STATE OF REPENTANCE
servant who seeks the pleasure of Allah never abandons tawbah. He remains in
the state of tawbah until his death. Whatever his state of belief, the servant
makes tawbah his constant companion. Thus, tawbah is at the beginning &
at the end of his servitude to his Creator. His need for tawbah at the end,
just as at the beginning, overrides, & supersedes all other needs.
says:"And turn to Allah altogether(make tawbah),O you who believe so
that you may succeed," (24:31)
verse above is contained within a Madinan Surah (revealed after the migration
to Madinah),in which Allah addresses the people of emaan,who are the best of
His creation. He calls upon them to make tawbah "turn in repentance"
to Him after they had already believed, gone through hardships, trials of faith,executed
patience, migrated & performed jihad. Allah then made success conditional
on perfecting such tawbah, as the effect is often conditional on the cause.
No one can hope for success, except: those who make tawbah.
says: "And those who do not make tawbah are indeed the dhaalimoon (wrongdoers)."(49:11)
divides His servants into two categories only:the repentant & the wrongdoers.
There is no third category. Allah calls those who do not make tawbah, "dhaalimoon"
(wrongdoers & transgressors)& no one is more of a wrongdoer & a
transgressor than a person who does not repent for his evil actions. This state
is a result of a person's ignorance of his Lord & the rights due to Him,
as well as, his own defects & the evil of his deeds.
Prophet(saws) is reported to have said: "O people, make tawbah to Allah.
By Allah, I make tawbah to Him more than seventy times each day." (Bukhari)
companions used to count for him in each congregation his saying one hundred
times: "My Lord, forgive me & accept my repentance,for You are At-Tawwab
(the One who accept repentance), Al-Ghafoor (The Oft Forgiving)."
Prophet(saws),is also reported to have said: "No one will be rescued(on
the Day of Judgment) by his deeds. They(his companions) asked even you Messenger
of Allah? He said, even me, unless Allah would grant me His mercy & Grace."
The Starter (Fatihah) of
the return of the servant to Allah. It is also his turning away from the path
of those with whom Allah is angry & those who are astray. This returning
cannot be done except by Allah's guidance to the Straight Path. The servant
will not attain guidance except through Allah's help & the servant's submit
through tawheed. Suratul-Fatihah explains this concept in the most complete
and eloquent manner. Whoever appreciates Surat-ul-Fatihah & gives it is
right estimate, through knowledge,contemplation upon its facts & by living
its directives, will realise that one cannot recite it, with the true recitation
of a servant,unless one makes sincere tawbah.
perfect guidance to the Straight Path cannot be attained with the indifference
to sins or the persistence on sins. Indifference to sins negates the knowledge
of guidance. Persistent sinning negates the intention & the will of the
servant. Thus, tawbah WILL NOT BE VALID EXCEPT after one recognises the sins,
admits to them & seeks to rid oneself of their evil consequences.
Refuge from Sin
aspect of tawbah,then,is to see how one was taken away from seeking the pleasure
of Allah, by committing sins. Next, one has to recognize that Allah didn't safeguard
sin. One should also ponder how happy one was while sinning & being persistent
on the sin, while knowing with surety that Allah ever watches over whatever
is done in the heavens or on
the earth. If the servant had sought refuge in Allah, he would not have gone
away from the guidance of obedience, "And whoever holds firmly to Allah,
then he is indeed guided to a Right
one's holding onto Allah is firm, one would NEVER be forsaken by Allah, "And
hold firmly to Allah, He is your Mawlaa (Protector) & what an excellent
Mawlaa & what an excellent Naseer (Helper)." (22:78)
other words, whenever we hold firm to Him, He will become our Protector &
He will support us against our nafs(inclinations) & the Shaytan. These two
enemies,the nafs & Satan,are the ones that do not leave the servant for
even a moment. Their enmity is more harmful to the servant than the enemies
from without. Attaining victory over such enemies is more difficult, & the
servant's need for such a victory is far more important. The degree of help
rendered to defeat these enemies is dependent upon the degree of our dependence
& holding onto Allah. If we do not hold firmly to Allah, we will go away
from Allah's protection. This is indeed the true loss. Allah could have aided
us in staying away from sins, however, because we deserted Him, we were allowed
to listen to & obey our nafs. If He wished to protect us, the sin would
not have found a way to get to us.
the servant becomes heedless of the consequences of sin, he finds pleasure when
he satisfies unlawful desires. This pleasure in disobedience is evidence of
his ignorance of the
Greatness of the One of disobeys,& his ignorance of the evil consequences
of sins & evil actions. His pleasure with sin has concealed all of this
from his sight. In fact, his pleasure with sin is more harmful to him than perpetrating
the sin itself. The believer can never have any pleasure from sin. He cannot
have complete satisfaction with it. On the contrary, he would not even pursue
it, except with grief in his heart. But the intoxication of the desires obscures
one from feeling this remorse. When the heart becomes empty from such grief
& one is happy with sin, then one should question his faith & weep for
the death of his heart. If one were alive, he would be sad for the perpetration
of any sin, big or small. The evil effects of sin, more times than not, go unnoticed
in us & in our brothers & sisters in Islam. Diligences in constant self-evaluation
is necessary in leading us away from sin & its destructive ends.
One can do this by focusing on the following.
The fear of dying before making tawbah.
2. Remorse about the good that was missed because of the disobedience of Allah.
3. Working seriously on regaining what has been missed.
If one becomes completely heedless then one becomes persistent, which means
constant disobedience with the intention to perform the sin again & again.
This by itself is another sin that could be far greater than the first. Part
of the punishment for sin is that it leads to a greater sin, then another,
& so on until it completely a& certainly destroys the person if he
does not repent.
on sin is another sin. Not attempting to rectify the sin means persistence on
it & satisfaction with it. This is the sign of ruin. Worsethan all of that,
is the commission of sin in public when we are sure that Allah watches &
sees everything from above His Throne. If we believe that Allah watches us,
yet we proceed to commit sins publicly, this is a great contradiction. But if
we don't believe that He watches us, then we are completely out of the realm
are 2 considerations for a sinner: lack of embarrassment from Allah knowing
that Allah's sight watches over all, & lack of fear to go out of the deen.
Therefore, one of the conditions of the acceptance of tawbah is that a person
should firmly believe that Allah was watching & that He will always watch
over him. He sees everything during the perpetration of sins.
reality of tawbah is to return to Allah is not sound or complete without the
knowledge of the Lord's names & attributes & their manifestations within
Himself & in the world. The
repenting servant should know that he was running away from his Lord, captured
in the grip of his enemy. He didn't fall into the claws of his enemy except
as a result of his ignorance of his Lord & his daring to go against Him.
He should know how & when he became ignorant, & how & when he was
captured. He should believe that tawbah requires great determination & complete
awareness to rescue himself from the enemy & be able to return & run
back, to his Lord Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim. He should realise that returning to his
Lord is actually turning away from the road of destruction, where his enemy
had taken him. He should know the number of steps taken away from his Lord &
the efforts & obstacles that he must strongly work on to get back to the
-Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah