Al-Ghafoor: The most Forgiving. This name occurs in the Qur’an more than seventy times. There are other names from the same root, such as Ghafir and Ghaffar. The meaning of the “ghafara” is to cover, to hide and from it comes the meaning “to excuse”, “to pardon”, “to remit” and “to forgive”. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala does all these things. In the Qur’an, it is mentioned that Allah does not forgive the Shirk (without repentance) but He may forgive every other sin for whomsoever He wills. (al-Nisa’ 4:116) We must turn to Allah to seek His forgiveness.
Al-’Afuw: This has another aspect of forgiveness. This name occurs in the Qur’an five times. Literally the word ‘Afw means “to release” “to heal”, “to restore”, “to remit”. Thus in relation to Allah it means “to release us from the burden of punishment due to our sins and mistakes”, “to restore our honor after we have dishonored ourselves by committing sins and making mistakes.” Sometimes in the Qur’an both names: ‘Afuw and Ghafoor come together.
Al-Tawwab: The Acceptor of repentance. This name of Allah is mentioned in the Qur’an about 11 times. Allah accepts the repentance of those who sincerely repent and turn to him. The word “tawwab” gives the sense of “oft-returning” which means that Allah again and again accepts the repentance. We make sins and mistakes then we repent, He accepts our repentance. Then again we commit sins and make mistakes and when we repent, He again very kindly accept us and gives us another chance.
Al-Haleem: The Clement. This name is mentioned fifteen times in the Qur’an. This means that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is not quick to judgment. He gives time. He forebears and is patient to see His servant to return to Him.
Al-Rahman and al-Rahim: The most Merciful and Compassionate. These names are the most frequent in the Qur’an. Al-Rahman is mentioned 57 times and al-Raheem is mentioned 115 times. Al-Rahman indicates that Allah’s mercy is abundant and plenty and al-Raheem indicates that this is always the case with Allah. He is full of love and mercy and He is ever Merciful.
The Qur’an teaches that Allah is a Judge and He also punishes, but Allah is not bound to punish. The justice of Allah, according to Qur’an is that Allah does not and will not inflict undue punishment on any person. He will not ignore the good of any person. But if He wishes to forgive any sinner, He has full freedom to do that. His mercy is unlimited and His love is infinite.
There are many verses in the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet -peace be upon him- on the love, mercy and forgiveness of Allah. In one of the prayers that the Prophet taught, he said, “O Allah, You are most Forgiving One, You love to forgive, so forgive me.”(reported by al-Trimidhi and Ibn Majah). We need Allah’s mercy and forgiveness all the time. It is wrong to assume at any time that one will find eternal salvation without the forgiveness of Allah