AL-TANZIL
The
Revelation
 
[26:192]

At-Tawab (The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance)

By Dr. Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi


[He turns to His slaves and accepts their repentance, no matter how grievous or numerous their sins might be]

God’s name “At-Tawab” (The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance) is wholly an issue of His divine mercy: the issue that it is possible for God, (The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance), to deal with His slaves in accordance with His divine justice and, thus, they would deserve Hell-Fire.

But due to His infinite mercy, He deals with them by virtue of His divine mercy; and He does not leave them neglected, but rather follows up all their affairs and conditions, keeps them under His divine observation, care and protection; and settles accounts with them for each and every thing they intend or do. This is exactly what God’s name “At-Tawab” (The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance) stands for.

If a man intends to do something wrong or sinful, God sometimes admonishes him, sometimes inspires him, sometimes frightens him, sometimes straightens his livelihood for him, sometimes threatens him, sometimes reassures him, and sometimes allows him to accompany righteous people. This means that God helps man to be of the people of paradise. In this case we say that God is most merciful. If you turn away from Him, He punishes you; if you turn to Him, He manifests His divine beauty to you; if you transgress against other fellow humans, He deters you; and if you do well to other fellow humans, He rewards you. To that, God “At-Tawab” says: {Then He (Allah) turned to them so that they might repent. Certainly, Allah is The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance, Most Merciful.} (At-Tawbah 9: 118)

God created man and implemented him with a clever mind and a free will whereby we make our own choices in life. He implants in us desires, and creates for us the universe, which bespeaks His divine names and attributes. He gives us power and a noble pure human original nature. He also sent His prophets and messengers with His divine revelation. Then, He informed us: {Whosoever does good righteous work, it is for (the benefit of) his own self; and whosoever does evil, it is but against his own self; and your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves.} (Fussilat 41: 46)

This is God’s divine justice; but His divine mercy is substantiated by His being all the time with you, watching all your affairs and matters.

You may send your son abroad for study and provide him with all the necessary money for tuition and accommodation expenses, but fail to keep an eye on his academic achievements. Then, five years later, you are shocked to find out that he wasted all the money on trivial things, completely neglected his studies, and achieved nothing. In this case, you tell him: “My son! I have done everything for you, but you have failed to do what you should have done.” In this case, you are just and fair to your son. But if, after sending your son abroad, you follow up not only all his movements and activities but also his academic achievements, and if you visit him every now and then, if you advise him, if you threaten him, and if you encourage him until he comes back after he has completed his studies and got his degrees, this means that you are merciful.

For that, God’s name “At-Tawab” (The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance) is that He deals with His slaves by virtue of His Infinite divine mercy, for if He dealt with them by virtue of His justice; they would all be deservedly ruined.

Different Aspects of God’s Divine Name “At-Tawab”

God very often turns to His slaves with His divine favors and graces, and with His divine forgiveness and mercy.

1- The word “Tawab” is an emphatic noun that means that God is The granter and acceptor of repentance of His slaves in the sense that, often and often, He turns to His slaves and accepts their repentance, no matter how grievous or numerous their sins might be. Also, it means that God very often turns to His slaves with His divine favors and graces, and with His divine forgiveness and mercy.

Thus, a delicate meaning of God’s name “At-Tawab” can be derived from this Quranic verse: {Then He (Allah) turned to them so that they might repent. Certainly, Allah is The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance, Most Merciful.} (At-Tawbah 9: 118)

And, of course, after a sin has been committed, repentance is acceptable and welcomed; and God, The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance, blesses those who repent after having committed a sinful deed and after having been visited by a misfortune. But it is wiser and more adequate for man to know the Lord in times of weal, and not in times of woe.

2- God is “Tawab” (Granter and Acceptor of Repentance) in the sense that He afflicts His slaves with Misfortunes in order to make them turn to Him with repentance and reform: {And if they belie you (O Muhammad), say: ‘Your Lord is the Owner of Vast Mercy, and never will His Wrath be turned back from the people who are criminals.} (Al-An’am 6: 147)

God “At-Tawab” (The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance) afflicts His slaves with hardships and misfortunes and problems that drive them to repent and reform, for He would not be “Tawab” (Granter and Acceptor of Repentance) to His slaves if He were to leave them unheeded. God addresses this issue: {Except those who repent and do righteous work and openly declare (the truth that they concealed): Such I will accept their repentance; and I am the The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance, the Most Merciful.} (Al-Baqarah 2: 160)

However, remarkably related to this issue is God’s words: {And Allah desires to accept your repentance, but those who follow their own lusts wish that you should deviate tremendously away (from the Right Path).} (An-Nisa’ 4: 27)

To the same purport, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says: “Verily, Allah, (The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance), is more pleased with His slave’s repentance than a lost person who finds his way, a barren person who has a baby, or a thirsty person who finds water.”

3- God’s divine name “At-Tawab” (The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance), means that He, in mercy, returns to His slaves with good things. Rain is one of the good things that God, The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance, returns to us with; air that we breathe is from God, The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance; the organs of our body, which function regularly and properly, are of the great things that God, The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance, returns to us with. Not only that but also He returns to us with His divine graces and favors in all places and times. This is the meaning of God’s divine name “At-Tawab” (The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance).

4- God is “Tawab” (The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance), in the sense that He entrusted you with the trust and equipped you with an intelligent mind. He imbedded in you instincts and a pure original human nature, whereby you distinguish right from wrong and lawful from unlawful; and He also provided you with His divine revelation and guidance, His religion. Nevertheless, He constantly follows up all your affairs and issues.

5- God is “Tawab” (The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance) in the sense that He loves us and keeps us under His intensive divine care, constant observation and constant measurement, as it were, of heartbeat, blood pressure …etc. Yes, indeed, we are under God’s Intensive care! We can imagine things as follows: If someone bumps his head on a post unintentionally, God, as it were, says to him, “Be careful My slave!” If someone goes astray or commits a sinful deed, he receives a blow or a shock from God. It is as though God tells him, “Where are you going My slave! Beware!” This is because God, is “Tawab” (The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance), If someone earns money illegally, God makes him lose ten times as much as he has earned. It is as though He is teaching him not to do that again.

6- Being “At-Tawab”, God is not only The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance, but also all wise. If His slave needs only a hint to turn to Him, there is no need for words; and if he needs only words to come to Him, there is no need for punishment. In other words, the more sensitive a person is, the more he understands his God: some people need no hint to turn to God, i.e. they turn to Him out of their own free will; others need hints, reminders, punishments, public reproach, and even hard misfortunes and sever humiliating torments. Wise people need no reminders or punishments; they understand by hints or on their own.

7- Also, God is “Tawab” ,The Granter and Acceptor of Repentance, in the sense that He never leaves us neglected or unheeded. Nay! He really desires us to turn to Him. He created us in order to mercy us. He created us to make us happy in the present world and the Hereafter. To that, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says: “If a disobedient slave turns to Allah (with sincere repentance), it is called out in the heavens and the earth: ‘Congratulate so-and-so, for he has been reconciled with Allah!’”

Edited from:
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/belief/allah/449914-at-tawab-the-granter-and-acceptor-of-repentance.html
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