Do not despair of the Mercy of Allah.. [Zumar 39:53]

Surah Zumar 39:53-4 – Nouman Ali Khan

Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah .

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ


Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives sins altogether. Indeed, it is He who is the Extremely Forgiving, the Permanently Merciful.”


سرف – Sarf – muSrif مسرف = Crossing the limit. i.e. Allah has set a limit, and you cross that limit. That is a muSRiF. [i.e. if you place a boundary in a field, and your horse goes past that boundary – it is called a muSrif.]
قنط Qanata – to become depressed, hopeless – where you expect nothing good anymore.
غفر  – Ghafr – Covers/Forgives [sins].
غفور  Ghafoor –
The letter ‘Waw’ و  in the middle of a word in the Arabic language – makes it EXCESSIVE. So GhafOOr = EXTREMELY forgiving.
رحيم – Raheem – the letter ‘Ya’ ي  – in the middle of a word implies PERMANENCY. So RahEEm = PERMANENTLY Merciful.

Allah did not say He is PERMANENTLY Forgiving [Ghafeer غفير ] – because He is not Always Forgiving (some people He will not forgive – He will punish them). This encourages people to repent to Him and to avoid sins, hoping that He will forgive them, but not feeling 100% secure about what Allah will do. This instills hope and reliance in Allah’s Mercy.
So you ask Allah for forgiveness, because He is Extremely forgiving. But He is not always Forgiving. If He was always forgiving – you would always do sins and say ‘He will forgive me because He is always forgiving’. Yet when Allah punishes, He is still Permanently merciful because He is having mercy on others.

Surah Zumar 39:54

وَأَنِيبُوا إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمْ وَأَسْلِمُوا لَهُ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ الْعَذَابُ ثُمَّ لَا تُنصَرُونَ

And return to your Lord and completely submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped.
aSlim – Silm –  سلم  – Complete Surrender. I.e. when the police catches a criminal and tells them to Surrender themselves completely in obedience to them.

نصر  ALOT of help. This word is used for when Nations supply other nations with Millions of money in food and medicine etc. to relieve them of their hardship.
Allah is hinting that if you do not repent and submit to Allah – He will punish you with such a big punishment, that a small amount of help will not be able to help you. You will need ALOT of help [Nasr], and you will not even get that help.