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ٱسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ أَوْ لاَ تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ إِن تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ سَبْعِينَ مَرَّةً فَلَن يَغْفِرَ ٱللَّهُ لَهُمْ ذٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَفَرُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَٱللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلْفَاسِقِينَ
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-At-Tawbah ( التوبة )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

Ask forgiveness for them, O Muhammad (s), or do not ask forgiveness for them: this leaves the choice of asking forgiveness, or refraining, up to him; the Prophet (s) said, ‘I have been given the choice, and I made it’, meaning [the choice] to ask forgiveness, as reported by al-Bukhārī. If you ask forgiveness for them seventy times, God will not forgive them: it is said that the ‘seventy’ is intended to express [by hyperbole] a great frequency of asking forgiveness. In [the Sahīh of] al-Bukhārī there is a hadīth [which states]: ‘If I was sure that were I to ask more than seventy times, God would forgive [them], I would have done so’. It is also said, however, that the very number [seventy] is actually meant, on account of this other hadīth of his: ‘I shall ask more than seventy times’, whereupon it was made clear to him [the Prophet] that the matter regarding forgiveness had been concluded by the verse, [Q. 63:6] Alike it will be regarding them: whether you ask forgiveness for them or you do not ask forgiveness for them [God will not forgive them]; that is because they disbelieved in God and His Messenger; and God does not guide the wicked folk.


Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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