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TO ERR IS HUMAN AND TO FORGIVE DIVINE | for CSS & PMS aspirants

Written By Ambar Fiaz

Alexander Pope is the most widely quoted poet in English literature after Shakespeare. He is the sole exponent of the Age of Reason in English poetry. The above is the most famous line from his great philosophic poem-An Essay on Man. To err is human and to forgive divine is crystal clear. The elements of Pope’s poetry are commonplace but suddenly rare. The great Roman Catholic poet intends his meaning only to complete itself, and things are allowed their full say.
The line contains universal truth and corresponds to Quranic versions about human error and divine forgiveness. The following are some famous Quranic verses about forgiveness:

i) A kind word of forgiveness is better than almsgiving followed by injury. Allah is Absolute and Clement (11-263)

ii) Forgiveness is only incumbent on Allah towards those who do evil in ignorance (and) then turn quickly (in repentance) to Allah. These are they towards who Allah relenth. Allah is ever knower, wise. (V-17).

The whole philosophy of the title is contained in these Quranic verses. Pope was a deeply religious man, and such wise words must flow from his pen. It is repeatedly heard that man is a bundle of emotions-both good and bad. He has rightly been called an effigy of errors. As quoted above, he does evil; he goes stray and commits wrongs. His mistakes and mistakes are reflected in his words and actions. He disobeys God; he sinnth. Only repentance and abjurment can win him the forgiveness and mercy of God.
Man is sinful, smacking of every sin that has a name. Everybody errs, commits errors. They cannot be hidden and are easily detected. Nobody can deny the truth to err is human. As Pope has said:

“Errors like straw on the surface float.
Those who seek for pearls must dive below.”

Evil and errors plague man’s life. There is always a tug-of-war between the good self (upper) and bad self (lower) in man. In a man of weak character, the lower self always conquers the upper self. The man takes in vice more easily than virtue.
Forgiveness and Mercy are great divine attributes. Had it not been for the Mercy of God, man could not survive for a single moment. God in His Mercy has created everything for the good of man. Thus earth and sky, land and water, air and sunshine, large varieties of fruits and vegetables, animals and birds, rivers and oceans, fields and farms, all cater for the needs of man. Let us be thankful to God for his bounties and blessings. Let us tread the appointed path of virtues and shun the vices. We should always be grateful for His gifts and ask for forgiveness and mercy day and night.

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ABOUT THE WRITER:

Miss Amber Fiaz is one of the bonafide students of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. She has completed her 6 month-course on Online Creative English Writing under his patronage. She has been an avid writer and has happened to write numerous blogs on various topics and issues. Her writing is a reflection of how much difference one can make in society.

Name of the Student: Miss Amber Fiaz
Qualifications: M.S Physics
Total Articles/Blogs: 8
English Coach: Sir Syed Kazim Ali
Course Taken: Online Creative English Writing

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