22. "And say forgiveness; and we will pardon you your sins, give an increase to the doers of good." (Quran 2:58)
C. ~ Does not this (so-called) Divine teaching encourage people to live sinful lives? Why should one fear sin when he is given the promise of redemption? He that gives such a promise cannot be God, nor can a book that inculcates such a doctrine be the Word of God. God can never do injustice, but if He pardons the sinners, He renders Himself unjust.
Dayanand Ji again exposes his utter lack of knowledge of the Qur'an. Allah only forgives sins, after a sincere repentance is made. Tawbah (“repentance”) conveys a profound meaning, one which carries great implications. It is not, as many people think, the matter of mere lip-service, after uttering which a person may then continue in his sin. The Qur'an says,
وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ
“… Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance…” [ Qur'an; Surah 11: Aayah 3],
We see that repentance is something which is over and above seeking for forgiveness.
Such a great and important matter must necessarily have conditions attached to it. The scholars have described the conditions of repentance, based on the Qur’aan and Sunnah. They include:
Immediate cessation of the sin.
Regret for what is past
- Determination not to return to the sin
- Restitution of victims’ rights, or seeking their forgiveness
When we refer this matter to the Qur’aan, we find that Allah says,
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ - وَأَنِيبُوا إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمْ وَأَسْلِمُوا لَهُ
“Say: ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And turn in repentance and in obedience with true faith to your Lord and submit to Him…” [Qur'an Surah 39: Aayah 53-54].
The feeling that one’s sins are too great to be forgiven by Allah stems from a number of factors:
- The absence of certain faith on the part of the slave in the vastness of God's mercy.
- A lack of faith in the ability of God to forgive all sins.
- Weakness in one aspect of the heart’s action, namely hope.
- Failure to understand the effect of repentance in wiping out sins.
Allah answers these points is in the Qur'an as follows.
وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ
“… and My Mercy embraces all things…” [Qur'an Surah 7: Aayah 156]
Sins that are willfully repeated are not forgiven. Sins are forgiven when one repents and abstain from sins. Mercy and forgiveness are synonymous. In order to forgive one must be merciful. The result of mercy is forgiveness.
Dayanand ji did not even consider this much, that in worldly transactions if a man pardons any fault of his servant or his dear ones, is that injustice? How many times do we forgives the mistakes of others? If we stop forgiving then we can imagine what this world would turn into. How much more is God who loves us all more than our own mothers? Would he not forgive us our faults if we sincerely repent and decide to improve? Now because no one knows for sure that God has pardoned a particular sin how can Dayanand ji claim that He is encouraging sinners? Dayanand ji fails to understand this.
It is surprising to know that Dayanand Ji is ignorant of the concept of forgivness in the Vedas as well. Following is the evidence that the Vedas also believe that God forgives sins, thus refuting even the Karma theory. (Hindi translation is by Pandit Sri Ram Sharma, unless otherwise notified).
Rigveda 1:34:11 says,
"Come, O Nasatyas, with the thrice-eleven Gods; come, O Asvins, to the drinking of the oblation. Make long our days of life, and wipe out all our sins: ward off our enemies; be with us evermore."
Rigveda 2/27/14 clearly speaks about forgiveness of sins as follows
“Aditi, Mitra, Varuna, forgive us however we have erred and sinned against you”
Let us also see Dayanand ji's own translation of Rigveda 2/27/14. I will highlight the crucial words.
Rigveda 7/93/7 also mentions about forgiveness
“Forgive whatever sin we have committed: may Aryaman and Aditi remove it.”
Even Manu Smriti 11/231 speaks about the concept of forgiveness of sins
He who has committed a sin and has repented, is freed from that sin, but he is purified only by (the resolution of) ceasing (to sin and thinking) 'I will do so no more.'
Similarly there are numerous verses in the Vedas and other Hindu texts whwere prayers are made for the forgiveness of sins. The question goes back to Dayanand ji and his followers; "Are Vedas encouraging people to lead sinful lives?"
The above verses which are among many such statements, clearly show that the God of Hindus also teaches the forgiveness of sins. Only the God that is not merciful would not forgive His servants. Though forgiveness has its parameters.
It would be pointless for God to instruct man to pray for forgiveness if there was no forgiveness to be had.
In fact, the Swami himself quotes the Veda as teaching mercy and forgiveness: “Mayest Thou O God…..be merciful unto us. ….O Lord, be merciful and…”–(Satyarth Prakash, pg1). And part of the Swami’s explanation to this verse says: “Mayest Thou free us from all pain and grief”–(Satyarth Prakash, pg 2).
How can God “free” Hindus from all “pain and grief” when they are subjected to the strictures of karma, “according to the nature of their deeds”?–(Satyarth Prakash, pg 660). And when “no sin can be remitted till one has suffered for it,” as the Swami states–(Satyarth Prakash pg 473). If God frees or “pardons the sinners,” He would, in the words of the Swami, “renders Himself unjust”–(Satyarth Prakash, pg 661).
Dayanand ji even prayed for mercy against others: “May God through His mercy rid us, Aryas, of this dreadful disease” (of religious “feud”)–(Satyarth Prakash, pg 321). It would seem to be a contradiction for the God of the Veda(s) to teach mercy and not remit any sin “till one has suffered for it.”
However, for the Hindu God to forgive sins would be a contradiction of karma, because karma, according to Hindus, operates impartially and unerringly, awarding us exactly what we deserve.