Reflecting on Forgiveness

Reflecting on Forgiveness

Ramadan Mubarak. This statement is as much a greeting as it is a supplication. The inner dimensions and significance is found through reflection.

A while back, a young teenage Muslim asked why so many Imams, Muslim educators, Muslim writers, parents, and extended elders were always reminding people to reflect on things. The answer was simple – it is part of our way of life as Muslims to think about and consider the words of Allah and the tenets of Islam. It is only through contemplation and observation that we begin to understand what is ordained for us.

There are numerous verses in the Quran where Allah instructs the believers on how He has placed signs for those of us who can grasp and accept what is revealed in it, and thus be rewarded.

“In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, are signs for those of understanding. Those who remember God while standing, and sitting, and on their sides; and they reflect upon the creation of the heavens and the earth: ‘Our Lord, You did not create this in vain, glory to You, so protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”

(Quran 3:190–191)

The very definition of a Muslim is one who submits. As a person striving to submit, that goal can only be realized by examining the life example of Prophet Muhammad, God’s peace and blessings be upon him, reflecting on the guidance, and understanding the details given and explained to us through the Quran. 

“There was certainly in their stories a lesson for those of understanding. Never was the Quran a narration invented, but a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of all things and guidance and mercy for a people who believe.”

(Quran 12:109-111)


So when we reflect upon the words “Ramadan Mubarak” we can also ponder on just how magnificent and merciful it is that during this holy month, Allah forgives us. 

Do we really ponder on forgiveness – a manner by definition which means to be absolved or pardoned for our sins/offenses. What a wonderful thing it is to be forgiven.  It is a blessing! Thus, the phrase “Ramadan Mubarak” – is magnanimous!  Here, we have an opportunity to beg forgiveness from our most Forgiving and Merciful Creator.  What a blessing to have this opportunity to be forgiven afforded to us multiple times, and in Ramadan throughout the month.

We would be arrogant indeed to not study and mull over the innumerable bad deeds that we do yearly, daily, hourly, and each second.  


Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, instructed the believers that, “Actions are but intention, and every man shall have that for which he is intended….”(and the narration continues). As we examine our intentions and ponder if they are sincere or right, what a blessing it is to be able to ask Allah to forgive us for our wrongful intention, and the actions that follow.


When we pay the Zakat-ul-Fitr, these monies are distributed to the disadvantaged in our community. During the year we are often in pursuit of the Dunya – the good things in this life. That may be due to our preoccupation with educating ourselves or due to business dealings that increase our personal finances. The point is that while pursuing these things, we may forget about the less fortunate amongst us. Fasting is for Allah, and we also are more hyper aware of what it means to go without. This realization or understanding increases our compassion and willingness to give to others. What a blessing to have a reminder to be charitable and an opportunity to correct our stinginess.


Ramadan affords a collective opportunity for each of us individually to make Taraweeh prayers begging for the mercy and forgiveness of Allah. Neglecting the Salah is a bad deed. But during the month of Ramadan, when we pray in congregations, the benefit is increased. This is not just the benefit of the mercy of Allah, but the benefit to mankind.  

Even if we never pray prayers in the night, that collective consciousness of submission demonstrated by the Muslim world during the month of Ramadan often drives us to participate. Islam places great emphasis on brotherhood and sisterhood, and community life, because as Muslims we are a reflection of each other. When we come together in a group, Islam encourages us to pray together instead of praying separately.  Allah, in His infinite wisdom and plan, created the human being to be social.  Thus, congregational Salah is often enjoyed and fosters genuine love and affection between the believers. Think of how much better we treat those whom we hold dear?   What a blessing to be reminded by the actions of a worldwide Ummah of the benefit and significance of sacrificing sleep and seeking the mercy of Allah.  

“Are those who are devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing (in prayer), fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, (like one who does not)? Say, ‘Are those who know equal to those who do not know?’ Only they will remember (who are) those of understanding.”

(Quran 39:9)

Those of us who understand, recognize and admit that we have much to ask forgiveness for from Allah. What a blessing to have Ramadan and be of those who understand that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. The Prophet helps us to understand this blessing that Allah gives us when he says in a Hadith Qudsi:

“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.”


Add new comment