Repentance in Islam

Repentance in Islam

by | Nov 12, 2020 | Aqīdah, Ibadah | 0 comments

 

The Sincere and Truthful Repentance

REPENTENCE IN ISLAM

As humans we are all prone to make mistakes, errors and fall in to sins, those things Allah is displeased and has prohibited us from. All Muslims must keep far away from the major sins, such as;  killing, interest based financial transactions, stealing, adultery, fornication, drinking alcohol, disobedience to parents, magic and so on.

Allah, our Creator will forgive every single sin, except the greatest sin, the unforgivable sin which is shirk, worshipping other than Him. worshipping the dead, the prophets, humans, statues, stars, moon, mountains, forest, sun, idols etc. Whoever dies upon this will not be forgiven. As for major sin, then whoever falls into them, the there is punishment to be prescribed by the Islamic government to the guilty. If there isn’t one, than the criminal is to seek forgiveness from Allah and rectify him or herself. As for the minor sins, we all commit , though we should not, and may pile up if not abandoned. Minor sins are erased with good deeds. Islam , unlike other religions , is the only religion tells people to directly repent to the creator and not to some human being.

The conditions of sincere repentance are four it includes:

 

  1. Regretting and having remorse of the sins that you have committed,
  2. Immediately giving up that immoral action, and everything that leads to it such as contact, correspondence and dates.
  3. Resolving not to return to that sin. 4. Returning the rights of others. (if you back bit or slandered others, you need to inform that person and ask to be forgiven. If you know that that person will not take it lightly, will get upset and cut friendship, then do not tell that person but talk good about that person in front of others and give charity on behalf of that person. If someone stole something, one needs to return it to the rightful owner. If that product was stolen and tehn sold, then give in charity its equivalent on behalf of that person.

You also have to do a lot of righteous deeds, such as prayer, reading Qur’aan and fasting, so as to strengthen your faith and piety. Good deeds erase bad deeds and sincere repentance erases that which came before it, and turns bad deeds into good deeds. Allaah says – after mentioning the sins of shirk (associating others with Allaah), murder and zina – (interpretation of the meaning):

“Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allaah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Furqaan 25:70].

Praise be to Allaah.

A Muslim’s faith may become weak and he may be overwhelmed by his desires. The Shaytaan may make sin attractive to him, so he wrongs himself (commits sin) and falls into that which Allaah has forbidden. But Allaah is Kind to His slaves, and His mercy encompasses all things. Whoever repents after doing wrong, Allaah will accept his repentance, for Allaah is Forgiving and Merciful.

“But whosoever repents after his crime and does righteous good deeds (by obeying Allaah), then verily, Allaah will pardon him (accept his repentance). Verily, Allaah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful [al-Maa’idah 5:39 – interpretation of the meaning]

Allaah is Forgiving and Generous. He commands all His slaves to repent sincerely so that they may gain the mercy of Allaah and His Paradise. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“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 (Paradise)” [al-Tahreem 66:8]

The gate of repentance is open to His slaves, until the sun rises from the west. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah spreads out His Hand at night to accept the repentance of those who did wrong during the day, and He spreads out His Hand during the day to accept the repentance of those who did wrong during the night. (This will continue) until the sun rises from the west.” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 2759)

Sincere repentance is not merely the matter of words spoken on the tongue. Rather, the acceptance of repentance is subject to the condition that the person gives up the sin straight away, that he regrets what has happened in the past, that he resolves not to go back to the thing he has repented from, that he restores people’s rights or property if his sin involved wrongdoing towards others, and that he repents before the agony of death is upon him. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Allaah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they whom Allaah will forgive and Allaah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.

And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: ‘Now I repent;’ nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful torment” [al-Nisaa’ 4:17-18]

Allaah accepts repentance and is Merciful. He calls sinners to repent, so that He might forgive them:

“…your Lord has written (prescribed) Mercy for Himself, so that if any of you does evil in ignorance, and thereafter repents and does righteous good deeds (by obeying Allaah), then surely, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-An’aam 6:54 – interpretation of the meaning]

Allaah is Kind to His slaves and loves those who repent. He accepts their repentance, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And He it is Who accepts repentance from His slaves, and forgives sins, and He knows what you do”[al-Shooraa 42:25]

“Truly, Allaah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves”[al-Baqarah 2:222]

When a kaafir becomes a Muslim, Allaah turns his bad deeds (sayi’aat) into good deeds (hasanaat), and forgives him all his previous sins, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief), their past will be forgiven” [al-Anfaal 8:38]

Allaah is Forgiving and Merciful, and He loves the repentance of His slaves. He commands them to repent so that He might forgive them. But the devils among mankind and the jinn want to turn people away from the truth and make them incline towards falsehood, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Allaah wishes to accept your repentance, but those who follow their lusts, wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously away (from the Right Path) [al-Nisaa’4:27]

The mercy of Allaah encompasses all things. If a person’s sins are very great and he has wronged himself very much, but he then repents, Allaah will accept his repentance and will forgive his sins no matter how great they are. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say: O ‘Ibaadi (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”[al-Zumar 39:53]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Our Lord comes down to the lowest heaven when one-third of the night remains, and says, ‘Who will call upon Me so that I may answer him? Who will ask Me so that I may give to him? Who will seek My forgiveness so that I may forgive him?’” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 758)

Man is weak. If a person sins then he has to repent and seek forgiveness every time. Allaah is Forgiving and Merciful, and He is the One Who says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allaah’s forgiveness, he will find Allaah Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Nisaa’ 4:110]

The Muslim is vulnerable to making mistakes and sins. So he has to repent and seek forgiveness repeatedly. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “By Allaah, I seek the forgiveness of Allaah and I turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times each day.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 6307)

Allaah loves the repentance of His slaves, and accept it. Indeed, He rejoices over it, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a person repents, Allaah rejoices more than one of you who found his camel after he lost it in the desert.” (Agreed upon. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 6309)

 

From Usool al-Deen al-Islami by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem al-Tuwayjri

Feelings of remorse and guilt are natural reflections of sinning, if the person who has sinned has a conscious which is alive.

 

After committing a sin, a person who fears Allah and give high respect to Him would feel a sense of despondency and despair thinking, “How will God forgive me for this sin?” However, it is noteworthy that despairing of God’s mercy is in itself one of the major sins in Islam for God is ever merciful, ever forgiving.

 

As He says in the Qur’an:”Do not despair of God’s mercy; He will forgive you of all your sins”.Qur’an (39:53).

 

In another verse, Allah says:”And He wishes to forgive you” Qur’an (4:146).

 

Islam fully understands the temptations that come in the way of everyone of us, and that which some of us might go for. Only through repentance, that one can wipeout those sins and past misdeeds and gradually get freed from the clutches of the ego.

 

Repentance is the most noble and beloved form of obedience in the eyes of Allah the All Mighty. He loves those who repent. Repentance has a status that no other form of worship has. This is why Allah is extremely happy when a servant repents just as a traveller is happy when he finds his lost mount in the desert.

 

Feeling Allah’s satisfaction has its great impact on the heart of the one repenting. Hence, the repenting person reaches the status of being amongst the beloved through his repentance.

 

Moreover, repentance brings about humbleness and a sense of helplessness to the only Creator; Allah, and that is not easily acquired through other forms of worship.

 

Allah says in the Qur’an:

 

“Except those who repent, have faith and good deeds, those Allah will charge their sins for good deeds. Certainly Allah is most forgiving and merciful.” (Qur’an 25:70)

 

This is a greatest glad tiding for those who repent and combine their repentance with deep faith and good deeds.

 

Repentance breeds good deeds, whilst sinning (without repentance) can cause deprivation of obedience altogether. It has been said that committing sins regularly will darken and harden the heart and make purifying it once again a difficult mission. It may even lead a person to reject Allah completely (Allah forbid) or lead him to commit a bigger sin. There is no recourse for a sinner except to ask Allah for forgiveness and to feel great regret for his actions.

 

Repentance is to repent from the heart, to train the heart into obedi ence and to make a firm resolution never to commit the sin again.

 

How to repent?

 

For repentance to be accepted by Allah, one should go through these four stages:

 

1- Stop the sin.

2- Regretting deeply and truly for the sin you committed.

3- Return to Allah for forgiveness.

4- Strong intention never to return to that same sin again.

 

What would help in fulfilling the above four stages?

 

The repenting person should remember three facts:

 

  1. The grave consequence of sins.
  2. The painful punishment for sins and
  3. How weak a person is when committing such sins.

 

Abu Bakr Al siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him), narrated:

 

“I heard Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) saying: ‘There isn’t a man who, when he commits a sin, rises, makes ablution, and offers two rak’as of prayers, but Allah forgives his sins.’

 

Allah says in the Qur’an:

 

“Those (are the true believers) who, when they commit an evil deed, or wrong their souls, remember Allah, and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who but Allah forgives sins? They do not insist upon the sins they have committed, and they know (that Allah is forgiving).” (Qur’an 3:135)

 

 

What will happened to that person doing same sin again and again ?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

If a person commits sin time after time, his sin is forgiven every time if he follows his sin with repentance – if his repentance each time is sincere. The evidence that it is permissible to repent time after time is the fact that those who apostatized from Islam at the time of Abu Bakr were brought back to Islam by Abu Bakr and he accepted that from them, although he knew that they had been kaafirs, then they entered Islam, then they went back to kufr, then they came back to Islam. All the Sahaabah accepted their repentance despite the fact that what the apostates had done was worse than what a sinning Muslim does. So the repentance of a sinning Muslim, even if he sins repeatedly, is more likely to be accepted than repentance on the part of a kaafir time after time.

But what we are saying is subject to the condition that the first and subsequent cases of repentance be sincere and from the heart, not simply an outward show of repentance.

What we are saying should not be understood to mean that we are encouraging sin and that it may be committed time after time, and that the Muslim should take the mercy of Allaah and the fact that Allaah accepts repentance as an excuse to commit sin. No, our intention is to encourage the sinner to repent time after time. We want to put the mind of the Muslim who wants to come back to Allaah at rest, and tell him that the gate of mercy is open, and that Allaah’s forgiveness is greater than his sin, so he should not despair of the mercy of Allaah and he should keep turning to Him.

Al-Bukhaari (7507) and Muslim (2758) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that his Lord said: “My slave commits sin, then he says, ‘O Allaah, forgive me my sin.’ Then Allaah says, ‘My slave has committed a sin, but he knows that he has a Lord Who forgives sin and takes away sin. So I forgive My slave.’ Then he commits sin again, and says, ‘O Allaah, forgive me my sin.’ Then Allaah says, ‘My slave has committed a sin, but he knows that he has a Lord Who forgives sin and takes away sin. So I forgive My slave.’ Then he commits sin again, and says, ‘O Allaah, forgive me my sin.’ Then Allaah says, ‘My slave has committed a sin, but he knows that he has a Lord Who forgives sin and takes away sin. So I forgive My slave.’ …”

Al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said:

Ibn Abi Dunya narrated with his isnaad that ‘Ali said: “The best of you is every tempted one who repents (i.e., every time he is tempted by this world, he repents).” It was said, “What if he sins again?” He said, “He should ask Allaah for forgiveness and repent.” It was said, “What if he sins again?” He said, “He should ask Allaah for forgiveness and repent.” It was said, “What if he sins again?” He said, “He should ask Allaah for forgiveness and repent.” It was said, “For how long?” He said, “Until the Shaytaan is defeated.”

Ibn Maajah narrated a marfoo’ report from Ibn Mas’ood which says: “The one who repents from sin is like the one who did not commit sin.” (Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah, 3427).

It was said to al-Hasan: Shouldn’t one of us feel too shy to ask his Lord to forgive his sin, then do it again, then ask for forgiveness, then do it again? He said: The Shaytaan wishes that you would have this attitude, so do not tire of asking for forgiveness.

And it was narrated that he said: I do not think this is anything other than the attitude of the believers, i.e., every time a believer sins, he repents.

‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez said in his khutbah: O people, whoever commits sin, let him seek the forgiveness of Allah and repent. If he does it again, let him seek the forgiveness of Allah and repent, and if he does it again, let him seek the forgiveness of Allah and repent. For it is sin which hangs around a person’s neck, and doom comes from persisting in sin.

What this means is that a person will inevitably commit the sins that it is decreed he will commit, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every son of Adam has his share of zina (adultery) written for him, and that will inevitably catch up with him.” (Narrated by Muslim, 2657).

But Allaah has given people a way out from the sins they commit and sin is erased by repentance and seeking forgiveness. If they do that then they will get rid of the evil of sin, but if they persist in sin, then they will be doomed.

Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hakam, 1/164-165.

And Allaah knows best.

 
ref: http://www.fatwa-online.com/fataawa/worship/supplication/0100831.htm

Question: What is the ruling regarding the one who repents from a sin, then he returns to it again, so he repents again, then he returns to it (yet) again and so on. What is the ruling regarding his repentance?

Response by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen: These repentances are all correct, because whenever someone commits a sin then repents to Allaah from (having committed) it and fulfills the conditions for repentance – then Allaah accepts his repentance. And if he falls into the sin again, then he should repent for a second time, and then a third time and a fourth time as Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says:

{Say: “O ‘Ibaadee (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} – [Soorah az-Zumar, Aayah 53]

However, that which is important is the repentance must be sincere and truthful, and that he must be determined never to return to (committing) that sin (again): His repentance must not be an empty one – that he repents, yet in his heart he has the intention to return to that sin – such a repentance is not genuine.

However, if his repentance is genuine, and at the time of committing the sin he was determined never to return to (committing that) sin (again), then if he was to commit the (same) sin again, his first repentance will not be nullified, rather, his first repentance is correct, and whenever he commits a sin and repents, Allaah will forgive him.

I’laam al-Mu’aasireen bi-Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen – Page 315

The Signs of the Acceptance of One’s Repentance

ref: http://www.fatwa-online.com/fataawa/worship/supplication/0090408.htm

Question: When a person repents to Allaah and is saddened by his previous actions, what are the signs of the acceptance of his repentance?

Response by Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan : From the signs of the acceptance of his repentance is the rectification of his condition and his uprightness, and him being far removed from sins, and his hatred for them and sadness at what has come to pass (of sins) from him, and his increase in worship and noble actions.

ad-Durar an-Naadhirah fil-Fataaawa al-Mu’aasirah – Pages 642-643

al-Fowzaan – ad-Da’wah 1523, Sha’baan 1416AH

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