Friday, 15 April 2011

of repentance

Alhamdullah! Allah (Subhana Wa Ta'ala) has given us a specific Criterion (or formula, or algorithm) when it comes to everything. Allah has made our lives easier once more by telling us how we should repent!

Here are some of the benefits of sincere repentance (tawbah).

Imaam Ibn Qayyim rahmatullahi alaih mentions certain benefits:

1. Repentance is the most noble and beloved form of obedience in the eyes of Allah Ta'ala. He loves those who repent and it is because of His love for His creation that He tests them with sins so that He may shower His blessings and favours upon them after they repent.

2. Repentance has a status that no other form of worship has. This is why Allah is extremely happy when a servant repents just as a traveler is happy when he finds his lost mount in the desert. This pleasure (of Allah) has a great impact on the heart of the one repenting. Hence, the repenting person reaches the status of being amongst the beloved through his repentance.

3. Repentance brings about humbleness and a sense of helplessness that is not easily acquired through other forms of worship.

4. Allah’s statement, "Except those who repent, have faith and good deeds, those Allah will charge their sins for good deeds. Certainly Allah is most forgiving and merciful." (Qur'aan 25:70) This is a greatest glad tiding for those who repent and combine their repentance with faith and good deeds.

Repentance breeds good deeds, whilst sinning (without repentance) can cause deprivation of obedience altogether. It has been said that committing sins regularly will darken and harden the heart. It may even lead a person to reject Allah completely (Allah forbid) or lead him to commit a bigger sin. There is no recourse for a sinner except to ask Allah for forgiveness and to feel great regret for his actions.

Repentance is to repent from the heart, to train the heart into obedience and to make a firm resolution never to commit the sin again.

We should remember these three facts to repent:

1. The grave consequence of sins.

2. The painful punishment for sins and

3. The helplessness of the servant with regards to these two things.

Once you realize this, you are half-way there (on the road to repentance). Remember that this is "the most noble and beloved form of obedience in the eyes of Allah" (Subhana Wa Ta'ala)

Next, comes the act of actually repenting of the sin. Allah has even went so far as to tell His servants, through His prophet Muhammad (), how to repent and restore themselves in the eyes of Himself!

1) Perform a perfect ablution (Wudu):
  • Wash both hands up to the wrists 3 times
  • Rinse the mouth and sniff water in and out the nostrils of the nose 3 times
  • Wash both forearms (from the wrist to the elbow is the forearm) up to the elbow 3 times
  • Wash the face 3 times
  • Wipe water over the hair
  • Wash the feet (including in between the toes) 3 times.
Turn off the water and say "I testify that there is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger (Ash-Hadu An La Ilaha IllAllah, Wa Ash-Hadu Anna Muhammadan Abduhu Wa Rasulallah

After that, say this Du'a - Oh Allah! All praise You and may You send peace and blessings upon Your prophet Muhammad and his family just as You've done with your prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his family! I come to You humbly in repentance asking You for forgiveness of my sins. Ameen.

2) To perform a 2 raka'at (unit) prayer

Attempt to do it as perfect as you can (no human is perfect, so try your best). Don't talk to yourself (mentally or out loud) during this prayer and be humble.

3) Ask Allah for forgiveness by telling each sin you commited to Allah (ie don't just say "Forgive me my sins" but rather "Forgive me for lying, and forgive me for [insert what sin you did here]" Here's what we could say:

"Oh Allah! All praise be to You and may You send peace and blessings upon Your prophet Muhammad and his family just as You have done with You're prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his family. I come to You in humble repentance (which means "I come to you feeling sorry for what I did) and beg for your forgiveness. Forgive me for doing [insert names of sins you did here]".


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