Allah’s Beautiful Name, Al-`Afuww

What it means; how it impacts my life, my children’s life…

Al-`Afuww means The Pardoner. Allah not only forgives your sins if you sincerely repent and seek forgiveness, but He erases even the trace of these sins from your records. Allah pardons in such a way that on the Day of Judgment, you will not even be reminded of these sins. Allah spares you the pain of feeling remorse, regret, and humiliation over these sins on this tumultuous day.

He is Al-`Afuww, The Pardoner.       

Read the Holy Qur’an with a yearning to know more about Allah through learning His Names and Attributes. You will find His Name, Al-`Afuww, mentioned in the Holy Qur’an five times, four of which is coupled with Al-Ghafoor, The Forgiving. And in one verse, the Name, Al-Afuww, is mentioned with the Name, Al-Qadeer, The Capable, The Powerful.

When Aisha, the wife of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), asked the Prophet which supplication is most recommended to say during the month of Ramadan and particularly on the Night of Power (Laylat ul-Qadr), he replied, “O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.”

Another supplication which the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to say frequently was, “O Allah, I ask You for pardon and well-being in this life and the next. O Allah, I ask You for pardon and well-being in my religious and worldly affairs, and my family and my wealth. O Allah, veil my weaknesses and set at ease my dismay.”

To bask in the serenity and security of Allah’s pardoning is truly a noble achievement, and is the desire of all Muslims.

What steps can we take to earn Allah’s forgiveness and pardon?

First and foremost, make sincere repentance from your sins; pledge to yourself and to Allah that you will not go back to that sin. Remain in a constant state of remembrance of Allah. If the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to earnestly ask for Allah’s forgiveness at least 70 times a day, then what state of heart should we be in? Prioritize on your daily to-do list to make at least 100 or 200 or even 500 istighfar (asking Allah’s forgiveness). Never lose hope that Allah will forgive your sins, pardon you, and shower His mercy upon you.

{And it is He who accepts repentance from His servants and pardons misdeeds, and He knows what you do.} (Qur’an 42:25)

Be sure to follow up each misdeed that you commit with a good deed, in hopes that Allah will wipe out your previous sin. The doors to Allah’s pardon and forgiveness are many.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Be conscious of Allah wherever you are. Follow the bad deed with a good one to erase it, and engage others with beautiful character.” (Tirmidhi)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever observes fast during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari)

If I want Allah to pardon and forgive my misdeeds and my shortcomings, then I too must forgive and pardon others in my life. True understanding of Allah’s Name Al-`Afuww leaves no room for me to hold grudges or sever ties of family and friendship over some dispute, I must find it in me to forgive and pardon.

The story of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, the companion of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), shines through as the most beautiful story in pardoning and compassion.

Mistah was Abu Bakr As-Siddiq’s cousin and he was poor. He had migrated from Makkah to Madinah, and was penniless. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq used to generously spend on him and he had a regular stipend assigned to Mistah, as charity.

It so happened that Mistah was among those who lied and spread false accusations against the honor of Aisha, the Prophet’s wife and As-Siddiq’s daughter, may Allah be pleased with her. Naturally, As-Siddiq was hurt by the slanders and lies that Mistah had spread about Aisha. As-Siddiq vowed that he would no longer give charity to Mistah after that incident.

The following verse of the Qur’an was then revealed, {And let not those of virtue among you and wealth swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah, and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.} (Qur’an 24:22)

As-Siddiq said, “Of course, by Allah, we love, O our Lord, that You should forgive us.”

Then he resumed his spending on Mistah and said, “By Allah I will never stop spending on him.”

In the comments below, share your favorite story about pardon and forgiveness.


1 comment

  • One of my daughters teachers was very mean to me and my daughter. When I tried to understand and see what could be done to make things better she slammed the door in my face. I ended up removing my daughter from that school. For quite a few years I had hard feelings for that teacher. Years later, after my daughter graduated from high school I came to work at a school where that teach had become a principal and now I was the teacher. One day she called me into her office and apologized to me for being so nasty towards us. She said that as a principal she now understood why parents have to intercede on behalf of their children. I also appologized for my part in what caused tension between us. I felt so relieved and later my daughter even said that “although she was tough, that teacher was the best she ever had.”

    Nykiiah Wright

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