Practical Steps towards Repentance

Since 2012-11-19

Verily, as we say, we want a practical step toward repentance. How many times we hear about sincere repentance and how many times we are invited to enter through that open door. But, Oh, the statement, “I want to repent, but…” But what? It is the weakness of will and the illusion of happiness.

Verily, as we say, we want a practical step toward repentance. How many times we hear about sincere repentance and how many times we are invited to enter through that open door. But, Oh, the statement, “I want to repent, but…” But what? It is the weakness of will and the illusion of happiness. The weakness of will in obeying Allah, Glorified and Exalted, and in obeying His Messenger, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him. It is the weakness of will in performing the good; it is wishful thinking, and procrastination. In addition, the illusion of happiness in that it is only through the life of degradation and keeping free from any restrictions and commitments. We wanted freedom from the (restrictions) and we sat still. How long our inaction has lasted! We thought, how bad we did think, about Allah, the One, and the Deity! When we repeat, in confirmation of our shortcomings, the words of Allah Almighty, {And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:218]

 
{وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ‌ رَّ‌حِيمٌ} البقرة: 218
 
Transliteration: waAllahu ghafoorun raheemun
 
However, we forgot, or rather feigned to forget, the warning, {And Allâh warns you against Himself (His punishment),} [Surat Al-Imrân 3:28]
 
{وَيُحَذِّرُ‌كُمُ اللَّـهُ نَفْسَهُ} آل عمران: 28
 
Transliteration: wayuhaththirukumu Allahu nafsahu
 
And, {And Allâh is Severe in punishment.} [Surat Al-Imrân 3:11]
 
{وَاللَّـهُ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ} آل عمران: 11
 
Transliteration: waAllahu shadeedu alAAiqabi
 
Now, we are flying with two wings: the wing of hope and that of fear. Let us omit the word: I will, I shall. Let us start and be careful. Let us take the rescue ship, lest we sink in the sea of darkness: the darkness of sin and the evil omen of sins. Repent, repent, and repent. Repent, before salvation becomes difficult. Repent, before it is too late to remorse.
 
O our Lord, we turn to You in repentance. We ask for Your forgiveness. We keep our secret with You. O Allah, do not reveal our secret. We admit our shortcoming. We regret what we have neglected (our duty) towards You when we heard Your eternal call. It is calling for us, taking our hands, {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.} [Surat Az-Zummar 39:53]
 
{قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَ‌فُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّ‌حْمَةِ اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَغْفِرُ‌ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ‌ الرَّ‌حِيمُ} الزمر: 53
 
Transliteration: Qul ya AAibadiya allatheena asrafoo AAala anfusihim la taqnatoo min rahmati Allahi inna Allaha yaghfiru alththunooba jameeAAan innahu huwa alghafooru alrraheemu
 
It is the wide mercy, which can encompass every act of disobedience whichever it is. It is the call to repentance. It is the call to extravagant sinners, the strangled and the exiled ones in the labyrinth of error. It is inviting them to hope, faith, and trust in the pardon of Allah.
 
Allah Almighty says, {“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!”} [Surat Az-Zummar 39:54-55]
 
{وَأَنِيبُوا إِلَىٰ رَ‌بِّكُمْ وَأَسْلِمُوا لَهُ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ الْعَذَابُ ثُمَّ لَا تُنصَرُ‌ونَ ﴿54﴾ وَاتَّبِعُوا أَحْسَنَ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّ‌بِّكُم مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ الْعَذَابُ بَغْتَةً وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُ‌ونَ} الزمر: 54-55
 
Transliteration: Waaneeboo ila rabbikum waaslimoo lahu min qabli an yatiyakumu alAAathabu thumma la tunsaroona (54) WaittabiAAoo ahsana maonzila ilaykum min rabbikum min qabli an yatiyakumu alAAathabu baghtatan waantum la tashAAuroona
 
Repentance, returning to Islam and to the shades of obedience and submitting to Allah, this is all that it takes, without a ritual or a ceremony, without barriers, intermediaries, or intercessors.
 
Come on, before it is too late. Come on, {before the torment comes upon you, (and) then you will not be helped.} There is no victory. Come on, time is not guaranteed. Let us be more practical, and let us do the following:
 
1-   Asking for forgiveness, we say, “We ask You for forgiveness. We turn to You in repentance. We clear ourselves from our might and power into Your Might and Power. We seek refuge with You from the whispers of the devils.
 
2-   Quitting performing the act of disobedience, we say, “O Allah, we make You our Witness that we have given up the sins, acts of disobedience, and all that make You angry or brings about Your wrath. O Allah, accept it from us: a repentance that will not be followed by any other act of disobedience.
 
3-   Remorse and regret, we say, “O Allah, we have regretted what we have committed, what we have neglected (our duty) towards You. However, Your Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “Remorse is repentance.” [Reported by ibn Majah 3448, it is classified as authentic by Al-Albani]
 
«النَّدم توبة» رواه ابن ماجه وصححه الألباني
 
4-   Determination not to return to sins, we say, “O Allah, we make You our Witness that we have determined not to return to the path of darkness. O Allah, make us among those who were guided to Your light and who got straight on Your Path.
 
5-   Giving the rights and grievances back to their rightful owners, we say, “O Allah, whatever rights Your creation has with us, O help us in turning them back. This is the completion of our repentance.
 
The stipulations of repentance are completed by following the previous five steps. After that, one should abide by observing the obligatory acts of obedience, along with performing many of the voluntary acts of worship. Thus, the soul will be strong to adhere to the sincere repentance. This is completed through accompanying the righteous and leaving the sinful environment.
 
 
A glad tiding
 
What a wonderful image, that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has drawn for us when he has said, “Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His slave when he turns towards Him in repentance than anyone amongst you when he is upon a camel in a waterless desert and there is upon (that camel) his provision of food and drink also, and that it is lost by him. In addition, as he has lost all hope (of finding it), he lies down in the shadow of a tree and is disappointed about finding his camel. While he is in such a state, there he finds that camel standing before him. He takes hold of its nose string and then out of boundless joy says, ‘O Lord, You are my servant and I am Your Lord.’ He commits this mistake out of extreme delight.” [Reported by Muslim 2747]
 
«لله أشد فرحا بتوبة عبده، حين يتوب إليه، من أحدكم كان على راحلته بأرض فلاة. فانفلتت منه، وعليها طعامه وشرابه. فأيس منها، فأتى شجرة، فاضطجع في ظلها، قد أيس من راحلته. فبينا هو كذلك إذا هو بها، قائمة عنده. فأخذ بخطامها، ثم قال من شدة الفرح: اللهم أنت عبدي وأنا ربك. أخطأ من شدة الفرح» رواه مسلم
 
Here are the purified, devout, and pious angels, they are rejoicing over the repentance of the slave of Allah when he repents, they share him his happiness as Allah Almighty says, {Those (angels) who bear the Throne (of Allâh) and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh) (saying): “Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your Way, and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire! (7) “Our Lord! And make them enter the ‘Adn (Eden) Paradise (everlasting Gardens) which you have promised them - and to the righteous among their fathers, their wives, and their offspring! Verily, You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise (8) “And save them from (the punishment, for what they did of) the sins, and whomsoever You save from (the punishment for what he did of) the sins (i.e. pardon him) that Day, him verily, You have taken into mercy.” And that is the supreme success.} [Surat Ghâfir 40:7-9]
 
{الَّذِينَ يَحْمِلُونَ الْعَرْ‌شَ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَ‌بِّهِمْ وَيُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُ‌ونَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا رَ‌بَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ رَّ‌حْمَةً وَعِلْمًا فَاغْفِرْ‌ لِلَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَاتَّبَعُوا سَبِيلَكَ وَقِهِمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ ﴿7﴾ رَ‌بَّنَا وَأَدْخِلْهُمْ جَنَّاتِ عَدْنٍ الَّتِي وَعَدتَّهُمْ وَمَن صَلَحَ مِنْ آبَائِهِمْ وَأَزْوَاجِهِمْ وَذُرِّ‌يَّاتِهِمْ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴿8﴾ وَقِهِمُ السَّيِّئَاتِ ۚ وَمَن تَقِ السَّيِّئَاتِ يَوْمَئِذٍ فَقَدْ رَ‌حِمْتَهُ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ} غافر: 7-9
 
Transliteration: Allatheena yahmiloona alAAarsha waman hawlahu yusabbihoona bihamdi rabbihim wayuminoona bihi wayastaghfiroona lillatheena amanoo rabbana wasiAAta kulla shayin rahmatan waAAilman faighfir lillatheena taboo waittabaAAoo sabeelaka waqihim AAathaba aljaheemi (7) Rabbana waadkhilhum jannati AAadnin allatee waAAadtahum waman salaha min abaihim waazwajihim wathurriyyatihim innaka anta alAAazeezu alhakeemu (8) Waqihimu alssayyiati waman taqi alssayyiati yawmaithin faqad rahimtahu wathalika huwa alfawzu alAAatheemu
 
O what happiness, how great is the bounty of Allah upon you! O Allah, how Generous You are, how Tolerant You are! You will exchange my sins into good deeds. Allah Almighty says, {Except those who repent and believe (in Islâmic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allâh will change their sins into good deeds, and Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.} [Surat Al-Furqân 25:70]
 
{إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا فَأُولَـٰئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّـهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ غَفُورً‌ا رَّ‌حِيمًا} الفرقان: 70
 
Transliteration: Illa man taba waamana waAAamila AAamalan salihan faolaika yubaddilu Allahu sayyiatihim hasanatin wakana Allahu ghafooran raheeman
 
O Allah, I am ashamed of You and of myself. I turn to You in repentance. I turn to You in repentance, O accept me.

 

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