Home Quranet Chapter 9 Is it always possible to ask forgiveness?
Is it always possible to ask forgiveness?
Chapter 9

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُواْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُواْ اللّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ اللّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَى مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ (سورۃ آل عمران, آيۃ 135)

And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah.- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done. (Surah 3, Verse 135)

Ahmed, in the eleventh grade, disrupted lessons, insulted teachers and hit his friends. His class teacher was at a loss and sent him to the counselor who invited him for a meeting. While she waited for him to come, the counselor recalled the many teachers' meetings which had discussed Ahmed and his misdeeds without finding a solution. What can she say to him now? Everyone tells him that he is a bad boy and he undoubtedly believes it and continues to behave accordingly. It is not surprising that he wants to take revenge on everyone around him. She picked up the Quran which was lying on her desk, leafed through it and found what she was seeking, Verse 135 of Surah 3. "That's what I shall say to him!" she decided. When Ahmed came into the room, he was convinced that once again the counselor would conduct a long and boring conversation with him. But she said that she had only one sentence to read him: "And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah.- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done". "Repent, Ahmed", she added. "We will forgive you and God will forgive you".

Explanation: the counselor apparently identified the vicious circle which needs to be broken. Ahmed is convinced that he is bad because everyone says so. Why, then, should he behave well? He takes his revenge and then people continue to tell him how bad he is. Psychologists would say that he needs a positive experience. He needs to feel that he can also be good and that he is admired because of that. The reprimands and punishment inflicted by his teachers have had no effect and so the counselor refrained from a long tirade accompanied by accusations and threats. On the contrary, she gave him hope by reading him the Quran verse.