Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum. I read the verse, “Allah does not forgive associating partners with Him, but forgives anything less than that for whom He wills.” (Qur’an, 4:48) I also read in a hadith that Allah forgives immediately when we ask for forgiveness. How can I reconcile between the two?
Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
I pray you are well.
Sins Are Forgiven – Not Disbelief
Yes, Allah forgives everything – but, in the Akhira, disbelief will not be forgiven.
We can understand from the name Al-Ghafur that He forgives all sins, no matter how much they are. The name al Ghaffar indicates that He does this time and time again.
This is in this life and the Akhira, for most sins. Disbelief, however, is forgiven in this life – if someone repents and enters into Islam sincerely. However, once the soul reaches the throat on its way out – the point where the veil is lifted and one sees the one’s place in the Akhira – repentance from disbelief is no longer accepted.
What Is Not Forgiven
The verse mentions shirk, but all forms of disbelief are implied. It is just that shirk was the most common form of disbelief amongst the Arabs. [Alusi, Ruh al-Ma’ani]
So, in summary, Allah will forgive even disbelief in this life, if someone repents sincerely. Not in the next life. All other sins can be forgiven at any time.
We ask Allah to forgive all our sins, such that we meet Him with Him pleased with us. Amin.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani