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Ibn Ataa: Grace Emerges from Darkness!

Ibn Ataa: Grace Emerges from Darkness!

Thus, honoring one with Allah’s Graces and Blessings is a great favor as He makes this act of honoring a means of telling the servant about His kindness and the mercy He showed to him.

One can realize the greatness of this favor conferred on him by Allah if he compares the following two cases.

Case 1: one who is comfortable with the sins and evil deeds he has fallen into; and

Case 2: one whose sins and evil deeds were themselves the cause behind the senses of alienation and resentment he found in his heart for them and the strong will he found therein to rid himself of them through seeking Allah’s Aid.

As in the first case, one was left on his own; to his self that urges to evil. Consequently, he would increase his evil deeds and enjoy his sinful actions. However, as for the one in case 2, sins were made hateful to him so that he would feel disinclined to continue doing them and would decide to abandon them all. Surely, this is a sign of Allah’s Grace and Kindness to that servant who should be more than grateful.

The kindness shown by Allah to His disobedient servants reveals itself in the following ayahs in which He addresses Satan who said what may mean,

{Because You have denounced me as astray, I will make what is evil in the earth fair-seeming to humankind. Thus I will, most surely, lead them to the way of perversity, all together- except Your true servants among them- the sincere, elect ones.} (Al-Hijr 15: 39-40)

And, Almighty Allah answers him as saying what may mean,

{… This way- in accordance with Me – shall be a straight one. As for My true servants, you shall have no position of authority over them- except for those of the deluded who follow you.} (Al-Hijr 15: 41-42)

This means that Allah says to Satan that those who knew for certain that they are Allah’s servants and took Him as their sole Guardian and Protector, He will confer on them repentance for all their sins; He will make hateful to them debauchery and disobedience; He will enable them to see Signs of His mercy, kindness and passion so that they become loyal to Him even though they may err; and He will pardon them so that they will be determined on giving up sins and renouncing disobedience.

In addition, the above Divine Statement excludes those who savor sins when they commit them and never feel uneasy or embarrassed thereby as Allah says what may mean, {…Except for those of the deluded who follow you.} (Al-Hijr 15: 42)

The following Prophetic hadith seconds this meaning as Abu Hurairah, the Prophet’s Companion narrated: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying.

All the sins of my followers will be forgiven except those of the Mujahirin (those who commit a sin openly or disclose their sins to the people). An example of such disclosure is that a person commits a sin at night and though Allah screens it from the public, then he comes in the morning, and says, ‘O so-and-so, I did such-and-such (evil) deed yesterday.’ Though he spent his night screened by his Lord (none knowing about his sin), in the morning he removes Allah’s screen from himself.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)

This hadith reaffirms the fact that Allah’s forgiveness overlooks those who are in a state of insolence and arrogance as they boast of their disobedience and ill-conduct. It is Allah’s decree that the arrogant should be expelled from His mercy, deprived of His forgiveness and victimized by their own arrogance.

Notwithstanding, to see just a glimpse of Allah’s vast mercy and forgiveness, let us consider the following hadith which reads,

On the authority of Anas ibn Malik, who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah says:

Allah the Almighty has said: “O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind.

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 is.” (At-Tirmidhi)

It is clear that Allah forgives all sins no matter how grave they are for He says, “were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you,” and that when the son of Adam seeks Allah’s forgiveness for a misdeed, be it minor or major, Allah Almighty grants him forgiveness. This is similar to Allah’s saying in the Qur’an which may mean,

{Whoever does a misdeed or wrongs his own soul then seeks forgiveness from God will find God all-forgiving, mercy giving.} (An-Nisa’ 4: 110)

I implore Allah to help us all overcome such darknesses, to guide us through the gate of repentance, and to acquaint us with the extent He has Graced us! Amen.

 

References:

  • Sahih Al-Bukhari Translation. Electronic version.
  • Hammad, Ahmad Zaki. The Gracious Qur’an: A Modern-Phrased Interpretation in English. Arabic-English Parallel Edition. 2009. Lucent Interpretations, LLC. USA.
  • Al-Bouti, M. Said Ramadan. Al-Hikam Al-`Ataa’iyyah: Sharh wa Tahlil [The Words of Wisdom by Ibn `Ataa’illah: Explanation and Analysis]. Dar Al-Fikr Al-Mu`asir, Beirut, Lebanon; Dar Al-Fikr, Damascus, Syria. 2003.
  • Al-Rundi, Ibn `Abbad. Sharh al-Hikam al-`Ata’iyya. The Guiding Helper Foundation, 2004.
  • The Book of Wisdom [The Hikam of Ibn Ata’Illah As-Sakandary] with translation of the explanation and commentary by `Abdel Magueed Al-Sharnouby Al-Azhary, an abridged version of the initial explanation and commentary by Ibn `Abbad Al-Nafary Al-Rundi. Electronic Version.
  • 40 Nawawi Hadiths. The International Islamic Federation of Students Organizations (IIFSO); Translated by Ezzeddin Ibrahim & Denys Johnson-Davies.

About Dr. Ali Al-Halawani


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