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Quarterly: Issue No 94

Rabi-us-Saani 1441 – November 2019

TAQWA (PIETY)

TAWBAH & REPENTANCE

 

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.  All thanks and praise are due to Allah and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad, his family and all his companions.

Allah (the Exalted) says:

O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance.

(Surah At-Tahreem: Chapter 66: Verse 8).

Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves. 

(Surah Baqarah: Chapter 2: Verse 222)

Indeed, I am the Perpetual Forgiver of whoever repents and believes and does righteousness and then continues in guidance. (Surah Ta-Ha: Chapter 20: Verse 82)

And Nuh (A.S) said; ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers and give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers. 

(Surah Nuh: Chapter 71: Verses 10-12)

 

Repentance (Tawbah) means that one feels regret, filled with remorse for one’s sins, and turns to Allah with the intention to obey Him. According to truth-seeking scholars, repentance signifies a sincere effort to no longer oppose the Divine Essence in one's feelings, thoughts, intentions and acts, and to comply sincerely with His commands and prohibitions. Repentance does not mean being disgusted with what is bad or prohibited and thus no longer engaging in it; rather, it means remaining aloof from whatever Allah hates and prohibits - even if those deeds seem to be agreeable to our limited sense and reason.

Repentance is generally used with the word ‘Nasooh, literally meaning pure, sincere, reforming, improving, and repairing. Tawbatun Nasooh (genuine repentance) means a pure, sincere repentance that perfectly reforms the one who feels it. One who feels such a sincere, heartfelt, and true remorse for the sin committed seeks to abandon it, thereby setting a good example for others.

Tomorrow is too late, yesterday is gone and today is the right time to repent. Let us change our life for the hereafter before the opportunity is gone.

 

Abdullah bin Busr (RA) said that: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: 

“Glad tidings to those who find a lot of seeking forgiveness in the record of their deeds.”

(Sunan ibn Maajah)

 

Even Allah’s Messenger (SAW) - who was a sinless and the most pious human being that ever walked on this earth - used to seek Allah’s forgiveness over 70 times a day.  Abu Hurairah (RA) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) saying, 

“I swear by Allah that I seek Allah’s Pardon and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.”  (Sahih Al-Bukhari).

 

Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari (RA) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Allah, the Exalted, will continue to stretch out His Hand in the night so that the sinners of the day may repent, and continue to stretch His Hand in the daytime so that the sinners of the night may repent, until the sun rises from the west”.(Sahih Muslim)

 

Anas (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: “All the sons of Adam are sinners, but the best of sinners are those who repent often.” (Tirmidhi and ibn Maajah)

Abdullah Ibn Abbas (RA) said:  The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.” (Abu Dawood)

 

Hafiz ibn Hajar (ra) mentioned that Imam Qurtubi (ra) quoted 23 different definitions of true repentance (tawbatun nasooh) in his tafsir.  Ibn Hajar mentioned only the most important of these:

 

1. The word of Umar (RA) that it is, ‘To sin and then never to return to it.’

2. To hate the sin, and then seek forgiveness for it every time it occurs to one, as Hasan al-Basri (ra) had said.

3. The words of Qatada (ra), ‘To be genuine and truthful in one’s repentance,’ which is what Imam Bukhari chose as the definition of true repentance in his chapter heading.

4. To have sincerity in one’s repentance.

5. To be concerned about one’s repentance not being accepted.

6. To be such that it does not need another repentance after it.

7. To be made out of fear and hope and be accompanied by consistency in worship.

8. Like the seventh, but with the added condition that one leave the company of those who assisted in the sin.

9. That one’s sin be between one’s eyes i.e. one does not forget it to keep avoiding it.

(Hafiz Ibn Hajar – in his Fath al-Bari)

 

MAJOR AND MINOR SINS

There are two types of sins in Islam

Minor Sins (sayyi’aat) smaller sins and daily activities where we have to be aware of our behaviour and conduct. (e.g. losing temper, saying bad words, making fun of people, bad behaviour, bad treatment of people).

Major Sins (kaba’ir or “enormities”): Any sin entailing either a threat of punishment in the Hereafter explicitly mentioned by the Qur’an or Hadeeth, a prescribed legal penalty (Hadd), or being accursed by Allah or His Messenger.

 

Minor Sins will not be forgiven until and unless we refrain from major sins, as Allah says:

If you avoid the major sins which you are forbidden, We will remove from you your minor sins and admit you to a noble entrance [into Paradise].   (Surah An-Nisaa: Chapter 4: Verse 31)

Prayer expiates minor sins, if major sins are avoided.

Continuous minor sins become major sins if not stopped.

 

Major Sins are the following:

• Shirk—associating partners with Allah

• Murder

• Not performing the Obligatory Prayers (Fardh Salaah)

• Not paying Zakaat

• Showing disrespect to one’s parents

• Severing ties of kinship

• Accepting usury (riba)

• Consuming the property of an orphan

• Attributing lies to the Prophet (SAW)

• Breaking one’s fast on purpose during Ramadan

• Fleeing from jihad

• Adultery

• Tyranny

• Drinking intoxicants

• Showing arrogance to others

• Bearing false witness

• Misappropriating Muslim funds of Zakaat

• Theft

• Highway robbery

• Suicide

• Not freeing oneself of all traces of urine (before prayer)

• Showing off by one’s good deeds

• Eavesdropping, spying on Muslims, revealing their weaknesses

• Despairing of the Mercy of Allah and loss of hope

• Gambling

• Forgoing the Friday prayer to pray alone (for men)

 

O Allah! Your Forgiveness is far greater than my sins and I have more hope in Your Mercy than in my own deeds.

 

Requesting your duas!

 

Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir

Johannesburg, Gauteng

South Africa