THE MAJOR SINS
Those who avoid the greatest sins and indecencies, except for oversights, (will find that) surely your Lord is ample in forgiveness. (Al-Najm 53:32)
- 1. Associating anything with Allah
- 2. Murder
- 3. Practising magic
- 4. Not Praying
- 5. Not paying Zakat
- 6. Not fasting on a Day of Ramadan without excuse
- 7. Not performing Hajj, while being able to do so
- 8. Disrespect to parents
- 9. Abandoning relatives
- 10. Fornication and Adultery
- 11. Homosexuality(sodomy)
- 12. Interest(Riba)
- 13. Wrongfully consuming the property of an orphan
- 14. Lying about Allah and His Messenger
- 15. Running away from the battlefield
- 16. A leader’s deceiving his people and being unjust to them
- 17. Pride and arrogance
- 18. Bearing false witness
- 19. Drinking Khamr (wine)
- 20. Gambling
- 21. Slandering chaste women
- 22. Stealing from the spoils of war
- 23. Stealing
- 24. Highway Robbery
- 25. Taking false oath
- 26. Oppression
- 27. Illegal gain
- 28. Consuming wealth acquired unlawfully
- 29. Committing suicide
- 30. Frequent lying
- 31. Judging unjustly
- 32. Giving and Accepting bribes
- 33. Woman’s imitating man and man’s imitating woman
- 34. Being cuckold
- 35. Marrying a divorced woman in order to make her lawful for the husband
- 36. Not protecting oneself from urine
- 37. Showing off
- 38. Learning knowledge of the religion for the sake of this world and concealing that knowledge
- 39. Betrayal of trust
- 40. Recounting favours
- 41. Denying Allah’s Decree
- 42. Listening (to) people’s private conversations
- 43. Carrying tales
- 44 Cursing
- 45. Breaking contracts
- 46. Believing in fortunetellers and astrologers
- 47. A woman’s bad conduct towards her husband
- 48. Making statues and pictures
- 49. Lamenting, wailing, tearing the clothing, and doing other things of this sort when an affliction befalls
- 50. Treating others unjustly
- 51. Overbearing conduct toward the wife, the servant, the weak, and animals
- 52. Offending one’s neighbor
- 53. Offending and abusing Muslims
- 54. Offending people and having an arrogant attitude toward them
- 55. Trailing one’s garment in pride
- 56. Men’s wearing silk and gold
- 57. A slave’s running away from his master
- 58. Slaughtering an animal which has been dedicated to anyone other than Allah
- 59. To knowingly ascribe one’s paternity to a father other than one’s own
- 60. Arguing and disputing violently
- 61. Withholding excess water
- 62. Giving short weight or measure
- 63. Feeling secure from Allah’s Plan
- 64. Offending Allah’s righteous friends
- 65. Not praying in congregation but praying alone without an excuse
- 66. Persistently missing Friday Prayers without any excuse
- 67. Usurping the rights of the heir through bequests
- 68. Deceiving and plotting evil
- 69. Spying for the enemy of the Muslims
- 70. Cursing or insulting any of the Companions of Allah’s Messenger
REPENTENCE WIPES OUT WHATEVER CAME BEFORE IT
One might say: “I want to repent, but who can guarantee that Allaah will forgive me if I do so? I want to follow the Straight Path, but I feel very hesitant. If I knew for sure that Allaah would forgive me, I would definitely repent.”
I would say in response that these feelings of hesitation are the same as those experienced by the Sahaabah themselves. If you think seriously about the following two reports, the feelings you have will be dispelled, in shaAllaah.
Imaam Muslim (may Allaah have mercy on him) reported the story of how ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him) came to Islam: “.When Allaah put the love of Islam into my heart, I came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: ‘Stretch forth your hand so that I may give bay’ah (pledge of allegiance) to you. He stretched forth his hand, but I pulled my own hand back. He asked, ‘What is the matter, O ‘Amr?’ I said, ‘There is a condition.’ He asked, ‘What is the condition?’ I said: ‘That I be forgiven.’ He said: ‘Do you not know, O ‘Amr, that Islam wipes out whatever came before, hijrah (migration for the sake of Allah) wipes out whatever came before, and Hajj wipes out whatever came before?'”
Imaam Muslim reported from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) that some people among the mushrikeen killed, and killed a great deal, and they committed adultery, and did it a great deal. Then they came to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: “What you say and advocate is good, if only you could tell us that there is any expiation for what we have done.” Then Allaah revealed the words (interpretation of the meanings): “And those who invoke not any other god along with Allaah, nor kill such life as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse – and whoever does this shall receive the punishment.” [al-Furqaan 25:68]; “Say: ‘O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah.” [al-Zumar 39:53].
Will Allaah forgive me?
You might say: “I want to repent, but my sins are many indeed. There is no kind of immoral act, no kind of sin, imaginable or otherwise, that I have not committed. It is so bad that I do not know if Allaah can forgive me for the things that I have done over the years.”
In response, I would tell you that this is not a unique problem; it is one that is shared by many of those who wish to repent. Let me give you the example of a young man who asked this question once. He began his career of sin at a very early age, and by the time he was only seventeen, he already had a long record of committing every kind of immoral act, major and minor, with all kinds of people, old and young alike. He had even abused a little girl. Added to this was a long list of thefts. Then he said: “I have repented to Allaah. I now pray tahajjud some nights, and I fast every Monday and Thursday, and I read Qur’aan after Fajr prayers. Will my repentance be of any avail?”
The guiding principle for us Muslims is to refer to the Qur’aan and Sunnah when we look for rulings, solutions and remedies. When we refer this matter to the Qur’aan, we find that Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Say: ‘O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And turn in repentance and in obedience with true faith to your Lord and submit to Him.” [al-Zumar 39:53-54].
This is the answer to this particular problem. The matter is quite clear and needs no further explanation.
The feeling that one’s sins are too great to be forgiven by Allaah stems from a number of factors:
The absence of certain faith on the part of the slave in the vastness of Allaah’s mercy
A lack of faith in the ability of Allaah to forgive all sins
Weakness in one aspect of the heart’s action, namely hope
Failure to understand the effect of repentance in wiping out sins
We will answer all these points here:
It is sufficient to quote the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning): “. and My Mercy embraces all things.” [al-A’raaf 7:156]
It is sufficient to quote the saheeh hadeeth qudsi: “Allaah says: “Whoever knows that I am able to forgive all sins, I shall forgive him, and I shall not mind, so long as he does not associate anything with Me.'” (Reported byal-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, and by al-Haakim; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4330). This refers to when the slave meets his Lord in the Hereafter.
This may be remedied by referring to the hadeeth qudsi: ” ‘O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and put your hope in Me, I will forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky, and you were to ask me for forgiveness, I will forgive you and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, if you were to come to Me with sins nearly the size of the earth, and you were to meet Me not associating anything with Me, then I would bring you forgiveness nearly the size of (the earth).'” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4338).
It is sufficient to quote the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “The one who repents from his sin is like the one who did not sin in the first place.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3008).
THE BITTER CONSEQUENCES OF SINS
Imaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
It is essential to know that sins and acts of disobedience are, necessarily, very harmful. Their harm effects upon the heart are akin to the harmful effects of poison upon the body, though the effects vary in their levels and intensities. So is there any evil or harm in this world, or in the Hereafter, except that it is due to sins and disobedience?
So what was it that expelled the two parents [i.e. Adam and Eve] from Paradise; the home of delight, bliss, splendor and joy; to the home of pain, sorrow and misfortune?
What was it that expelled Iblees [i.e. Satan] from the heavenly realms, causing him to be rejected and cursed; transforming him both inwardly and outwardly, so that his form became ugly and hideous – his inner form more hideous than his outer – replacing his nearness with remoteness, mercy with curse, his beauty with ugliness, from being in Paradise to being in the blazing Fire, from having faith to being an unbeliever, from having the patronage and friendship of Allaah, the Praiseworthy Guardian, to being the greatest enemy and opponent, from glorifying and praising Him to committing acts of unbelief, shirk, lies, deception and shamelessness, from being adorned with faith to being clothed in the garment of unbelief, sinfulness and disobedience, causing him to reach the deepest depths of despicability, plunging down in the sight of Allaah as far as it is possible to plunge; causing the anger of Allaah the Exalted to be upon him, making him an outcast – despised and hum iliated – so that he became a leader for every sinner and criminal, becoming pleased with leadership for himself, after having reached the station of worship and nobility? O Allaah, we seek refuge in You from opposing Your command and falling into what You have forbidden.
What was it that caused the people of the earth to drown, to the extent that the water rose above even the mountaintops? What was it that caused the violent winds to overcome the people of `Aad, such that it flung them down dead upon the face of the earth – as if they were lopped-off palm trunks – and it destroyed whatever dwellings and crops it came across, thus making them an example for nations until the Day of Resurrection?
What was it that caused the piercing shrieks to be set loose upon the Thamood people, such that their hearts were severed within their very bodies, by which they all perished? What was it that caused the town of the homosexuals to be raised up and turned upside down, such that they were all destroyed? Then stones from the sky pelted down upon them so that they suffered a combined punishment, the like of which was not given to any other nation! And for their brothers will be its like; and it is not far off from the transgressors!
What was it that caused the clouds of punishment to overcome the people of Shu’ayb, such that when these clouds were above their heads it rained scorching fire upon them?
What was it that caused the Pharaoh and his people to be drowned in the ocean, and caused their souls to be transported to the Hellfire, so their bodies drowned and their souls burned?
What was it that caused Qaaroon, his dwelling, wealth and family to sink down into the earth?
What was it that caused the destruction of those generations after Noah, and how they were afflicted with various punishments that caused their annihilation?
What was it that caused the destruction of the companions of Yaa Seen, with the clamorous shout, which destroyed them?
What caused there to be sent against the Children of Israa’eel enemies of great strength and might, plundering their homes, killing their men, enslaving their women and children, burning their dwellings, seizing their wealth, and then returning again a second time, destroying what was rebuilt after the first onslaught?
What was it that caused the various types of punishments to be set loose upon the Children of Israa’eel? Killing them, enslaving them, destroying their land and at times causing them to be oppressed by kings, whilst at another time causing them to be transformed into apes and swines -and finally the Lord took an oath that: “He would certainly keep on sending against them, until the Day of Resurrection, those who will inflict them with a humiliating torment.” [Soorah al-A’raaf 7:167]
Imam Ahmad said: al-Waleed ibn Muslim related to us; that Safwaan ibn ‘Amr related to us; that `Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Jubayr ibn Nufayr related; from his father, who said: “When Cyprus was conquered and its people were dispersed and they started weeping to each other, I saw Abud-Dardaa sitting alone and weeping. So I said to him: O Abud-Dardaa! What makes you weep on this day that Allaah has granted strength and honor to Islaam and its people? So he said: Woe be to you O Jubayr! How insignificant the creation becomes to Allaah when they turn away from His command. In front of us is a nation who were evidently powerful and who had dominion, yet they abandoned Allaah’s command, so look what has become of them.” 
`Alee ibn al-Ja’d said: Shu’bah ibn `Amr ibn Murrah informed us; I heard Abul-Bukhtaree say: I was informed by someone, who heard the Prophet (saw) saying: “The people will not perish, until they have no excuse left for themselves.”
Imaam Ahmad reports in his Musnad, from the hadeeth of Umm Salamah, who said: I heard Allaah’s Messenger (saw) saying: “When acts of disobedience become widespread in my ummah, then Allaah may send punishment upon them all from Himself” So I said: 0 Allaah’s Messenger! Even if there are righteous people amongst them that day? So he replied: “Indeed!” So I said: How will that be? He replied: “They will be afflicted with what afflicts the people, then they will move on to the forgiveness of Allaah and His good pleasure.” 
-  Ad-Daa’ wad-Dawaa’ (pp.65-67).
-  Reported by Imaam Ahmad in az-Zuhd (i/86) with an authentic (saheeh) chain of narration; as stated by Shaykh `Alee Hasan al-Halabee in his verification of the book. (p.67).
-  Reported by Ahmad (4/260) and Abu Daawood (no.4347) with an authentic chain of narration.
-  Reported by Ahmad (6/304) and one of its narrators is Layth ibn Abee Sulaym, who is weak. However the hadeeth is established due to further supporting narrations. Consult Silsilatul-Ahaadeethus-Saheehah (no.1372) of Shaykh al-Albaanee.
ALLAH SWT FORGIVES ALL SINS EXCEPT SHIRK
How is it possible that a person who only believes in oneness of Allah but commits sins all his life will be allowed to enter a paradise?
Allah (swt) says in the Quran: Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with him; but He forgiveth anything else to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin most heinous indeed. 4:48
From this verse, it is understood that Allah (swt) will forgive all sins, except that of shirk (associating partners with Allah) – and Allah (swt) knows best.
To expand on this however the following needs to be taken into consideration:
Sahl ibn Saad (ra) narrates: Allah’s Apostle said, “Seventy thousand or seven hundred thousand of my followers will enter Paradise. (Abu Hazim, the sub-narrator, is not sure as to which of the two numbers is correct.) And they will be holding on to one another, and the first of them will not enter till the last of them has entered, and their faces will be like the moon on a full moon night.” Bukhari 8.560
This hadith shows us that there will be certain people who will go straight into paradise, who will have their sins forgiven immedieatly by the Grace and Mercy of Allah (swt). So there will be some who will go directly to paradise. Does this refer to a person who spends day and night in the mosque? Or could this refer to somsone who performs the basics of prayer and lives the rest of their life righteously? Allah (swt) alone knows best as He (swt) is the One to judge, and may Allah have mercy on the believers, ameen.
An extract from a hadith referring to the day of judgement. Abu Huraira (ra) narrates: …Allah will call them, and As-Sirat (a bridge) will be laid across Hell and I (Muhammad) shall be the first amongst the Apostles to cross it with my followers. Nobody except the Apostles will then be able to speak and they will be saying then, ‘O Allah! Save us. O Allah Save us.’ There will be hooks like the thorns of Sa’dan in Hell. Have you seen the thorns of Sa’dan?” The people said, “Yes.” He said, “These hooks will be like the thorns of Sa’dan but nobody except Allah knows their greatness in size and these will entangle the people according to their deeds; some of them will fall and stay in Hell forever; others will receive punishment (torn into small pieces) and will get out of Hell, till when Allah intends mercy on whomever He likes amongst the people of Hell, He will order the angels to take out of Hell those who worshipped none but Him alone….. Bukhari 1.770
So we know that some people will go straight to heaven, yet others will go to heaven, by the Mercy of Allah, but only after falling into the hell fire for some time, until Allah (swt) forgives their sins – and may He (swt) have mercy on us all, ameen.
Allah (swt) says in the Quran: Say: “O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful. 39:53
He (swt) says that He will forgive all sins (except shirk) as long as a person is sincere and seeks His (swt) forgiveness.
Allah (swt) also says: “But without doubt I am (also) He that forgives again and again to those who repent believe and do right who in fine are ready to receive true guidance.” 20:82
and again to show by analogy: Being true in faith to Allah and never assigning partners to Him: if anyone assigns partners to Allah he is as if he had fallen from heaven and been snatched up by birds or the wind had swooped (like a bird on its prey) and thrown him into a far-distant place 22:31
Allah (swt) says: And they say: “The fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days”; Say: “Have ye taken a promise from Allah for He never breaks His promise? Or is it that ye say of Allah what ye do not know? 2:80
There will be some people who will intentionally do wrong, and say well its okay to so wrong because Allah (swt) will forgive us. These people, are the one whom Allah (swt) refers to in the verse above.
Allah (swt) says: And those who having done something to be ashamed of or wronged their own souls earnestly bring Allah to mind and ask for forgiveness for their sins and who can forgive sins except Allah? And are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done 3:135
When a person sins out of weakness, then that is a fault, a weakness. If the intention in the heart is NOT to sin, but they still comit the sin, as long as the person returns to Allah (swt) and asks Allah (swt) to forgive them, then perhaps by the Mercy of Allah (swt) they will be forgiven, ameen – and may Allah (swt) have mercy on us all, ameen.
However when a person intentionally does something which they know is haram, with the belief that ALlah will forgive them (I hope you can see the difference between doing something intentionally and doing something out of weakness) then this person will be in alot of trouble (and Allah knows best). Because Allah (swt) knows what is in a persons heart, and when Allah (swt) sees that a person thinks like this i.e. Ill do wrong and Allah will forgive me in a day or 2 days, maybe that angers Allah (swt) because the person is trying to twist the rules that Allah (swt) has given us (and Allah (swt) knows best). So to a person who intentionally does wrong, perhaps Allah (swt) will have mercy on them and forgive them in 10 second, perhaps Allah (swt) will have mercy on them, but only after 1 billion years in hell fire – we dont know, only Allah (swt) knows best – and may He (swt) have mercy on the believers, ameen.
Abdullah(ra) narrates: I or somebody, asked Allah’s Apostle “Which is the biggest sin in the Sight of Allah?” He said, “That you set up a rival (in worship) to Allah though He Alone created you.”…..(the hadith continues) Bukhari 6.284
The reason why this (i.e. shirk) is the biggest sin
Allah (swt) says: Do they indeed ascribe to Him as partners things that can create nothing but are themselves created? 7:191
Allah (swt) is the Creator – and the most important thing that the Creator has asked of us (i.e. the Created) is to worship Him. This is what all the Prophets taught, this is the foundation of faith. When a person, after seeing all the evidences does not (a) acknowledge that there is only 1 Creator, and then (b) does not worship that Creator, then that person is in trouble, for they are denying the simle and plain truth – and may Allah (swt) protect us all from such a situation and let us die only in the state of Islam, ameen.
Abu Huraira (ra) narrates: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) observed: By Him in Whose hand is the life of Muhammad, he who amongst the community of Jews or Christians hears about me, but does not affirm his belief in that with which I have been sent and dies in this state (of disbelief), he shall be but one of the denizens of Hell-Fire. Muslim 284
This hadith shows that, for example, while the Jews may believe in tauhid i.e. that Allah (swt) is One, without partners, the very fact that they know of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) or even Prophet Jesus (pbuh) yet chose not to follow the final message of Islam, is a sign of clear disbelief, especially when the proofs and evidences that Muhammed (pbuh) was the final Prophet to mankind are so clear and evident, first and foremost with the miracle of the Quran itself, and then through a whole series of other issues of comparative religion – and may Allah (swt) have mercy, remove that veil of misguidance, and guide us all, ameen. [This by the way also refers to the Christian sect known as Unitarians, who do not believe that Jesus (pbuh) was the son of Allah, but they still believe that Allah (swt) is 1 without partner and that Jesus (pbuh) was a prophet, however if shown Islam then they reject it, they are upon disbelief, and Allah (swt) knows best]
“A servant [of Allah’s] committed a sin and said: O Allah, forgive me my sin. And He (glorified and exalted be He) said: My servant has committed a sin and has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for them. Then he sinned again and said: O Lord, forgive me my sin. And He (glorified and exalted be He) said: My servant has committed a sin and has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for them. Then he sinned again and said: O Lord, forgive me my sin. And He (glorified and exalted be He) said: My servant has committed a sin and has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for sins. Do what you wish, for I have forgiven you.” Qudsi 33
This shows that the Mercy of Allah (swt) to the one who does something wrong when in a weak state is there. And what else can tell us of the mercy of Allah (swt)?
Abu Huraira (ra) narrates: Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) said: There are one hundred (parts of)mercy of Allah and He has sent down out of these one part of mercy upon the jinn and human beings and the insects and it is because of this (one part)that they love one another, show kindness to one another and even the beast treats its young one with affection, and Allah has reserved ninety-nine parts of mercy with which He would treat His servants on the Day of Resurrection. Muslim 6631
And may Allah (swt) have mercy upon those who seek truth and guide us, ameen.
The Mercy of Allah (swt) is also mentioned many times in the Quran: “Ye do call upon me to blaspheme against Allah and to join with Him Partners of whom I have no knowledge; and I call you to the Exalted in Power Who forgives again and again!” 40:42
“…for Allah is One that blots out (sins) and forgives (again and again)” 22:60
“… but truly Allah is one that blots out (sins) and forgives (again and again)” 58:2
And the extent of Allah (swt) mercy may be seen when we read: Abu Said ul Khudri (ra) narrates: Allah’s Apostle said, “When the people of Paradise have entered Paradise, and the people of the Fire have entered the Fire, Allah will say. ‘Take out(of the Fire) whoever has got faith equal to a mustard seed in his heart.’ They will come out, and by that time they would have burnt and became like coal, and then they will be thrown into the river of Al-Hayyat (life) and they will spring up just as a seed grows on the bank of a rainwater stream.”
The Prophet said, “Don’t you see that the germinating seed comes out yellow and twisted?” Bukhari 8.565
The hadith above demonstrate sthat Allah (swt) WILL forgive all people except those who commit shirk (and Allahknows best), as those who have even a mustard seed worth of faith in their heart. So this can be forgivess in a second or forgiveness in a billion years, or forgiveness is a trillion years – and may Allah (swt)have mercy on the believers, ameen.
Well I don’t really have a point seven, but, I read a hadith once, which I cant find anymore (bummer – and so Allah (swt) best whether I imagined it or did in fact read it) that Allah (swt) is One, and so Allah (swt) likes it when you do things an odd number of times – and Allah (swt) knows best. So for that reason, here is point 7:
Aisha (ra) narrates: The Prophet said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and receive good news because one’s good deeds will not make him enter Paradise.” They asked, “Even you, O Allah’s Apostle?” He said, “Even I, unless and until Allah bestows His pardon and Mercy on me.” Bukhari 8.474
It is ONLY the Mercy of Allah (swt) that will let ANYONE enter paradise. Allah (swt) says: Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better….. 41:34
Goodness and evil will never be equal, people will be rewarded and forgive their sins only by the mercy of Allah (swt) as per the condition they lived their lives in and surely it is only Allah (swt) know can know all the variables and as Allah (swt) says: “Is not Allah the wisest of Judges” 95:8
You asked: A person who doesnt care to prepare for the day of judgement, a person who has every bad quality in him but he believes in oneness of Allah and the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), a person who never acts upon the principles of Sunnah but believes in tawheed and risalat, can we expect such a person to enter Paradise.
If the person believes that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah (swt) and that Muhammed (pbuh) isthe last messenger of Allah (swt) – and all that this statement entails, then by the Mercy of Allah (swt) alone will they be forgiven and admited into paradise.
It could happenin one second, it could happen in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 year – only Allah (swt) knows best – and may He (swt )have mercy on the believers, ameen.
O ye who believe! fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except in a state of Islam. 3:102
And may Allah (swt) forgive our weekness our error and our deliberate wrongs, ameen – for certainly He (swt) alone is the One to forgive.
By Br. Amjad
Based on an Article by Shaikh Uthaimeen (translated by Idris Palmer)
Allah the Exalted has mentioned many qualities which He likes and loves that His servants possess them. He has also made entry into Paradise dependnant upon such qualities. Allaah says, for example:
- Indeed Allaah loves those who do good (muhsineen)
- Indeed Allaah loves those who have taqwaa of Him (muttaqeen)
- Indeed Allaah loves those who place their reliance upon Him (mutawakkileen)
- Indeed Allaah loves those who are just (muqsiteen) One such quality is Tawbah – repentance.
The Exalted said: Indeed Allaah loves those who constantly repent and those who keep themselves clean and pure [2:222]
Anas bin Maalik reported that the Messenger (sas) said: Allaah is more pleased with the repentance of His servant than a person who rides his camel in a waterless desert and the camel is lost; even though upon it is his provision and drink. Having lost all hope of finding it he sits down in the shade of the tree. While he is resting the camel appears in front of him. He gets hold of it by the nose-string and out of extreme joy says: O Lord you are my servant and I am your Lord. He says this out of boundless joy. Allah is more pleased than this person who at the moment of thinking he is ruined finds that his lost camel returns to him along with all his provisions and drink without which he would starve and die. Imagine the joy that you would feel in such a situation.
So what does the word tawbah mean? The word Tawbah comes from the verb ‘Taaba’ meaning to return, to come back. In the Shar’eeah it means to return from the disobedience of Allaah to His obedience, to return from sinning to obedience and fear of Allaah Azzawajall
Tawbah is waajib (obligatory) upon every muslim from all sins no matter how small or how great in all situations till death. Allaah the Exalted says: O you who believe! Turn to Allaah in sincere repentance [66:8]
Tawbah is one of the means by which one enters paradise and achieves salvation. The Exalted says: And turn to Allaah together O believers, in order that you may succeed [24:31]
By sincere Tawbah, Allaah forgives sins whether serious/grave or numerous. He said: Say: O my servants who have been excessive in sins! Despair not of the mercy of Allaah. Who forgives all sins. Indeed He is the Forgiver, the Mercy -Giving[39:53]
The door of Tawbah is open till the sun rises from the west. This is one of the signs of the Day of Judgement. There are many other signs which the Messenger (sas) has pointed out to us such as the frequent occurrence of earthquakes, the increase in the number of women, the rise in killings and many others. The Messenger (sas) said: Allaah, the Glorious and Exalted stretches His Hand out during the night so that people may repent for the sins committed from dawn to dusk and He stretches out His hand during the day so that people may repent for the sins committed from dusk to dawn until the sun rises from the West Allaah has given examples of some of the serious sins which he forgives:
He said: And those who invoke not any other diety along with Allaah nor take the life which Allaah has made sacred except for just cause and whoever does that shall (not only) encounter sin but the punishment will be doubled for him on the Day of Judgement and he will dwell therein in humiliation: unless he repents, reaffirms his faith and works righteous deeds. For them Allaah will change their evil deeds into good. Allaah i s the Forgiver, the Mercy-Giving [25:68-70] So Allaah’s Mercy encompasses every single thing and every single sin. Provided that the servant repents for that sin. The angels say as mentioned in Allaah’s Book: O our Lord! You have encompassed every thing with (your) Mercy and your Knowledge.
By Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen
Repentance: means turning back from disobeying Allaah to obeying Him.
Repentance: is beloved to Allaah, as He says: “Verily, Allaah loves those who repent and those who purify themselves.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 222]
Repentance: is an obligation on every believer. Allaah says: “O you who believe! Turn to Allaah in sincere repentance!” [Surah At-Tahreem: 8]
Repentance: is from the means of attaining success. Allaah says: “And O believers, all of you, repent to Allaah in order that you may be successful.” [Surah An-Noor: 31] Success is when someone gets what he is looking for and is saved from what he is running from.
Through Sincere Repentance: Allaah forgives sins no matter how big they are and no matter how many they are. Allaah says: “Say: O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (because of sins), do not despair from the mercy of Allaah. Verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Verily, He is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah Az-Zumar: 53]
O my brother who has fallen into sins, do not despair from the mercy of your Lord, for indeed the door to repentance is open until the sun rises from the west. The Prophet SAWS said: “Verily, Allaah extends His hand out at night in order to accept the repentance of the sinner by day. And He extends His hand out during the day in order to accept the repentance of the sinner by night, until (the day) when the sun will rise from its west.” [Reported by Muslim]
And how many people have repented to Allaah from numerous and enormous sins and Allaah has accepted their repentance? Allaah says: “And those who do not supplicate to another god along with Allaah, nor do they kill a person that Allaah has made forbidden (to kill) except with just cause, nor do they commit fornication. And whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled for him on the Day of Resurrection and he will abide therein in disgrace. Except those who repent and believe and do righteous deeds, for those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds. And Allaah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah Al-Furqaan: 68-70]
Sincere Repentance: must meet five conditions (in order to be accepted), which are:
1. Sincerity to Allaah, the Most High: This is by the person doing it only for the sake of Allaah and seeking His reward and salvation from His punishment.
2. Remorse: for the sin that was committed, such that he is sad he did it and wishes he had never done it.
3. Ceasing: to commit the sin immediately. If the sin was against Allaah, then he should (1) stop doing it if it was an unlawful act, or (2) hasten to do it if it was an obligation that he abandoned doing. And if the sin was against a created being (such as humans), then he should hasten to free himself from it, whether by returning it back to him or seeking his forgiveness and pardon.
4. Determination: to not go back to doing that sin again in the future.
5. The repentance should not occur before the time when its acceptance is terminated, either by death or by the sun rising from the west. Allaah says: “Repentance is of no effect for those who commit sins constantly until when death faces one of them, he says: Verily I repent now.” The Prophet SAWS said: “Whoever repents before the sun rises from its west, Allaah will accept his repentance.” [Reported by Muslim]
O Allaah, grant us the sincere repentance and accept it from us, verily You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.
FALLING INTO SIN
IN TODAY’S SOCIETY, WHAT CAN ONE DO TO PROTECT HIS EMAAN, IMPROVE HIS CHARACTER AND BE THE MUSLIM HE WANTS TO BE?
As one of only two Muslims in a small Kentucky town one summer, it was hard not to notice the stares. Coming from a mostly Muslim setting, it was a difficult adjustment for the sixth-grader visiting Christian relatives. “I felt I went from being a perfectly normal, happy child with many interests and friends, to something akin to a monster.” Everything about her suddenly became wrong; and so, beyond the eyes of the Ummah, some set about fixing her. “The funny thing is that I was taught to have a healthy respect for Allah’s revelations. And that, in part, is what they used against me. I was in a nightmare filled with emotional vampires and spiritual cannibals and I knew this was not the teachings of the honorable Prophet Eesa alayhes sallam. But I wanted to be liked and accepted.”
The second-generation Muslim, and seventh generation American, left the town with her faith shaken in a God who could have put her through that, and in her belief in the inherent goodness and oneness of people. But mostly her emaan, her faith in Allah now felt just beyond her reach. Her better instincts had been dulled. She’d done a few things she felt ashamed of and she sometimes lapsed into small bouts of depression. There was a small ball of anger eating at her gut. She didn’t think she could ever tell anyone about her experiences. She just wanted to be left alone…
EMAAN is your most valuable possession
In a time when faith in God is many times considered a weakness, where the relationship between cause and effect are bandied about as negotiable, emaan may seem like a fantasy at best, an albatross at worst. The line between right and wrong is deliberately blurred, redrawn and blurred again. Throughout time-ancient as well as modern-examples of what comes of the convolutions of mankind abound. Yet still we allow ourselves to be guided into the web of the true delusion: that in going against the blueprint for mankind that Allah reiterates in the Qur’an, we can cheat the fate our own hands wring, that among ourselves we make adequate lesser gods.
Anyone who contemplates the verses of the Qur’an will find people are ultimately responsible for their own deeds. Allah is not unjust to anyone, that the reason behind a person’s deviations is one’s own self. Deeds, by heart or limb, result in steadfastness or perversion. They are linked together in the same fashion a consequence is linked to its cause and an effect to its influence. And sometimes Allah plots for you a course of hills, valleys and straightaways that will ultimately make the legs of your deen-your emaan-lean and well-muscled.
Shoring up your Character
Allah guides those who perform good deeds. And the more we do, the more guidance we receive. Likewise, evil doing feeds on itself. Ibn-ul-Qayyim said, “This is because Allah likes good deeds and rewards on them, and abhors evil deeds, and punishes for them.” Scholars have taken this truth and crafted the rule: “Recompense is according to deeds.”
Here are a few Qur’anic verses relating to the loss of guidance and decrease in emaan: “So when they turned away (from the path of Allah), Allah turned their hearts away (from the right path).” [61:5]
“I shall turn away from My signs those who behave arrogantly on the earth in a wrongful manner. If they see all the signs they will not believe in them. And if they see the way of righteousness, they will not adopt that way.” [7:146].
“And recite to them (Oh, Mohammed) the story of the one to whom We gave our verses (signs), but he turned them away, so Satan followed him up, and he became of those who went astray. Had he willed We would surely have elevated him therewith but he clung to the earth and followed his own vain desires. So his description is the that of a dog; if you drive him away, he lolls his tongue out, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls his tongue out.” [7:175-176].
The last verse tells us that some even have knowledge, but instead of applying it, they choose to follow their whims and worldly desires. In the end they lose their blessing and stray from Allah.
The young girl was eventually ensconced within the circle of her Muslim community but she had changed. She felt disconnected somehow. “I always did good deeds and tried to be helpful. I made good grades. But I was trying to sort out my relationship with people and was trying to see myself. My anger had turned to hatred and I thought that feeling, that rush made me brave. But it wasn’t my nature, to feed off of that kind of negativity. It wasn’t who I thought Allah wanted me to be. It wasn’t what my family brought me up to be. I could never reach my potential holding on to that baggage. “There was a time when I feared nothing but Allah. And now I had to admit that I feared what people could do when they discover you’re different. Going to school, walking to the store, meeting new people, voicing an opinion…” The more she hid and tried to blend in, the more obvious it became that she was different. “I didn’t gossip. I dressed modestly. I stood up for what I felt was right. I thought globally … I achieved things and some people admired me. But that made me uncomfortable because I knew that any good that came my way or through me was the will of Allah. I never really belonged. I had yet to really stand up for myself, to allow people to get to know me on my own terms. I had created something of a prison for myself that only I knew I was in.” Everyone is solely responsible for his/her deviation. Allah does not oppress anyone. Nor does Allah turn away servants when they sincerely strive for guidance. Allah is the most just. And He is the most merciful.
Deviation from the right path and the degradation of emaan are a result of one’s own deeds and a reflection of one’s own behavior and character. Muslims must always be aware of that. They should assume they will face challenges sometimes and be ready to protect themselves and to heal and to grow. The first step towards achieving that is to know why and how does it happen. Most times it isn’t the big wars that defeat a people, it is the little internal skirmishes which go unmet that eat away at character long before a clear enemy comes knocking on a half-opened door.
WHEN WE SLIP
Emaan is the core of all actions. It is the motivation necessary for a Muslim to accomplish whatever needed to lead a good life. Depending on the strength of his emaan, a person may or may not be able to abandon sinning, strive against his own desire and compel his soul to take heed.
The strength of emaan does not only show itself in the apparent deeds; true emaan actually fills and saturates the heart. Allah’s Messenger, saw, pointed out “three (factors), whoever has them will find the sweetness of emaan: that Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than any thing else, that he loves a person solely for the sake of Allah, and that he hates to revert to disbelieve, as he hates being thrown into hellfire.” (Bukhari and Muslim) In another hadeeth, Allah’s Messenger, saw said, “(He has) experienced the taste of emaan, who is contented that Allah as his Lord (Rabb), Islam as his religion and Mohammed as a Prophet.” (Muslim).
We have to be certain that our emaan is deeply rooted into our hearts. A person may repent to Allah, following the path of righteousness, yet emaan may not have entered his heart. So, at the first sign of destructive desires, doubts set in and convictions dissipate. Signs that this disease has entered the heart include rigidity of our hearts, courage in committing sins and laziness toward good deeds.
Balance emaan with Islamic knowledge
Just as a person needs emaan for motivation, action and strength in the heart, he, likewise, needs knowledge, to do what is right, rectify his worship and purify his turning to Allah alone. When emaan and Islamic knowledge are deeply rooted into a person’s heart, there remains no possibility for him to turn away from the path of righteousness. “The seizing of amanah (trustworthiness) and emaan (which has been reported in the authentic hadeeth) is not the seizing of knowledge,” Ibn-Taymiyyah said, “For it is known that a person may be bequeathed with emaan even though he lacks knowledge. An emaan like this one could be snatched from his heart -like the emaan of Bani-Israel after they saw the calf.
“As for the one bequeathed with both, knowledge and emaan, emaan is never seized from his breast and such a person never reverts from Islam. Conversely, if one is bequeathed with Qur’an alone or emaan alone, emaan can be seized and this is the reality. We have seen it often that the most to revert from Islam are those who recite Qur’an, without understanding or emaan, or those who possess emaan without knowledge and Qur’an. But as for the one who has acquired Qur’an and emaan, and hence obtained knowledge, for this one, emaan is never seized from his heart and Allah knows best.” (Majmou’a al-Fatawa 18/305).
The mere memorization of the Qur’an and concepts does not mean one has acquired knowledge, especially since the Qur’an is read by the munafiq (hypocrite), the mu’min (believer) and the illiterate. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “Knowledge is of two types; knowledge in the heart and knowledge on the tongue.” So knowledge in the heart is the useful one while knowledge on the tongue is Allah’s argument against His servants.”
Seeking Islamic knowledge saves thoughts from turning to desires and sins because there is no spare time, and because those things pale in the face of the joy of the revelation of truth. He will be so engrossed in the pleasure of acquiring knowledge such that the chance of himlooking for activities that may weaken his emaan or cause him to deviate will be minimum.
Slough the dead skin of sin
Allah says, “You counted it a little thing while it was very great in the sight of Allah.” [24:15] Some companions said, as reported by Anas, “You are doing deeds which you view to be finer than a hair, but we, in the days of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, used to consider them as major sins.” (Bukhari).
Viewing sins as little things has adverse effects:
-The sins multiply in the sight of Allah.
-The path of repentance becomes distant, since he does not anymore feel a need for it. It is the one who realizes its severity, adheres to making istighfaar (asking for forgiveness) and regretfully seeks repentance from Allah who has his sin erased.
-He is drawn to individuals similarly engrossed. This alone is among the major factors behind a person’s deviation. Moreover, it results in him avoiding the gatherings where Allah is remembered. As a result, opportunities that would otherwise help him remain steadfast on good deeds are missed.
-The sin becomes a hard habit to break. Even if the sins are minor, they gather around a person leading him to devastation, as Allah’s Messenger warned. Abdullah bin Mas’ood said, “Beware of viewing the sins as little for they gather upon a person till he is devastated and Allah’s Messenger, saw, has coined asimilitude for it as a group of people stopped in a desert and the cook among them arrived. So a person would go and bring one stick, and another one would go and bring one stick till they gathered many of them, lit a fire and brought to ripeness all that they have thrown in it.” (Authentic, Ahmad)
Arrogance and pride are traps
These two attributes are among the worst for man to acquire. Arrogance and pride led Iblis (Satan) astray, although he was in the company of the angels. That happened because, Allah tells us, “I (Iblis) am better than him (Adam). You created me from fire and him You created from clay.” [7:12].
If one does not rid himself of arrogance and pride, an end similar to that of Satan is a sure result. But even a little part of them-especially if related to how one views one’s worship-can very devastating to one’s emaan:
-Claiming perfection leads one to not feel the need to improve himself through good deeds and other means of nurturing his emaan. But emaan as stated by scholars either increases or decreases. Therefore, it will certainly decrease when one does not work hard to increase it with a lot good deeds.
-Admiring one’s own deeds results in the gradual relinquishment of worshipping Allah, because worship is based on humbling oneself to Him and acknowledging that all the gratefulness is to Allah and to Him alone. How could one be proud of his deeds while Allah’s Messenger, saw, used to say, “None of you will be saved because of his deeds.” They asked, “Not even you Oh Allah’s Messenger?” He said, “No, not even me, except that Allah bestows me with His mercy.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
-When one loses the fear of requital it becomes easy to forget about falling from the straight path. A sense of security in this aspect can be the first step towards falling a victim to it. Would such an arrogant person continually beseech Allah for guidance and seek steadfastness on his path?
-Vanity leads to backbiting and rumor mongering. Moreover, whomever mocks his brother about a particular sin will not die till he himself succumbs to it.
As the little sister grew, she continued to work at healing and finally, through salah, good deeds and study was able to rid herself of much of the scars of the past. Though it was painful, she admits she learned some valuable lessons that helped shape her deen and character, strengthen her emaan and define her sense of humanity.
Tackle Tarbiyah with Joy
After a person has turned to Allah in repentance, he leaves behind an enormous amount of evil ideas, perceptions and habits. It is not possible to get rid of all the past by a mere repentance to Allah. A personal training effort (Tarbiyah) is required to erase all the effects. An effort that ingrains the right emaan and sufficient Islamic knowledge to further pave the road with a firm foundation. Taking a quick look at the apostasy events that occurred in the days of the Prophet, sallaallahu alayhe wa sallam, much evidence supports this fact. Was there any among the Muhajireen or Ansaar who defected? Were there any defectors among those who witnessed the battle of Badr? Or the Ridwaan Pledge? Or those who accepted Islam in its initial phase? Were there any of those among the apostates about whom Allah says, “Only those are the believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and afterward doubt not but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Those, they are the truthful.” [49:15].
Most of the apostates/defectors comprised those who had just recently entered the circle of Islam and had not yet received the type of training that would instill emaan and its branches in their heart. Mere repentance and an apparent change are neither the first step nor the last. In fact, it is only one step in the right direction, which is followed by putting in an effort to attain emaan and taqwa. To attain emaan and taqwa, find a group which assists through regular encounters. One cannot be expected to experience the fruits of brotherhood and sisterhood, when isolated and not practically involved with others. Find an appropriate example that can help one stand up against daily challenges by holding tight to the rope of Allah altogether.
However, the being within a group must hinder one from developing his own formidable relationship with Allah in the form of deeds far away from the sight of people. One must spend the effort in worship at night, charity, siyaam, seeking knowledge and so on. One must try to create an intuition of individual responsibility within himself as it is established in the Qur’an, “Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of his own self. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray to his own loss. No one laden with burdens can bear someone else’s burden.” [17:15].
Furthermore, Allah’s Messenger, sallaallahu alayhe wa sallam, explains how a person is responsible and accountable for his own deeds by saying, “There is none among you but his Lord will speak to him without an interpreter. He will look to his right and will find only his deeds. He will look to his left and will find only his deeds…” (Bukhari & Muslim) All this and much more must make a person aware that his being in a group is good and recommended, but still it does not exempt him from the individual responsibility he has to account for on the Day of Judgment.
Predominance of desires
Deviation from the right path is caused by one of the two factors- either doubt which has mixed with clarity and truth, or desires which predominated a persons heart and hence, deviated and obstructed him from the truth and obeying Allah, a factor clearly noticed in our days.
The ones who repent and turn to Allah are just as human as any one else-they desire as others do. The problem of lustful desires begins primarily with an evil look or idea and ends with flooded actions or an erupted volcano-leading a person to perversion.
You find a person following the path which pleases Allah but once he sights something forbidden (e.g., a beautiful woman), a struggle in his heart begins; the light of emaan is kindled within him calling him to repent and turn to Allah. Eventually, the pitch of this call is reduced and the call of the desire rises. In this way, an immense struggle within begins. At one stage, the call of emaan might predominate and he overcomes this hurdle, even if the dust of the sin might have touched him, which he immediately washes off with repentance and good deeds.
On the other hand, he might respond due to a weakness in emaan and the light of desire rises and predominates, ensnaring his heart and obstructing any chances of turning to Allah. As a result, he falls victim to the sin and can not turn to Allah in repentance, which would raise him from this downfall. At this moment, he would say to himself, “You have already been affected by the dirt of sin, so you might as well keep on going. So many times you have tried to repent, but to no avail. You are weak, there remains no hope for you to repent, and your way is different from that of the pious!”
The ugly gut of excessiveness
Whenever Allah commands us to do something, Satan incites us to fall into either extreme-either exaggerating the act on one hand or be negligent and careless about it on the other. Even though the latter is a common phenomenon with many, Satan chooses to incite one towards the opposite extreme of exaggeration and immoderation. Accordingly, we have been warned against taking such an approach as Allah says, “Say, O people of the scripture, exceed not the units in your religion.” [5:77].
And Allah’s Messenger, saw, said, “Beware of ghulow (excessiveness) in religion, for indeed, what devastated those before you was ghulow in religion.” (Nisaai) In another hadeeth he said, “Those who go to extremes (in preaching their religion) were killed and destroyed.” (Muslim).
Being immoderate in worship is a deviation in itself, but nevertheless, it is not the end of the road. When a person takes the first step towards immoderation, he overloads himself in a manner while an easier path could have been opted for. One might be capable of enduring this path for some time, but eventually after recognizing the tiresome effort he had to sacrifice, he starts contemplating a retrieve. But here, the excitement which led him in the first place to chose the road of extreme immoderation will not be sufficient to return him to the road of balance and moderation. In fact, it will transfer him to the opposite extreme of negligence and carelessness. None of this overburdening approach is encouraged in Islam since we should always remember that our deeds alone are not good enough for us to enter Jannah. Allah’s Messenger, saw, clarified this by saying, “Be moderate and practice the same in proportion and know that your deeds will not make you enter Jannah and the most beloved deeds to Allah are those which are regularly done even if they were little.”
Choose friends wisely
There is no doubt that the company of friends influences the formation of our characters. For this reason, Allah’s Messenger, said, “A person is influenced by his companions religion, so watch who your companions are.” (Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi) This influence is acquired from two aspects:
1. The first is acquired in the company of relatives, neighbors, school and all those with whom a person is compelled to spend time.
2. The second type of influence is acquired within more religious company which is likely to meet those who are less concerned. Though they pray and fast, they are less serious in carrying the message of Islam, dawah, sacrifice, etc. And if a person’s faith is weak and is inclined towards desire and negligence, he will find comfort in this company.
The effects of this influence become apparent through certain factors that include doing things he never used to do before. He begins considering those on the deviated path as examples in life and as a result, he starts imitating them saying, “If he can do this, why can’t I?”
He begins to please others at the expense of pleasing Allah by performing actions never done before or abandoning some good deeds. He abandons, for example, praying sunnah, or starts showing up late for congregation salah, starts getting used to watching and hearing forbidden things- as a result, he even stops forbidding the evil. All this is no doubt a consequence of weak emaan and the influence of either a bad company or a group who are less serious with Islam and more inclined towards desire.
On the Path to Righteousness
Change can happen sometimes in the blink of an adjusted perspective. For many Muslims living in the West, it is simply the realization that it is just as hard to live in a self-styled prison of ego and desire as it is to strive toward the right path. Freedom of choice and religion only develops and grows when it is exercised.
There is no doubt that the diagnosis of the causes behind an individual’s deviation is a primary step towards treatment. But what is the cure?
Concentrate on tarbiyah (constant self-development) particularly from the spiritual aspect. See everyday challenges as an opportunity to exercise truth, patience, good deeds, courage and constancy. One is encouraged to nurture his emaan by performing righteous deeds as Allah says, “O you who believe, believe in Allah and His Messenger…” [4:136] Usually, emaan is present in the hearts of people but still, they are encouraged to nurture and increase it.
Be sincere and truthful to Allah.
Ikhlaas (sincerity) is a privileged characteristic for those who seek Allah’s pleasure. Its absence displaces a person’s deeds, and it is a requirement by everyone as Allah says, “And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, making their religion sincere for him and offer salahs perfectly and give zakah and that is the right religion.” [98:5]
Ibn-Al-Qayyim, may Allah’s mercy be upon him, further clarifies the effect of Ikhlaas and truthfulness on a persons perseverance on the path of Islam. He said, “A person experiences difficulty in abandoning (bad) habits and customs only if he does so for the sake of other than Allah. As for he who abandons them truthfully and sincerely with his heart, he does not experience any difficulty except in the first attempt, to be tested whether he was truthful or not. So if he remains a little patient during that difficulty, desire would not last any longer.”
Being fearful of an evil death
A sincere believer must be overwhelmed with the fear of dying in a state that would displease Allah. This was the condition of the righteous predecessors- due to a constant fear of an evil death while in a state of Islam since, if a person falls victim to a sin, a state of negligence and transgression, it overpowers his heart and mind. A state in which his light is extinguished, and his vision blocked- a moment when no reminder would benefit- here, death might surprise him. He would die in a state that would attain the wrath of Allah. Therefore, one must always be fearful of an evil death and hence, use every moment in a manner that pleases Allah, even though uncertain whether it is accepted by Allah or not. He says, “And those who give that which they give (good deeds) with their hearts full of fear (whether accepted or not) because they are sure to return to their Lord (for reckoning).” [23:60]
Supplication is a Muslim’s refuge and resort when he is encountered with hardship in this world. One must always turn to Allah and seek His assistance. Allah’s Messenger used to supplicate, “O rotator/turner of the heart, make my heart steadfast on your religion.” (Tirmidhi) And he also used to say, “O Allah, increase my knowledge and do not let my heart deviate (from the truth) after you have guided me and grant me mercy from You. Truly, you are the bestower.” [3:8] These and many other forms and occasions of supplication makes one realize his need to invoke Allah for guidance searching for its causes and abstaining from all that blocks a persons urge to obtain it.
Persistence in doing good
The best of deeds and the most beloved of it are those which a person does constantly as Allah’s Messenger said, “And the most beloved of deeds to Allah are those which are regularly done even if they were little.” (Bukhari & Muslim) Regular persistence in doing good deeds eventually becomes a habit and a part of ones daily life after an initial struggle to practice it. This persistence in good deeds (salahs, charity, siyaam, and thikr…) will make one live in the light of steadfastness and righteousness, and far away from deviation and its causes.
Advice and counseling
When someone starts showing the signs of deviation, he must be immediately advised, as it is one of the rights on a fellow Muslim. Jabir bin Abdullah said, “I made a pledge to Allah’s Messenger to offer salah, pay zakah and advice every Muslim.” (Bukhari & Muslim) Counseling one another was the trend practiced by the companions of the Messenger of Allah and if any of them showed any signs of weakness, they would never hesitate in advising him. This must be our case. We must not ignore anyone at the time of his weakness in emaan, because such ignorance is a way of assisting Satan against our brother.
Participating in the dawah work
There are many fruits obtained doing dawah. One who strives in seeking guidance for people is certainly guided by Allah. The one, who calls people to do good deeds, will in turn be motivated to perform the deeds he is asking people to do. Being involved in dawah keeps one from acts that might result in deviation. There is a sweetness of emaan a person feels when he observes people turning to Allah instead of observing things forbidden by Him.
After spending some time pondering over this problem and its causes and remedies it is clear that emaan is a blessing for which we each must strive. If it is missing, it is we who misunderstand or underestimate the power of our relationship with Allah. We must acknowledge the great value of strong emaan. It is a lifelong challenge we must accept with joy. And for those who succeed, they will be the first to acknowledge that it is not due to their mental agility or consistent efforts as much as it is a bounty from Allah, a bounty that deserves to be protected and cared for in our hearts and in our lives.
FORGIVENESS IN ISLAM
By Shahid Athar, M.D.
Allah (SWT),who named Himself Ar-Rahman (The Beneficent) and Ar-Rahim (The Merciful) is also Al-Ghafoor (The Forgiving). His Mercy overtakes His punishment and anger. He is more merciful to His creations than a mother can be to her infants. He created “man with weakness”; thus He knows and we should know that “to err is human,” and “no one is perfect.”
Iblis (Satan), the cursed one, out of envy to Adam, has promised to himself “to attack children of Adam on their way to their journey toward God, so that those who fall prey to his attack will also have the same fate as himself (I’ll take you down with me!). So he says, “I’ll attack men from the front, behind and sides.” (7:17) This means he will disguise himself as our friend, as our opponent, and side distractions of the world. He will then make us do wrong by presenting evil as good (poison candy in a nice wrapper), making us angry, jealous, envious, just “follow-the-leader” type, and we wrong ourselves and fall prey to his temptation. Iblis and his followers have a feast of joy and laugh at man’s foolishness, until the man realizes his mistakes, repents and asks for forgiveness and he is forgiven, and then Iblis cries again.
Giving up Hope of the Mercy of Allah is a Crime in Itself. “Say: ‘O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of God: for God forgives all sins (except shirk): for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'” (39:53)
“And it is He who accepts repentance from His servants and pardons the evil deed and knows what you do.” (42:25)
In order for forgiveness to be accepted, these conditions should be met: (1) The crime is committed out of ignorance, not with the intention that, “Let us go ahead and commit this crime as Allah is forgiving, so He will forgive us.”; (2) quickly turn into shame and repentance after committing a crime out of ignorance; (3) After asking for forgiveness, make a promise or pledge to “mend his ways”, and to stick to his promise. Let us examine verses of Quran. “…if any of you did evil in ignorance, and thereafter repented and amended (your conduct), lo! Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (6:54)
“Forgiveness is only incumbent on Allah towards those who do evil out of ignorance and then turn quickly (in repentance) to Allah. Toward them will Allah turn in mercy; for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.” (4:17)
“Forgiveness is not for those who do ill until death faces one of them, who then says, ‘Lo! I repent now, nor for those who die as disbelievers, for such was have prepared a painful doom.'” (4:18)
IS ANY CRIME OR TOO MANY CRIMES TOO BIG TO BE FORGIVEN?
Let us examine two Hadith.
1) Hadith Qudsi: Allah, the Almighty, has said: O Son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O Son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O Son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins as great as the earth, and were you then to face Me ascribing no partners to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it. 2) Prophet (SW) has said: A certain person had committed 99 murders. He went to a scholar and asked, is there any chance of my being forgiven? The scholar said no, you have committed too many crimes. The man killed the scholar too, but his heart was restless, so he went to another scholar and asked the same question. He was told yes, but you must leave this town of bad people and go live in the next town in the company of good people. So the man set out to the town he was told to go to. On the way he died. A man passing by saw two angels arguing over his dead body. The Angel from Hell said, ‘His body belongs to me as he had not done any good in his life.’ The Angel from Heaven said, ‘His body belongs to me as he had repented and was set out to be with good people.’ The man who was the passer-by said, ‘Let us measure the distance of his body from the town he left and the town he was going to.’ This was done. He was found to be nearer to the town he was going to. In another version, the earth was ordered by Allah to shrink and make the distance smaller, so that he was admitted to Heaven.
How does Allah forgive us?
When we commit a sin, four (4) witnesses are established against us.
a) The place we did the crime (i.e., scene of the murder). “On that day, the earth will reveal all its secrets.” (99:4)
b) The organ we used to commit the crime. “When their ears, their eyes, their skin will testify against them.” (41:21) “That day we seal up mouths, and hands speak out and feet bear witness to all that they did.” (36:65)
c) The Angels who record the deeds (Kiraman Katebeen). “The honored writers know what you do.” (82:11)
d) “We record that which they send before them, and their footprints, and all things we have kept in a clear register.” (36:12)
Now, with four such strong witnesses, how can we present ourselves to Allah? So He (the Al-Wakeel–the Defender), like a smart lawyer, removes all the witnesses against those whose repentance has been accepted, so that we present ourselves with a clean record. Case dissolved due to lack of witnesses.
Hadith is like this. “When Allah accepts repentance and forgives His servant, then recording angels erase their records, organs lose their memories, and earth removes its stains of evidence so that when that person appears before Allah, there is no one to be a witness against him. SubhanAllah. How to Ask for Forgiveness When Adam and Eve realized they had done wrong but did not know how to ask for forgiveness: Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of forgiveness, and his Lord turned toward him, for He is Oft-Forgiving and Most Merciful. (2:37)
What were those words taught to Adam?
They said, “Our Lord, we have wronged our souls and if you forgive us not, and bestow not upon us your mercy, we shall be losers. (7:23)
How did the Prophet Muhammad (AS) teach Aisha (RA) to ask for forgiveness in Ramadan? O my Lord, forgive me, because you love to forgive, thus forgive me, O you Merciful!
Remember, asking for forgiveness is not just for our sins, but also for our needs as well.
And I have said: Seek forgiveness from your Lord. Lo! He is oft-forgiving (if you ask for forgiveness). He will give you plenty of rain, He will give you wealth and sons, and assign you Heaven and Rivers in the Heaven. (Surah Nuh:10-12)
Thus after repenting and asking for forgiveness, we must mend our ways and not go back to Kufr and fall prey to the tactics of Satan (Iblis) again. While we expect Allah to be kind and merciful and forgive our major and minor sins, we are unforgiving towards our fellow human beings!
AL-ISTIGHFAAR (SEEKING FORGIVENESS)
Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah
The Messenger of Allah, said: “The master of invocations for forgiveness is that the servant says: ‘Allãhumma ‘anta rabbee, lã ‘ilãha ‘illã ‘anta, khalaqtanee, wa ‘anã `abduka, wa ‘anã `alã `ahdika wa wa`dika mastata`tu, ‘a`outhu bika min sharri ma sana`tu, ‘aboo’u laka bini`matika ‘alayya, wa ‘aboo’u bithambee, faghfirlee fa’innahu lã yaghfiru ‘aththunooba ‘illã ‘anta. O’ my ‘ilãh You are my Lord, there is no ‘ilãh but You. You created me, and I am your bondservant, and I will stick to my covenant and promise [of faith and sincere obedience] to You, as to my ability. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done, I acknowledge, to You, your bounties upon me, and I acknowledge, to You, my sin. Thus forgive me, for none forgives sins except You.
Whoever says this as he enters upon evening, then, dies that night, he would enter Paradise; and if one says this as he enters upon morning, then, dies that day, he would enter Paradise”. [Al-Bukhari]
The servant is always in the blessings of Allah which necessitate thankfulness, and in sinfulness which requires seeking forgiveness. Both of these matters are required and essential for the servant at all times, as the servant does not cease to alternate between Allaah’s (various) favors and blessings, and does not cease to be in need of repentance and seeking forgiveness.
This is why the Master of the Children of Adam, and the Leader of the Pious, Muhammad, sought forgiveness in all circumstances. He said in an authentic hadeeth reported by al-Bukhari: “O people, repent to your Lord, for verily I seek forgiveness from Allah and repent to him more than seventy times in a day.”
It is reported in Saheeh Muslim that he said: “I seek forgiveness one hundred times in a day.” [Muslim]
`Abdullah ibn `Umar said: We counted in a single sitting the Messenger of Allah, , saying one hundred times: “Rabbi-ghfir-lee wa tub `alayya innaka anta-t-tawwabu-l-ghafoor.” [My Lord, forgive me and accept my repentance, verily you are Acceptor of Repentance, Oft-Forgiving.] [Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah]
This is why seeking forgiveness was legislated at the end of actions. Allah the Exalted said: “Those who seek forgiveness before dawn (at late night).” [Aal `Imraan (3):17] Some of them said: “Give life to your nights by performing Prayer, and when the time of late night comes, concern yourself with seeking forgiveness.”
It is related in the Saheeh that the Prophet, , when he finished his Prayer, he would seek forgiveness three times and say: “Allãhumma ‘antas-salamu, wa minkas-salãmu, tabãrakta yã thaljalãli wal ‘ikrãmi.” [O’ my ‘ilãh You are ‘As-Salãm [One free from flaws], and from You comes Salãm [peace, or safety], blessed are Thee O’ haver of glory and kindness.] [Muslim]
Allah says: “And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [al-Muzammil (73):20] (Even) After the Prophet conveyed the Message, fought in the path of Allah with true jihad, and performed what Allah ordered more than anyone else, Allah commanded his Prophet (to perform istighfar), as He the Exalted said:”When the victory of Allah has come and the conquest, and you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes, then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. Indeed, He is ever Accepting of repentance.” [An-Nasr (110):1-3]
This is why the Deen is established with Tawheed and Istighfaar, as Allah the Exalted said: “Alif Lam Ra. [This is] a Book whose verses are perfected an then presented in detail from [one who is] Wise and Acquainted. [Through a messenger, saying], “Do not worship except Allah. Indeed, I am to you from Him a warner and a bringer of good tidings,” and [saying], “Seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him, [and] He will let you enjoy a good provision.” [Hood (11):1-3]
And Allah says: “So take a straight course to Him and seek His forgiveness.” [Fussilat (41):6]. And He says: “So know [O Muhammad], that there is no deity except Allah and ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and believing women.” [Muhammad (47):19]
This is why it was it came in a narration: “The Shaytan said: People are destroyed with sins, and they destroy me with ‘Laa ilaha ill Allah’ and seeking forgiveness.” [Reported by Ibn Abi Asim and Abu Ya`la, but its chain is a fabrication] . Yoonus, `alayhis salam, said: “There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.” [al-Anbiyaa’ (21):87]
The Prophet, , when he would ride his mount, he would praise Allah, then say Allahu Akbar three times, then say: “Lã ‘ilãha ‘illa ‘anta subhãnaka, thalamtu nafsee, faghfirlee.” [I testify that there is no ‘ilah except You, Glorified are You, I have transgressed upon myself, so forgive me] [Abu Dawood and at-Tirmidhi, who said it is hasan saheeh]
Expiation of a gathering with which the gathering is completed is (the supplication):”Subhãnaka ‘allãhumma wa bihamdika, ‘ash-hadu ‘an lã ‘ilãha ‘illa ‘anta, ‘astaghfiruka wa ‘atoobu ‘ilayka.” [Glorified are You O’ my ‘ilãh and I am in Your praise, I testify that there is no ‘ilah except You, I ask Your forgiveness and repent unto You.] [Abu Dawood and At-Tirmidhee, who said it is hasan saheeh]
Allah knows best, and may His blessings and peace be upon [the Prophet] Muhammad.
By Shaykh ‘Alee Ibn Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Hudhayfee
All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the Messenger, his household and companions.
Brethren is faith! Fear Allaah, turn to Him in repentance and seek for His forgiveness, He will multiply your reward and forgive you your misdeeds.
Fellow Muslims! The best and the perfect condition of man is to be in agreement with Allaah in all that He loves and is pleased with, and in all that He loathes and detests. Man should love what Allaah loves, and hates what He hates. Hating which that Allaah hates cannot however be without firstly having a pure and sincere repentance from all sins, and standing upright in obedience to Allaah and keeping away from forbidden things. Sincere repentance is the highest position of the sincere slaves of Allaah, the noblest position of the true believers and the goal of the pious ones.
The Prophet of Guidance has extolled repentance and explained that it is the best thing that man can have in his life. He has told Ka‘b bin Maalik on the occasion of Allaah’s acceptance of his repentance, “Rejoice in this day which is your best day since your mother gave birth to you.” Ka‘b said, “People came meeting me group by group and congratulating me on the occasion of Allaah’s acceptance of my repentance and they were saying, “We congratulate you on the occasion of Allaah’s acceptance of your repentance.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)
Allaah has made repentance obligatory on all categories of this ummah: those who are foremost in good deeds; those who follow a middle course in acts of worship; and those who wrong their own souls by committing forbidden acts. Allaah says, “And all of you ask Allaah to forgive you, O believers, that you may be successful.” (An-Noor 24:31)
The Messenger of Allaah said, “O you people! Return to Allaah in repentance and seek for His forgiveness; for I return to Him in repentance 100 times in a day.” (Muslim)
Repentance is a manifestation of human fallibility and imperfection. An adult and sane Muslim cannot do without committing one sin or the other in acts of worship, or an act of forgetfulness or negligence or a mistake or a sin. That was why the Messenger of Allaah said, “By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, if you have not been committing sins, Allaah would have taken you away and brought into existence those who would be committing sins, and they would seek for His forgiveness and He would forgive them.” (Muslim)
The Prophet also said, “All of you are mistake makers, and the best of the mistake makers are the repentant ones.”
Among the attributes of Allaah is that He accepts the repentance and is happy with that, out of generosity and kindness. He says, “And He it is Who accepts repentance from His slaves and forgive sins, and He knows what you do.” (As-Shooraa 42:25)
The impacts of the beautiful Names of Allaah also manifest in the universe. The attributes: the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful necessitate the existence of a repentant creature who can receive mercy, just as the Names: the Creator and the Sustainer imply the existence of the created and the sustained. All other Names of Allaah are like that. They so entail His great Attributes that their impacts are seen on the creation. It is therefore incumbent on man to carry out the obligation of repentance at all time, for it is Allaah Who accepts the repentance and gives reward for it; and He magnifies that reward and removes the sins.
Repentance is one of the highest degrees of servitude to Allaah possessed by the Prophets and Messengers as well as the pious slaves of Allaah. Allaah says, about Prophet Ibraaheem, “Verily, Ibraaheem was without doubt, forbearing, used to invoke Allaah with humility, and was repentant (to Allaah all the time again and again).” (Hood 11:75)
Allaah also says, “Allaah has forgiven the Prophet, the emigrants (from Makkah) and the Ansaar (the Muslims of Al-Madeenah) who followed him in the time of distress (Tabook expedition) after the hearts of a party of them had nearly deviated (from the Right Path), but He accepted their repentance. Certainly, He is unto them, Full of Kindness, Most Merciful.” (At-Tawbah 9:117)
He also said about Prophet Moosaa, “He (Moosaa) said: ‘I turn to You in repentance and I am the first of believers.” (Al-A‘raaf 7-143)
Allaah the Exalted also mentions repentance as one of the qualities of true believers who have sold their souls and wealth for Paradise. He says about them, “Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success. (The believers whose lives Allaah has purchased are) those who turn to Allaah in repentance, who worship (Him), praise (Him), who fast (or go out in Allaah’s cause), who bow down in prayer, who prostrate themselves in prayer.” (At-Tawbah 9:111-112)
The blessings of repentance are reaped in this world and the Hereafter as well. The reward of repentance includes purification of the hearts, erasure of sins and multiplication of good deeds. Allaah says, “O you who believe! Turn to Allaah with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will expiate from you your sins and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow on the Day that Allaah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believe with him. Their light will run forward before them and (with their records of deeds) in their right hands. They will say: Our Lord! Keep perfect our light for us and grant us forgiveness. Verily, You are Able to do all things.” (At-Tahreem 66:8)
Among the reward of repentance is a good life under the shade of eemaan, contentment and peace of mind. Allaah says, “Seek forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment for a time appointed, and bestow His Grace to every one who deserves grace.” (Hood 11:3)
Of the rewards of repentance also is obvious blessings from the heavens and on the earth, blessings in productions and children, health in body and protection against calamities. Allaah says about Prophet Hood and his people, “(Hood told them): ‘O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as criminals.” (Hood 11:52)
The Messenger of Allaah said, “Whoever sticks to seeking forgiveness from Allaah, Allaah will provide for him a way out of every hardship and a succour from every distress and He will provide for him sustenance from unexpected sources.” (Aboo Daawood)
If al-Istighfaar (seeking for forgiveness) is mentioned in isolation from repentance, it includes repentance. Repentance is success and victory as well as safety from all sorrows. Allaah says, “But for him who repented, believed and did righteous deeds, then, he will be among those who are successful.” (Al-Qasas 28:67)
Allaah also says, “Allaah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves.” (Al-Baqarah 2:222)
Brethren in faith! Allaah is happy about the repentance of His slave out of kindness to and honour for him. The Messenger of Allaah said, “Allaah is indeed happier with the repentance of His slave when he turns to Him in repentance than a man among you who was on his camel in a waterless desert, whose camel escaped with his food and drink. Having lost all hope of finding it, he retreated to the bottom of a tree and slept off. He woke up and suddenly found his camel standing before him. He took hold of its rein and exclaimed out of excessive joy, ‘O Allaah! You are my slave and I am Your lord.’ He made a mistake out of an excessive joy.”
Allaah the Exalted has also called to repentance the greatest of all the people in committing shirk, those who call Prophet ‘Eesaa the son of Allaah. He urges them, “Will they not turn in repentance to Allaah and ask for His forgiveness? For Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-Maaidah 5:74)
He also opens the door of repentance for the hypocrites who are the worst of all people when He says, “Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth of the Fire; no helper will you find for them. Except those who repent (from hypocrisy), do righteous deeds and purify their religion for Allaah.” (An-Nisaa 4:145-146)
The Messenger of Allaah said, “There was a man among those who were before you who have killed a hundred persons. He asked a religious scholar whether there was still a chance of repentance for him. The scholar answered in affirmative. The angels of mercy then took away his soul and Allaah forgave him.” (Al-Bukhaaree)
Repentance means turning to Allaah, abandoning the sin, abhorring it and regretting one’s negligence in acts of worship.
Imaam An-Nawawee said, “Repentance is obligatory. If the sin committed against Allaah, there are three conditions for its repentance: (1) to abandon the sin right away, (2) to regret having committed it and (3) to determine never to do it again. If any of these three conditions is absent, the repentance will be invalid. If the sin is however committed against a human being, the conditions for its repentance are four; the above-mentioned three and the fourth is to free oneself from the rights of the offended man by giving back the money or similar thing to its rightful owner. If he has falsely accuse someone of fornication for instance, he should ask the victim to pardon him or give him the opportunity to avenge; if it is backbiting, he should also seek for the victim’s pardon. A Muslim repents from all sins. If he however repents from some sins, his repentance from those particular sins will be valid and his other sins shall remain recorded against him.
Brethren in faith! Stories of repentant believers and causes of their repentance are pleasant to hear. Each repentant slave had thought deeply, reflected upon his past life, imagined his future life, and remembered death and its agony, the grave and its darkness, the path and its slipperiness, the record of deeds and the guidance of the Messenger and his Sunnah. So the lights of guidance illuminated in his heart and the darkness of heedlessness disappeared. He then wept for his sins and regretted his previous negligence. He fell down in front of his Most Merciful Lord saying, “O my Lord, I turn to You in repentance and I have regretted So accept my repentance and forgive my sins. If you drive me away from You, who is he that can provide shelter for me?” Having seen his sincerity, Allaah forgave him and return His favours on him.
There is among the slaves of Allaah a man who repented from highway robbery, another repented from fornication, another repented from drinking alcohol, another repented from being unkind to the kith and kin, another repented from transacting in usury and bribery, another repented from being undutiful to parents and another repented from usurping other people’s wealth unjustly. Congratulations to every repentant man. Such has become a new born through his sincere repentance, for the real part of man’s life is that in which he obeys Allaah.
Brethren in Islaam! Repentance is an obligatory act that must be done at all times and it is more compulsory in some honourable times and places. It is more compulsory after committing any sin, after doing any good deed, when one reaches the age of forty and when one is going to bed so that one will not die without having repented. Allaah says, “O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allaah. And whoever does that, then they are the losers. And spend in charity of that which We have provided you before death comes to one of you, and he says ‘My Lord! If only you will give me respite for a little while, then I should give Zakaah of my wealth and become among the righteous. And Allaah grants respite to none when his appointed time (death) comes. And Allaah is All-Aware of what you do.” (Al-Munaafiqoon 63:9-11)
Fellow Muslims! Allaah says, “And turn in repentance and in obedience with true faith to your Lord and submit to Him before the torment comes to you, and then you will not be helped. And follow the best of that which is sent down to you from your Lord before the torment comes on you suddenly while you perceive not. Lest a person should say, ‘Alas, my grief that I was undutiful to Allaah and I was indeed among those who mocked (at the truth). Or lest he should say, ‘If only Allaah had guided me, I should indeed have been among the pious. Or lest he should say when he sees the torment, ‘If only I had another chance, then I should indeed be among the righteous.” (Az-Zumar 39:54-58)
Brethren in faith! The Muslim ummah is in dire need of repentance especially in these days that they are suffering from different kinds of hardship. They seriously need to turn to Allaah in repentance in order to attain Allaah’s mercy and to win victory over their enemies. For Muslims have no way out of their difficulties except through sincere repentance. In a Qudsee hadeeth, the Prophet narrated that Allaah says, “ I will be to My slave as he thinks of Me. Whoever remembers Me in his heart, I will also remember him. Whoever mentions Me among a group, I will mention him among a better group; whoever moves closer to Me an inch, I will move closer to him an arm’s length and whoever comes to Me walking, I will come to him running.” (Al-Bukhaaree).
RETURNING TO ALLAH IN REPENTANCE
By Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin Al-Qaasim
All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings be upon the Messenger, his household and companions.
Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah as He should be feared. Whoever fears Allaah, He will honour him and make him happy.
Brethren in faith! The best of all people and the most rightly guided are those who worship Allaah in the most perfect form. Happiness of the heart lies in the returning to Allaah in repentance, paying one’s attention to Him, seeking His help and going back to Him. Returning to Allaah in repentance is a great act of worship and a Sunnah of the Prophets and the Messengers. Allaah tells us about Prophet Daawood (David), “And Daawood (David) guessed that We have tried him and he sought Forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down prostrate and turned (to Allaah) in repentance.” (Saad 38:24)
And about Prophet Sulaymaan He says, “And indeed, We did try Sulaymaan (Solomon) and We placed on his throne Jasad (a devil, so he lost his kingdom for a while) and he did return to Allaah with obedience and in repentance, and to his throne and kingdom by the Grace of Allaah).” (Saad 38:34)
Allaah tells us about Prophet Shu’ayb that he said, “And my guidance cannot come except from Allaah, in Him I trust and unto Him I repent.” (Hood 11:88)
And Allaah commands our Prophet Muhammad to say, “Such is Allaah, my Lord in Whom I put my trust, and to Him I turn (in all of my affairs and) in repentance.” (Ash-Shooraa 42:10)
Allaah praised His friend Ibraaheem for his returning to Him in repentance and going back to His commandment in every affair. Allaah says, “Verily, Ibraaheem (Abraham) was, without doubt, forbearing, used to invoking Allaah with humility, and was repentant (to Allaah all the time, again and again).” (Hood 11:75)
Among the supplications that Prophet Ibraaheem used to make is, “Our Lord! In You (Alone) we put our trust, and to You (Alone) we turn in repentance, and to You (Alone) is (our) final Return.” (Al-Mumtahanah 60:4)
Those who return to Allaah in repentance are the ones a Muslim should befriend. Allaah says, “And follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience.” (Luqmaan 31:15)
Returning to Allaah in repentance is the key to happiness and guidance. Allaah says, “Say: “Verily, Allaah sends astray whom He wills and guides unto Himself those who turn to Him in repentance.” (Ar-Ra’d 13:27)
The glad tidings are for those who return to Allaah in repentance. Allaah says, “Those who avoid At-Tâghût (false deities) by not worshipping them and turn to Allaah (in repentance), for them are glad tidings.” (Az-Zumar 39:17)
It is only those who return to Allaah in repentance that benefit from the verses and get admonished. Allaah says, “An insight and a Reminder for every slave who turns to Allaah (i.e. the one who believes in the Oneness of Allaah and performs deeds of His obedience, and always begs His pardon).” (Qaaf 50:8)
Returning to Allaah in repentance, guards against His punishment. Allaah says, “And turn in repentance and in obedience with true Faith (Islaamic Monotheism) to your Lord and submit to Him (in Islaam) before the torment comes upon you, (and) then you will not be helped.” (Az-Zumar 39:54)
Paradise is prepared as an abode for the heart that submits to Allaah and returns to Him in repentance. Allaah says, “And Paradise will be brought near to the pious, not far off. (It will be said): “This is what you were promised – (it is) for those oft-returning (to Allaah) in sincere repentance, and those who preserve their covenant with Allaah (by obeying Him in all what He has ordered, and worshipping none but Allaah Alone, i.e. follow Allaah’s religion – Islaamic Monotheism). Who feared the Most Beneficent (Allaah) in the Ghaib (Unseen) and brought a heart turned in repentance (to Him and absolutely free from each and every kind of polytheism).” (Qaaf 50:31-33)
Allaah commands all mankind to return to Him in repentance. He says, “(And remain always) turning in repentance to Him (only), and be afraid and dutiful to Him; and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât) and be not of Al-Mushrikûn (the polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah). Of those who split up their religion (i.e. who left the true Islaamic Monotheism), and became sects, (i.e. they invented new things in the religion (Bid’ah), and followed their vain desires), each sect rejoicing in that which is with it.” (Ar-Room 30:31-32)
Allaah also mentions this great act of worship along with the act of putting one’s trust in Him when He says, “Say: “He is my Lord! Lâ ilâha illâ Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He)! In Him is my trust, and to Him will be my return with repentance.” (Ar-Ra’d 13:30)
The position of absolute reliance on Allaah comes before the position of returning to Him in repentance. Reliance upon Allaah is a means while returning to Allaah in repentance is an end. So the man depends upon Allaah in attaining that position. Returning to Allaah is higher in degree than ordinary repentance, for repentance means abstaining from sins, regretting all that has been missed and resolving not to return to the sin. But returning to Allaah is an indication of all that, as it also means devoting oneself to Allaah through acts of worship. Allaah says, “Indeed, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice).” (Hood 11:114)
He who frequently returns to Allaah will be given refuge in times of calamities and hardships.
Dear brethren! The Muslim should –at the threshold of this new year– return to his Lord in repentance, call himself to account for his past and for the committed sins. Al-Hasan said, “The servant shall remain blessed as long he admonishes himself and as long as he is concerned with examining himself.”
The believer is, in this world, like a stranger who is not weakened by its disgrace and does not participate in the contest for its glory. His own business is different from the people’s business. Follow the advice of the Messenger of Allaah, “Be in this world like a stranger or a passing traveller.” (Al-Bukhaaree)
He whose main concern is the Hereafter only strives in attaining righteous provision. Whenever the hearts are awake they get prepared for the Hereafter. One of the righteous predecessors said, “I have never slept with a hope that I would wake up.”
He who strives to call his soul to account and holds it back from sins shall attain salvation from regret and from loss in the Hereafter.
Brethren in Islaam! The resolute Muslim should not overlook the mistakes of his soul and its dangers and steps. He should rather compel his soul to lead it to what brings it closer to its Lord. Observing the obligatory prayers with the congregation and in the houses of Allaah is one of the signs of eemaan. Calling unto the way of Allaah illuminates the sight. Remembrance of Allaah softens the hearts. Allaah says, “Verily, in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Ra’d 13:28)
Sitting in the company of the scholars and righteous persons and attending their classes are some of the causes of piety and God-consciousness. Allaah says, “It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allaah.” (Faatir 35:28)
Acquainting oneself with the history of the righteous predecessors refines the soul and encourages good deeds. Ibn Al-Qayyim said, “If one reflects upon the conditions of the companions, one will find out that in spite of their extreme good deeds, they were also extremely fearful. But we combine between the negligence in deeds and indulgence in excessive sense of security.”
Aboo Bakr used to say, “I wish I were a hair in the side of a believing servant of Allaah.” Whenever Aboo Bakr rose up to pray he would be like a lifeless log of wood out the fear of Allaah.
Being dutiful to the parents is a key to happiness. Being kind to the kith and kin brings blessings upon one’s life and wealth. The lawful earning is a cause of children’s righteousness and a cause for the acceptance of supplications. Minimizing one’s longing for and hope in this world spurs to righteous deeds. Remembrance of death is the best admonition; and visiting graves and reflecting upon the conditions of the dead remind of the Hereafter.
The rightly guided is the one who is afraid of falling into sins and insisting upon misdeeds. Bad company brings about perdition. Watching and viewing unlawful things diminishes the purity of the soul.
The father’s negligence in reforming his household is abandonment of his responsibility. Following the desire and lusts causes regret. Giving free rein to one’s tongue by telling lies and attacking the honour of other people darkens the heart. Preoccupying oneself with what is not of one’s concern prevents one from carrying out deeds that can elevate one’s degree. Ibraaheem ibn Ad’ham said, “One of the signs of Allaah’s turning away from a servant is his preoccupation with what is not of his concern.”
Being negligence in condemning vices in a beautiful manner is a weakness in giving sincere admonition. The remedy for many sins is making a lot of istighfaar [seeking forgiveness]. Abandoning of sins is easier than seeking repentance.
Seize the opportunity of doing righteous deeds before you are prevented from doing so. The Messenger of Allaah said, “Seize the opportunity of five things before five things come: your youthfulness before your old age, your health before your illness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before the time you will be preoccupied and your life before your death.” (Al-Haakim)
The successful is the one who returns to Allaah in repentance and escapes to Him, away from sins; he is also the one who performs different kinds of righteous deeds. Allaah says, “On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there were a great distance between him and his evil. And Allaah warns you against Himself (His Punishment) and Allaah is full of Kindness to the (His) slaves.” (Aal ‘Imraan 3:30)
Fellow Muslims! Muharram, the month of Allaah, is one of the greatest months with Allaah. It was in this month that Allaah gave victory to Prophet Moosaa [Moses] and his people upon Pharaoh and his people. Observing fasting on this day is meritorious. The Messenger of Allaah said, “The best fasting observed after the fasting of Ramadaan is that of Muharram and the best prayer performed after the obligatory prayers is the prayer performed in the night.” (Muslim)
It is a way of showing gratitude to Allaah to start the new year with fasting, which is one of the best righteous deeds. The best day of this month is the day of ‘Aashooraa.
Ibn ‘Abbaas narrated that when the Messenger of Allaah arrived at Al-Madeenah, he found the Jews fasting on the tenth day of Muharram and asked them, “What is this day in which you observe fast?” They said, “This is a great day in which Allaah saved Moses and his people and drowned Pharaoh and his people. Moses observed fast on this day as a sign of gratitude to Allaah, so we also observe fast in it.” The Messenger of Allaah then said, “We have greater right to Moses than you.” So he observed fast on that day and commands his followers to do the same. (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)
Observing fasting on that day removes the sins committed in the previous year. The Messenger of Allaah said, “I hope that Allaah will make it erase [the sins of] the previous year.” (Muslim)
Therefore, it is recommended that the Muslims observe fasting on the tenth day of this month and a day before or after it as way of following the guidance of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him.
Dear brethren! Killing innocent souls which Allaah has made inviolable is one of the greatest crimes. Killing those souls through assassinations is heinous and one of the most destructive sins. Allaah says, “And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein; and the Wrath and the Curse of Allaah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him.” (An-Nisaa 4:93)
He also says, “Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind.” (Al-Maa’idah 5:32)
The bombings that happen these days in which crops and livestock are destroyed, havocs are wreaked and lives are killed is undoubtedly one of the greatest manifestations of causing mischief in the land. Crimes like this becomes more horrible, when it is committed in Muharram, the sacred month of Allaah, and when the assassinated one is a great man among his people who laboured to bring his country together and establish security in his homeland.
Qataadah said, “Perpetrating acts of injustice in the sacred months is more serious than doing so in other months, though perpetration of an act of injustice in any case is serious. But Allaah gives seriousness to whichever He wants of His commands. So honour all that Allaah declares as sacred including His sacred months.”
Taken from Riyaadus Saaliheen Chapter 371
Allah, the Exalted, says:
“And ask forgiveness for your sin…” (47:19)
“And seek the forgiveness of Allah. Certainly, Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (4:106)
“And declare the freedom of your Rubb from imperfection beginning with His praise, and ask His forgiveness. Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and Who forgives.” (110:3)
“For Al-Muttaqun (the pious) there are Gardens (Jannah) with their Rubb, underneath which rivers flow. Therein (is their) eternal (home) and Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives). And Allah will be pleased with them. And Allah is All-Seer of the (His) slaves. Those who say: `Our Rubb! We have indeed believed, so forgive us our sins and save us from the punishment of the Fire. (They are) those who are patient, those who are true (in Faith, words, and deeds), and obedient with sincere devotion in worship to Allah. Those who spend (give the Zakat and alms in the way of Allah) and those who pray and beg Allah’s Pardon in the last hours of the night.” (3:15-17)
“And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (4:110)
“And Allah would not punish them while you (Muhammad (PBUH)) are amongst them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allah’s) forgiveness.” (8:33)
“And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; – and none can forgive sins but Allah – and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.” (3:135)
The Qur’anic Ayat on the subject are many and well-known.
1869. Al-Agharr Al-Muzani (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Sometimes I perceive a veil over my heart, and I supplicate Allah for forgiveness a hundred times in a day.” [Muslim]. Commentary: Ghain and Ghaim are two synonyms. They signify the spreading of the clouds. It refers in this Hadith to the fact that the Prophet (PBUH) was reciting the Names of Allah and remembering Him all the time. But sometimes due to being too busy in the affairs of the public or due to human needs, there was a pause in this eternal remembrance. Although such a pause was only momentary, this momentary pause was very much disliked by him; and considering it a slackness on his part, he prayed for forgiveness from Allah. In this there is an important lesson for us. In spite of our many sins and negligence on our part, we do not turn to Allah and seek forgiveness; while, although our Prophet (PBUH) had all his past and future sins forgiven by Allah, he sought forgiveness very often.
1870. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, “I swear by Allah that I seek Allah’s Pardon and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.” [Al-Bukhari].
1871. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “By the One in Whose Hand my soul is! If you do not commit sins, Allah would replace you with a people who would commit sins and seek forgiveness from Allah; and Allah will certainly forgive them.” [Muslim]. Commentary: This Hadith does not mean that Allah likes disobedience. But by this way of description, the aim is to emphasize the importance of seeking forgiveness from Allah. We know that every man commits sins. But Allah likes those people who, after committing a sin, do not stick to it, but right away seek forgiveness for their sins from Allah. They weep and express sorrow before Allah. By seeking forgiveness, a relationship with Allah is established between man and his Creator. So seeking forgiveness is a very good act.
1872. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: We counted Messenger’s saying a hundred times during one single sitting: Rabb-ighfir li, wa tubb `alayya, innaka Antat-Tawwabur-Rahim. (My Rubb! Forgive me and pardon me. Indeed, You are the Oft-Returning with compassion and Ever Merciful.” [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi]. Commentary: This Hadith tells us about the etiquette of praying to Allah. We should use the Names of Allah befitting our prayers, i.e., the Names of Allah signifying those Attributes of Allah which have a special concern with the subject of our particular prayer, i.e., while seeking forgiveness, His Names concerning His Attributes of forgiveness and kindness should be used. On the other hand, while praying for worldly matters, we should mention His Qualities of charity and bestowing gifts etc.
1873. Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.” [Abu Dawud]. Commentary: The chain of this narration is weak. Refer to `The Book of Weak Narrations’ by Al-Albani, Vol. I, page 142, No.705.
1874. Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “He who says: `Astaghfir ullah-alladhi la ilaha illa Huwal-Haiyul-Qayyumu, wa atubu ilaihi (I seek the forgiveness of Allah, there is no true god except Allah, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, and I turn to Him in repentance),’ his sins will be forgiven even if he should have run away from the battlefield (while he was engaged in fighting for the Cause of Allah).” [Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim (on conditions of Al-Bukhari and Muslim for accepting Hadith)]. Commentary: When we say that this narration fulfills the conditions of Al-Bukhari and Muslim; it means that its narrators are the narrators of Al-Bukhari and Muslim. Secondly, in this selection those conditions have also been kept in view, which are the landmark of Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
1875. Shaddad bin Aus (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The best supplication for seeking forgiveness (Syed-ul-Istighfar) is to say: `Allahumma Anta Rabbi, la ilaha illa Anta, khalaqtani wa ana `abduka, wa ana `ala `ahdika wa wa`dika mastata`tu, a`udhu bika min sharri ma sana`tu, abu’u laka bini`matika `alayya, wa abu’u bidhanbi faghfir li, fa innahu la yaghfirudh-dhunuba illa Anta. (O Allah! You are my Rubb. There is no true god except You. You have created me, and I am Your slave, and I hold to Your Covenant as far as I can. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge the favours that You have bestowed upon me, and I confess my sins. Pardon me, for none but You has the power to pardon).’ He who supplicates in these terms during the day with firm belief in it and dies on the same day (before the evening), he will be one of the dwellers of Jannah; and if anyone supplicates in these terms during the night with firm belief in it and dies before the morning, he will be one of the dwellers of Jannah.” [Al-Bukhari].
1876. Thauban (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Whenever the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) finished his Salat (prayer), he would beg forgiveness three times [by saying, `Astaghfirullah’ (3 times)] and then he would say: “Allahumma Antas-Salamu, wa minkas-Salamu, tabarakta ya Dhal-Jalali wal-Ikram. (O Allah! You are the Bestower of security and security comes from You; Blessed are You. O Possessor of glory and honour).” Imam Al-Auza`i (one of the subnarrators) of this Hadith was asked: “How forgiveness should be sought?” He replied: “I say: Astaghfirullah, Astaghfirullah (I seek forgiveness from Allah. I seek forgiveness from Allah).” [Muslim]. Commentary: This Du`a’ was a Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH), and it is highly recommended to recite it after Salat.
1877. `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: Prior to his demise, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) used to supplicate frequently: Subhan Allahi wa bihamdihi; Astaghfirullaha wa atubu ilaihi (Allah is free from imperfection, and I begin with praising Him. I beg forgiveness from Allah and I turn to Him in repentance.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. Commentary: In general, asking of forgiveness all the time is necessary and commendable. But during the old age and the last days of one’s life it is particularly very essential. In this way, the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) would also be followed.
1878. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, “Allah, the Exalted, has said: `O son of Adam! I shall go on forgiving you so long as you pray to Me and aspire for My forgiveness whatever may be your sins. O son of Adam! I do not care even if your sins should pile up to the sky and should you beg pardon of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam! If you come to Me with an earthful of sins and meet Me, not associating anything with Me in worship, I will certainly grant you as much pardon as will fill the earth.”’ [At-Tirmidhi]. Commentary: In this narration, there is good news for the sinners who do not stick to sins but rather repent and ask forgiveness from Allah. However numerous their sins may be, Allah will forgive all their sins. But there is a condition which they should fulfill, namely that they do not persist in what wrong they have done (3:135), as with persistence and repeatedly committing the sin, the act of seeking forgiveness becomes a futile act.
1879. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “O women folk! You should give charity and be diligent in seeking Allah’s forgiveness because I have seen (i.e., on the Night of the Ascension to the highest heavens) that dwellers of the Hell are women.” A woman amongst them said: “Why is it that the majority of the dwellers of Hell are women?” The Prophet (PBUH) replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. In spite of your lacking in wisdom and failing in religion, you are depriving the wisest of men of their intelligence.” Upon this the woman asked: “What is the deficiency in our wisdom and in our religion?” He (PBUH) replied, “Your lack of wisdom can be well judged from the fact that the evidence of two women is equal to that one man. You do not offer Salat (prayer) for some days and you do not fast (the whole of) Ramadan sometimes, it is a deficiency in religion.” [Muslim]. Commentary: 1. In this narration, certain weaknesses of the female sex have been pointed out, which are natural and pertain to the woman’s biology, psychology and embryology. According to biologists, during and before menstruation, a female’s thought process is affected. Similarly, her pulse and blood pressure are also altered. Females are also more prone to hysteria. For these reasons, the Qur’an has declared that when you have to appoint or choose witnesses among women, you should choose two in place of one man. Modern researches have proved this rule to be correct on the basis of biology, psychology and embryology. Again we know that physically speaking, the female has been named as the weaker sex. For these reasons, females have been excused from earning their livelihood. For earning livelihood, one may have to go out and work hard. Women have been exempted from this duty because of their biological differences and other considerations of Shari`ah. Present-day women who are ignorant of Islam and modern researches are not prepared to accept these scientifically and religiously proved facts. The West claims equality between the sexes. But this equality has not been established so far. Today all the important posts are occupied by males and all the international policies are framed by them alone. Even matters pertaining to women are decided by them. They have mostly relegated them to the posts of workers, secretaries and stenographers for their sexual satisfaction and enjoyment. After a struggle for hundred years, their condition today proves that they are the weaker sex. So, it is both beneficial and more respectful for her to limit herself to the sphere of action suggested for her by Islam. If she oversteps her sphere, she will certainly lose her female dignity and prestige, as has happened in the West. Her state and condition there is an eyeopener for all. 2. Women should request forgiveness from Allah very often and be generous in charity. They should not show ungratefulness to their husbands and should avoid backbiting and cursing others so that they may save themselves from Hell.
By Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen
Translated by Ahmed Abu Saad
My beloved brothers, it has been a month now since the end of the month of Ramadan, and it is sad to see some of the brothers, that have been keeping up with their acts of worship in that month, now, slacking off. So my dear brothers we should fear Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) and repent to him by stopping the sins that are committed and implement the orders of Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala). Verily Allah loves those who repent, and He loves those who purify themselves.
My dear brothers, repenting from our sins is an action that must be taken instantaneously because it is not allowed to delay the repentance. In fact, delaying repentance is a sin in itself that must be repented from. And repentance is a must because Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) ordered us to do it as it is a means to success: “O believers beg Allah to forgive you, that you may be successful.” (24:31)
Also, the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “O people repent to Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) and seek his forgiveness. Verily I repent to Allah and seek his forgiveness a hundred times a day.” This was done by our prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) whose sins were forgiven, so what about us who are not nearly doing what we should. May Allah forgive us all!
My dear brothers, we should repent to Allah immediately since Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) ordered us to do it, and Allah’s orders and his Messenger’s orders are to be fulfilled immediately since there is no evidence showing that we can delay it. In addition, we should know that delaying it could cause the hearts to slowly get used to the sins we’re committing, and it will cause our hearts to die.
My dear brothers, repent to Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) sincerely so that Allah may bless us with the forgiveness of our sins.
My dear brothers, the true sincere repentance needs to fulfill 5 conditions for it to be accepted:
1) It won’t be accepted if it is not for the sake of Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) and nothing else is pushing the sinner to do it.
2) It won’t be accepted unless the sinner sincerely regrets what he did and wishes he never did it.
3) It won’t be accepted unless the sinner leaves the sin, and if it is of the kind that can be made up for or it is of a duty to someone, it should be taken care of.
4) It won’t be accepted unless the sinner is determined to never go back to that sin again.
5) It won’t be accepted unless it is in the time allowed, which is before a person is about to die and before the rise of the sun from the west.
May Allah help us repent to him sincerely, so he may forgive our sins!