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Islam's Merciful God: Part III

A narration about God’s Forgiveness during the month of Ramadhan reads as follows:

Nadhar bin Shaban says that I said to Abu Salma bin Abdur Rahman that tell me something that you had heard from your father that he heard from the Holy Prophet (sa) directly concerning the month of Ramadhan. He said, yes and narrated that the Holy Prophet said that Allah has made the keeping of the fasts in the month of Ramadhan obligatory upon you and I have initiated its establishment for you. So whosoever, keeps these fasts with the intention of winning reward from Allah and having full faith - such a one frees himself from sins to such an extent as to become as free of sins as the day his mother had given him birth. He becomes like a newborn child.

So we are not concerned with how the ignorant see the God of Islam. We know for certain that our God is more loving and forgiving towards us even than our own parents. And our God is He Who comes running towards us so that He may forgive the sins of His servants.

Then, with reference to the month of Ramadhan there is another narration in which the blessings of Ramadhan have been mentioned.

Salman (ra) narrates that the Holy Prophet (sa) addressed us on the last day of the month of Shabaan and said: O people, a grand and blessed month is about to commence. In it is a night which is better than a thousand months. Allah has made the keeping of the fasts of this month obligatory upon you, and made its nights for offering the voluntary prayers. This is the months whose first ten days are mercy, its middle ten days are the cause of winning forgiveness and its last ten days are for obtaining safety from the fire of Hell. And anyone who feeds one who is fasting in this month shall be given such a drink from my reservoir that he will never experience thirst till the day he enters Paradise.

In other words the forgiveness is of a type that causes previous sins to be washed away and also grants strength to resist the temptation to commit sins moving forward if the fasts are kept as required by the month of Ramadhan and voluntary prayers are offered and Allah, the Exalted, is worshiped.

So it is clear that Allah, the Exalted, is making arrangements for us at every step that take us to Paradise. We are passing through the month of Ramadhan these days and the second ten days of Ramadhan is coming to an end and the third period of ten days is about to commence tomorrow or the day after. And this period is full of blessings from this point of view also that, as stated in the hadith, there is a night in this period that is the Night of Destiny, the lailatul qadar. This night is a great means for seeing the signs of the acceptance of prayer, and drawing a servant of God as close as possible to God. So let us take particular care to perfect our prayers and worship in this last ten day period of Ramadhan. There is need also to make whatever we gain in this month to make it a part of our daily lives. To continue to benefit from the Mercy and Forgiveness of Allah, the Exalted, we need to especially keep an eye on our own condition in these days and try to discharge the dues of Ramadhan and in particular of these last ten days of Ramadhan.

To try to remove one’s own bad habits, to safeguard oneself from committing sins in the future, to achieve permanent salvation from the fire of Hell, an effort is needed. For every thing an effort has to be made. It cannot be that we achieve something without any effort. This is a general rule. And it is expected from a true believer that he should not look casually at the messages from God and from the Prophet of God. Rather, when they hear, there should develop in their hearts an urge to make these messages a part of their lives. And this desire and urge will become beneficial only when practical steps will be taken to achieve these things. And the practical steps that can yield results and take one towards success are only those that are in accord with those rules and means which have been set in place to achieve these things.

So, without a doubt, the Mercy of Allah is indeed All-Encompassing. And yes without a doubt there is a greater multiple of reward bestowed for good deeds during Ramadhan. And yes, without a doubt the month of Ramadhan is a means for the acquisition of Mercy and Forgiveness and for distancing oneself from the Fire of Hell. But ongoing and permanent benefit from these things can only be gotten by those who continue to try and gain these benefits with a dedicated and ongoing continuous effort. So most fortunate, from among us, are those people, or shall be, most fortunate, those people, who shall make this Ramadhan the means of achieving God’s Mercy and Forgiveness and secure for themselves safety from the fire of Hell. They shall thus secure release from their weaknesses and safeguard themselves permanently from committing sins.

May this Ramadhan become a milestone for us forever keeping us away from evil and forever become the means to take us towards every good and righteous deed. Such hate may grow in our hearts for evil that we may never again even think of approaching these evil deeds. May our attention become diverted towards true repentance, such repentance that will forever continue to become a means of drawing us nearer and nearer to God Almighty.

How can these things be achieved, or how can one gain true repentance which should always keep us away from sin? The Promised Messiah (as) says concerning this:

“Taubah [repentance] is, in reality a most potent stimulant and a source of great help for the attainment of high morals.”

If we are to acquire high morals and excellent conduct and draw near to God Almighty then it is repentance alone which comes in handy for the purpose. It is with repentance that one advances and makes progress. This is the thing that assists in the task.

Check out this slide show: Islam's Merciful God

This article and the accompanying slide show are a summary of Friday Sermon of July 18th delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

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