Of all of the 99 names of God, the Muslim term for God we most need is Al-Ghaffar, the Forgiver. Knowing my own fallen nature, and the fallen nature of natural men, I believe that is an obvious observation. Who in our midst is not needing forgiveness? Actually, there is one, but more on that later. This Muslim term for Muslim Names God sticks out prominently as you reads the Quran. Sure, we all know Allah is merciful and compassionate, but this Muslim name for God goes a step further and lets men understand that God actually forgives sin. How precious this is.
Al-Ghaffar - The Forgiving
According to the Qur'an:
"And He alone is really forgiving, all-embracing in His love, in sublime almightiness enthroned, a sovereign doer of whatever He wills." S. Al-Buruj 85:14-16
To those not really acquainted with the Bible, the above mentioned verses from the Quran may be seemingly from the sacred Christian Scriptures. Indeed God is really loving, and all-embracing in His love. The difference here is that the Bible actually goes several steps passed this description of God's forgiving and loving nature in at the very least three regards.
Firstly, the Bible refers to Allah as our Father, thus making it even easier to understand and experience God's love, His forgiveness, and His amazing embrace of acceptance. The Bible actually challenges us to stop and look at the types of love that Allah has bestowed on us. It is such that individuals are now called the kids of Allah. Therefore, the planet doesn't recognize us, just because it doesn't recognize Him.
I often think about this concept. Allah loved me so much He forgave me and adopted me; making me their own son. This is such an amazing display of His love. Yes, Muslims readily acknowledge that men are Allah's creation. This goes a couple of steps further, though. Allah stumbled on us, calls us, and embraces us as His own children. These thoughts usually are foreign to the majority of Muslims, yet extremely powerful when considered. The love of God was manifested to us, because God has sent His only Son into the entire world, that people might live through Him. Notice, man didn't love God, He loved us and sent His Son to be punished and sacrificed for our sins.
Secondly, Christians are commanded to love and forgive as God Himself loves and forgives! Not merely in word, in deed as well. The Muslim name for God we're discussing begins the journey by showing us this facet of God's character. Unfortunately simply knowing this truth doesn't empower us to go and do likewise.
Jesus gave His followers a new commandment. We were instructed to love one another as He loved us. By this example, all men are to know we're His disciples. This can be a huge responsibility and one that can't be fulfilled in human strength and will power alone. As we love one another Muslims have the ability to better start to see the love of Allah. We're told to behave with tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; adding with each other, and forgiving each other in the same way Christ forgave us.
Only by knowing and following Allah, who is quick to forgive, can a person ever even try to forgive as God forgives. Knowing this Muslim term for God is one thing. Actually experiencing the forgiveness of Al-Ghaffar is very another. That is only possible through the ability of God employed in the life of certainly one of His children. See also: Matt. 18:21-35. Indeed, this could sound ridiculous to those that don't know Him, and who haven't experienced His love and forgiveness. It's quite normal for those who have.
Thirdly, the Bible declares that Jesus was without sin, and that He forgave sin. I remind you, the Qur'an specifically names these prophets as needing forgiveness: David (Surra 38:2), Jonah (S. 21:87), Noah (S. 71:2), and Abraham (S. 14:41). Even Muhammad, the apostle of Islam himself, was promised forgiveness for past and future sins (S. 48:2). The Muslim name for God we talk about here's reserved for God alone. This begs the question; Why would this honor be bestowed upon Jesus?
Jesus stood besides this crowd of distinguished men while He walked our planet, and He still is distinguishable as Al-Ghaffar! I encourage one to go and read Mark 2:6-12, & Luke 5:21-26. Really. This Muslim name for God will accept new meaning for you personally when you do.