Category Archives: Repentance

Turning back to Allah

Return To Your Lord

In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful

Ever felt like you’ve reached a low point in your Iman? That after being a very enthusiastic gainer of good deeds you are becoming lenient and your enthusiasm is fading?

I’ve felt that many times. I’m sure we all do. it’s pretty common to feel that way. Imaan is just like a roller coaster, sometimes it goes up making us feel contented and sometimes it goes down and low, a danger zone. Yes! I call that a danger zone. And it is must for us to take steps to come out of that perilous zone.

In the hustle and bustle of life, we often forget to follow Allah’s commands. We are indulged in the comforts of this world, shrugging off everything related to the after-life, and hence our iman begins to drop.

It is usual for us to feel lackadaisical in following and abiding by Allah’s commands. It is a human nature to sin and to err.

so here are some tips to pick up your iman and give you that much-need iman boost:

  1. Open the Qur’an and see what Allah wants to tell you:

The Qur’an is the nourishment of every person’s soul, the light of the heart and guidance to the straight path.

Allah (glorified and exalted be He) says:

“Indeed, this Qur’an guides to that which is most suitable.” [Qur’an: Chapter 17, Verse 9]

Whenever you feel like you are losing your energy and that your performance is starting to drop, quickly turn to the Qur’an and you will always find a way out.

2. Read books related to Islam:

There are a variety of books that one can buy from bookshops or kiosks which are related to Islam. Try reading Stories of the Prophets. They’re interesting to read and will give us knowledge about the lives of the Prophets and the difficulties they went through. it’s sure to help your iman rise.

Start with one book and see the snowball effect!

3. Sit with those who learn and practice Islam:

A man learns the best from his friends.

As cliche as it sounds, the reality is: The more time we spend with a person, the more prone we are to gather their habits.

The bottom line is: Spend time with those who learn and preach Islam.

4. Make dua

Dua is a weapon of a believer. Make dua during prostration. Make dua that your Iman be high. Make dua that you be persistent in gaining good deeds and in pleasing Allah.

In the end, I’d like to remind you all to jot down the tid bits which will help us in raising our Imaan.

I ask Allah to make us better practicing Muslims than what we were yesterday. Aameen

Maha Bassad, AAT

How To Give Up Sin

We are constantly told to drop our bad habits, and give up our sins. But sometimes putting the words into action can be harder than it appears. In this article, we have put together some simple tips to help you abandon those actions displeasing to Allah.

  • Recognise it’s a sin and problem: identifying the problem is key to finding the solution.
  • Admit it’s your fault: No one likes to bear blame. It’s humiliating and defeating to the human ego. But sometimes we must rise above, and take that blame in order to be able to change. Acknowledge the fault is within.
  • You have to make the change: Guidance and change will only happen if you want it. If you don’t want it, then things will not change.
  • Research: find out the consequences, and punishments of the sin. Find out why it is such a grave matter. This will help you regret your error, and want to give it up.
  • Bigger than you can bear? The problem seems like it’s so difficult, but know Allah has only given you what is within your capacity. He knows how far you can go, and He knows how to get the best out of you.
  • Make Duaa: seek the help of Allah, without His help, everything is impossible. With His aid, on the other hand, miracles happen!
  • Drop it like it’s a hot Potato! Leave it, abandon it, and give it up completely
  • Monitor Your Progress: Check how far you’ve come, and how much you have left. This will help motivate you Inshallah.
  • Make more Duaa: thank Allah for His blessings in helping you give up the sin, and make duaa He keeps you firm on His obedience, and never returns you to your previous state of indulgence in the sin
  • All is not lost: for those who continue to struggle giving up a sin, have faith and trust in Allah. Perhaps He is keeping you in your current state, waiting for a sincere repentance on your part, or perhaps He loves your constant repentance, or He loves to hear your voice when you plea for His aid, or maybe He is purifying you through this trial, and is raising your ranks…who knows?! The Plan of Allah is indeed great. Just repeat the process every time you fall into it.

Abu Ayyub Khalid bin Zaid (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Were you not to commit sins, Allah would create people who would commit sins and ask for forgiveness and He would forgive them”. (Muslim)

So do not give up hope. But strive for the forgiveness of Allah and His pleasure.

‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin.” (Classed as Hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah)

Never forget Allah is Merciful, Forgiving. He is Al-Ghaffar, Al-Ghafoor, and Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem.

  

Recognising Sins

“Hold yourself accountable before you are held accountable, and weigh your deeds, before they are weighed for you.” -Umar Ibn Al-Khattab

The only way we can follow through with Umar’s statement is for us to tally up our deeds. Sometimes, it is difficult to see with clarity the reality of our actions. Shaytan deceives us into thinking our sins are little, and there is little for us to improve on. We avoid the major sins, and we pray five times a day. We fast Ramadaan and give in charity too. But is that all there is?

We are told that we sin by night and by day, so why is it that we are unable to pin point our errors. Everything seems ok in our eyes? But is it the same in the eyes of Allah? Have we reached the status of the companions, who were the best of generations, and even they made mistakes. We are not infallible, for sure, but we are sinful and that’s definite.

So here is a list of tips to help myself, and you recognise our errors:

  • Ignoring what we left of the wajibaat:

Sinning is of two types: doing that which is prohibited, and secondly leaving what is obligatory. Both are blameworthy. It is very easy to recognise a Prohibition that one indulged in, but neglecting the obligatory such as fulfilling promises, upholding the ties of kinship, respecting parents etc… is often one that we over look. The next time you try to tally your sins, consider both.

  • Losing the balance between hope and fear: Some rely on hope in the Mercy of Allah, and by this, neglect the obligatory deeds, or overlook the minor sins and thus become sinful. Others, fear Allah to an extreme and thus lose motivation to worship Him. One must strike a balance between the two.
  • Overlooking the minor sins: It’s easy to overlook something small and let it pass, without feeling the slightest bit of regret or remorse. But remember whilst we may consider a sin to be minute, in the sight of Allah it has greater weight.

The Prophet said, ‘Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in your major actions, so beware of following him in your minor actions.’ (Final sermon)

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Beware of minor sins. Verily, they gather upon a man until he is destroyed.” (Musnad Ahmad)

Sahl ibn Sa’d reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Beware of minor sins like a people who descend into the bottom of a valley, so one comes with a stick and another with a stick until they have fire to cook their bread. Verily, when a person is held accountable for these minor sins they will destroy him.” (Musnad Ahmad)

Amongst our pious predecessors, it was said, ‘there is no small sin, if done without care.’ Meaning if a sin is continually disregarded, it is upgraded to a big sin, all tallying up. All these narrations indicate that the small sins, though small as they may seem, are consequential.

  • Forgetting the sins of the tongue: our dear tongues! Many a times they run ahead of us, and sadly cause more damage to our long list of sins. Let us not forget the hadith of the Prophet, ‘He who believes in Allah and the Last day, must either speak good or remain silent.’ (Muslim) The Prophet mentioned believing in Allah and the last day as a prerequisite, for if one believes he will be held to account on the Last Day before Allah, then he will be careful about what his tongue utters and he will find that silence often proves more beneficial.
  • The matters of the heart: There are many acts of worship that are done in the heart, such as hope, fear, love, trust, reliance, thinking good of Allah, etc… These are all actions of the heart, and are taken to account. Yes, ideas of the mind are forgiven, but using the heart to disobey Allah, for example by preferring something of this dunya over Allah’s rights, is blameworthy. The sins of the heart are more subtle than the sins of the tongue.
  • Considering sins that are directly before you, rather than those that you are responsible for elsewhere: this includes the consequences of your actions that spread far and wide. Whoever sets a bad example, will have the sin of one who follows him, until the day of judgement, without deducting from their sin. So be aware of the way you behave before others and the consequences it may have on those around you, especially when in public.
  • Sending out religious messages and instructions without having ‘ilm: many such messages contain false principles, fabricated, weak ahadith, or omitted information. Meaning that the wrong information is shared leading people to commit sin, or to indulge in wrong practices. Knowledge is a responsibility, and to simply share without verifying it is careless.

Indeed, our Prophet has said, ‘Do not tell a lie against me, for whoever tells a lie against me (intentionally), he will surely enter the hellfire.’ (Bukhari)

Messages such as, ‘pass it on to so many people and you will be successful,’ I ask, does such a person have knowledge of the unseen, to know that success awaits?! It is a big sin to say something about the religion of Allah without knowledge. Thus restrict yourself to the authentic ahadith. And if you are unsure as to what is authentic or not, restrict yourself to ahadith from Bukhari and Muslim, and if you are still unsure, refrain from forwarding such messages, until you are able to verify it.

  • Looking at personal sins, rather than those that relate to the rights of others: There are three types of thulm (oppression): oppression against Allah and that is shirk (to associate partners with Allah). Secondly, oppression upon others, whether by neglecting their rights, mistreating them, whether physically, verbally or emotionally. This is unforgiveable unless one asks the injured individual for forgiveness. Lastly, thulm upon the self, and that is engaging in sin.

The second type is what is often forgotten. Consider the oppression you have done to others, whether the person was a stranger or someone close to you. Whether it was in his presence or absence, it all adds up.

  • Presuming sincerity and acceptance in the deeds we do: None of us have a guarantee that our deeds are accepted or that our intentions were sincere. We hope almost to the point of certainty that they are, but we also fear almost to the point of despair that they are not. And thus we should exert our efforts in improving this aspect. It was reported that Sufyan Ath-Thawri said, ‘there is nothing I have wrestled with anything harder than my intention.’
  • Thanking Allah: to omit gratitude is sinful. It is incumbent upon us to thank Allah the way that He deserves, as being ungrateful is the root of disbelief. Though we can never count the favour of Allah, we should strive to thank Him for His bounties upon us.

Allah has said in the Quran, “And We had certainly given Luqman wisdom [and said], “Be grateful to Allah.” And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever denies [His favour] – then indeed, Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.” (Surah Luqman 31:12

Reading all of this, is not intended to make you depressed. Rather it is to help us to acknowledge our current status, to make us realise, that sin is in our nature, and thus we must act to improve. The only way to improve is to repent and seek forgiveness of Allah constantly. And the first step to repentance and reformation is to acknowledge the problem, in this case, our sins.

We should take lessons from the earliest and best of generations. The Prophet peace be upon him, the best of mankind, whose past and future sins were forgiven used to seek forgiveness one hundred times a day. Many of the sahabahs who were promised Jannah, cried the nights, and sought forgiveness from Allah, despite having a ticket to Jannah. The great Umar, of whom shaytaan was afraid used to fear that he was a hypocrite! Where are we in comparison to these great people? May Allah rectify our condition.

I leave you with this piece of advice, constantly ask yourself, check yourself, account for your deeds throughout the day in order to account for your deeds before the Day of Accounts.

 

We are Aleppo

As I sit at my desk, I force myself to write what words cannot describe…the massacre, the carnage, the destruction, the loss of life, and the unblinking eyes of the world who look on at the whole scene…

You may ask, ‘what do I mean?’

The reality of Aleppo is a reflection of our own situation. If we look deep within ourselves we will find the same scene.

Blood trickles down the narrow alleys of Aleppo, with none to wash the stains. Our blood may still run in our veins, and we sure have the ability to wash. But our hearts are stained with the rust and covering of disobedience, for which we care not to clean.

Death hangs thick in the air in Aleppo.
Within ourselves it’s there too.
While their souls have passed on, and empty corpses remain, our hearts is what has died within us. Our bodies may live on, but they are devoid of life.

Their eyes stare in horror at the fate that awaits them. As for our eyes, we look on at the images of their destruction. Then we turn them back to our homes, satisfied we are safe. We dare not stare at what is within ourselves.

Carnage is wrecked as bombs blow dust in the empty streets of Aleppo, clouding the horizon and blocking rays of the sun’s light. Within us, our records of deeds are clouded by the bombs of sins that we drop by day and night. We block out the light with our own hands.

Aleppo is a reflection of ourselves.

We could have been in Aleppo. It could have been us who were blasted till our ears could hear nothing but explosions and our eyes accustomed to the rubble of the destruction…so easily it could have been us there. What we don’t realise, is, it is us. With every innocent life that is slaughtered, a part of us goes with them too.

Narrated An-Nu`man bin Bashir: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it.” (Bukhari)

The question remains what will we do for Aleppo, for ourselves?

“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron.” (Surah Ra’d, 13:11)

Praying for the aid of Allah and his help, is great. But why should Allah answer your duaa when you are defiant of His commands? Your body is filled with haraam, you shelter in haraam, your wealth is haraam, your clothing is from haraam. Why should Allah respond to you?! And you plan to further indulge in haraam soon at Christmas and New Year!

Yes Allah is Merciful, but do not expect victory from Him when you act contrary to everything He has prescribed.

My brothers and sisters, it’s not just Aleppo. Its me and you as individuals. We are responsible for this crisis. Yes we may have a comfy home, and a good meal on our plate, and we quickly forget the screams of those in Aleppo, Burma, Gaza and wherever the ummah is suffering. But who knows that Allah may trial us with a bigger affliction that what is happening in Aleppo?! Do we feel secure from the plan of Allah, knowing full well we are drowning in sins?

Aleppo is only the beginning. And we know the hour is near.

We have plummeted in our iman and we are humiliated. Which nation looks at us with fear, rather their eyes are full of pity at our states and hunger for our destruction.

So our humiliation and weakness are because of what we Muslims have done, not because of Islam. But when we come back to our religion, our glory and pride will come back to us.

Do we wait for the punishment and affliction to appear before we act. Our predecessors were pro-actionary. Us, in comparison have become reactionary. We wait…we sit…we laze around…we procrastinate…
When will we wake up?

We all will face death. If it was you in Aleppo, would you be ready to die knowing it was certain the army would kill you or bomb you or worse? Death is just as certain for us as it is for them. So why are we not ready to meet Allah and account for our deeds?

What will it take for us to get ready? When will we make the change? When will we return to Allah?

Do we not fear Allah? Do we not believe in Him? Have we not accepted his messenger?

How will you change so that Allah may change the state of the people in Syria?

As imam Malik stated, “The latter part of this nation will not be able to reform itself successfully except by using what reformed its early part.”

What reformed the sahabahs from men who were ignorant, trapped by tribal feuds to world leaders, and inheritors of paradise? It was Islam.

Whilst the world looks on, many sleep in their beds ignorant of the massacre, some fools will travel to Aleppo under the false guise of jihad, and the UN continues to fruitlessly negotiate…but you can be the change you want to see. Don’t wait for the UN, or Bashar, or the Russian PM, or any other world leader. Take the affair into your own hands by giving up the haraam and see how Allah opens His doors.

Do you think Allah would leave us, if we returned to Him seeking his forgiveness, when He has full control over the every soldier? The heart of Bashar is in His hands. So why do we despair?

Invoke your Lord and return to Him, He is accepting of repentance and is fully capable of sorting the situation. He is the The All Powerful, The Mighty, The Subduer, The Delayer, who never forgets and never wrongs, and who is Ever Aware of all things.

Humanity did not fail us.

We failed ourselves. And worse, we failed Aleppo.

The Benefits of Istighfaar

Seeking forgiveness on the road of repentance, from Allah, for our errors and mistakes produces many benefits. The soul feels tranquil knowing that Allah hears those who call Him, and the mind is set at ease knowing Allah never neglects His slaves, allowing us to move on progress as believers. Here are a few of the benefits of Istighfaar (seeking forgiveness and pardon) as mentioned in the Qur’an:

1) Never-ending Forgiveness: The forgiveness of Allah is without limit,H e will forgive us over and over as long as we turn to Him, no matter how many times we repeat the error.

2) Rain: Yes, you read correctly. If we seek forgiveness from Allah He will grant us rain as a mercy from Him.

3) Provision of Gardens and Rivers: Who knew?! Our Lord is truly Merciful. he blesses us with sustenance and luxuries when we seek His forgiveness.

4) Increase in wealth and Children: Not only does Allah give us rain and rizq, he bestows upon us even more bounties, our Lord truly is the Generous.

The following ayah is proof for the above four mentioned points;

“Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send (rain from) the sky upon you in (continuing) showers, and give you increase in wealth and children, and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.” (Surah Nuh 71:10-12)

5) Increase in strength: Who wouldn’t like to be stronger, not just physically but also spiritually and psychologically? When one converses with Allah it increases iman and makes you a stronger believer, and closer to Allah.

“And O my people, ask forgiveness of your Lord, and then repent to Him. He will send (rain from) the sky upon you in showers and increase you in strength (added) to your strength. And do not turn away, (being) criminals.” (Surah Hud 11:52)

6) Good Provision: Sustenance is among the things that humans need and crave. The more you get, the happier it makes you.

“Seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him, He will let you enjoy a good provision for a specified term and give every doer of favour his favour. But if you turn away, then indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a great Day.” (Surah Hud 11:03)

7) Relief from punishment and affliction: This is evidence of Allah’s compassion, He averts punishment and tribulations away from us when we turn to Him.

“Allah would not punish them while they seek forgiveness.” (Surah Anfaal 08:33)

8) The Mercy of Allah: The Mercy of Allah which exceeds His anger and is All-Encompassing, and extensive, that comes in many forms: mercy, forgiveness, blessings, rewards, and much more…

“He (Salih) said, ‘O my people, why are you impatient for evil instead of good? Why do you not seek forgiveness of Allah that you may receive mercy?” (Surah An-Naml 27:46)

“Every son of Adam sins, and the best of those who sin, are those who repent.” -Prophet Muhammad peace be upon Him.

“Our Lord forgive us our sins, and efface our bad deeds, and take our souls in the company of the righteous.” (03:193)

Get Closer to Allah

As muslims we are constantly seeking out ways to earn Allah’s pleasure and get closer to Him. It is a day in and day out struggle trying to maintain a connection with Allah. Allah never cuts the line, but for own part, sometimes we slack and the connection crackles, or worst scenario, it is severed. May Allah protect us, and allow us to be constantly connected to Him.

Here are a few tips to help you on a daily basis to stay connected with you Creator, your Sustainer, Maker and Cherisher.

  • Purify your intention: Before you carry out any of the following tips begin with a sincere intention. Renew your intention to reconnect with the purpose behind your action. Dig deep, why are you doing this good deed? What are the benefits? Your intention is within your heart, and if you cannot find it, ask yourself, ‘Why am I about to do this deed?’ and let your heart answer. Then, cleanse your intention, and make it solely to earn Allah’s pleasure, to come closer to Him and to earn His rewards.
  • Get to know Allah: Learn His names and Attributes. Learn about Him; what is Allah’s role in your life. Ponder upon Allah’s significance in your day. Is He your first priority? The more you know about Allah, the more you can love Him and come closer to Him.
  • Make duaa: Ask Allah to help you to come closer to Him. Ask Allah every step of the way for every little thing in your day. By calling on Him so often, your heart will soften at His mention.
  • Read Quran daily: The Quran is Allah’s words and instructions to us. Reading the words of Allah will naturally establish an attachment between us and our Rabb.
  • Understand what you recite from the Quran and in Salah: Repeating phrases that you have memorised but have little or no understanding of; though the rewards will pile up, and it may well affect your heart, your brain however…will be tongue tied! Derive full benefit from your salah and reading Quran by understanding what you are saying. Learn the translations, though these are inaccurate to say the least, and learning Arabic would be much more beneficial. Doings so will build a stepping stone to connecting with Allah
  • Secret good deeds: Connect with Allah in private, by doing good deeds that others are unaware of. It will make you feel closer to Allah, just by knowing that Allah is the only witness to your deed, plus it will help you to have a sincere intention.
  • Learn the daily athkar: doing so will help you remember Allah at various times of the day. And when you remember Allah, Allah remembers you! What better way to improve the link between you and your Creator?
  • Remember death: Death is one of those things that everyone puts to the back of their minds until an emergency occurs, except for those whom Allah has mercy upon. Remembering death is from the Sunnah (not to the point that it causes depression!), it is a motivation for one to increase their good deeds, and be conscious that their meeting with Allah is soon to come. If you have love for Allah in your heart then you will yearn for this meeting, and so you will work hard to ensure that it is a pleasant and frequent appointment.
  • Learn about the life of the Prophet and his companions: Knowing how the Prophet and the best of generations lived will inspire you into action.
  • Reflect on your surroundings: sometimes it’s the small things in life that helps us see the bigger picture. Take note of the creation of Allah that surrounds you, the occurrences in your daily life that is part of His Qadr, and link it all back to Allah’s Wisdom and Majesty.

Effacing Sins

burden of sin

There are times in life when the world feels like it is closing in on you, the sins you carry on your back weigh you down. You feel as though you were the worst person alive, entrapped in a soul inclined sin. You’ve committed so many sins that your repentance feels hollow, hypocritical even, and so you refrain from repenting anymore; thinking you’ve done too much. You’ve crossed the limits. There is no more hope. It’s a dead end.

“Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.”” (Surah Zumar 39:53)

Allah is All-Forgiving, Ever-Forgiving. He forgives, and forgives, and there is no limit to His forgiveness. Our deeds are never too many in comparison to His mercy. All we have to do is; ask. Ask and Allah will forgive. He will absolve us of the responsibility of bearing the punishment, if we just turn to Him. He will forgive us over and over, no matter how large or small the sin is.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, says, ‘O son of Adam, as long as you call on Me, I shall forgive you of what you have done, and think nothing of it. O son of Adam, even if your sins were to reach up to the clouds in the sky, and then you were to ask for My forgiveness, I would forgive you and think nothing of it. O son of Adam, even if you were to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, and then you were to meet Me after death, not worshipping anything besides Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as the earth.’” [Tirmidhi]

How can we ever despair of a Lord who promises mercy and forgiveness? We must not quit on ourselves; rather we should strive no matter how many times we fall. Allah would bring forgiveness to us and pardon us, and He, Glory be to Him, would not mind. Allah never breaks His promise.

Remember Ya’qub chided his sons saying, “and despair not of relief from Allah. Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.” (Surah Yusuf 12:87)

It is only those who do not believe in Allah and do not believe that He is Merciful, it is those who will lose hope. The doors of repentance are always open. They are wide open in the depths of night and in the early morning. They never close. Allah loves it when we return to Him repenting, so would He not accept our repentance?

Ask Allah’s forgiveness, and remember that good deeds erase sins. Allah says, encouraging us to engage in good; “Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.” (Surah Hud 11:114)

On the authority of Abu Dharr Jundub ibn Junadah, and Abu Abdur-Rahman Muadh bin Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Have taqwa (fear) of Allah wherever you may be, and follow up a bad deed with a good deed which will wipe it out, and behave well towards the people. (It was related by at-Tirmidhi, who said it was a hasan (good) hadeeth)

It is incumbent upon one who remembers that he has sinned, or one who remembers that he is the midst of sinning to seek Allah’s pardon. He should atone for his error by following it up with a good deed, for it will cancel out the evil action, and will bring an even greater reward, as Allah says, “Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Al-Furqaan 25:70)

This is from the Mercy of Allah, that He exchanges our sins and errors into good deeds that will benefit us. What are we waiting for? The forgiveness of Allah is encompassing, His Mercy is vast, and it is waiting to pour down upon us. May Allah have mercy upon us, and may He forgive us for our many errors.

repent

Al-Ghaffar and Al-Ghafoor 2


Welcome back dear readers! As you have read in the previous session that one of the beautiful names of Allah is Al-Ghafoor and Al-Ghaffar, which is the Most-forgiving and the Ever-forgiving. Allah willing, in this session we will discuss the things pertaining to seeking forgiveness.

Since istighfar (seeking Allah’s forgiveness) is an act of worship, it has certain conditions for it to be accepted:

  1. Istighfar intended solely for the pleasure of Allah the All-Mighty. Directing our hearts towards Him with absolute humility and submissiveness.
  2. Hoping for a reward from Allah (Glory to Him)
  3. Performing plenty of good deeds after committing sin.

“And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? -and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know.”[1]

“Otherwise, he who wrongs, then substitutes good after evil – indeed, I am Forgiving and Merciful.”[2]

  1. Wholeheartedly not repeating the sin.

The Greatness of Al-Ghafoor Al-Ghaffar and the importance of Istiqhfar (forgiveness):

Seeking forgiveness is one of the commandments of Allah (Praise be to Him) which can be found in various places in the Qur’an.

“And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Ever-forgiving and Merciful.”[3]

“…And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”[4]

-In other words, Istighfar is an act of Ibadah (worship)

As mentioned in the previous session that humans are in need of forgiveness because we are prone to committing mistakes.

-An expiation of any assembly:

Abu Barzah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Towards the end of his life, Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) would supplicate before leaving an assembly thus: “Subhanaka Allahumma wa bihamdika, ash-hadu an la ilaha illa Anta, astaghfiruka wa atubu ilaika (O Allah, You are free from every imperfection; all praise is for You. I testify that there is no true god except You, I ask Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance).” A man once said to him: “O Messenger of Allah! You have spoken such words as you have never uttered before.” He said, “It is an expiation of that which goes on in the assembly.”[5]

Allah’s pardoning meaning sins been wiped off.

-A servant of Allah receives love, pleasure and Mercy of Allah (Praise be to Him) from Istighfar:

“He said, “O my people, why are you impatient for evil instead of good? Why do you not seek forgiveness of Allah that you may receive mercy?””[6]

-Istighfar is a source of gaining goodness and blessings in abundance. Prophet Hud (peace be upon him) said to his people:

“…And O my people, ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in showers and increase you in strength [added] to your strength. And do not turn away, [being] criminals.”[7]

-The increase of money and offspring also include in bestowments.

-Istighfar prevents one from afflicting to hardships.

-Frequent Istighfar ward off the devils, makes ones heart free from grief.

-Allah called those who frequently seek forgiveness as “Thakireen” (those who mention Allah often)

What effect does the understanding of the names Al-Ghafoor Al-Ghaffar have on our iman (faith)?

-A believer increases his Love for Allah (Glory be to him) and hopes for Allah’s Mercy even more. He also gains much hope that Allah (Praise be to Him) will certainly forgive him for his sins committed and removes the guilt from his heart so that he move on doing good deeds for seeking the pleasure of Allah the All-Mighty alone.

-Istighfar (seeking forgiveness) softens the heart.

-It creates the quality of ‘forgiving others’ in him.

-A believer also gains strength in body and soul.

-Lastly, his Iman (faith) and Yaqeen (certainty) in Allah increases.

 

[1] Surah Aal Imran (03:135)

[2] Surah An-Naml (11)

[3] Surah An-Nisa (04:106)

[4] Surah Muzammil (20)

[5] Abu Dawud, Book 5, No. 833

[6] Surah An-Naml 46

[7] Surah Hud (11:52)

Repentance 3

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It’s not for no reason that we begin every prayer with the phrase, ‘Allah is the greatest!’ It serves as a constant reminder to us, that He truly is grander and more magnificent than anything we can ever conjure up. We as humans have a bad habit…well, we have lots of bad habits, but there is one in particular that I am referring to, and that is our tendency to sin. Attached to that, is a problem. When we sin we are in a different mind frame. (Though that’s no excuse for the sin!) The problem with our mind set at the time of sin, is that we believe Allah is far, even though we know He is closer to us than our jugular veins. We also tend to undermine the greatness of Allah at the time of sin. Think about it, if we did not undermine the greatness of Allah, and we were fully aware of His Lordship over us, would we ever fall into sin in the first place? No, because we would be afraid of His Might, and motivated by His Grandeur.

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Allah has strategically allocated the timings for Salah as a reminder for us; that is He is the Greatest and we are in servitude to Him. Every prayer is an opportunity for repentance, and a time for us to humble ourselves before the Lord of the worlds.

Our inability to grasp the greatness of Allah may act as a barrier preventing us from repentance or hindering our repentance. We have to be aware of Allah, and get to know Him. The more we know Him, the more we comprehend His greatness, the more we will humble ourselves before Him and seek out His forgiveness and pleasure.

Repentance is a duty upon us for every sin we commit, and every ungratefulness that we exhibit. We are blessed by Allah in countless ways, and yet we are not thankful to Him. Being repentant illustrates that we submit to Allah and are subservient to Him.

Shaytaan deceives us into thinking, later…but later may never come, or one may forget, or the remorse and regret may leave the person’s conscience. Thus it is important to repent immediately. The disease of procrastination can affect you, without you even realising.

Allah says in the Qur’an, “And you were deceived by false desires, until the command of Allah comes to pass, and the chief deceiver deceived you in respect to Allah,” (Surah Hadid 57:14) Meaning you procrastinated with regards to righteous deeds, until death overtook you, and Shaytaan deceived you.

It is no wonder that the prayer of repentance can be prayed at any time of the day, even at the disallowed times. Salaat-at-Tawbah is one of the best means of repentance; it is an act of Ibadah, one of the most beloved acts to Allah, a good deed, which wipes out the bad deed, a means by which the sinner draws close to Allah, and a reminder that Allah is the greatest.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “There is no one who commits a sin, then purifies himself well, and stands and prays two rakaats, then asks Allah for forgiveness, but Allah will forgive him.” (Abu Dawud)

The doors of repentance are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It’s a door that doesn’t shut until the soul reaches the throat, or the sun rises from the West. Whilst the door is open, turn back to Allah with humility. Crush your arrogance and remember Allah is the Greatest!

Repentance 2

Repentance #2

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“I know I’ve done something wrong, but I can’t be bothered. It’s only small, and insignificant. I’m sure Allah will forgive it. He is the Most Merciful, and His mercy overcomes his anger…”

Stop right there. There’s a big problem with your thought trail. What guarantee do you have that Allah will forgive your sin? None. Did you ask Him to forgive it? No. Don’t you know that His punishment is severe?!

The mind of a person who thinks like such, is in error. They have to acquaint themselves with Allah properly, and dwell on the ayats about punishments, threats and warnings. They should learn about the consequences of sins, and the price of them in the hereafter. They should contemplate death often, and imagine the walls of the grave closing in on them. They should think of the angels of torture, and the heat of the fire of hell. If on earth fire burns, then picture what it would do if it was seventy times hotter, and every time your skin was burned through it was replaced with a fresh one for you to feel the pain again!

Our Lord is the Most Merciful, the Most Gracious, the All-Forgiving. But He is also swift to account, and severe in punishment for those who wrong themselves. Allah will never do injustice to a person. He will requite you with what you deserve.

Many of us rely totally on Allah’s mercy. We forget that we have to strike a balance between the wing of hope and the wing of fear. Hope in Allah’s Mercy and forgiveness, and fear of His punishment and anger. We should worship Allah in both fear and hope. Fear will make us abstain from sins, and hope will make us work for Jannah. A combination of both will inspire and motivate us to repent from sins.

“…ok but I have lots of good deeds anyway, so my good deeds will erase my bad ones…”

Yes following up a bad deed with a good deed will erase the bad deed, as Allah informed us in the Qur’an, “indeed good deeds do away with misdeeds,” (Surah Hud 11:114)

Ibn ‘Awn said, “Don’t rely just on your many deeds because you don’t know whether Allah will accept them or not.” We have no assurance that Allah will accept our good deeds, but we fervently hope that He will.

Abu-Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that His Lord said, “My slave commits a sin, then he says, ‘O Allah, forgive me my sin.’ Then Allah says, ‘My slave 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 Allah, forgive me my sin.’ Then Allah says, ‘My slave committed a sin but he knows that he has a Lord Who forgives sin and takes away sin. So, I forgive my slave.’ The he commits a sin again and says, ‘O Allah, forgive me my sin.’ Then Allah says, ‘My slave committed a sin but he knows that he has a Lord Who forgives sin and takes away sin. So, I forgive my slave.’” (Bukhari and Muslim)

We ask Allah to forgive us our sins, and make us of those who turn to Him.