Tafsir of Verse(s): [3]
فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوَّابًا 3
+ hymn the praise of thy Lord, and seek forgiveness from Him. Truly He is Ever Relenting. 3 According to some, the meaning of hymn the praise in this verse is “pray” (Q). This may follow from the fact that Muslims, following the wont of the Prophet, recite various formulas of praise and glory during both the bowing and the prostrations of prayer, formulas such as “Glory be to Thee, O God, our Lord, and praise unto Thee, our Lord. O God, forgive me” (Q). In general, the verb sabbaḥa, translated throughout as glorify or glorifies (e.g., 57:1; 59:1; 61:1; 62:1), when combined with ḥamd (“praise”) as hymn the praise (lit. “glorify the praise”; cf. 15:98; 20:130; 32:15; 40:7, 55; 42:5; 50:39; 52:48), indicates the recognition that God is beyond all that anyone can attribute to Him (see 57:1c). The Divine Name “the Relenting” is also coupled with the Merciful in several verses (see 2:37, 54, 128, 160; 4:16, 64; 9:104, 118; 49:12). God is portrayed as relenting unto human beings throughout human history, beginning with Adam and Eve (see 2:37c), and every revelation can be seen as a form of God’s relenting. The word for human repentance and for Divine relenting are the same in Arabic (tawbah; verbal form tāba/yatūbu). It thus represents a subtle reciprocity between Divine action and human action, as in 5:39: But whosoever repents (tāba) after his wrongdoing, and makes amends, God will relent (yatūbu) unto him. Though human beings can play some role in seeking their own forgiveness, ultimately it is God Who must first turn to human beings, as in 9:118: Then He relented unto them, that they might repent; see 2:37c and the essay “Translating the Quran.”