Repentance To Allah.
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُوا اللَّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَنْ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّوا عَلَى مَا فَعَلُوا وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
“Those (are the true believers) who, when they commit an evil deed, or wrong their souls, remember Allah, and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who but Allah forgives sins? They do not insist upon the sins they have committed, and they know (that Allah is forgiving).” (Surah Imran 3:135)
If a person who has sinned has a conscious which is alive he should have feelings of remorse and guilt. After committing a sin, a person who fears Allah and give high respect to Him would feel a sense of despondency and despair thinking: “How will Allah forgive me for this sin?” However, it is noteworthy that despairing of Allah’s mercy is in itself one of the major sins in Islam for Allah is ever merciful, ever forgiving.
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
“Tell them, (O Prophet): “My servants who have committed excesses against themselves, do not despair of Allah’s Mercy. Surely Allah forgives all sins. He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah Zumar 39:53)
In another verse, Allah says:
إِلَّا الَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَأَصْلَحُوا وَاعْتَصَمُوا بِاللَّهِ وَأَخْلَصُوا دِينَهُمْ لِلَّهِ فَأُولَئِكَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَسَوْفَ يُؤْتِ اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا
“Except those who re-pent and mend their ways and hold fast to Allah and make their faith exclusive to Allah. Those people shall be numbered with the believers and Allah will certainly bestow on the believers a great reward.” (Surah Nisa 4:146).
Islam fully understands the temptations that come in the way of everyone of us, and that which some of us might go for. Only through repentance, that one can wipeout those sins and past misdeeds and gradually get freed from the clutches of the ego. Repentance is the most noble and beloved form of obedience in the eyes of Allah the All Mighty. He loves those who repent. 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 traveller is happy when he finds his lost mount in the desert. Feeling Allah’s satisfaction has its great impact on the heart of the one repenting. Hence, the repenting person reaches the status of being amongst the beloved through his repentance. Moreover, repentance brings about humbleness and a sense of helplessness to the only Creator; Allah, and that is not easily acquired through other forms of worship.
إِلَّا مَنْ تَابَ وَآَمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا فَأُولَئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا
“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.” (Surah Furqaan 25:70)
This is a greatest glad tiding for those who repent and combine their repentance with deep 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 and make purifying it once again a difficult mission. 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.
How to repent?
For repentance to be accepted by Allah, one should go through these four stages:
- Stop the sin.
- Regretting deeply and truly for the sin you committed.
- Return to Allah for forgiveness.