Friday, March 13, 2009

The Divine Names : al-Ghafir, al-Ghafur and al-Ghaffar | The Source of Forgiveness



One night
a servant of God
was praying
deeply from his heart with the following words:
"O God make my errors, my mistakes manifest to me, make them known to me so that I may correct and purify myself".

Now he has been often praying this prayer with the hope that God by His Grace will enlighten him of his mistakes and errors. This night his state of the heart was so deep that countless angels rushed from boundless directions to record and carry the pronounced prayer from the heart of the man to the innermost heavenly boundary.

That night the man had a dream of Khidr, the mysterious guide of souls who's name 'the green one' signifies that he is always living in the inner plane, ready to appear by God's permission to those who seek true guidance. Khidr spoke from behind a green veil and said to the man: O faithful servant of the Most High, God has heard your prayer, indeed He is All Aware and Perfect Knower of both seen and unseen.

I am sent but to inform you about something regarding your petition because God out of His Infinite Mercy wills not that you be afflicted with pain and sorrow for the sake of your sincere prayer.

O servant who is in need of God, know that God has three separate yet connected divine attributes and they are namely: al-Ghafir, al-Ghafur and al-Ghaffar. All the three names point to the divine reality that He is the Most Forgiving One.

As for His Name al-Ghafir, it is the quality of hiding His servant's erroneous acts, mistakenly done acts, shameful acts in order that they be able to live with each other, have faith in each other and respect each other. Otherwise, if Allah al-Ghafir, in His mercy did not hide our faults, everyone would run away from everyone else. There could be neither a society nor a single family.

As for His name al-Ghafur, it hides our faults from the realms of spirits and angels just as He does in the human realm. The angles can see things we cannot see in this world. Through the baraka of this Name: al-Ghafur inscribed in the kingdom we find the respect and closeness from the spirits and angles from whom our sins are hidden, who constantly pray and send blessings on behalf of the self-surrendered ones and also so that we are not ashamed in the Hereafter.

And finally God's name, al-Ghaffar is the most encompassing in forgiveness. A man whose faults are hidden from others is saved from being ashamed in front of them, but he may still be ashamed of himself within himself. Everyone has a degree of conscience which suffers from his actions. Allah al-Ghaffar in His mercy hides a person's fault from himself and makes him forget in order to alleviate his suffering.

So by the beautiful name of al-Ghaffar God wills to hide the faults of his creatures even from themselves and it is a sign of unfathomable divine mercy. Take no blame upon yourself for that of your faults which God veils you even from yourself. The angels praise your sincere prayer and holy intention to be more close to purity. Its better that you seek forgiveness for both the faults that you are made aware or unaware.

Then Khidr recited the following Quranic verses:
Those who avoid enormities of sin and abominations, save the unwilled faults - surely your Lord is of vast mercy. He is Best Aware of you (from the time) when He brings you forth from the earth, and when you are embryos in the wombs of your mothers; Therefor ascribe not purity unto yourselves. He is Best Aware of him who guards. - The Quran 53,32

Saying thus al-Khidr made a supplication for the man on behalf of the angels and the spirits of the unseen and departed in giving the salutation of peace, as salamun alikum wa rahmatullah wa barakat ya 'abd al-Ghaffar (divine peace and blessings be upon you o the servant of al-Ghaffar).

. For a disclosure of the Divine names and its qualities a recommended reading is the book: Name and the Named by Tosun al-Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti. The story is inspired by the chapter of the Divine Name Ghafur.

Further on the Names:
. Ghafir
. Ghafur
. Ghaffar

graphics: collage from mughal miniature painting
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