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Mosque Foundation | Bridgeview, Illinois

Mosque Foundation

The Ever-Penitents

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The Ever-Penitents

Kifah MustaphaThe need for the closeness to Allah is a necessity because faith is the most precious thing to our hearts, and life, with all its hardships, cannot be tolerated without this closeness.

This is where the ever-penitent people are seen demonstrating their faith, rising to be among the chosen ones for such an honorable level in the Eyes of God by ever returning to Him again and again.

Linguistic meaning:

The ever-penitents or (Al Awwaboon) in Arabic is a term originated from the word (Awwb) which means linguistically; to return. The prophet (SAAW) mentioned this term in his Dua during the return home after travelling.  He (SAAW) would say: “(Ayeboon, ta’eboon li rabbina hamidoon) returning (to homes) (with) repentance and to our Lord (we are) grateful.” In the Quran, Allah (SW) used the term in the linguistic reference also, like in: {Indeed, to Us [alone] is their final return [after death]} 88:25.

Islamic meaning:

In the Islamic meaning, (Al Awwaboon) are those who keep returning to Allah asking forgiveness and praising their Lord. It is understood in the way God, the Almighty, described some of His Prophets:

  1. Prophet David (AS) [Daoud]; Allah (SW) said: {And recall our servant David, [a mere shepherd whom God] endowed with prowess indeed he was ever-penitent} 38:17.
  2. Prophet Solomon (AS) [Sulaiman]; Allah (SW) said: {So to David We granted Solomon [as a son- and] a most commendable servant [of God he was]! Indeed, he was ever-penitent} 38:30.
  3. Prophet Job (AS) [Ayoub]; {Indeed, We found him most patient- a most commendable servant! Indeed, he was ever-penitent} 38:44.

Similar terms:

There are words that can relate to each other in the Quran, such as the terms: (Tawwaboon) the repentant, and (Awwaboon) the returning to God, and (Muneeboon) the returning to God in penitence. As you can see, all three words share almost the same meaning [as returning to God].  But more specifically, it was said that (Tawwaboon) are those who return after a sin, and (Awwaboon) are those who return in hope for more rewards, and (Muneeboon) are those granted levels of honor by their Lord because of their return.

Two of the terms were mentioned in one verse in Surat Qaf (chapter 49). Allah (SW) said: {Yet the garden [of Paradise] shall have been drawn near for the God-fearing- not far-off [from their sight * it shall be said]: this is the fulfillment of all that you believers have been promised for everyone who was penitent and every keeper of his covenant * whoever has feared the All-Merciful, [while] in the [domain] unseen, and who comes [to His Lord] with a penitent heart} 50:32/33. As you can see, the pleasure of Paradise was granted by God to those who are in the continuous return to Allah (SW), guarding their covenant, fearful of Allah even when alone. These are the acts which introduce them to this status of the heart being a penitent heart.

Joining the universe:

Allah (SW) told us that the whole universe is in a status of exalting and praising Him; {The seven heavens and the earth and all that are in them give due exaltation to Him. For there is not a [single] thing but that it exalts Him with [all praise]. But you [human beings] fathom not their exaltation} 17:44.

Humans were given the ability to choose such exaltation or not; if they do, all that exists will join them in praise to God. Allah (SW) spoke about His Prophet David: {And very truly, [before you O Prophet,] We gave David, [a mere shepherd,] great favor from Us, [decreeing]: O mountains! Echo with him [My praises]. And O birds! [Sing praise with him, as well.] Moreover, it is We who made iron pliant for him} 34:10.

Ever-penitent people and forgiveness:

Allah (SW) promised forgiveness to those who return back to Him; {Your Lord knows best about what is within your souls. If you [resolve yourself to] be righteous, then, indeed, to all those who are ever penitent, he is all-forgiving} 17:25.

By Sh. Kifah Mustapha