Human Failings And Repentance
The number one point to understand when it comes to human failings is that Allah is the most powerful. We are in need of Him, but Allah is not in need of us. Our mistakes, major or minor, do not affect Him in any form. Humans are bound to make mistakes. Allah Taa’la says that if it wasn’t for the human creation to make mistakes, then He would have made a nation who would make mistakes so that the creation would in turn glorify and repent sincerely back to Him.
Before starting or performing an action, we are told to start in the name of Allah. The Arabic phrase is Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem. The literal meaning taken of this verse is, “In the name of Allah, THE MOST MERCIFUL, most compassionate.” However, the particle "Bi" (meaning in or with) in the word "Bism" represents a call for help. So the verse means:
‘With the help of the name of Allah..’
Allah Taa’la is the most forgiving. What more is that, Allah Taa’la wants better for us than what we want for ourselves. Allah Taa’la will, Inshallah, make ways to overlook our mistakes. Our duas never go unanswered. A Shaykh was once approached by a man who asked “I ask Allah every day, yet I do not see any changes in my life accordingly.” This Shaykh so wisely answered “Allah knows all things. Your dua’s might not be accepted now, but it will in the future. And if it is not in the future, you will at least get the reward for asking from Allah Taa’la.”
“One who repents from sin is like one who has no sin.” (Tirmidhi) This beautiful Hadith states two different states: One who sins but repents and another who has not sinned at all. Scholars differ from which is better. However, the more widely known view is that it is the one who has not sinned, as he is more closer to the Angels and Ambiya, as they do not sin either. Ambiya do not make mistakes, but the least they do is choose the lesser good, which is not a sin. Allah Taa’la knows best.
My teacher gave a beautiful example regarding this. He said there are two types of mistakes/sins. One is when you get the wrong answer on a test, that is a mistake, but cheating on a test is a sin. That is the difference between mistake and sin. Mistakes can easily be forgiven (still better to say Astaghfirullaah), but sins require three steps:
1. To ask Allah for forgiveness
2. To regret
3. To make firm intention never to commit the same wrong action again.
One key point to remember is that to repent is also to regret, but that is only if your repentance is sincere. Secondly, after committing that sin, do not speak of it or even go close to it again. For example, if you stole from a house, don’t even go to that Alley again unless you are going to ask for forgiveness and return what you stole! To regret also means to consider the consequences, which will cause regret on its own. Maybe you stole money from a poor widow, and now that widow is suffering from great financial loss. Thoughts such as “What if I die now? How will I answer on the Day of Recompense?”
It is said that if a man sins and repents, and then commits the sin again and repents, and then again commits the same sin and repents sincerely, he is bound to be forgiven. We should never lose hope in the mercy of Allah! Allah’s treasures are open for us 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I remember a Shaykh saying in his lecture that Jannah’s phone number is 244343 (i.e. the Fardh/Witr Salah). Islam is so easy! One day, Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radi Allah Anho) was making Wudhu and he started laughing. Those around him asked, ‘Why do you laugh, Abu Hurairah?’ And he answered, “Islam is so easy. I wash my arms in Wudhu; my sins are forgiven; I wash my legs in Wudhu, my sins are forgiven.” (Please note that when any virtue says “You are forgiven” it refers to minor sins only. Major sins require forgiveness specifically for that sin. Refer to the three points mentioned above.)
It is said that when one repents, Allah Taa’la sends down rain. And if rain comes when we do not repent, it is due to the mercy Allah Taa’la has for the animals that live nearby. If the Prophets, who had never committed sin, repent then what excuse do we have? They repented for choosing the lesser good, but we repent (if we do) because we truly committed wrongs. As technology progresses, sins have become easier to commit. We should lower our gaze during these times of Fitnah and keep ourselves pure inwardly and outwardly. May Allah Taa’la, the most Merciful, the most forgiving of those who forgive, forgive us and help us through our pains and sufferings. Aameen!
Please, I wouldn’t use God because it can be SINGULAR, god, and PLURAL, GODS; and, MASCULINE, god and FEMININE, GODDESS, so, PLEASE use Allah Taa’la as it is unique.