التواب

Al-Tawwaab Pronounced as At-Tawwaab

(The Ever-Pardoning, Ever Relenting)

It means The Oft-Returning, The Guide to repentance, and the Accepter of repentance. The word is related to the word “tawbah” which means repentance. When a person repents to Allah, he (the person) seeks Allah’s forgiveness and turns back from his sins to the obedience of Allah. Allah is At-Tawwaab in the sense that Allah will turn with Mercy to the sinner servant and will make him (guide him to) do tawbah from his sins. The following verse points to this meaning of the Attribute:
Surah Al-Tawbah (At-Tawbah) verse 118 (English translation only);

[9:118] And He also relented towards the three whose cases had been deferred.118 When the earth, in spite of all its spaciousness, became constrained to them, and their own beings became a burden to them, and they realized that there was no refuge for them from Allah except in Him; He relented towards them that they may turn back to Him. Surely, it is Allah Who is the Accepting of repentance, the Ever Merciful.119
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(This verse of the surah Al-Tawbah was revealed concerning three of the true believers who stayed behind, without just cause, from going to the Battle of Tabuk. So Allah Azza wa Jall ordered the Prophet (Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) and His Companions rAa not to have any social relations with them. When they reached a state of utter despair, Allah Azza wa Jall revealed this verse and the companions ran to them in pleasure, saying congratulation to them because Allah Azza wa Jall had accepted their repentance. You can read their story in the exp. notes of this verse at tafheem.net)

When the servant seeks Allah’s Forgiveness by making tawbah then Allah turns to him with Mercy to forgive him.

This Attribute of Allah came in many verses of the Holy Quraan. For e.g. Allah said in the verse 37 of surah Al-Baqarah (its English translation is ):

37. Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord Turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
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Another translation of the same verse is:

(2:37) Thereupon Adam learned from his Lord some words and repented51 and his Lord accepted his repentance for He is Much-Relenting, Most Compassionate.52
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Exp. notes 51—52:

51. This means that when Adam became conscious of his act of sin and wanted to return from his state of disobedience to that of obedience, and when he tried to seek remission for his sin from God, he was unable to find the words to use in his prayer to God. In His Mercy God taught him the words with which he could pray.

The word tawbah basically denotes ‘to come back, to turn towards someone’. Tawbah, on the part of man, signifies that he has given up his attitude of disobedience and has returned to submission and obedience to God. The same word used in respect of God means that He has mercifully turned towards His repentant servant so that the latter has once more become an object of His compassionate attention.

52. The Qur’an refutes the doctrine that certain consequences necessarily follow from sins and that man must in all cases bear them. In fact this is one of the most misleading doctrines to have been invented by human imagination. If it were true it would mean that a sinner would never have the opportunity to have his repentance accepted. It is a mechanistic view of reward and punishment and thus prevents and discourages the sinner from trying to improve.

The Qur’an, on the contrary, tells man that reward for good actions and punishment for bad ones rests entirely with God. The reward that one receives for good acts is not the natural consequence of those acts; it is rather due to the grace and benevolence of God and it is entirely up to Him to reward one or not. Likewise, punishment for evil deeds is not a natural and unalterable consequence of man’s acts. God has full authority to punish man for his sin as well as to pardon him.

God’s grace and mercy, however, are interrelated with His wisdom. Since He is wise, He does not use His power arbitrarily. Hence, whenever God rewards a man for his good acts, He does so because the good was done with purity of intention and for the sake of pleasing God. And if God refuses to accept an act of apparent goodness, He does so because that act had merely the form or appearance of goodness, and was not motivated by the desire to please God.

In the same way God punishes man for those sins which he commits with rebellious boldness, and which stimulates his appetite for more rather than lead him to repentance. Similarly, in His mercy God pardons those sins which are followed by genuine repentance and readiness on the part of the sinner to reform himself. There is no need for the criminal to despair of God’s grace and mercy, no matter how great a criminal he is. Nor is there any reason for even the most rabid disbeliever to despair, provided he recognizes his error, repents of his disobedience and is ready to replace his former disobedience with obedience.

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Allah Azza wa Jall said in surah Al-Shura (Ash-Shurah) verse 25 (its English translation is):

25. He is the One that accepts repentance from His Servants and forgives sins: and He knows all that ye do.
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Thus when we repent to Allah and say astaghfaar Allah Azza wa Jall accepts our tawbah and astaghfaar.

About the Al-Tawwaab (At-Tawwaab) Attribute here is a hadeeth Al-Qudsee:

 قال الله عزوجل : يا ابن آدم ، إنك ما دعوتني ورجوتني غفرت لك ما كان منك ولا أبالي ، يا ابن آدم ، لو بلغت ذنوبك عنان السماء ، ثم استغفرتني غفرت لك ، يا ابن آدم ، إنك لو أتيتني بقراب الأرض خطايا ، ثم لقيتني لا تشرك بي شيئا ، لأتيتك بقرابها مغفرة

 رواه الترمذي وقال : حديث حسن صحيح .

Translation:

Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah, the Exalted, has said: ‘O son of adam, I forgive you as long as you pray to Me and hope for My forgiveness, whatever sins you have committed. O son of ‘Adam, I do not care if your sins reach the height of the heaven, then you ask for my forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of ‘Adam, if you come to Me with an earth load of sins, and meet Me associating nothing to Me, I would match it with an earth-load of forgiveness.”‘

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Due to this Attribute At-Tawwaab, Allah will forgive the sins of a servant when he repents to Allah and prays for Maghfirah (forgiveness) by saying Astaghfaar, or Astaghfirullah, or Astaghfirullahil-Azeem laa ilaaha illa huwa Al-Hayyul-Qayyoom wa atoobu ilayhi.

We must say these words for repentance frequently because in every day there are special times when du’aa is accepted.

We must say these words at early morning when 2/3rd of the night has passed because at that time Allah Azza wa Jall comes to the worldly heaven to accept the du’aa and tawbah of those who request Allah at that time.

We must remember a few important points about tawbah. These are:

1. If a Muslim has hurt someone then his mere words of tawbah will not be accepted until he/she is forgiven by that someone.

2. If a Muslim has deprived someone of his right or has unlawfully taken the wealth or property of someone, his tawbah will not be accepted until he pays back someone’s right / wealth /property or when that someone forgives him.

3. If that someone whose backbiting was done has passed away, then the sinner must do some virtues /good deeds etc. and pray to Allah to send the reward to that person if he was a Muslim. He can return his wealth or property to his children.

4. The gate of tawbah remains open until a person has not seen the angel of death.

5. Also the gate of tawbah will close, in general, to all people after the sun rises from the west. If a person has not repented from his sins until that time (rising of the sun from the west) or if he/she remains unbeliever until that time, then his/ her tawbah or faith will not be accepted.

6. So we must always do tawbah and astaghfirullah and should never be hopeless of the mercy of Allah Azza wa Jall. We must always be careful about the feelings, honor, rights, and property of others. We must try to protect ourselves from gheebah and nameemah (i.e. backbiting etc.).

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