The Verse Of Hope
Note: This article is an extract from our latest publication: The Book Of Hope For Sinners.
O My slaves who have transgressed against their own souls! Do not despair of the Mercy of Allah: Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Truly He is Most-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (The Noble Qur’an, 39:53)
This is one of the most important verses of the Qur’an related to sin: the Verse of Hope. In this verse, Allah reminds all His sinful slaves that no matter what sins they have fallen into, Allah can still forgive them.
The Qur’an was sent as a book of hope for humanity. Allah created each of us as weak sinners. He knows every human will make mistakes. Some will make bigger mistakes than others.
Some may even fall into major sins. But Allah does not want any of us to ever lose hope in His Mercy, no matter what sins we have committed.
My friend, understand that Allah created both Paradise and Hell for sinners. The only difference is that Paradise is for those sinners whom Allah has forgiven.
He may forgive them because of their repentance, a good deed they did, or the intercession of Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alahi wasalam). It is also possible that Allah may just forgive them out of His Divine and Infinite Mercy.
Hell is for those sinners whom Allah decrees punishment or purification. Just as gold is heated to separate the dirt from the pure gold, Allah may decide to send some believers into Hell to purify them from the filth of their sins before eventually entering them into Paradise.
Ultimately, all sinners who believed in Allah and worshipped Him alone (or repented from worshipping others) will enter Paradise. So, Paradise will be full of those who had been sinners in this life. This should make you hopeful that you, too, can make it to Paradise.
The Purpose Of Good Deeds
You may wonder what the point of good deeds and repentance is if even the biggest sinners eventually make it to Paradise. This is a good question.
Good deeds and repentance may prevent punishment altogether. They can lead to entrance into Paradise without any punishment in the grave or Hereafter. Avoiding punishment alone makes good deeds and repentance valuable and worth pursuing, but there are even greater reasons for doing good deeds, and I will discuss those at the end of this book.
A Short Tafseer
But now, let’s examine this beautiful verse and be inspired towards hope and repentance.
O My slaves
Allah begins by addressing us sinners with the personal pronoun ‘my’ indicating that we belong to Him and that He still loves and cares for His sinful slaves despite their wrongdoings.
Who have transgressed against their own souls
Sin harms our own souls in both worlds. In this world, sin causes inner turmoil and guilt. After death, it is the reason for severe punishment. This is why Allah describes sin as a transgression against our own souls.
Do not despair of the Mercy of Allah
The devil wants us to despair of Allah’s Mercy as this will cause us to plunge deeper into sin and eventually disbelief.
Remember that the devil’s goal isn’t to cause you to sin. His goal is to cause you to leave Islam. Encouraging sinful habits is a means towards achieving that goal.
Allah never wants us to despair, because hope is the path that keeps bringing us back to Allah.
Indeed, Allah forgives all sins
Any sin can be forgiven with repentance, including the greatest sin – shirk, worshipping other than Allah.
When an idol worshipper converts to Islam, his conversion is accepted as his repentance and becomes a means of him being forgiven for any previous acts of shirk.
If Allah can forgive the greatest sin, He can forgive your sins too.
Truly He is Most-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
From the beauty of the Qur’an is that Allah ends verses by mentioning His names that are relevant to the topic of that verse. As this verse is about hope and forgiveness, Allah reminds us that He is Most Merciful, Most Forgiving. (I discuss these names and their implications in more detail in the book.)
Reflecting on this beautiful verse, we learn that the devil wants us to lose hope, but Allah wants us to repent and hope for His Mercy. He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful and He forgives any sin when you sincerely repent. So, never hesitate to raise your hands in repentance and experience Allah’s Mercy.
A Transformative Book
This article is an extract from The Book Of Hope For Sinners. If you want to read more on this topic, you can purchase the full eBook by clicking here.