God's will represents His attributes and it is spelled out in black and white in Quran. When God forgives whomever He wills, punishes whomever He wills, exalts whomever He wills and guides whomever He wills, when He dislikes, favors, loves and ranks- this is all done without the least injustice and according to straightforward and just standards that He states in Quran. Thus, His will is detailed and shared with us. When He guides whomever He wills, He explains that this is done based on His knowledge of who deserves the guidance; it is His will to guide and support those He knows they will choose belief over disbelief. When He states that we cannot take heed against His will in one verse, He explains in another one that those who choose to be guided will take heed; it is His will that those who first choose to believe will, then, be seer and will take heed. This does not mean that God will favor someone, without any legitimacy, make that someone seer, guided or forgiven. God's will is no mystery. It is issued in Quran and it is bound by ethics and just laws that He fully detailed.
[74:54] Indeed, this is a reminder.
[74:55] For those who wish to take heed.
[74:56] They cannot take heed against God's will. He is the source of reverence (righteousness); He is the source of forgiveness.
[28:56] You cannot guide the ones you love. God is the only One who guides in accordance with His will, and in accordance with His knowledge of those who deserve the guidance.
[19:76] God augments the guidance of those who choose to be guided. For the good deeds are eternally rewarded by your Lord, and bring far better returns.
[4:49] Have you noted those who exalt themselves? Instead, God is the One who exalts whomever He wills, without the least injustice.
[46:19] They all attain the ranks they have deserved, in accordance with their works. He will pay them for their works, without the least injustice.
[16:111] The day will come when every soul will serve as its own advocate, and every soul will be paid fully for whatever it had done, without the least injustice.
Indeed, God is the SOURCE of all forgiveness. He has given Himself that attribute in Quran (74:56). He forgives whomever He wills (3:129, 48:14 and others). Like all His systems explained in Quran, God's forgiveness is bound by certain criteria that are consistent and fully compatible with His supreme justice. It is His will, that He fully explained in Quran, to specify certain, select souls with His forgiveness. We are not in the dark about that divine will... There should be NO conjecture, speculations, surprises, hidden rules or expectations that are not conforming with His divine laws and promises. There is nothing mysterious about God's decreed will of forgiveness. He said it all.... nothing but consistent laws, consistent systems and just and truthful fulfillment of all of His divine promises.
When we try to understand or elaborate on His immense forgiveness, let's follow His manual and let's never underestimate His immense justice. Those who believe in God, believe in His words, promises and systems. They never doubt them, or mix them with their personal wishes and standards.
- The basic criterion of God's will of forgiveness is that those who commit all sorts of sins, exceeded all sorts of limits, then decide to return to God, ask Him for forgiveness and repent a firm repentance (reform) are promised to be admitted into His mercy and should rejoice in His full forgiveness. When God says He forgives whomever He wills, he explains that His will is to forgive those who repent, reform, lead a righteous life and die as righteous believers, with no exceptions.
[19:60] Only those who repent, believe, and lead a righteous life will enter Paradise, without the least injustice.
[4:110] Anyone who commits evil, or wrongs his soul, then implores God for forgiveness, will find God Forgiving, Most Merciful.
[25:70] Exempted are those who repent, believe, and lead a righteous life. God transforms their sins into credits. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[25:71] Those who repent and lead a righteous life, God redeems them; a complete redemption.
[66:8] O you who believe, you shall repent to God a firm repentance. Your Lord will then remit your sins and admit you into gardens with flowing streams.....
[6:54] ..... Your Lord has decreed that mercy is His attribute. Thus, anyone among you who commits a transgression out of ignorance, and repents thereafter and reforms, then He is Forgiving, Most Merciful."
- Then, the other basic criterion of God's will of forgiveness is about those He clearly explained He will never forgive. God will not forgive those who persist in sinning until death; they keep on earning sins; they never attempt to repent and clean their records and they die with such sins surrounding them. Those are exiled of God's forgiveness (2:80-81, 4:111). No apologies or last minute repentance (when death is approaching) would be accepted from them (4:18, 3:90, 74:38-39). Last minute belief, when death is approaching (10:90-92), would also be nil since the chance to validate our intentions by righteous deeds that grow our souls was wasted (6:158, 5:69).
Based on that basic criterion, God teaches us that irrespective of how righteous we are, we are not going to be forgiven or redeemed if we die in a state of disbelief whether it is idol worship, hypocrisy or atheism (4:116, 4:48, 7:147, 3:90-91, 4:138-145). He has not decreed forgiveness for those who kill unjustly and deliberately or those who accumulate illicit gains or abuse the orphans' wealth without repenting or reforming (4:29-30, 4:10). He has not decreed forgiveness for those who continue to conceal the truth from God in His scripture (2:174, 2:159-160). There are many other examples. However, over and over, it is His will to forgive all sins if we repent, reform, sincerely, and lead a righteous life.
[39:53] Proclaim: "O My servants who exceeded the limits, never despair of God's mercy. For God forgives all sins. He is the Forgiver, Most Merciful."
God's will is explicit in Quran, it is not kept as a secret from us. It is consistent with His set laws and systems in Quran and with His attributes, specially His mercy and justice. God shares His decreed will with us in Quran. He explains in depth who deserves His guidance, who earns His forgiveness and who is promised full redemption and admittance into His mercy. His decreed will for whoever He will forgive or not is set clear, in black and white, with no exceptions, contradictions or surprises. We are not left in the dark. We are given all that would make us knowledgeable about His will of forgiveness. Let's leave the uncertainty and the guess work behind.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.