Skip to content

http://www.saislam.co.za/

narrow screen resolution wide screen resolution Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color orange color green color
You are here:
Repentance Print E-mail

following article is taken from a new Islaamic Magazine
called "Ad-da'wah ilallaah: The Call to Allaah", Volume 1 Issue 1.


REPENTANCE

The word Tawbah (Repentance) in Arabic literally means 'to
return'. In an Islamic context, it refers to the act of leaving
what Allaah has prohibited and returning to what He has
commanded.

The subject of repentance is one which concerns all people who
believe in God, and is vital one for the Muslims to understand
because our salvation in the hereafter is dependent on our
repentance to Allaah, as is shown by Allaah's order:  "AND TURN
YOU ALL TOGETHER IN REPENTANCE TO ALLAAH O BELIEVERS, THAT YOU
MAY BE SUCCESSFUL" [An-Noor (24):31]

In Soorah al-Baqarah, Allaah tells us:  "SURELY ALLAAH LOVES
THOSE WHO TURN UNTO HIM IN REPENTANCE AND LOVES
THOSE WHO PURIFY THEMSELVES." [2:222]

This shows how pleasing our repenting is to Allaah. Also, the
Prophet, Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam gave us an example of
just how pleasing to Allaah our repenting is an authentic
hadeeth in which he,Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said:  "Allaah
is more delighted with the repentance of His servant than one of
you would be, who suddenly finds his camel laden with supplies
after 22losing it in a barren land" (1)

Try to imagine your joy if you were to suddenly retrieve
everything you ever possessed after losing all hope of
recovering what you had lost.  Then think that Allaah's delight
is even greater than this when His slave repents to Him. So much
so, that if man stopped repenting to Allaah, He would replace us
with another creation that would turn to Him for forgiveness.
The Prophet, Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said:  "If you did
not commit sins, Allaah would sweep you out of existence and
replace you by another people who would commit sins, ask for
Allaah's forgiveness and He would forgive them." (2)

The problem with many of us today, is that we don't fear Allaah,
which means that we don't think twice about disobeying Him and
therefore falling into sin, which we give no real tought to. So
perhaps we should think about the statement which Ibn Mas'ood
(3) radi Allaahu 'anhu, made:  "A believer sees his sins as if
he were sitting under a mountain which he is affraid may fall on
him, whereas the wicked person considers his sins as flies
passing over his nose and he just drives them away like this
(and he moved his hand over his nose in illustration)." (4)

NEVER DESPAIR Someone might say, 'I want to repent but my sins
are too many.' But Allaah says:  "SAY: O MY SLAVES WHO HAVE
TRANSGRESSED AGAINST THEMSELVES! DESPAIR NOT
FOR THE MERCY OF ALLAAH, VERILY ALLAAH FORGIVES ALL SINS. TRULY
HE IS OFT FORGIVING, MOST MERCIFUL." [Az-Zumar (39):53]

Therefore, we should never lose hope or stop asking for Allaah's
forgiveness. Its importance is shown to us in a hadeeth in which
the Prophet, Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said:  "O people!
Turn to Allaah in repentance and seek His forgiveness, for
surely I make repentance a hundred times every day." (5)

Repentance is such a great act of worship that doing it can
totally erase our sins altoghether, as the Prophet, Sallallaahu
'alaihi wa sallam said:  "One who repents from sin is like one
without sin." (6)

ONLY ALLAAH CAN FORGIVE SINS Forgiveness for our sins is not
something that comes automatically, it is something that must be
sought sincerely and with consciousness. Also we should remember
that it is only through Allaah's Mercy that anyone will ever
enter Paradise. The Prophet, Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam
advised:  "Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and
rejoice, for no one's good deeds will put him in Paradise." The
Companions asked, "Not even you O Messenger of Allaah?" He
replied. "Not even me unless Allaah bestows His pardon and mercy
on me." (7) Therefore in Islaam, salvation rests on faith (which
includes), good actions and hope in Allaah's mercy, all combined
in truly unique manner which is not found in any other religion
or system.  Furthermore, it is only Allaah who can forgive our
sins and He is not in need of any intercessor. The proof for
this is in a du'aa (supplication) which the Prophet Sallallaahu
'alaihi wa sallam taught his closest Companion Abu Bakr(8):  "O
Allaah, truly I have wronged myself and none can forgive sins
except you." (9) Therefore it is a complete waste of time asking
forgiveness from the people such as "saints", pious people or
even the Prophet Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam. Allaah say in
reply to people who do such things:  "VERILY, THOSE YOU CALL
UPON BESIDES ALLAAH, ARE ONLY SLAVES LIKE
YOURSELVES." [a;-A'raaf (7):194]

It is important that we never despair of Allaah's Mercy - no sin
is too great to repent for... or too little for that matter. As
one of the salaf (Pious predecessors) said: "Do not look at the
insignifance of your sins, but consider the greatness of The One
you are disobeying." (10)
_______________________________________________________________
1. Narrated by Anas and collected in the hadeeth collection of
al-Bukhaaree (eng. trans. vol.8 p.214 no.321) & Muslim (eng.
trans. vol.4 p.1434 no.6611)

2. Marrated by Aboo Ayyoob & Aboo Hurayrah & collected by Muslim
(eng. trans. vol.4 pp.1436-7 nos.6620-2). 

3. ABDULLAAH IBN MAS'OOD (d. 32H) was one of the
earliest six to embrace Islaam. Amongst the virtuous things that
the Prophet, Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said about him, was
his saying: "Affirm that which Ibn Mas'ood informs you." [Saheeh
- Ahmad & Others]. 

4. Collected by al-Bukhaaree (eng. trans.vol.8 p.214 no.320). 

5. Reported by al-Aghaar ibn Yasaar &
collected in Saheeh Muslim (eng. trans. vol.4 p.1418 no.6523).

6. HASAN - Reported by Abu 'Ubaidah ibn 'Abdullaah & collected
by Ibn Majah Authenticated by al-Albaanee

7. Reported by Aboo Hurayrah & 'Aa'ishah & collected by al-Bukhaaree
(eng. trans. vol.8 p.315 no.474). 

8. ALL of Ahl-us-Sunnah are agreed on the
fact that Abu Bakr, radi Allaahu anhu was the most superior
amongst all the Companions. The Prophet, said, "There is no one
of greater help to me than Abu Bakr & he assisted me with his
person, his property & he married his daughter [Aa'ishah] to
me." [HASAN - at-Tabaraanee]. He was appointed Khaleefah after
the death of the Prophet & died two years after him at the age
of 63. 

9. The full text of this du'aa can be found in Saheeh
al-Bukhaaree (vol.1 p.442 no.776), Muslim (vol.4 pp.1419-20
no.6533), at-Tirmidhee & Ibn Majah.  10. Collected in
al-Baihaqee's 'Sh'abul Eemaan' (5/430).


_____________________________________ GLOSSARY

AS DA'WAH ILALLAAH: The Call to Allaah

AHL US-SUNNAH WAL JAMAA'AH: A title used by the people who hold
firmly to the SUNNAH of the Prophet in the way of the Companions
of the Prophet and their sucessors (al Jamaa'ah). It is a name
which distinguishes the people of truth from the people of
innovation.

HASAN: Good; an authentic hadeeth - not as good as a 'saheeh'
hadeeth, but neverless authentic.

RADEEALLAAHU ANHU/ANHA.ANHUM: May Allaah be pleased with
him/her/them.  Usually said after mentioning the name of a
Companion(s).

SAHEEH: Authentic; the highest category of authenticity of
hadeeth.