Have you read our first and second blog in our three part repentance series? If you haven’t, here is the link for the part 1 here and part 2 here. This blog will much make more sense once you had read the first two.
Sincerity in repentance…why is it important?
It is important for the person seeking repentance to repent for the correct motive. Sincerity in religion means to do things purely for the sake of Allah Azawajal without associating any other purpose. The same goes for a sincere repentance, a person should make sure that he is repenting solely because of Allah Azawajal, not for any sort of worldly gain. And Allah Azawajal says in the Quran:
“O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance. Perhaps your Lord will remove from you your misdeeds and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow [on] the Day when Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believed with him. ” [66:8]
Repentance is an AMAZING thing because it has the power to replace darkness of sin and disobedience of a person back to his soul’s original state which is pure and sinless with an intrinsic luminosity. That’s why the seal of Prophets ﷺ said: “The one who repents from sin is like the one who never sinned.’ (Ibn Maja)
What motives invalidate the repentance?
In fact, some people repent because of independent conditions they found themselves in, they have no choice other than leaving the sinful act, this is hypocritical because if the condition change they will surely go back to the sin again. So, in order for the repentance to be valid we must ensure that we are not insincere in seeking forgiveness. Here are a few examples of the incorrect motives which invalidate one’s repentance:
1) Abandoning sins for the fear or blame of others Example : Stop lying for the fear or the blame of others
2) To leave sin for the sake of his job or any post Example: Leaving drinking alcohol for the fear of losing one’s job
3) Leaving sin for the sake of others Example: stop drinking to please one’s family
4) Leaving sin for the sake of avoiding illness or because of deterioration in health Example: avoiding adultery for the fear of catching aids.
5) Abandoning sin because the person has no access to it Example: To stop stealing because the thief could not find an entry to the house/ safe or was in fear of encountering security guards or the police
6) Leaving intoxicants or alcohol due to poverty
7) Abandoning sin due to an outward factor preventing the person committing the sin Example: impotency preventing adultery/fornication, nor blindness preventing lustful glances.
Satanic deception related to repentance
Satan the archenemy of humanity is ever busy to sever the relationship between the servant and God, the Exalted. When it comes to repentance, Satan inspires doubts and satanic thoughts to stop the servant from repenting. These satanic whispers can include:
1) Wanting to repent but questioning whether there is a guarantee that Allah Taa’la will forgive him/her. In this regard there is a beautiful story in the Risala of al-Qushayri:
“One seeker (murid) repented, then experienced a relapse. One day, he was wondering whether to return [to his repentance] and what would happen if he did. Suddenly he heard a voice: “O so-and-so! You obeyed Us, and We thanked you; you abandoned Us, and We granted you a respite; if you return to Us, We shall accept you!” The young man returned to his intention and succeeded in it.”
From this we should realise that Allah ﷻ forgives over and over again so what is there stopping us from asking?
2) A person considering his sins to be unforgivable as he perceives them to be overwhelming and immeasurable. In this regard, Anās Ibn-Mālik narrates; I heard Messenger of ﷺ saying in a Ḥadīth Qudsī that Allāh ﷻ says:
“O son of Adam! As long as you call upon Me, and have hope in Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done; and I shall not care. O son of Adam! If your sins were to reach the heights of the skies, and then you ask forgiveness from Me, I would forgive you I shall not care (that your sins were so many).” [Tirmidhī]
3) When you consider yourself to have been forgiven already. Firstly, one should never think or believe that he has been forgiven. Instead, one should fear the wrath of Allah ﷻ and rely in the hope of His Mercy. This will enable the seeker to maintain a balance allowing him to continue his journey towards the pleasure of Allah ﷻ.
Shaytaan may remit devilish whispers to the seeker in an attempt to convince him that he has been forgiven or that he has become pious and no longer needs to perform Tawbah. We should take refuge in Allah ﷻ from this thought and never abuse the door of Tawbah.
Even the best of the creations of God ﷺ who is sinless has said:
“By Allah, I seek forgiveness from Allah and I repent to him more than seventy times in a day.” (Bukhari)
What you need to know!
You are NOT sinless like an ANGEL BUT you are NOT full of evil and sinful like the DEVIL.
You are a HUMAN BEING, a creation that is prone to making mistakes and committing sin.
BUT, you are a human being who possesses a strong will power which, if exercised correctly, can be utilized to act in good and righteous ways in order to attain even higher ranks than the angels in the sight of Allah ﷻ.
In fact, human beings hold the power to overcome any whispering influences of the devil. Accordingly, the seeker should become firm on the righteous ways, as Allah ﷻ loves to forgive those who truly repent.
The mercy of Allah outweighs His wrath. (Subhanallah! ☺)
We should remember that Allah ﷻ is the One that forgives us all. We should never leave repentance, as we will always need it when we make mistakes again and again.
Amazing Hadith about Repentance
Here is another inspiring Hadith to show us the largess of the Grace of God in forgiving sins:
“A person came into the presence of the Prophet ﷺ and asked what the ruling was in relation to a person who had committed every type of sin, including all the minor and major ones and whether the possibility of repentance was open for him.
The Prophet ﷺ replied by asking the person ‘have you accepted Islam’. The person answered ‘Yes’ and recited the testification of faith.
The Prophet ﷺ advised:
‘Do good deeds and leave the evil ones, Allah will transform the bad ones into good ones’.
The person responded, ‘even my deceitfulness and disobedience?’ The Prophet ﷺ confirmed ‘Yes’, and the person left continuously reciting the ‘Takbeer’”.[Musnad Ahmad– Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Minhaj ul Qaasideen – ibn Qudama Maqdisi, Book of Repentance Sayid Muhammad Salih].
We should have a strong and firm intention in leaving sin and begging Allah ﷻ to keep the door of repentance open.
Because, this door can close permanently if one abuses it. For instance, death may arrive unexpectedly at a time when one’s heart has become sealed or one could become blind of the righteous path only seeing darkness and no light if one misuses the Trust of Tawbah.
Repentance is a key to many doors; it is the door of opening to the mercy of Allah ﷻ, so enter it and never look back towards disobedience or return to the hands of Shaytaan.
We only live in respite due to Allah’s Mercy so the seeker must always be mindful of his actions. Allah the Exalted said in the Glorious Quran:
“And your Lord is the Forgiving, full of mercy. If He were to impose blame upon them for what they earned, He would have hastened for them the punishment. Rather, for them is an appointment from which they will never find an escape.”
How to amend back your relationship with your Lord after sincere repentance.
One of the best way to achieve this, will be to adopt a course of Self-Purification which will help you to refine and rectify your outward and inward evil traits that lead to the sinful habits so that you are not repeating the same sins over and over again! The outward pertaining to the purification of the 7 organs of the body and inwardly related to the purification of the mind and the heart. In fact, this was the mission of all the Prophets of God to purify and refine the character of human being, and God the Exalted says:
“Just as We have sent among you a messenger from yourselves reciting to you Our verses and purifying you and teaching you the Book and wisdom and teaching you that which you did not know.” (2:151)
Prophetic Path offers you a course of Self-Purification that will enable you to amend and maintain a proper and deep seated relationship with Allah Azawajal after your sincere repentance, and remember when God exhalted is He declared:
“He will indeed be successful who purifies it. And he will indeed fail who corrupts it.” (91:9, 10)
If you’d like to work onwards towards overall purification of the Body, Mind and Heart, then our dedicated purification course on our website will Inshallah help you to achieve this.
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