anymore. Maybe you lost your job, struggling with your marriage, struggling financially to pay the bills, etc. What is the first thing that Allah ﷻ described? This person turns to Allah ﷻ and makes dua. When this person makes dua, do they want things to change immediately? Or, whenever Allah ﷻ decides? This person wants things to change immediately. This person makes dua after dua and things did not end up working out the way he wanted.
The word “قَنَطَ” in Arabic means to lose hope, to only look at the negatives, and to not see the bright side of anything. Allah ﷻ is talking about something spiritual. This applies to everyone, Allah ﷻ says my “slaves.” We made mistakes, we did things that we should not have done. Then, we begin thinking that Allah ﷻ is punishing us. Allah ﷻ is not going to give me any more mercy because I sin, I have done some bad things. Even in Ramadan I messed up. It wasn’t even Satan, I cannot even blame Satan now that he is locked up. It’s all on me. He is not going to show me mercy. Allah ﷻ says “don’t you dare to lose hope in my mercy.”
“Surely Allah forgives all sins.” He covers the sins all together “جَمِيۡعا.”
Then at the end of this verse, Allah ﷻ says, “He is the exceedingly Forgiving, Most Merciful.” He is exceedingly forgiving, not always forgiving. “لۡغَفُوۡر”means that it is extreme, but not permanent. “الرَّحِيۡم”is a characteristic, so it is permanent. If Allah ﷻ says that He is always forgiving, there is a problem. Then people will do whatever haram they want and always refer back to this aya in which Allah ﷻ says that he is always forgiving. But He is always merciful. His mercy is that He leaves the doors to forgiveness open.
“Turn to your Lord and surrender yourselves to Him before the chastisement over-takes you; for then you will receive no help.”
Now that you have heard you should never lose hope, how should you go about getting that hope in Allah’s ﷻ mercy back? “Turn back to Allahﷻ spiritually.” It’s like you have not been talking to Allah ﷻ. You have been ignoring him. He wasn’t in your company. Could you imagine that you are sitting next to someone for hours without talking to them and you know them. How awkward would that be? Every time we are in a gathering, who is the third? Allah ﷻ. Anyone who is being ignored would end up leaving the gathering.
Allah ﷻ says now to turn yourself back to Him and actually show some respect. Completely give yourself up to Him before punishment comes your way, then you are not going to be helped.
By Ahmad Salah