Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Ta'ala Wabarakatuh.
Dear brothers and sisters.
I have received a few emails from our fellow Muslims asking me whether Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala will forgive them of their sins if they keep repeating such mistakes in their lives?
Well, to be frank, as a fellow Muslim, all I can say is that it is entirely up to Allah, Rabbul Alamin as to what He pleases to do with those who commit sins, repent and then screw up again over time!
From the teachings of Rasul Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam, the Blessed Messenger of Allah, Muhammad Khatamun Anbiya has always reiterated that the Mercy and Forgiveness of Almighty Allah surpasses His Wrath but will forgive all sins except that of Syirik @ the Sin of adjoining Allahu Ta'ala with any other deity or imagined figure of worship by Mankind who commit Kufr against Allah the Almighty.
When Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam was appointed by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala as His Final and Greatest Messenger to all mankind, the tendency of the Makkah Quresyi Pagan Arabs was to indulge in all kinds of sins and debauchery.
They waged wars upon one another on the flimsiest excuse and were rough and tough upon even their own families, what more towards their numerous slaves!
Those who became Muslims at the early stage of Muhammad's prophethood were worried about their past misdeeds and they confessed to the Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam about their sordid past and wondered whether Allah God Most Compassionate Most Merciful would ever forgive them of their transgresses?
The early followers of the Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam used to be Kaffirs and Musyriks @ Associating Allah with their pagan objects of worship and idol worshippers. Amongst them were many who at first had joined the diehard Kaffirs amongst the Meccan Arabs and waged war against the Blessed Messenger, Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam.
Many amongst the early Muslims of Makkah had engaged in adultery, fornication, theft, robbery, murder, assault and other sins both major and minor in their past lives.
Upon becoming Muslims @ Believers, they started to learn about right and wrong, about sin and blessings, etc.
They realized that what they did in the past was wrong and they were very eager to know if after embracing Islam, Allah would still want to forgive and cleanse them of their mountains of sin, committed in their past Years of Ignorance?
'Alam Jahiliyyah' @ Age of Ignorance.
They were worried that if they had still not repented in the truest sense, would they stand any chance of entering Paradise and as to whether they merit the right to declare themselves as Muslims?
Amongst those of them who wished to repent in the Name of Allah, there were some who were brave enough to come confess all their past sins before the person of Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam himself!
At first Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam was silent on the matter. His heart grew heavy with pity for them, listening to their wails of sorrow and self regret having committed so many sins in their past living as pagans.
The Archangel Jibreel Alaihis Salam soon came with glad tidings from Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala to clear the air about such a predicament and religious stalemate.
Surah Al Zumar @ The Crowds Chapter 39 Verses 53 to 63
53. Qul ya AAibadiya allatheena asrafoo AAala anfusihim la taqnatoo min rahmati Allahi inna Allaha yaghfiru alththunooba jameeAAan innahu huwa alghafooru alrraheemu
53. Say: "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah. for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
54. Waaneeboo ila rabbikum waaslimoo lahu min qabli an ya/tiyakumu alAAathabu thumma la tunsaroona
54. "Turn ye to our Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (Will), before the Penalty comes on you: after that ye shall not be helped.
55. WaittabiAAoo ahsana ma onzila ilaykum min rabbikum min qabli an ya/tiyakumu alAAathabu baghtatan waantum la tashAAuroona
55. "And follow the best of (the courses) revealed to you from your Lord, before the Penalty comes on you - of a sudden while ye perceive not!-
56. An taqoola nafsun ya hasrata AAala ma farrattu fee janbi Allahi wa-in kuntu lamina alssakhireena
56. "Lest the soul should (then) say: 'Ah! Woe is me!- In that I neglected (my duty) towards Allah, and was but among those who mocked!'-
57. Aw taqoola law anna Allaha hadanee lakuntu mina almuttaqeena
57. "Or (lest) it should say: 'If only Allah had guided me, I should certainly have been among the righteous!'-
58. Aw taqoola heena tara alAAathaba law anna lee karratan faakoona mina almuhsineena
58. "Or (lest) it should say when it (actually) sees the penalty: 'If only I had another chance, I should certainly be among those who do good!'
59. Bala qad jaatka ayatee fakaththabta biha waistakbarta wakunta mina alkafireena
59. "(The reply will be:) 'Nay, but there came to thee my Signs, and thou didst reject them: thou wast Haughty, and became one of those who reject faith!'"
60. Wayawma alqiyamati tara allatheena kathaboo AAala Allahi wujoohuhum muswaddatun alaysa fee jahannama mathwan lilmutakabbireena
60. On the Day of Judgment wilt thou see those who told lies against Allah.- their faces will be turned black; Is there not in Hell an abode for the Haughty?
61. Wayunajjee Allahu allatheena ittaqaw bimafazatihim la yamassuhumu alssoo-o wala hum yahzanoona
61. But Allah will deliver the righteous to their place of salvation: no evil shall touch them, nor shall they grieve.
62. Allahu khaliqu kulli shay-in wahuwa AAala kulli shay-in wakeelun
62. Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Guardian and Disposer of all affairs.
63. Lahu maqaleedu alssamawati waal-ardi waallatheena kafaroo bi-ayati Allahi ola-ika humu alkhasiroona 63. To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth: and those who reject the Signs of Allah,- it is they who will be in loss!
Such are the commandments of Allah Azza Wa Jalla with regard to the matter of repentance amongst His Servants and Believers.
When such verses were revealed by Rasul Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam to his early followers @ ummah, they were overjoyed and cried tears of gratefulness, hugging each other in relief and returned joyously to their beloved families, relaying the heartening verses from Allah to all those whom they met and their fellow companions in faith.
Those who feel guilty and are overcome with remorse over their past sins are commanded by Allah to repent immediately and ask for Allah's Forgiveness for all their sins that they have committed knowingly and unknowingly for the sake of their own salvation before the arrival of Sayyidina Iz'rail Alaihis Salam, the Malaikatul Maut @ The Angel of Death!
When death is upon us, it will too late to do anything like repentance.
There will be no postponements, no 2nd chances, no 'see you in 10 minutes', etc.
If any of us die before we manage to offer our prayers of repentance, chances are that we will be doomed to suffer in Hellfire!
So, even though the early followers of the Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam had offered their prayers of repentance, there were still a few amongst them who still felt worried about their past mistakes and had doubts as to whether they have been totally purified of their sins?
They were caught in a state of doubt due to their initial stages of learning about Islam and what it has to offer them in terms of purification of their souls, etc?
Their doubts centered on their own worries pertaining to their years and years of living life steeped in sin and wrongdoings which were part and parcel of their being in the Age of Jahiliyyah @ Ignorance.
As new Muslims, they had yet to learn of the Magnanimous Attribute of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and they still harbored thoughts of uncertainty about their state of purity of faith based upon their self admission of recurring mistakes.
When they kept coming to ask the Prophet as to whether they have really been forgiven for their past sins, this is what the Prophet had to say to them?
"By Allah in Whose Hands are my soul, if you are guilty of sin, so much as to fill the space between the sky and the earth, and you repent towards Allah, Allah will forgive you! And by Allah Who holds the life of Muhammad in His Hands, if you are innocent, and there are a tribe who commit sin and then repent towards Allah, Allah will forgive them!"
Hadith relayed by Ahmad from Anas bin Malik ( Radhiallahu Anhu).
Another saying attributed to Rasul Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam is that the Malaikat in charge of recording our sins is stopped from recording that sin for period of 3 earthly hours to give us a chance to repent. If we realize our mistake and repent sincerely vowing not to repeat such a mistake or sin, then that sin will not be entered into our Book of Deeds and we will in turn be given appropriate blessings in return.
Relayed by Thabrani:
A man came to Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam and stated : ' O Rasulullah ! One of us have committed a sin!
Rasulullah (SAW) answers : The sin is recorded.
The man : What if the man repents and avows not to repeat such a sin?
Rasulullah (SAW) answers : Forgiveness (of Allah) is given to him and his repentance granted.
The man : What if the man returns to commit the sin?
Rasulullah (SAW) answers : That sin is written. ( recorded)
The man : What if again the man repents and avows not to repeat such sin?Rasulullah (SAW) answers : Allah will keep forgiving him and granting him repentance as long as the man keeps asking for Allah's Forgiveness and never tires of it (till his last breath on earth).
Brothers and sisters,
It is not up to us to decide as to who gets forgiven by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala.
Islam teaches us to lay our hopes in Allah and to have good will in ourselves. There are no guarantees as to who amongst us who gets Allah's Forgiveness for that is a matter to be decided by Himself.
As Muslims, we are commanded to pray 5 times a day and to seek Allah's Forgiveness at any time of the day.
Ours is a way of life that is based upon true faith of Allah and not based upon what we do or show by our deeds and actions?
He Alone knows exactly as to what is in our hearts and what is our intention behind each and everything that we do as individuals or as a community?
To those who have emailed me asking about this, I ask you to reflect upon all those verses from the Holy Qur'an which I have shared above and in the verse 8 of the Surah At Tahrim below:
8. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo tooboo ila Allahi tawbatan nasoohan AAasa rabbukum an yukaffira AAankum sayyi-atikum wayudkhilakum jannatin tajree min tahtiha al-anharu yawma la yukhzee Allahu alnnabiyya waallatheena amanoo maAAahu nooruhum yasAAa bayna aydeehim wabi-aymanihim yaqooloona rabbana atmim lana noorana waighfir lana innaka AAala kulli shay-in qadeerun
8. O ye who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance: In the hope that your Lord will remove from you your ills and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow,- the Day that Allah will not permit to be humiliated the Prophet and those who believe with him. Their Light will run forward before them and by their right hands, while they say, "Our Lord! Perfect our Light for us, and grant us Forgiveness: for Thou hast power over all things."
Another two verses worth pondering upon are the following verses # 17 and 18 from Chapter 4 @ Surah An Nisa :
17. Innama alttawbatu AAala Allahi lillatheena yaAAmaloona alssoo-a bijahalatin thumma yatooboona min qareebin faola-ika yatoobu Allahu AAalayhim wakana Allahu AAaleeman hakeeman
17. God accept the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will God turn in mercy: For God is full of knowledge and wisdom.
18. Walaysati alttawbatu lillatheena yaAAmaloona alssayyi-ati hatta itha hadara ahadahumu almawtu qala innee tubtu al-ana wala allatheena yamootoona wahum kuffarun ola-ika aAAtadna lahum AAathaban aleeman
18. Of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil, until death faces one of them, and he says, "Now have I repented indeed;" nor of those who die rejecting Faith: for them have We prepared a punishment most grievous.
The chances of us dying at any given time is just so likely. We never know as to whether we will get to live to the next second, the next minute, hour, day, week, month or year?
We can just drop dead at the spur of the moment. Even strong, muscular fit as a fiddle chaps have dropped dead just like that without a chance to change even a jot in their Book of Deeds.
I remember reading about the Blessed Messenger of Allah crying tears of sorrow feeling sad for us whilst standing in prayer till his blessed feet were swollen.
For someone like Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam, the Beloved Mercy of Allah for all Mankind to suffer like that just because of his love for us, makes me feel so worthless to even compare my sorry self to the dust of his feet!
I seek the Forgiveness of Ar Rahman for all that I have erred and will err with or without my knowledge or will.
I ask for His Forgiveness for the sake of my parents, my wife, my children, my families, my friends and companions, my fellow Da'ee's and Da'eeyahs in the Muslim Bloggers Alliance, my leaders, those who head the Islamic Religious Affairs Departments, for all the striving ones amongst the Ummah worldwide.
O Allah! Forgive us of our sins and purify our hearts and souls in order to allow us to be amongst upon whom is Your Mercy and Salvation.
Astaghfirullah hal azhim wa a`tubu ilaik.
Amin Ya Rabbal Alamin.
Wabillahi Taufik Wal Hidayah.
Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Ta'ala Wabarakatuh.