Explanation Of The Word Al-Maghfirah

Question

Please explain the meaning and signification of the word maghfirah occurring in 2:263.


Answer

The verse in which the word occurs can be translated as follows: "A word of kindness and forgiving is better then giving in charity followed by hurt." [2:263]

The word 'maghfirah' (forgiving) no doubt is derived from the verb meaning 'to cover' but we need to look into the context and style of a particular discourse to ascertain the meaning applied in it. I believe that the referred rendering does not communicate the exact applications of the word in this place.

Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

The holy Qur'ān advises us to behave politely with the needy in various places. If a well off person does not forgive others on their faults and mistakes he cannot do justice with the act of spending in the way of Allah. Sometimes he becomes worthy of punishment as a result of what he gives in charity, instead of getting some reward. Those having wealth often develop a sense of superiority in them. They look down upon the poor and the needy and often grudge them. Sometimes the needy cause some anger because of their behavior. Therefore it is necessary for a wealthy bestower to have a cool and forbearing mind. The Holy Qur'ān variously urged the wealthy to behave such at many places. It wants us to develop the trait of forgiveness along with the passion of donation. For more study please refer to the following verses: 2: 264, 2:83, 4:5, 4:8-9, 17:28 )"

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