The other day as I read this verse I had one of those “OH MY Allāh!” moments. I thought it would be beneficial to put it into a post to share with everyone.
While we go about living our daily lives, many times we find ourselves at a loss of hope because of our sins. A lot of times this is because we decide to live our lives in a state of “Carpe Diem,” which in Latin means “live in the moment.” We find ourselves being halfhearted and insincere when we want to repent. We begin to lose faith in Allāh and His decree because we think “I'm in too deep to get out.” We then gradually start slacking in our good deeds. Finally, we start thinking that we have reached a point of no return and cannot possibly receive guidance from Allāh because of our sins.
For those of us who share a common feeling with the above sentiments, then cure yourself by taking a look at what your Master has said about you:
When beginning the verse, Allāh uses two forms of emphasis to show the importance of what He is about to say. He firstly uses inna, which basically means “without a doubt!” or in more colloquial terms “fa sho!” He then uses the lām'l-ta'kīd (the lām of emphasis), which conveys a similar meaning of inna.
Allāh refers to Himself as Ghafār to a certain group of people in this verse. Ghafār is a hyperbolized noun, so it denotes that Allāh is perpetually and constantly looking over faults and forgiving. To add, in the study of Quranic rhetoric (balāghah) the usage of a verb (as opposed to a noun) usually denotes an action which will eventually come to rest. But when a word is used as a noun (as opposed to a verb) then it is constantly happening without stopping.
After Allāh mentions He is Ghafār, He explains to us who are eligible for his maghfirah (forgiveness): tāb (the one who has done tawbah—past tense verb), aman (the one who believed—past tense verb), and lastly, 'amal (to do an act—past tense verb). Allāh finishes the āyah by saying those are the ones who are guided.
In summary, Allāh's mercy is so vast, that He would forgive us no matter how much we may have sinned. Though we keep promising to Him that we'll stop, yet persist in our vain desires, Allāh continues to forgive us. No matter if we commit sins day in and day out; Allāh wants us to repent, even if we end up doing the sin again! Even if we had faith in Allāh one day, but the next day it sort of faded out, Allāh will keep forgiving us. Even if we lack in terms of good deeds, Allāh will continue to forgive us. At the end of the day, when we haphazardly demonstrate our insincere tawbah, and try to believe with our weak faith, and act with barely any deed, Allāh STILL puts us on a path of guidance. That is the essence of Allāh being Ghafār to us. SubḥānAllāh.
To add to the amazement, Allāh mentioned Bani Isrā'īl before this āyah. In the Qur'ān, Allāh dedicated most of the revelation to the story of Musa and his dealings with the Bani Isrā'īl and the numerous crimes they committed. Besides Fir'awn and those like him, no nation's mistakes are mentioned more than Bani Isrā'īl's, yet Allāh mentioned this verse showing us His Mercy, and how it was even shown to the Bani Isrā'īl, subḥānAllāh!
Brothers and sisters, Allāh is more merciful to us than our very own mothers. When we made mistakes as children, our mothers smiled and kept giving us chance after chance. Without a doubt, Allāh is much more merciful than our mothers, and as long as we beseech Him alone, we will always be under Allāh's guidance. It's all about us trying.
May Allāh give us the ability to be better Muslims who will serve His religion in whatever capacity we can. May He give us the ability to turn to Him with sincere repentance, a strong heart devoted to loving and believing in Him, actions which benefit us in the Hereafter and guidance which shows us the road in this life and the next, Āmīn.