In The Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Merciful.
His Eminence, Sayyed Ali Fadlullah, delivered in the context of the Friday Talk, a religious speech on Rajab 25,1441 H. /March 20, 2020.. Following is an edited textof his talk:Allah, the Most Exalted says in His Glorious Book:“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous” [3; 133].Allah, The Most Exalted, Speaks the Truth.
One of the graces, Allah has bestowed on His servants, is opening the door for forgiveness and returning to Him when theybecome obliviousor when they become weak before the desires of this world or when the whims, interestsand fanaticisms overwhelm them,or when they disobey Allah and neglect what He has ordered or prevented them from doing.Instead, He could have closed this door and hold them accountable for what they had done.
Furthermore, He had facilitated the means of forgiveness for them, for He did not consider the magnitude of their sins a barrier that hinders forgiveness.
He alsodid not limit it to any time and place, nor did He stipulate any form that the believer should abide by. It is enough for the sinful to address God to find Him merciful and forgiving. This is what He had promised and He never breaks a promise:“And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself but then seeks forgiveness of Allah will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful” [4; 110],“And ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. Indeed, my Lord is Merciful and Affectionate” [11; 90],and“Then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. Indeed, He is ever accepting of repentance” [110; 3].
He also said to those who exceeded the limits and committed too many sins:“O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful” [39; 53]. He also said in a Sacred Hadith(Hadith Qudsi): “O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it”. The Messenger saidthat Allahadvised you to ask for forgiveness, because He wishes to forgive you.
Not only did Allah make forgiveness a means for being purified from sins and restoring the relations with Him, but He also encouraged us to do so, considering forgiveness one of the best worshipping deeds and one of the best ways of mentioning Allah and being purified from sins. The Messenger says:“By Allah, I seek forgiveness from Allah and I repent to him more than seventy times in a day”.
Asking for forgiveness is also a means to bring about Allah’s gracious gifts. He says: “And said, 'Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver.He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers. And help you with wealth and sons, and make for you gardens, and make for you rivers” [71; 10]. TheMessenger says:“If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not”.
Asking for forgiveness, dear loved ones, isnot onlysought forwhen one does not perform the mandatory worshipping deeds or when one commits sins. It also extends to when one does not shoulder his duties to those he is responsible ofsuch as those of the parents, towards their childrenand spouses or those of the neighbors, towards one another, or towards fellow believers. Besides, it extends to the duties of the employee towards his employers or the ruler towards theruled.
Imam Zein Al-Abidien (a.s) says in some of his Duas:O God, I ask pardon from You forthe person wronged in my presence whom I did nothelp,the favor conferred upon me for which I returned nothanks ,the evildoer who asked pardon from me and whom I didnot pardon,the needy person who asked from me and whom Ipreferred not over myself.
As to how to ask for forgiveness it goes far deeper than the tongue, as Imam Ali(a.s) explained, when asked about ‘istighfar’:“Do you know what 'istighfar'(asking Allah's forgiveness) is? 'Astighfar' is meant for people of a high position. It is a word that stands on six meanings:
1. To repent over the past.
2. To make a firm determination never to revert to it.
3. To discharge all the rights of the people, so that you may meet Allah quite clean with nothing to account for.
4. To fulfil every obligatory which you ignored (in the past) so that you may now do justice with it.
5. To aim at the flesh grown as a result of unlawful earning, so that you may melt it by grief (of repentance) till the skin touches the bone and a new flesh grows between them.
6. To make the body taste the pain of obedience as you (previously) made it taste the sweetness of disobedience. On such occasion you may say: 'astaghfirullah”.
Thus , dear lovedones, let us hasten to restore our relations with God through this worshipping act , so as to make it void of any fault, Once our relation with Allah is good, our relation withourselves and with others would also be good. We should do this right now and not postpone it for tomorrow or the day after.Allah, the Most Merciful, will accept our repentance and forgive us, for His door is open, and He loves the pious who repent and ask for His forgiveness. He is Forgivingand Merciful.
His Eminence, Sayyed Ali Fadlullah issued onRajab 25, 1441 H. /March 20, 2020 a press release in the context of his regular Friday talk. Followingare the main points he touched upon:The Sayyed noted first that the specter of Coronavirus is haunting Lebanon as well as the entire world, as a result of the increase in the number of the people who are infected and the… more