All praise is due and belongs to Allâh. We praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness and repent to Him. We seek refuge with Allâh from the evils of ourselves and from the wickedness of our own deeds. Whomever that Allâh guides, none can mislead him, and whomever He sends astray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allâh alone with no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
﴿ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ ﴾
(O ye who believe, fear Allâh as he should be feared and die not unless you are Muslims) [Al-Imran: 102]
﴿ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا ﴾
(O people fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul. From it, He created its spouse, and from both of them scattered many men and women. Fear Allâh, by whom you ask one another, and (fear) the wombs (lest you sever its relationship). Allâh is ever watching over you.) [An-Nisa: 1].
﴿ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا * يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا ﴾
(O you, who believe, fear Allâh and say sound statements. He will mend your deeds for you and forgive your sins. Whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger shall win a great victory) [Al-Ahzab: 70-71].
Every person is born once, except a Muslim; for he is born again and again. Every human being is born upon pure natural instinct, then he is contaminated by sins and acts of religious disobedience until his innocence is stained and his record is black… As for the disbeliever, the sins would remain accumulating, sin after sin continuously, until he meets Allâh, the Almighty, with endless sins preceded by his disbelief.
As for the Muslim, whenever sins overwhelm him, he yells to Allâh, repents and returns submissively to Him, cries and repents and so Allaah forgives him and accepts his repentance, purges him of the sins for his record to return pure and immaculate as it was, just as if he was born again. The Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) has said, “The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin”(Ibn Majah).
O you Muslim! Come forward and repent and do not be afraid; for the door of repentance is open and is never closed. The devil said to his Lord: “By Your glory, O Lord, I will continue to tempt Your slaves as long as they are alive”. So Allâh the Almighty replied to him, “By my might and magnificence I will continue to forgive them as long as they ask for my forgiveness” (Al-Hakim).
Come forward and repent and do not be afraid; for no sin is too great for Allâh to pardon. Notwithstanding how great or terrible your sin may be, the mercy of Allâh is greater than it, no matter how it may be. In the Qur’an:
﴿ وَرَحۡمَتِى وَسِعَتۡ كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ۬ ﴾
And My mercy encompasses all things [Al-A’raaf: 156].
﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَغۡفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ﴾ۚ
Verily Allâh forgives all sins [Az-Zumar: 53]
If Allâh should accept the repentance of hypocrites where He said:
﴿ إِنَّ ٱلۡمُنَـٰفِقِينَ فِى ٱلدَّرۡكِ ٱلۡأَسۡفَلِ مِنَ ٱلنَّارِ وَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمۡ نَصِيرًا * إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ تَابُواْ﴾
Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths (grade) of the Fire; no helper will you find for them. (145) Except those who repent [An-Nisaa: 145-146]
Shall He not accept your repentance, O Muslim that believes in the oneness of Allâh (tauhid)?!
If Allâh should invite the Trinitarians to repentance saying:
﴿ لَّقَدۡ ڪَفَرَ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلَـٰثَةٍ۬ۘ وَمَا مِنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ إِلَّآ إِلَـٰهٌ۬ وَٲحِدٌ۬ۚ وَإِن لَّمۡ يَنتَهُواْ عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَيَمَسَّنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنۡهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ * أَفَلَا يَتُوبُونَ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَيَسۡتَغۡفِرُونَهُ ۥۚ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬ ﴾
Surely, disbelievers are those who said: “Allâh is the third of the three (in a Trinity).” But there is no llâh (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilâh (God -Allâh). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them (73) Will they not turn with repentance to Allâh and ask His Forgiveness? For Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful [Al-Maedah: 73-74],
Shall He not accept it from you?! Therefore, come forward and repent and do not be afraid.
One may ask: Why should I repent while I pray, fast and do good deeds? We respond to him saying, the one who has been forgiven his past and future sins, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), used to repent and ask for forgiveness, and he used to say of himself, “By Allâh! I ask for forgiveness from Allâh and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day” (Al-Bukhari).
Reasonably, join me to read the words of Allâh, the Almighty:
﴿ وَتُوبُوٓاْ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تُفۡلِحُونَ ﴾
And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful [An-Nur: 31],
And His words:
﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ تُوبُوٓاْ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ تَوۡبَةً۬ نَّصُوحًا ﴾
O you who believe! Turn to Allâh with sincere repentance! [At-Tahrim: 8].
Whom does Allâh ask to repent in these two verses? Did He say, “O criminals” or “O disobedient wrongdoers”?! No but He said, ” O you who believe!.”
Hence, repentance is obligatory upon every human being, and the reason is that: “Every son of Adam commits sin and the best of those who commit sin are those who repent” (Ibn Majah). And it is because of those that sin that Allâh called Himself: the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful, “. The messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) says, ” By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allâh would sweep you out of existence and He would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allâh, and He would have pardoned them”(Muslim). Therefore, the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) meant that if you were naturally predisposed upon that which is inherent in the angels, Allâh would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin, then He would appear to them with those qualities according to His wisdom, because Al-Ghaffar (the Oft-Forgiving) necessitates the existence of the forgiven, just as Ar-Razzaq (the All-Sustainer) requires the existence of the sustained. [Sharh Al-Mishkaat by At-Taibi].
Then we say to him: As long as you have asked this question, it seems you do not know the importance, status and necessity of repentance! Come on let us learn them all together:
First: Allâh demands it from His slaves, and descends because of it: As for His demand, Allâh the most Glorified and Exalted has stated repentance, penitence, returning to Allâh, and seeking forgiveness in His Holy Book and invited to them more than one hundred and twenty times. Listen: “Verily, Allâh, the Exalted and Glorious, stretches out His Hand during the night so that the people may repent for the fault committed from dawn till dusk and He stretches out His Hand during the day so that the people may repent for the fault committed from dusk to dawn. (He would accept repentance) “(Muslim).
Allâh is asking you urgently to repent, could you have done that!
As regards His (the Most Exalted and Glorified) decent for its sake, the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him, has said, ” When it is the last third of the night, our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, descends every night to the heaven of the world and says, ‘Is there anyone who invokes Me (demand anything from Me), that I may respond to his invocation; Is there anyone who asks Me for something that I may give (it to) him; Is there anyone who asks My forgiveness that I may forgive him?’ “(Agreed upon). The great, May He be Exalted and Purified, descends because of you -O you weak and poor being- for you to ask for His forgiveness, so that He will forgive you!
Second: Repentance is a reason for fetching blessings and preventing curses: If sins are a reason for the deprivation of blessings and descent of curses, then repentance – totally on the contrary –will often bring about blessings and frequently repel curses. Allâh, the Almighty said through the tongue of Nuh:
﴿ فَقُلۡتُ ٱسۡتَغۡفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمۡ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ غَفَّارً۬ا * يُرۡسِلِ ٱلسَّمَآءَ عَلَيۡكُم مِّدۡرَارً۬ا * وَيُمۡدِدۡكُم بِأَمۡوَٲلٍ۬ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجۡعَل لَّكُمۡ جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ وَيَجۡعَل لَّكُمۡ أَنۡہَـٰرً۬ ﴾
I said (to them): ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; (10) ‘He will send rain to you in abundance; (11) ‘And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers [Nuh: 10-12].
He has spoken the truth, he that said: “No scourge came down except due to a sin committed, nor it is lifted without repentance.”
Third: Allâh rejoices with the penitents: What a catalyst to repentance and indicator of its status when you ponder over it! Dear indigent sinner and slave of Allâh! Verily, when you repent, you please and even make the Qayyum (the One Who sustains and protects all that exists) in the heavens and the earth to rejoice, in the manner of one that was certain about death and destruction, and suddenly a survival collar came to him: “Verily, Allâh is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than a person who has his camel in a waterless desert carrying his provision of food and drink and it is lost. He, having lost all hopes (to get that back), lies down in shade and is disappointed about his camel; when all of a sudden he finds that camel standing before him. He takes hold of its reins and then out of boundless joy blurts out ‘O Allâh, You are my slave and I am your lord. He commits this mistake out of extreme joy “(Agreed upon).
Above the fact that Allâh, the Almighty rejoices over the repentance of His slave, He also loves him:
﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلتَّوَّٲبِينَ ﴾
Truly, Allâh loves those who turn unto Him in repentance [Al-Baqarah: 222].
Fourth: It is a reason for the transformation of sins into good deeds: Allâh, the Almighty said:
﴿ إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلاً۬ صَـٰلِحً۬ا فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ يُبَدِّلُ ٱللَّهُ سَيِّـَٔاتِهِمۡ حَسَنَـٰتٍ۬ۗ ﴾
Except those who repent and believe (in Islâmic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, for those, Allâh will change their sins into good deeds [Al-Furqan: 70].
However, it is not every kind of repentance that does all that. It is the repentance that satisfies certain preconditions, including the following:
The first precondition: Regret over the past sins. It has been authentically reported that the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), said, “Regret is repentance” (Ibn Majah).
The second precondition: Giving up the sin out of fear of Allâh, and respect for Him.
The third precondition: To definitely and honestly determine never to return to the sins, so that he will not be branded as one that insists on disobedience. Allâh, the Almighty, says:
﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَـٰحِشَةً أَوۡ ظَلَمُوٓاْ أَنفُسَہُمۡ ذَكَرُواْ ٱللَّهَ فَٱسۡتَغۡفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمۡ وَمَن يَغۡفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ وَلَمۡ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمۡ يَعۡلَمُونَ ﴾
And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allâh and ask forgiveness for their sins; – and none can forgive sins but Allâh – And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know [Al-Imran 135].
The fourth precondition: Return taken objects of grievance to their owners or seek for their pardon, if the sin has to do with human rights. The Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, “He who has done a wrong affecting his brother’s honour or anything else, let him ask for his forgiveness today before the time (i.e., the Day of Resurrection) when he will have neither a dinar nor a dirham “(Al-Bukhari).
If the repentant meets all those preconditions, such is, by the will of Allâh, the sincere repentance that brings about all of the virtues stated above.
All praise is due and belongs to Allâh alone. May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon the last Prophet.
Slaves of Allâh! It is observed that many Muslims, to Allâh be the glory, do repent to Allâh, but it is unfortunate that most of them likely return to the sins and relapse. What is the reason? We say: the reason is what is known as obstacles to repentance, which include the following:
First: Attachment of the heart to the sin; because a sinner may love the sin and so his heart gets attached to it. No matter how he repents from that sin, his passion would bring him back to it! Just like one who loves a girl or is addicted to smoking.
Second: Procrastination: And its solution lies in the saying of Allâh, the Almighty:
﴿ وَأَنِيبُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمۡ وَأَسۡلِمُواْ لَهُ ۥ مِن قَبۡلِ أَن يَأۡتِيَكُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابُ ثُمَّ لَا تُنصَرُونَ ﴾
And turn in repentance and in obedience with true Faith (Islâmic Monotheism) to your Lord and submit to Him, (in Islâm), before the torment comes upon you, (and) then you will not be helped [Az-Zumar: 54].
Third: Fear of the wrath and slandering of the people: Its solution lies in the words of the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), “He who seeks the satisfaction of Allâh while the people are displeased with him, Allâh will be pleased with him, and make the people to be pleased with him, but he who seeks people’s satisfaction while Allâh is angry with him, Allâh’s wrath will befall him and He will make the people to be displeased with him ” (Ibn Hibban ).
Fourth: Considering repentance as a difficult task: He has been dwelling in sin for long years, until he became accustomed to it, but to leave it now becomes difficult, as he claims, saying, I have been smoking for twenty years! Since I was born, I have been gazing at women, so how do I repent now!
The solution is to turn to Allâh, wholeheartedly, seek His assistance and put trust in Him. The most important is to be sincere in one’s repentance. If one does, Allâh will make him firm and make it easy to repent.
Fifth: Being deceived by the concealment and grace of Allâh. He disobeys Allâh, but Allâh provides for him. He disobeys Allâh but Allâh blesses him. He disobeys Allâh but Allâh grants him good health… Thus, his soul beautifies for him his false hopes, saying: if Allâh was angry with you, He would not bestow upon this bestowal! He is satisfied with you!
The solution is to realize that this world is not equal in the sight of Allâh to the wing of a mosquito. So, “Allâh does give this world to whom He likes and whom He does not like” (Al-Hakim). Hence, it is neither a sign of satisfaction nor indignation:
﴿ فَأَمَّا ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ إِذَا مَا ٱبۡتَلَٮٰهُ رَبُّهُ ۥ فَأَكۡرَمَهُ ۥ وَنَعَّمَهُ ۥ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّىٓ أَكۡرَمَنِ* وَأَمَّآ إِذَا مَا ٱبۡتَلَٮٰهُ فَقَدَرَ عَلَيۡهِ رِزۡقَهُ ۥ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّىٓ أَهَـٰنَنِ * كَلَّاۖ ﴾
As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honour and bounties, then he says (in): “My Lord has honoured me.” (15) But when He tries him, by straitening his means of life, he says: “My Lord has humiliated me!” (16) Nay! [Al-Fajr: 15-17].
O you Muslim! Now you have a great opportunity that cannot be compensated once missed; an opportunity to be born again, an opportunity to become another man, a chance to fix what you have spoilt, reform what has been broken, bring together what has been dispersed, and rectify what you have missed, catch up with those that have surpassed you, and gain eternal bliss … Could you seize the chance!!
Hurry and make initiative before it is too late to be remorseful.
﴿ قُلۡ يَـٰعِبَادِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَسۡرَفُواْ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِمۡ لَا تَقۡنَطُواْ مِن رَّحۡمَةِ ٱللَّهِۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَغۡفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًاۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ ٱلۡغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ * وَأَنِيبُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمۡ وَأَسۡلِمُواْ لَهُ ۥ مِن قَبۡلِ أَن يَأۡتِيَكُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابُ ثُمَّ لَا تُنصَرُونَ * وَٱتَّبِعُوٓاْ أَحۡسَنَ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡكُم مِّن رَّبِّڪُم مِّن قَبۡلِ أَن يَأۡتِيَڪُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابُ بَغۡتَةً۬ وَأَنتُمۡ لَا تَشۡعُرُونَ * أَن تَقُولَ نَفۡسٌ۬ يَـٰحَسۡرَتَىٰ عَلَىٰ مَا فَرَّطتُ فِى جَنۢبِ ٱللَّهِ وَإِن كُنتُ لَمِنَ ٱلسَّـٰخِرِينَ * أَوۡ تَقُولَ لَوۡ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ هَدَٮٰنِى لَڪُنتُ مِنَ ٱلۡمُتَّقِينَ * أَوۡ تَقُولَ حِينَ تَرَى ٱلۡعَذَابَ لَوۡ أَنَّ لِى ڪَرَّةً۬ فَأَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ ﴾
Say: “O ‘Ibâdî (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allâh, verily Allâh forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (53) “And turn in repentance and in obedience with true Faith (Islâmic Monotheism) to your Lord and submit to Him, (in Islâm), before the torment comes upon you, (and) then you will not be helped. (54) “And follow the best of that which is sent down to you from your Lord (i.e. this Qur’ân, do what it orders you to do and keep away from what it forbids), before the torment comes on you suddenly while you perceive not!” (55) Lest a person should say: “Alas, my grief that I was undutiful to Allâh (i.e. I have not done what Allâh has ordered me to do), and I was indeed among those who mocked [at the truth! i.e. Lâ ilâha illallâh (none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh), the Qur’ân, and Muhammad and at the faithful believers] (56) Or (lest) he should say: “If only Allâh had guided me, I should indeed have been among the Muttaqûn (pious and righteous persons – see V.2:2).” (57) Or (lest) he should say when he sees the torment: “If only I had another chance (to return to the world) then I should indeed be among the Muhsinûn (good-doers – see V.2:112).” [Az-Zumar: 53-58].
O Allâh! Send your peace and blessings upon Muhammad…