REPENTING AND ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS FROM ALLAH SUBHANAHU WA TA’AALA (GOD) (THE ONE ALLAH, THE CREATOR).
Almighty Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD), the Almighty, has said:
O Son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O Son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O Son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins as great as the earth, and were you then to face Me ascribing no partners to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.
It should not be forgotten that we, being human beings are prone to committing sins. Sinless are nobody in the universe
ALLAH SUBHANAHU WA TA’AALA (GOD) Most High says in Noble Qur’an, “Ask your Lord for forgiveness and then turn in repentance to Him…” (11:3)
Also Almighty Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD)) Most High says in Noble Qur’an, “O you who believe! Turn (in repentance) to Allah with sincere repentance; Perhaps your Lord will remove your evil from you… “(66:8)
Tawba, (Tauba, Tobah) (repentance) is the regret and sadness which arise in the heart when remembering a sin. For the validity of the Tawba, (Tauba, Tobah) shunning the sin, firmly resolving to abstain from it in future and controlling the nafs when it urges for the sin, are necessary.
It should be noted that the Arabic word / Tawba, Tauba, Tobah /, which is generally understood as ‘repentance’, does not imply the mere utterance of any verbal prayers. It demands a real and active change in the behavior as well as the active attitude of the individual towards the purity of his/her life. It demands a moral conversion with a strong and definite determination on the part of the repenting individual, never again to return to the mistake or the wrong that had been committed before.
In other words, the term / Tawba, Tauba, Tobah / ‘repentance’ is a word commonly used both for Almighty Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) and His servants. When it is used for the servants of Almighty Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD), it means that ‘they have returned to their Lord’, because any sinner, in fact, has abandoned his Lord, and when the servant repents, he/she returns to Him.
When servants fail to obey their Lord, it seems that they cause Him, also, to turn away from them. When Almighty Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) is attributed with / Tawba, Tauba, Tobah /, it mean that He returns His Mercy and Favour to them.
“In ancient times there lived a man who sought to earn his livelihood and procure great wealth by lawful means but was unsuccessful. He then strived to achieve his objectives by unlawful means but once again failed.
Shaitan (Satan) appeared before him and said to him: “You tried to acquire great wealth by lawful as well as unlawful means but were unsuccessful. Do you want me to show you a way by which you would not only become wealthy but you would also attract numerous followers?”
The man expressed his willingness to know how he could get rich.
“Concoct a religion and invite people to follow it,” suggested Shaitan (Satan).
The man fabricated a religion and soon, he had a lot of followers through whom he became rich.
One day he realized that he had made a mistake by leading numerous people astray so he resolved to inform the people of the falsity of his religion and the error of his ways. But however hard he stressed and emphasized, the people simply refused to accept his word.
“Your previous views were correct; have you become skeptical of your own religion now?” they asked. When he heard these words, he got some shackles and chained himself. He pledged that he would not unchain himself until ALLAH SUBHANAHU WA TA’AALA (GOD) accepted his repentance (Tawba and Istighfar).
ALLAH SUBHANAHU WA TA’AALA (GOD) revealed to the Prophet of the time to convey the following message to the person: “By My Honor! Even if you weep and supplicate to the extent that every ligament of your body falls apart, I shall never accept your repentance, till you inform those people who have died after having been led astray by you of the reality and they turn back from your religion.”
How does ALLAH SUBHANAHU WA TA’AALA (GOD) forgive us?
When we commit a sin, four witnesses are established against us.
a) The place we did the crime (i.e., scene of the murder).
“On that day, the earth will reveal all its secrets.” (99:4)
b) The organ we used to commit the crime. “When their ears, their eyes, their skin will testify against them.” (41:21)
“That day we seal up mouths, and hands speak out and feet bear witness to all that they did.” (36:65)
c) The Angels who record the deeds (Kiraman Kati bin).
“The honored writers know what you do.” (82:11)
d) “We record that which they send before them, and their footprints, and all things we have kept in a clear register.” (36:12)
Now, with four such strong witnesses, how can we present ourselves to ALLAH SUBHANAHU WA TA’AALA (GOD)? So He (the Al-Wakeel–the Defender), like a smart lawyer, removes all the witnesses against those whose repentance has been accepted, so that we present ourselves with a clean record. Case dissolved due to lack of witnesses. Hadith is like this. “When ALLAH SUBHANAHU WA TA’AALA (GOD) accepts repentance and forgives His servant, then recording angels erase their records, organs lose their memories, and earth removes its stains of evidence so that when that person appears before ALLAH SUBHANAHU WA TA’AALA (GOD), there is no one to be a witness against him. (“Subhan’Allah”.)
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has said:
A certain person had committed 99 murders. He went to a scholar and asked, is there any chance of my being forgiven? The scholar said no, you have committed too many crimes. The man killed the scholar too, but his heart was restless, so he went to another scholar and asked the same question. He was told yes, but you must leave this town of bad people and go live in the next town in the company of good people.
So the man set out to the town he was told to go to. On the way he died. A man passing by saw two angels arguing over his dead body. The Angel from Hell said, ‘His body belongs to me as he had not done any good in his life.’ The Angel from Heaven said, ‘His body belongs to me as he had repented and was set out to be with good people.’ The man who was the passer-by said, ‘Let us measure the distance of his body from the town he left and the town he was going to.’
This was done. He was found to be nearer to the town he was going to. In another version, the earth was ordered by Allah to shrink and make the distance smaller, so that he was admitted to Heaven.
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of ALLAH SUBHANAHU WA TA’AALA (GOD) the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)) said: “If the believer commits a sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents, gives it up and seeks forgiveness, his heart is cleansed, but if he does more then (that spot) increases until it covers his heart. That is the Raan (covering of sin) which Allah mentioned in the Qur’an:
“Nay”! But on their hearts is the Raan (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn”
A person once heard a pious Muslim say that “For the last thirty years I am repenting for a sin and I don’t know how Almighty Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) will deal with me regarding it?”
The listener asked: “What was your sin?”
The pious Muslim said: “I used to have a shop in the Bazaar. One day I heard that the whole Bazaar was burning so I rushed to see my shop. When I reached there I saw that except my shop all the shops were razed to the ground. I said ‘Al-Hamdu lillaahi’ (All praise to Almighty Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) but immediately I realized my mistake. How can I call myself a Muslim when I couldn’t feel the loss of my neighbors? That is why I am repenting (Tawba and Istighfar) for that lapse on my part for the last thirty years”.
To seek pardon from Almighty Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) is the instant remedy for every problem.
How to ask for forgiveness when Adam and Eve realized they had done wrong but did not know how to ask for forgiveness:
Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of forgiveness, and his Lord turned toward him, for He is Oft-Forgiving and Most Merciful. (2:37)
What were those words taught to Adam A.S.?
They said, “Our Lord, we have wronged our souls and if you forgive us not, and bestow not upon us your mercy, we shall be losers. (7:23)
How did the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam teach Aishah (RA) to ask for forgiveness in Ramadan?
O my Lord, forgive me, because you love to forgive, thus forgive me, O you Merciful!
Remember, asking for forgiveness is not just for our sins, but also for our needs as well.
And I have said! Seek forgiveness from your Lord. Lo! He is oft-forgiving (if you ask for forgiveness). He will give you plenty of rain; He will give you wealth and sons, and assign you Heaven and Rivers in the Heaven. (Surah Nuh: 10-12)
Thus after repenting and asking for forgiveness, we must mend our ways and not go back to Kufr and fall prey to the tactics of Satan (Iblis) again. While we expect ALLAH SUBHANAHU WA TA’AALA (GOD) to be kind and merciful and forgive our major and minor sins, we are unforgiving towards our fellow human beings!
The Noble Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “There are four signs of one who is repentant:
(1) He is sincere to Almighty Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) in his actions
(2) He shuns falsehood
(3) He is firmly attached to truth and
(4) He is eager to do well.”
May Almighty Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him?
And Almighty Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) knows best.
May Almighty Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) make our efforts sincere and keep us all on the straight path………..
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