Islam by topic: Forgiveness

by Matt Slick

In Islam, forgiveness from Allah is mainly based upon a combination of works and sincerity. However, Allah is arbitrary in who he forgives (Surah 3:129; 5:18). Muslims have no guarantee of entering into paradise unless they die in Jihad (Surah 49:1). Jihad is holy struggle, but when a Muslim gives his life in the advancement of Islam in battle, he is guaranteed paradise. Other than that, Muslims can only hope that they've done enough good works to be forgiven of their sins (Surah 5:9; 22:50).  They can only hope that their sincere repentance is enough, (Surah 50:32-34; 66:8).

  1. Allah alone forgives sins
    1. Surah 3:135, "And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins - and who can forgive sins except Allah? - and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done."
  2. Allah forgives who he wills, he is arbitrary
    1. Surah 3:129, "To Allah belongeth all that is in the heavens and on earth. He forgiveth whom He pleaseth and punisheth whom He pleaseth; but Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
    2. Surah 5:18, "(Both) the Jews and the Christians say: “We are sons of Allah, and his beloved.” Say: “Why then doth He punish you for your sins? Nay, ye are but men—of the men he hath created: He forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and He punisheth whom He pleaseth: and to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between: and unto Him is the final goal (of all)”
  3. Forgiveness is only hoped for
    1. Surah 26:82, "And who [Allah], I hope, will forgive me my faults on the day of Judgment."
  4. Forgiveness is tied to believing in Allah
    1. Surah 46:31, "O our people, hearken to the one who invites (you) to Allah, and believe in him: He will forgive you your faults, and deliver you from a Penalty Grievous."
  5. Forgiveness is tied to following Muhammad and Allah
    1. Surah 3:31-32, "Say: “If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. 32 Say: “Obey Allah and His Apostle”: But if they turn back, Allah loveth not those who reject Faith."
    2. Surah 57:28, "O ye that believe! Fear Allah, and believe in His Apostle, and He will bestow on you a double portion of His Mercy: He will provide for you a Light by which ye shall walk (straight in your path), and He will forgive you (your past): for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
    3. Surah 61:11-12, " That ye believe in Allah and His Apostle, and that ye strive (your utmost) in the Cause of Allah, with your property and your persons: That will be best for you, if ye but knew! 12 He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in Gardens of Eternity: that is indeed the Supreme Achievement."
  6. Forgiveness is tied to good works
    1. Surah 5:9, "To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward."
    2. Surah 22:50, "Those who believe and work righteousness, for them is forgiveness and a sustenance most generous."
    3. Surah 35:7, "For those who reject Allah, is a terrible Penalty: but for those who believe and work righteous deeds, is Forgiveness, and a magnificent Reward."
  7. Forgiveness is tied to repentance
    1. Surah 5:39, "But if the thief repents after his crime, and amends his conduct, Allah turneth to him in forgiveness; for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."
    2. Surah 42:25, "He is the One that accepts repentance from His Servants and forgives sins: and He knows all that ye do."
  8. Forgiveness is tied to sincerity
    1. Surah 50:32-34, "(A voice will say:) “This is what was promised for you - for every one who turned (to Allah) in sincere repentance, who kept (His Law), 33 “Who feared (Allah) Most Gracious Unseen, and brought a heart turned in devotion (to Him): 34 “Enter ye therein in Peace and Security; this is a Day of Eternal Life!”
    2. Surah 66:8, "O ye who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance: In the hope that your Lord will remove from you your ills and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow - the Day that Allah will not permit to be humiliated the Prophet and those who believe with him. Their Light will run forward before them and by their right hands, while they say, “Our Lord! Perfect our Light for us, and grant us Forgiveness: for Thou hast power over all things."
  9. Forgiveness tied to coincidental statement of words
    1. Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "If any one of you says, "Amin" and the angels in the heavens say "Amin" and the former coincides with the latter, all his past sins will be forgiven." (Sahih Bukhari, Book #12, Hadith #748)
  10. Forgiveness by dying in jihad
    1. Surah 49:15, "Only those are Believers who have believed in Allah and His Apostle, and have never since doubted, but have striven with their belongings and their persons in the Cause of Allah: Such are the sincere ones, Were We then weary with the first Creation, that they should be in confused doubt about a new Creation?
    2. Surah 61:10-12, "O ye who believe! Shall I lead you to a bargain that will save you from a grievous Penalty? 11 That ye believe in Allah and His Apostle, and that ye strive (your utmost) in the Cause of Allah, with your property and your persons: That will be best for you, if ye but knew! 12 He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in Gardens of Eternity: that is indeed the Supreme Achievement."
  11. Forgiveness by reciting a sentence
    1. "The Prophet said "The most superior way of asking for forgiveness from Allah is: 'Allahumma anta Rabbi la ilaha illa anta, Anta Khalaqtani wa ana abduka, wa ana 'ala ahdika wa wa'dika mastata'tu, A'udhu bika min Sharri ma sana'tu, abu'u Laka bini'matika 'alaiya, wa Abu Laka bidhanbi faghfirli innahu la yaghfiru adhdhunuba illa anta." The Prophet added. "If somebody recites it during the day with firm faith in it, and dies on the same day before the evening, he will be from the people of Paradise; and if somebody recites it at night with firm faith in it, and dies before the morning, he will be from the people of Paradise." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 75, Number 318; Narrated Shaddad bin Aus)
  12. Forgiveness by praying on the night of Qadr
    1. Allah's Apostle said,"Whoever establishes the prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's rewards (not to show off) then all his past sins will be forgiven." (Sahih BukhariBook #2, Hadith #34; Narrated Abu Huraira)
  13. Forgiveness by prayers during Ramadan
    1. "Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven." (Sahih BukhariBook #2, Hadith #36)
    2. Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah's Apostle saying regarding Ramadan, "Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven." (Sahih Bukhari, Book #32, Hadith #226; Narrated Abu Hurairain)
 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.