The Quran mentions many times that God is the Most Merciful. In fact, all except one of the 114 chapters of the Quran begin with Bismillaahi Aahmaani Arraheem, which means, “I begin with the name of God, the Entirely Merciful and the Especially Merciful”. These two descriptions of God are sometimes translated as “The Compassionate, the Merciful”; however in Arabic grammar, both names are an intensive form of the word “merciful”. Rahmaan means merciful to all creation, and justice is part of this mercy. Raheem means merciful especially to the believers and forgiveness is part of this mercy. A complimentary and comprehensive meaning is intended by the use of both of them together.

In addition, Allah speaks of His forgiveness throughout the Quran. In fact, God’s mercy and forgiveness have been mentioned together more than 70 times in the Quran. Allah repeatedly reminds us saying:

Tell My servants that I am indeed the Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful; And that My Penalty will be indeed the most grievous Penalty. (Quran 15:49-50)

Allah is just, and His justice necessitates that He reward those who obey and serve Him and punish those who disobey and rebel against Him. If Allah did not punish the sinful, wicked and evil people who deserve to be punished, it would not be justice. When punishment for wrongdoing is certain, it serves to deter potential offenders. In contrast, if Allah forgave everyone and punished no one, there would be no reason for legislation, ethics or even morality. Life on earth would be chaotic and nothing short of anarchy. True justice, with its true rewards and just penalties can only be found with Allah, and that is what He has promised in the Quran:

We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least, and if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it (to account): and enough are We to take account. (Quran 21:47)

Allah forgives all those who repent and correct themselves at any stage in their lives, and He has invited all people to His abundant forgiveness and mercy:

Say: ‘O My slaves who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful. And return (in repentance) to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped. And follow the best of what was revealed to you from your Lord before the punishment comes upon you suddenly, while you do not perceive. (Quran 39:53-5)

Say: “O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. “Turn ye to our Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (Will), before the Penalty comes on you: after that ye shall not be helped. “And follow the best of (the courses) revealed to you from your Lord, before the Penalty comes on you – of a sudden while ye perceive not!- “Lest the soul should (then) say: ‘Ah! Woe is me!- In that I neglected (my duty) towards Allah, and was but among those who mocked!’- “Or (lest) it should say: ‘If only Allah had guided me, I should certainly have been among the righteous!’