When we are in a state with an unclear future, we can sometimes become paranoid, even reckless. This makes us feel as if nothing is in our control, and we can’t see where we’re headed. When we make a mistake, commit a sin that seems inevitably fatal, we become uncertain. Among these feelings of uncertainties, we have one absolute to keep us going. The Word of Allah is always true, the Promise of Allah is always true, and what remains intact—no matter how many times we make a mistake and become uncertain about our state—is the hope Allah blessed us with.
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
“Say: “O ‘Ibâdî (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allâh, verily Allâh forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Qur’an 39:53]
Let’s reflect on the above verse for a moment so we can get some sort of understanding of Allah’s Mercy. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala refers to His slaves here, and who are His slaves? Everyone, all of creation. We are obligated to submit, for He is our Master and Creator. This in itself tells us His Mercy is not only open to the Muslims, but everyone. Any person who may want to change his/her life and repent has the chance to do so. A sin doesn’t have to be the end of the line for us—Allah gave all of us hope.
When Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala tells us, “…who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah…” Look at the amount of love and care we receive just from reading this specific part. When someone tells us “don’t worry” or gives us some sort of reassurance everything will be okay, our hearts begin to feel a small amount of peace. Here Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, genuinely and honestly—He, Al-Haqq and Ar-Rahman—assures us not to worry, not to despair, but to keep moving forward and repent sincerely. The truest reassurance we need to change, Insha’Allah.
Finally, in the last part of the verse where our Rabb states, “…verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful,” we feel that sense of hope our Lord blesses us with. To dissect the aya a bit further, He subhanahu wa ta’ala uses the word “all.” Does that mean some? Does that mean only to Muslims? We already established His Mercy is open to all His slaves. So this means what it says—all. In the words of Nouman Ali Khan,”Your sin is not greater than Allah’s Mercy.” There is never a reason to give up. Next, when He subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful,” we understand our Lord emphasizes reassurance by using the word “truly” and also mentions He is Oft-Forgiving. As in, it’s not a rare occasion when our Lord grants Mercy upon His slaves. Then, after stating He forgives often, our Lord does not stop there. He continues on and emphasizes His everlasting Mercy once again.
I’m sure there are many more gems that can be drawn from this single aya, but the main message I want to emphasize to all my brothers and sisters, and to myself, that hope is never lost. No matter how large a sin we think we committed, there is never a moment in which you are unable to repent for it. It is Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala who knows your struggle and the intention that lies in your heart. So sincerely try, and I understand that it’s a struggle. I am a human being as well and perfection does not belong to me, however, that does not exclude us from trying and achieving success through those struggles. On this journey that we all find ourselves in, let’s repent and do whatever we can in our power to change our state, Insha’Allah.
وَلَا تَيْأَسُوا مِن رَّوْحِ اللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّهُ لَا يَيْأَسُ مِن رَّوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُونَ…
“…And never give up hope of Allah’s soothing Mercy: Truly no one despairs of Allah’s soothing Mercy except those who have no faith.” [Qur’an 12:87]
Anything wrong I have said is from me and Shaythaan alone and Perfection and Greatness belongs solely to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.