involved in treating sins too lightly
You should know, may Allah
(Azzawajal) have mercy upon you and me, that Allah (Azzawajal), glorified
be He, has made repentance obligatory saying: "O you that have believed,
turn to your Lord in a goodly way." (Al-Tahrim:8), and has granted us time
to repent until the Scribes register the sin in our names. The prophet
has said: "The Scribe on the left hand delays registering the sin of a
Muslim for six hours. If he repents (within these six hours), and seeks
Allah's forgiveness, they drop if off. If he doesn't, they write is down
as a single sin." That is the first respite.
The second respite, even if it is
registered, is until the appearance of death before our eyes. (If a man
repents sincerely before that hour, it is taken off the records then).
But the problem with most people,
is that they estimate not the Majesty of the Lord as they should. They
disobey Him in multiple ways - day and night. To make things worse, there
are some that are misled by the notion of what they call "minor sins",
so that you will see them treating certain sins as inconsequential saying,
for instance: "Of what harm will be a look (at that woman), or of what
consequence a hand-shake with her?" In consequence, they stare freely at
pictures of women in the magazines, or those appearing in the television.
Some of them, when told about the sin in it, go a step further and inquire
amusingly: "O.K. What's the magnitude of the sin involved? Is it a major
one or minor?"
Compare this attitude with that of
the Companions of the Prophet , on whom be peace, as recorded by Bukhari
in his Sahih: 1. Said Anas, may Allah be pleased with him (to one of the
followers): "You imagine certain sins to be more insignificant than a straw.
But, at the time of the Prophet we used to count them among those
that can destroy a man." 2. Ibn Mas'ud says: "A believer treats a sin as
if it is a mountain over his head that may fall on him any moment. Whereas
a regular violator looks at them as a fly that perked on his nose and he
waived it away with his hand."
Will these people then learn something
from the above, and from the hadith of the Prophet who said: "Beware
of the minor sins. For the example of the minor sins is like that of a
group of travelers who broke their journey in a valley. Then one of them
brought in a straw. Another came up with another (and a third with one
more) until with their collection they were able to gather enough t o cook
their food. Remember! If a man is held for questioning (on the day of Judgment)for
his minor sins, surely they will destroy him." In another version he is
reported to have said: "Beware of minor sins. For they add on until they
destroy the man."
The scholars say therefore that when
minor sins are committed without any remorse, without the fear of Allah,
and accompanied by contempt then they there is all the fear they will be
counted as major sins. Hence the saying: "There isn't a minor with persistence,
and there isn't a major with repentance." Hence we say to him who commits
minor sins: 'Do not look at the sins if they are small or big. Look at
Him in whose defiance you are committing them.'
It is hoped that these words about
taking sins lightly will benefit those who are true in their faith, are
not seduced by their delinquencies, nor are of those that insist upon their
wrongs. These words will in fact benefit those who believe in the following
words of Allah: "Tell My slaves: that I am v ery Forgiving, very Kind,"
(Al-Hijr: 49), and those who believe in: "But My chastisement is a severe
chastisement indeed." (Al-Hijr: 50)
for the acceptance of repentance
The word tauba which is rendered
as repentance in English, is not a simple term as most people believe.
It is very rich in meaning and implication, and is not simply a word of
mouth after which the sinner continues in his sins. Says Allah, Glorified
be He: "Seek forgiveness of your Lord and then turn to Him in repentance."
(Hud: 3). Do you notice how turning to the Lord in repentance has been
added to the search for His forgiveness?
It is quite in keeping with its importance,
therefore, that repentance should have, as the scholars have stated, conditions
attached to it for its acceptance. They are as follows:
First: Giving up of the sin itself.
Second: Remorse over what has been committed.
Third: A resolve not to repeat it, and,
Fourth: Compensating those who have been wronged or obtaining their forgiveness.
Scholars have also mentioned some other
conditions such as the following that we present with some examples.
First, the giving up of the sin should
be for the sake Allah alone, and not for any other reason such as: fear
of the people, inability to commit it, and so forth. He, for instance,
who gives up a sin because it affects his position in the society adversely,
or because it harm s him in his profession, is not a repenter. Nor is he
who gave up for sake of his health such as he who gave up adultery from
the fear of contagious diseases, or because it weakens his body or mind.
Nor is he the repenter who gave up theft because the house was locked or
he could not open the safe, or yet because he was afraid of the guards
or the police. Neither is he a repenter who did not accept bribes because
he feared the man offering it could be an informer. Nor is he a repenter
who gave up wine or drugs because he had no money to buy. So also, he who
could not do a thing because it was beyond his means, or out of his reach
will not be counted as a repenter. For instance, if a habitual liar is
affected by dumbness, or an adulterer who has become impotent, or a thief
who lost his limbs; in all these cases, the feeling of remorse over what
has been committed before, is a condition for a person to be called a repenter,
even as the non-existence of the desire to go back to it is another condition.
Hence the saying of the Prophet : "Remorse is repentance."
Allah, glorified be He, treats the
man who has a strong desire to do a thing, but is incapable of carrying
it out for some reason, as equal to one who does it. The Prophet
is recorded as having said:
"There are four kinds of people in
"First, he whom Allah gave wealth
as well as knowledge. This man, he fears his Lord, does his duty to his
kin, and knows what is Allah's right in it. He is at the highest level.
"Second, the man whom Allah gave
knowledge but not wealth. But he is true of intention. He says, 'Had I
wealth, I would have done such and such (good things).' Since he is true
of intention, he and the first man are equal in reward. Third, the man
whom Allah gave wealth but not knowledge. He spends his wealth without
restraint, neither fearing his Lord, nor giving his kin their right, nor
yet giving Allah His due. He will be at the lowest level.
And finally, he whom Allah gave neither
wealth nor knowledge. He says, 'Had I been given wealth, I would have spent
it in such and such (evil) thing.' He will be judged according to his intention.
He and the man of the third category are equal in sin."
Second, the repenting man should
additionally feel the regret in his heart and ill effects on his soul.
That is, true repentance does not allow for taking pleasure from past sins,
or desire to repeat the sin. How can he wish it when the harms are so numerous
and so serious? Ibn Qayyim, may Allah be kind upon him, states many harms
of sins in his book 'Ailments and Cures'. Some of them are as follows:
"Loss of knowledge - a weird feeling
in the heart - difficulties in ordinary affairs - weakening of the body
- loss of willingness to do the bidding (of Allah) - loss of barakah -
loss of inclination to do good things - constrained feeling in the heart
- birth of evil deeds - habituation to the sins - unworthiness in the sight
of Allah - littleness in the esteem of the people - curses of the beasts
upon him - feeling of inferiority in the heart - sealing of the heart -
earning qualification for the curse of Allah - unresponsiveness for Allah
to his supplications - corruption in the land and sea - loss of sense of
honor - loss of shame - loss of blessings - descending of Allah's anger
- settling of fear in the heart - increased likelihood of falling in the
traps of Satan - an unhappy end - and, - punishment in the Hereafter."
Surely these are such harms and ill
effects that no sane man would like to sin after he has known about them.
But unfortunately, we find that some people give up one kind of sin only
to succumb to another kind. There are various reasons for this. Some are
The belief that the new sin is less
offensive in the sight of Allah.
The base self has greater inclination
to it than to the previous sin.
The means for the new sin are more widely
spread and easily available, as against the other kinds of sins the means
of which may not be easily available.
Because his pals also commit that sin,
and it is difficult to part their company.
Because such sins would be a means of
earning a place of honor among certain people, a thing he would not like
to relinquish, and so he continues in those sins. This happens with people
who are at the helm of affairs. As it happened with the poet Abu Nuwas
when another poet Abu 'Atahi reproached him over some of his failings.
Said Abu Nuwas in reply:
Do you reckon me giving up these
frivolities O' Atahi? Do you reckon me losing my position among my people?
Third, a sinner should hasten to
repent, for procrastination in this affair is itself a sin that requires
Fourth, the fear that the repentance
may not have been accepted at all. T his will help against a fall into
the state of complacency and a false sense of security.
Fifth, feeling of the loss of what
was lost in the past while the sinner was engaged in his sins. For instance
the nonpayment of zakah in which were the dues of the poor (and for the
payment of which means were then available).
Sixth, that the sinner should move
away from the place where the sin was committed. For if he remains there
the chances of him falling into the same sin exist.
Seventh, the sinner should abandon
the company of those that helped him in the sin. Says Allah: "Friends that
day will be enemy unto each other - save for the god-fearing." (Al-Zukhruf:
67). These bad companions will be cursing each other on the day of Reckoning.
You should, therefore, dear repenting man, avoid these even now, keeping
a safe distance from them. For if you keep yourself in close range of them
you will fall prey to Satan again and succumb to their temptations, especially
when you know that you do suffer some weaknesses. There are many instances
of people going back to sins because they failed to abandon bad company.
Eighth, destruction of those things
and articles that help in committing sins such as, for instance, wine,
musical instruments, pictures, films, erotic literature and so on. These
should be burned, broken, or destroyed as the case may be. This abandoning
of all previous trappings at the threshold of repentance and perseverance
is of extreme importance. And how often it has not been that the mere presence
of these means of evil have tempted the owners back into the old sins after
they had repented.
Ninth, he should now, in place of
the bad companions, select those virtuous ones that will support him in
his new resolve. He should begin to attend those assemblies where Allah
is remembered much, and from where knowledge is disseminated. He should
also fill in his vacant hours with useful activities in order not to allow
Satan to wend his way and remind him of the past.
Tenth, rebuild his body - that had
been fed with the "unlawful" so far - by feeding it with the "lawful" alone.
Eleventh, let him repent before the
signs of death appear, and before the signs of the Last Hour arrive - such
as the rising of the sun from the West for says a hadith: "Allah will accept
the repentance of him who repented; before the gurgling of the throat."
(meaning the last breath). And another hadith says: "Allah will accept
the repentance of him who repented before the appearance of the sun from
Here we shall give you examples of
the exemplary way of repentance from the lives of the first regiment of
Islam: the Companions of the Prophet.
Reports Burayda : "Ma'iz b. Aslami
came to the Prophet and said, 'Purify me O Apostle of Allah, for
I have wronged myself. I have adulterated.' The Prophet turned his back
to him. He appeared the next day again and said: 'I have adulterated O
Apostle of Allah.' The Prophet turned him away and sent word to his
people to find out if the man was out of his mind, or whether they had
found his behavior unusual. They told him that they did not know him but
as a sober man, and from what they knew of him, he was a pious person too.
"Ma'iz came back a third time and
the Prophet once again inquired of his people who testified once
again that there was nothing wrong with the man. So that when Ma'iz
came back a fourth time, a pit was dug for him in the ground and he was
stoned to death.
Then (continues the narrator) came
a woman and said to the Prophet , 'I have sinned O Apostle of Allah. So
purify me.' The Prophet sent her back. When it was the second day
she said, 'Why do you turn me back' Perhaps you want to avoid (punishing
me) as you tried to avoid (punishing Ma'iz ). By Allah, I am pregnant with
the sin.' He said: 'No? Really! Go back then until you have delivered.'
She came back when she had delivered - with the infant bundled in rags.
The Prophet told her, 'Go back and suckle the child until it begins to
eat.' So she went away and came back when the child had begun to eat. She
brought the child with a piece of bread in its hand. The child was then
entrusted to a Muslim, a chest-high pit was dug for her, and the people
were asked to stone her.
Khalid b. al-Walid threw a
stone at her which hit her on the head and splashed blood on him. He cursed
her. The Prophet heard him curse her and said: 'Careful Khalid! By
Him in whose hands is my life, she has repented a repentance that, had
an usurper of people's money through, unjustified taxes repented, he would
have been forgiven.' Then following his order she was prayed over and buried."
Another report says that (when the
Prophet prayed over her before her burial) 'Umar said: 'Do
you order her stoned to death and then pray over her!?' He said: 'She repented
a repentance (of such high order) that had it been distributed among seventy
of the Madinans, it would have sufficed them (for their salvation). Do
you know of anything better than this that she sacrifices herself for the
sake of Allah Most High?'
wipes out previous sins
Someone may say : I would like to
repent, but what's the certainty that I'll be forgiven? I would like to
change my ways but my mind is invaded by uncertainties. Were I to be sure
of being forgiven surely I would repent. The Answer is, this thought is
nothing new. It used to worry even the Companions of the Prophet , on whom
be peace. Here are two instances.
The first is related by Imam Muslim,
may Allah have mercy on him, the story of 'Amr b. al-'As . narrated by
himself. Says he: "When Islam had taken root in my heart I went to the
Prophet , on whom be peace, and said: 'Spread out your hand so that I may
take pledge.' He thrust forward his right hand and I held it in mine (without
taking the oath). He asked, 'What's the matter with you 'Amr?' I said,
'Well. I would like to make it conditional.' 'And what's the condition?'
he asked. I said, 'That I be forgiven.' He said, 'Don't you know 'Amr that
Islam wipes out previous sins... that hijrah wipes out previous sins...
and that Hajj wipes out previous sins?' "
The second has also been preserved
by Imam Muslim. He reports Ibn 'Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, as
saying that some people of the pagans had committed many murders and had
indulged in excessive adultery in the days of ignorance (that is prior
to the appearance of the Prophet ). They came to the Prophet and
said: 'What you offer, and call us to is quite appealing. But if you could
only let us know if there is the possibility of atonement for our previous
sins'. Allah, glorified be He, then revealed the verse "(The true servants
of Allah are those) who do not call upon another god with Allah, who do
not slay the soul Allah has forbidden, save by right, and do not adulterate.
And whosoever does that, he shall(surely) meet the price of sin." (Al-Furqan:68).
Allah also revealed: "Tell them, O My slaves who have wronged their souls:
'Do not despair of Allah's mercy.' " (Al-Zumar:53).
Sometimes a man asks: I would like
to repent, but I have such a huge collection, and such a wide variety of
evil deeds in my account that I do not know if Allah will forgive me.
Let me tell you in reply, my brother,
that this is not your specific problem but that of many a young man who
wants to repent his sins. Let me give you the example of a young man. He
started his career of sin at a very early age. By the time he had reached
seventeen years of his there was not a sin - major or minor - that he had
not committed teeming up with people of all sorts - young and old. He had
even committed indecencies with a little girl adding to the list of thefts
committed on various occasions. Then he repented, began to do his tahajjud,
fast every Monday and Thursday, and read the Qur'an after every morning
Prayer. But, he used to ask, is this repentance acceptable (to Allah)?
Our Answer to him and to every sinner
is that we should always turn to the Qur'an and sunnah to find out what
they have to say about the problem at hand, and what is the cure and solution
they offer. When we refer to the qur'an in this regard we find that Allah,
glorified be He, tells us: "Tell them (O Muhammad ): 'O My slaves who have
wronged their souls, do not despair of Allah's mercy, for Allah will forgive
all the sins. He is indeed very Forgiving, very Compassionate, Turn to
Him then, and obey Him (in all your affairs).'" (Al-Zumar:53,54). This
then is the Answer which does not need further elucidation.
As for the thought that the sins
are so numerous that Allah may not forgive them, it arises, first of all,
from a lack of faith and knowledge of the magnitude of Allah's mercy. Secondly,
it is because of the lack of appreciation of Allah's capability to forgive
any number of sins. Thirdly, it indicates failure on the part of the penitent
to come up with another important deed of the heart viz., "hope". And fourthly,
it is lack of appreciation of the way in which repentance can wipe out
sins. we shall therefore, discuss each of these points a little more in
As for the first, it should be enough
to quote Allah Himself who says: "My mercy has encompassed every thing."
As for the second, a hadith qudsi
should be enough to quote. Said the Prophet on whom be peace: "Says
Allah, 'He who knows (and believes) that I forgive all sins, then I do
forgive all his sins, and do not care - so long as he does not suggest
partners unto Me." And the rule will be applied (continues the Prophet
) in the Hereafter."
As for the third, another hadith
should offer the cure. The Prophet quotes Allah as having said: "Son
of Adam! If your sins were to reach the limits of the sky, and then you
seek My forgiveness, I shall forgive you, and I do not care. Son of Adam!
If you will bring sins equal in volume to the earth and then you meet Me
(on the day of Judgment) in the state that you would not have suggested
partners unto Me, I shall give you in return forgiveness equal to the volume
of the earth."
And, as for the fourth, another hadith
of the Prophet should be enough for the purpose. Said he: "He who
repented is like him who has no sin on him."
In addition, for the sake of every
one who thinks that the forgiveness of his sins is a doubtful affair, we
narrate the hadith that follows in the next section.
of the man who committed a hundred murders
Abu Sa'id Sa'd b. Malik b. Sinan
al-Khudri says that the Prophet said: "There was a man among a people
before you who committed ninety-nine murders. Then he inquired about the
most knowledgeable man on earth and he was led to a monk. He went to him
and told him that he had killed ninety-nine people and asked him if it
was possible for him to repent. The monk told him: 'NO!' So the man killed
him also and completed his hundred. Then he inquired about the most knowledgeable
man on earth and was led to a scholar. He went to him and told him that
he had killed a hundred people and asked him if there was repentance for
him. The man told him, 'Yes. And what can come in between you and repentance?'
'Then he told him, 'Go to such and such a town for in it live people who
are devoted to God. Devote yourself there to God in their company and do
not come back to your own town for it is an evil place.'
So the man started towards that town.
However, while he was halfway through the journey death overtook him. The
angels of 'mercy' and 'punishment' descended and began to argue over him.
The angels of mercy said: 'This man had repented and was seeking his Lord,
(therefore he is our share),' while the angels of punishment claimed that,
'he had never done a good thing in life,' (so he was their share). While
they were thus arguing, another angel arrived in the form of a man. They
decided to accept him as their arbitrator. He said: 'Measure the earth
between the two towns and let him be assigned to the fate of the one he
is nearer to.' When they measured they found him nearer to the town he
was heading towards. So the angels of mercy took him away."
Another version has it that "he was
nearer to the town of the righteous people by just the span of the hand."
And another version of a trustworthy report has it that "the earth was
ordered to stretch itself to become closer from this end and farther from
the other. So that when they measured they found him nearer to the town
(of the righteous) by virtue of which he was forgiven."
Now, what can come in between a man
and repentance? O you who imagine that your sins are too great - do you
think that your sins are greater than those of that man (the murderer of
a hundred souls) to whom Allah turned in mercy? Why should you despair?
Indeed crimes can be even greater than this and yet they will be forgiven
(with true repentance). Consider this,: Says Allah, glorified be He: "(The
true servants of Allah are those) who do not call upon another god with
Allah, who do not slay the soul Allah has forbidden, save by right, and
do not commit adultery. And whosoever does that shall meet the price of
sin. His chastisement will be doubled on the Day of Reckoning and he will
abide therein for ever - save him who repented, believed and did righteous
deeds, such are those whose evil deeds will Allah change into good ones.
Allah indeed is very Forgiving, very compassionate." (Al-Furqan:68-70)
Consider the words: "Such are those
whose evil deeds will Allah change into good ones." It shows the magnanimity
of Allah. And the scholars have said that the changing will be of two kinds.
First, change of a man's evil qualities into good ones (in this world itself).
For instance of polytheism into monotheism, adultery into chastity, untruthfulness
into truthfulness, deceit into honesty, etc. And second, the change of
evil deeds into good ones on the day of Judgment.
Also consider the words: "The evil
deeds will be changed into good ones." Allah didn't specify whether He
will change every evil deed into a good one of equal magnitude. Rather
it was left open, and can be lesser, equal, or even greater - depending
upon the quality and sincerity of repentance. This is yet another grace
from our Lord. The following hadith brings out this point:
Abdul Rahman bin Jubair narrates
on the a Prophet , on whom be peace, (another report suggests that a very
old man whose eye-lashes had fallen over his eyes stood before the Prophet
supporting himself on a cane), and said: "What will you say of a man who
did not leave an evil deed - major or minor - but he committed it. (Another
report has it that there wasn't an evil deed that he left uncommitted to
the extent that were they to be divided between the people of the world,
they would destroy them all). Is there repentance for him?" The Prophet
asked him: "Have you embraced Islam?" He said: "Yes! I testify that there
is no god but Allah, and that you are His Messenger." The Prophet
told him: "Do good deeds (now onwards) and stay away from evil. Allah will
change all of them into good ones." The man said: "And my treacheries an
debaucheries?" The Prophet said: "Yes (them too)". The man cried
out: "Allah is great" and kept repeating until he disappeared from the
Here a repenting man may ask. When
I was in error and sins, not even doing my Prayers - an act that severed
my links with Islam - I used to do some good things. Will I be rewarded
for them after I have repented or are they lost to the winds? The Answer
is in another hadith.
'Urwa b. Zubair reports Hakim
b, Hizam as saying that he asked the Prophet , on whom be peace:
"O Apostle of God! What is your opinion about those good deeds that I used
to do in the days previous to Islam, such as spending in charity, liberating
a slave, or being good to my relation. Are they to be rewarded for?" The
Prophet told him: "It is culmination of those good deeds that led
you to Islam."
So, with repentance the sins will
be forgiven and evil deeds of the past will be changed into god ones. What
more do you want?
I do when I have sinned?
Someone may ask: How do I go about
repenting from a sin? Do I just say, "I repent" and that's it, or is there
anything to be done after that?
The Answer is, there are basically
two things that should be immediately done. The first is an act of the
heart viz. to sincerely regret the sins of the past. The second is an act
of the body viz. to bring up some good deeds, starting with two cycles
of Prayer of repentance. The following is a hadith in support:
Abu Bakr , says: "I heard the Prophet
, say, 'There isn't a man who, when he commits a sin, rises, makes ablution,
and offers two raka'a of Prayers, but Allah forgives him his sins.' Then
the Prophet recited the verse: 'Those (are the true believers) who
but Allah forgives the sins? They do not insist upon the sins they have
committed, and they know (that Allah is Forgiving).' " (Al-Imran:135)
There are other reports that describe
more in detail how these two cycles of Prayers of repentance must be offered.
1.There isn't a man who makes
ablution (and does it well), but sins fall off the limbs of the body with
the last drop of water.
And doing an ablution well includes
saying the bismillah in the beginning, and some other prayer-words after
it such as:
"I bear witness that there is no
deity save Allah, the One, and I also bear witness that Muhammad
is His slave and Messenger." Or, "O Allah! Make me of the repenting,
and make me of the purified." Or, "O Allah! With praises to You
I bear witness that there is no deity but You. I seek your forgiveness
and turn to you in repentance."
2. Offers two raka'a of Prayers.
3. Does them with full presence
of mind and heart.
4. Commits no mistake within
5. Does not speak to himself
6. Recites the prayer-words
in them well and in humility.
7. Then seeks Allah's forgiveness.
1.His past sins are forgiven.
2.He can be assured of Paradise.
And then, as these things have been
achieved he should now increase his good deeds to the extent possible.
Don't you see what 'Umar did when he had committed the mistake of
arguing with the Prophet , at Hudaibiyya. He used to offer special act
of worship, (like fasting, almsgiving etc.), to atone for that sin. Consider
also the following hadith.
"He who commits some evil deeds,
and then turns to doing good deeds is like the man who had on him a tight-fitting
coat of mail made of steel, so tight, it would almost choke him. Then he
did a good deed and it opened up a little for him. And then he followed
it up with another and it opened up a little for him. And then he followed
it up with another and it opened up a little more until it became so loose
as to fall off to the ground."
So you see how good deeds release
a man from the clutches of past sins and liberate him from the tension
that they cause. Let me at this point offer you the abridged version of
an incident which is laden with lessons.
Ibn Mas'ud says a man came
to the Prophet and said: "O Apostle of Allah, I found a woman in
a garden and did everything to her except having sex: I kissed her, and
hugged her and so on, but I didn't go beyond this. So judge me as you wish."
The Prophet said nothing in reply and the man went away. Upon this
'Umar remarked: "Allah would have left it in secret if he had left
it in secret." The Prophet looked in the direction the man had gone and
said: "Call him back." When they called him back he recited him the following
verse: "Establish Prayers at the two ends of the day and early part of
the night. Indeed good deeds wipe out evil ones. And this (Qur'an) is a
reminder unto the mindful." (Hud:114)
Upon hearing this Mu'adh (and
according to another report 'Umar ) said: "O Apostle of Allah, is this
for him alone or (the rule) is common?" He replied: "No it is common."
of sin chase me
You may say: I would like to repent
and change my ways but my former evil companions pursue me wherever I go.
No sooner do they know of a change in me than they launch an attack on
me, and I feel myself weak against them. What shall I do?
The Answer is, bear with patience
for this is the way of Allah. This is how He tries His slaves in order
for everyone to know who the true ones are and who the phony, and, in order
that He may distinguish the pervert from the righteous.
Once you have taken the path to virtue,
persevere. These evil people who are Satan of the jinn and men, will conspire
with each other in order to turn you back from the path of reformation,
therefore, listen to them not. They will say about what you are attempting
that this is an infatuation that will not last, that it is a passing crisis
and soon you will recover, and so on. In fact, it was heard that a man
said about his former companion who had begun to change his life, 'What
evil he has fallen into?!'
No wonder that when a young man put
down the receiver refusing to talk to his former girl-friend after he had
decided he will change his life, she dialed him after a few days to tell
him that she hoped by then he was cured of his evil inspirations! It is
for such situations that Allah has revealed: "Say, I take refuge with the
Lord of the people, the King of the people, the God of the people... from
the evil of the secret whisperings.. (Al-Nas:1-6) Is your Lord then more
worthy of obedience or these evil companions?
You should also know that they will
chase you in every place and will employ every means to win you back to
their ways. A young man once confided to me that his former girl-friend
used to order her chauffeur to drive behind him. She used to chide and
entice him through the window of her car while he would be heading for
the mosque! But says Allah: "God grants firmness with the firm word to
those who have believed, in this world, an (so He will) in the Hereafter."
One of the means these evil companions
of sin will employ to entice you will be to remind you of the pleasures
of the sins of the past, through mementos, messages, pictures, letters
and so on. But do not pay attention to them, and be reminded of the story
of Ka'b b, Malik. He was a Companion of the Prophet who had stayed
back from the Tabuk campaign. When, as a punishment, the Prophet
ordered that he was to be boycotted by everyone until Allah cleared him,
the Ghassanid king wrote to him a letter in which he said: "I am to learn
that your (man meaning the Prophet ) has abandoned you. But you are not
the kind of person that should be belittled and wasted. Join us. We will
treat you much better." What was the reaction of the Companion? Says he:
"When I read the letter, I said to myself, this is yet another trial from
my Lord. Then I threw it to the fire."
This is how, my dear young man or
woman, you should treat those things sent to youto win you back, burn them
to ashes and: "Be patient. For Allah's promise is true. And let not those
who do not believe weaken you." (Al-Rum:60)
You may say, I want to repent but
my old companions threaten me that they will reveal my past activities,
and publish my secrets among the people, using those pictures and other
proofs they have and thus disgrace me. What shall I do?
We say, fight against these friends
of the devil. And rest assured that the tricks of the devils are weak.
These are some of the tactics of Satan but will avail nothing before the
patience and perseverance of a believer firm in his belief. And also know
that if you try to please them and yield to them there is no end to their
demands on you. You will destroy yourself altogether in the end. Rather
do not pay attention to them, do what is right and say: "Allah is enough
for me. He is the best of the supporters." The Prophet himself, when
he feared a people, used to pray in words:
"O Allah! We beseech You to take
them by their throats. And seek for ourselves Your protection against their
True, it is not always easy. That
girl for instance, is in a great fix who is told by her former boy-friend
that he has recorded all her conversations, and has preserved all the pictures,
and will send them to her relatives if she will refuse to date with him.
She is certainly not in an enviable situation. This is exactly what happened
with those singers and actors that repented. Their former friends and companions
distributed some of their pictures in the markets in order to apply psychological
pressure on them and force them back to their own company. But Allah is
with those who repent, who fear Him. He is the Friend of the believers
in Him. He does not waste them. He does not ignore them. Never has it happened
that a man sought His protection and He refused him. Also know that with
every hardship comes ease, and after every impasse comes an opening. We
offer you at this juncture the story of a Companion of the Prophet who
used to help in the escape and emigration of the weak people from Makkah
to Madinah. The report runs as follows:
" There was a man in Makkah called
Marthad b. Abu Marthad . He used to help in the escape of the captured
Muslims at Makkah until they had reached Madinah. There was also a woman
in Makkah called 'Anaq. She was his girl-friend. This Marthad had promised
a prisoner help in his escape to Madinah. He narrates the story himself.
Says he: 'I went to the place (where the man was imprisoned) and hid myself
under the shadow of one of the Makkan walls. It was a full moon night.
It so happened that 'Anaq passed by. She saw my shadow by the side of the
wall, and when she reached me, she recognized me. "Is that Marthad?" she
asked. I said, "Yes". "Welcome!" she said, "come and spend the night with
me." I said: "Dear 'Anaq, Allah has forbidden fornication." Suddenly she
cried out: "People! Here is the man who used to steal away your prisoners."
Some eight men began to chase me. I climbed a mountain (outside of Makkah)
called Khandama and hid in a cave. They were right on top of me at the
mouth of the cave. But Allah blinded them and they returned giving up the
chase. (After it was all cool) I also returned and picked up the tied prisoner.
By God, he was a heavy man. I carried him until we had reached the grasslands.
Then I freed him (from his chains). Then I carried him again (probably
he was injured :tr.) - and he gave me a hard time. At last we reached Madinah.
There, when I went to meet the Prophet I asked him if he would allow
me to marry 'Anaq. I asked him the question twice but he gave no reply
until Allah Most High revealed: "An adulterer does not marry but an adulteress
or an idolateress. And an adulteress does not marry but an adulterer or
an idolater." (Al-Noor: 3) The Prophet told me: "Marthad! A fornicatordoes
not marry but a fornicatoress or an idolateress, and a fornicatoress does
not marry but a fornicator or an idolater. Therefore don't marry her."
' Do you see how Allah defends those who believe in Him, and how He bestows
His favors upon them?
Nevertheless, let us suppose that
worse come worst, they publish things about you that you hate to be published.
But you can always explain your position to the people. Tell them, yes,
once I was in the wrong but now I have repented. What do those who are
publishing these things want of me now?
And let us all remember that true
disgrace is that of the Hereafter when a man will be exposed not in the
presence of a hundred or two hundred, thousand or two thousand people,
but in the presence of millions of jinn, the angels and men starting from
Adam till the last man. To the prayer then of Ibrahim who said: "And,
O Lord! Degrade me not upon the Day they will be raised up. The day when
neither wealth nor the offsprings shall be of any profit; save he who will
come to Allah with a pure heart." (As-Shu'ara':87-89)
And seek strength with the following
prayer-words of the Prophet :
"O Allah! Screen our secrets and
grant us peace in place of fear. O Allah! Help us direct our vengeance
toward those who wrong us, and help us against those who oppress us. O
Let not our enemies nor those who envy us rejoice over (our failures)."
You may say: I committed many sins,
but even after I have repented, I am haunted by their memories. They spoil
my simple pleasures and the quiet of my nights. What's the solution?
Our Answer to you, dear brother in
Islam is as proofs of the sincerity of your repentance. This indeed is
the regret that is desirable: the regret which has been equated with repentance.
But your hope should be that Allah will forgive all the sins. And do not
despair for Allah says: "And despair not but tho se that are misguided."
(al-Hijr: 56) Ibn Mas'ud is reportedto have said: "The greatest of
1.To ascribe partners
2.To be unmindful of
Allah's strategy, and,
3.To despair of Allah's
A believer is always between fear
and hope. May be one of them will weigh more on him in a particular situation.
For instance, when he sins fear overwhelms him and which drives him to
repent. But when he has repented then hope overtakes him and he seeks forgiveness.