Monday, June 27, 2016

The importance of seeking forgiveness

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We should never lose hope or stop asking Allah The Almighty for forgiveness for our sins and mistakes. The importance of seeking forgiveness is shown to us in a narration of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam: O people! Turn to Allah in repentance and seek His forgiveness, for surely I make repentance a hundred times every day. Repentance is such a great act of worship that it can completely erase one's sins altogether, as the Noble Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: One who repents from sins is like one without sin.

When a person commits a sin and then sincerely turns to Allah The Almighty for forgiveness, he will find Allah The Almighty ready to accept his repentance and to forgive him. Allah Says (what means): {"And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself, but then seeks forgiveness from Allah, he will find Allah forgiving and merciful."} [Quran, 4:110]

Everyone commits sins and mistakes, but Allah The Almighty is always willing to forgive and He always gives them a chance to repent and seek His forgiveness. A believer should never forget the fact that Allah The Almighty is All-Forgiving. If Allah The Almighty had willed, He could have held everyone accountable for his or her sins, but He has decreed that He shall allow His servants to seek His forgiveness and that He shall in fact forgive whomever and whatever He wills. In fact, Allah The Almighty commands His servants to seek His Forgiveness and Mercy. Allah Says in the Quran (what means): {"And seek Allahs forgiveness. Certainly, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."} [Quran, 73:20]

Repentance is an act of worship which purifies the soul and brings the slave closer to His Lord. It puts the heart at rest from guilt. It protects a believer from falling prey to desires and lusts and increases his faith.

Allah The Almighty then Says in a Hadeeth Al-Qudsi (The sacred Narration): “O son of Adam, if you were to come to Me with sins close to filling the earth and then you would meet Me without ascribing any partners with Me, I would certainly bring you forgiveness close to filling it.” Look at how great is the mercy, compassion and love of Allah The Almighty! The least Allah The Almighty asks for is that one not ascribe any partners and gods with Him, for, He is alone in His Sovereignty. After that if one commits sins and seeks sincere forgiveness, Allah The Almighty promises that He will forgive him and shower His mercy upon him.

However, one is not forgiven if he seeks repentance from Allah The Almighty at the time of death when he sees the angels or when the sun rises from the west at the approach of the Day of Judgement. This is confirmed by the following Words of Allah. Allah Says (what means): {And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says, Now I repent, nor of those who dies while they are disbelievers. For them, We have prepared a painful torment.} [Quran, 4:18]

Allah The Almighty never forgive to the one who commits Shirk (polytheism), which is the association of partners with Allah The Almighty. Forgiveness will only come to those who die while adhering to Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) and avoiding any form of Shirk. Allah the Almighty emphasized this in the Quran. He Says (what means):

• {"Verily, Allah does not forgive that partners should be set up with Him, but He forgives whatever is less than that for whomever He wills. And whoever sets up partners with Allah has indeed invented a tremendous sin."} [Quran, 4:48]

• {Verily, Allah forgives not the setting up of partners with Him, but He forgives whom He pleases whatever is less than that. And whoever sets up partners with Allah has indeed strayed far away.} [Quran, 4:116]

We must ask ourselves this question: Would we be willing to forgive anyone who hurts us and disobeys us constantly as easily as Allah The Almighty is Able to forgive? Most probably, the answer would be no. However, our Creator is the Most Kind and He is the Most Perfect as He Says in the Quran (what means): {“Lo! Allah is a Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind give not thanks.”} [Quran, 2:143]

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