Repentance (Taubah)

Repentance (Taubah)

The Arabic word for repentance is Taubah which translated literally means ‘to return’. Repentance means to leave what Allaah has prohibited and to return to what he has commanded.

Allaah has encouraged the believers to repent with sincere repentance.
O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance!
[Surah At-Tahrim Ayah: 8]
In another ayah Allaah has said
But as for him who repented (from polytheism and sins, etc.), believed (in the Oneness of Allah, and in His Messenger Muhammad saws), and did righteous deeds (in the life of this world), then he will be among those who are successful.
[Surah Al-Qasas Ayah:67]
So we should repent to Allaah and submit before him. Indeed even the Prophet (saws) used to ask Allaah for his forgiveness even though he was the Prophet and was sinless. We see that despite this he used to repent to Allaah more than 70 times a day.
“O people, make tawbah to Allah. By Allah, I make tawbah to Him more than seventy times each day.”
[Bukhari]
Even though the Prophet (saws) was never displeasing to Allaah he asked Allah for His forgiveness, how much more so should the sinners?
The Prophet (saws) encouraged everyone to repent to Allaah as a means of purification from the sins. The Prophet (saws) used to say every morning he used to ask Allaah for forgiveness at least 100 times.
Abdullah ibn `Umar said: We counted in a single sitting the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, saying one hundred times:
“Rabbi-ghfir-lee wa tub `alayya innaka anta-t-tawwabu-l-ghafoor.”
(My Lord, forgive me and accept my repentance, verily you are Acceptor of Repentance, Oft-Forgiving.)
[Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah]
And the best time for repentance is in the morning and the night, in that we may start our day with repentance and end our day with repentance.
The Prophet (saws) has said
Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, stretches out His Hand during the night so that the people repent for the fault committed from dawn till dusk and He stretches out His Hand during the day so that the people may repent for the fault committed from dusk to dawn (He would accept repentance) before the sun rises in the west (before the Day of Resurrection).”
[Muslim]
So we should endeavour to keep our hearts pure and our tongues moist with repentance to Allaah in that he may forgive us our sins.
Shaddad Ibn ‘Aus (RA) narrated, the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“The most superior way of asking help (forgiveness) from Allah is to say:
‘Allahumma Anta Rabbii la ilaha illa Anta, Khalaqtanii wa ana ‘abduka,
wa ana alaa ‘ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’tu,
a’udhu Bika min sharri ma sana’tu, abuu’u Laka Bini’matika ‘alayya,
wa abuu’u bidhanbii, faghfirlii fa’innahu la yaghfiru Adh-dhanbu illa Anta.’
What translated  in English means,

O Allah, Thou are my Lord! There is no god but Thee, It is Thee Who created me, and I am Thy servant, I am faithful to my covenant and my promise to Thee to my best ability, I seek refuge with Thee from all the evil I have done, I acknowledge before Thee all the blessings Thou have bestowed upon me, and I confess to Thee to forgive my sins, for nobody can forgive sins but Thee.
The Prophet (PBUH) then added:
‘If somebody recites it during the day with firm faith in it, and dies on the same day before the evening, he will be from the people of Paradise; and if somebody recites it at night with firm faith in it, and dies before the morning, he will be from the people of the Paradise.’”
[Bukhari]
Thus the Prophet (saws) advised us to repent to Allaah and also to ask Him for his forgiveness.
Allaah has encouraged and ordered us to repent to Allaah, surrendering to him completely before we face him on the day of judgement. Thus we need to repent and seek Allaah’s forgiveness before we face death for at the time of death repentance will be of no benefit to us.
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
The Prophet (saws) said, “Amongst the men of Bani Israel there was a man who had murdered ninety-nine persons. Then he set out asking (whether his repentance could be accepted or not). He came upon a monk and asked him if his repentance could be accepted. The monk replied in the negative and so the man killed him. He kept on asking till a man advised to go to such and such village. (So he left for it) but death overtook him on the way. While dying, he turned his chest towards that village (where he had hoped his repentance would be accepted), and so the angels of mercy and the angels of punishment quarrelled amongst themselves regarding him. Allah ordered the village (towards which he was going) to come closer to him, and ordered the village (whence he had come), to go far away, and then He ordered the angels to measure the distances between his body and the two villages. So he was found to be one span closer to the village (he was going to). So he was for given.”
[Sahih Muslim]
There are numerous hadith abound with stories of the sahabah before they became Muslims who used to fight against Allaah and his Messenger (saws), and after accepting Islaam we see that they went on to 

become leaders of the Muslims. Rather, we should repent to Allaah because as is mentioned in the hadith above that Allaah opens his hand during the day for the sinners of the night to repent to him and he opens his hand during the day for the sinners of the day to repent to him.
O Allaah grant us the sincere repentance and accept is from us, verily You are the All Hearing, the All Knowing. Ameen.

Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?(13: Sura e Rehman)
 

REPENTANCE

 

The word Tawbah (Repentance) in Arabic literally means ‘to return’. In an Islamic context, it refers to the act of leaving what Allah has prohibited and returning to what He has commanded. The subject of repentance is one which concerns all people who believe in Allah, and is central to Islamic belief as well.

 

It is mentioned in the Qur’an

“… and turn you all together in repentance to Allah O believers, that you may be successful”

 

An-Noor (24:31)

“Surely Allah loves those who turn unto him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves.”

 

Surah al-Baqarah (2:222)

Feelings of remorse and guilt are natural reflections of sinning, if the person who has sinned has a conscious which is alive.

 

After committing a sin, a person who fears Allah and give high respect to Him would feel a sense of hopeless and despair thinking, “How will Allah forgive me for this sin?” However, it is noteworthy that despairing of Allah’s mercy is in itself one of the major sins in Islam for Allah is ever merciful, ever forgiving.

 

As He says in the Qur’an:

 “Tell them (oh Muhammad): ‘My (Allah’s) Servants, who have committed excesses against themselves, do not be in despair in the mercy of Allah – surely, Allah forgives all sins. Verily Allah is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful

 

Surah Az-Zumar (9:53)

 

In another verses, Allah says:

 

“Except for those who repent after that and do righteous deeds. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”.

 

 

 

Aal-e-Imran (3:89)

“He forgave them (accepted their repentance), that they might beg for His pardon [repent (unto Him)] Verily, Allah is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful”.

 

 At-Taubah (9:118)

Islam fully understands the temptations that come in the way of everyone of us, and that which some of us might go for. Only through repentance, that one can wipe out those sins and past misdeeds and gradually get freed from the clutches of the ego.

 

Repentance is the most noble and beloved form of obedience in the eyes of Allah the All Mighty. He loves those who repent. Repentance has a status that no other form of worship has. This is why Allah is extremely happy when a servant repents just as a traveler is happy when he finds his lost mount in the desert.

Feeling Allah’s satisfaction has its great impact on the heart of the one repenting. Hence, the repenting person reaches the status of being amongst the beloved through his repentance.

 

Moreover, repentance brings about humbleness and a sense of helplessness to the only Creator; Allah, and that is not easily acquired through other forms of worship.

 

Allah says in the Qur’an

 

“Except those who repent and believe, and do righteous deeds, for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” 

 

Al-Furqan (5:70)

 

This is a greatest glad tiding for those who repent and combine their repentance with deep faith and good deeds.

 

Repentance breeds good deeds, whilst sinning (without repentance) can cause deprivation of obedience altogether. It has been said that committing sins regularly will darken and harden the heart and make purifying it once again a difficult mission. It may even lead a person to reject Allah completely (Allah forbid) or lead him to commit a bigger sin. There is no recourse for a sinner except to ask Allah for forgiveness and to feel great regret for his actions.

Repentance is to repent from the heart, to train the heart into obedience and to make a firm resolution never to commit the sin again.

 

How to repent?

 

For repentance to be accepted by Allah, one should go through these four stages:

 

1- Stop the sin.

2- Regretting deeply and truly for the sin you committed.

3- Return to Allah for forgiveness.

4- Strong intention never to return to that same sin again.

 

What would help in fulfilling the above four stages?

 

The repenting person should remember three facts:

 

1. The grave consequence of sins.

2. The painful punishment for sins and

3. How week a person is when committing such sins.

 

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “Every son of Adam is a sinner, and the best of sinners are those who turn (to Allah) in repentance.”

 

(Mishkatul-Masabih, Vol. 3, p. 360)

 

Allah says in the Qur’an:

 

“Those (are the true believers) who, when they commit an evil deed, or wrong their souls, remember Allah, and seek forgiveness for their sins and none can forgive sins but Allah – And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know..

 

Remember:

We may tire committing sin but Allah does not tire forgiving us.

O’ slave of Allah! Allah has opened the door of repentance, so why should you not enter?

“Repentance has a door whose span is the distance between East and West,” says a hadith (and in another version, its span is the distance traveled in 70 years). “It will not be closed until the sun rises from the west.” Listen to the call of Allah, “O’ my slaves! You sin morning and evening and I forgive all your sins. So call on Me, I’ll forgive you all your sins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Comments You Will Hear Before Pursuing Your Deen

For anyone who ever thought of growing a full fist-length beard, observing proper hijab and/or niqab, or dressing in an Islamic manner but have not been able to do so, this is a must read for you.  Insha Allah, it may serve to be a source of inspiration for those who wish to pursue Islamic education.  But most importantly, it serves to be a reminder for me and Insha Allah, a means of earning Allah’s pleasure by getting people to practice the Deen in its entirety.

Unfortunately, just before you take your first step on the righteous journey to pursue your Deen, your nafs and shaytaan be it your own shaytaan or people around you, even the ones who deeply care for you, will give you awful “advice” and sincere “nasihah”.  Perhaps it may not be because they have evil intentions.  It is because they do not understand the big picture—what your Deen means to you. They do not understand that, to you, the reward is worth the risk. In other words, a life of hell in this world or a jail as the hadith says is worth more than a temporal “paradise” for an unknown amount of torment the actual hellfire.

So they try to protect you by shielding you from the possibility of failure, which, as a result, also shields you from the possibility of making a Deeni life for yourself a reality.
Our time here in this world is limited, so let us not waste it trying to live someone else’s life.  Do not be trapped by lack of faith and Iman others have regarding themselves and you.  Do not let the noise of other people’s opinions drown out the sound of your soul yearning to live a righteous and pious life.
 
Here are ten tips (lies) people will likely tell you when you decide to pursue your Deen and the reasons why they are dreadfully mistaken:
 
1. You can follow your Deen someday, but right now you need to calm down and be responsible.
Someday?! When is “someday”?  “Someday” is not a day at all. “Someday” never comes.  It is not even on the calendar.  It is not on the lunar calendar, the Islamic calendar, and ISNA does not even know when “Someday” is going to be based off calculations because it cannot be calculated! It is a foggy generalization of a time that will likely never come. Today is the only day guaranteed to you. Today is the only day you can begin to make a difference in your life. And pursuing your Deen is what life is all about. So do not be irresponsible. Do not wait until “someday.” Make today the first day of the rest of your new life, and fulfill the purpose of your life.

 

2. You are totally at a loss if it does not work out.
Wrong! This is a giant, lame load of whispers and snares in the form of wasawis. You are not even close to being at a loss. In fact, the worst case scenario is that things do not work out and you go back to doing exactly what you are doing right now.  Well you can always make Tawbah, and return to Allah.  If the sun has risen from the west for these pessimists, then let them have their judgment, but in reality, this event has not yet occurred.  So make use of the time at hand.  The door for returning to Allah is still open and everyone has a free pass to go in, even those who were in and went out can return back in. Remember that the Qur’an says mankind is in loss and those who practice the Deen are an exception to that.

 

3. It is safer to maintain your job.
Sure, I suppose. But you know what is even safer than that? Going home, locking yourself in your bedroom, and never, ever coming out. And just like that, your entire life and your Deen would go down the drain. Remember, safer doesn’t always mean better.  Allah is our Provider, and our Sustainer.  Allah provides so much sustenance to those who reject Him, to those who associate partners and ascribe children to Him, and to those who have unusual beliefs about Him. Yet, He never abandons them!  Are we worse than those people that Allah will not tend to at least our basic needs?!  Is this world not a testing center for us?!

 

4. Fully practicing Deen is impossible!
It is only impossible if you never do anything about it. The reason certain things seem impossible is simply because these people are not aware of anyone who has achieved them yet. But this does not mean that with your help these things won’t become possible in the future. If you truly dedicate yourself to an end result, almost anything is possible. You just have to want it bad enough.  The examples of our pious predecessors and the examples of the righteous people of today are in front of us.  Resolutions only become available to people of firm resolve!
 
5. Only a lucky few “make it.”
That is because those lucky few got off their rear ends and did something about it! They had the drive, determination, and willpower that you have right now. You can be one of them. It is up to you, and only you.  Keep in mind the lives of the pious people.  They had to deal with the taunts of people also.  In fact it was said that the recitation (Qira’ah) of Imam ‘Asim (the teacher of Imam Hafs) and the jurisprudence (Fiqh) of Imam Abu Hanifah would not reach outside Kufa….Look who gets the last laugh now!
 

6. You might fail and sin. And sinning is bad.
Failures which lead to sinning are simply stepping stones to repentance. No matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something: win–win. The biggest mistake you can make is doing nothing because you’re too scared to make a mistake. If you can’t handle failure, then you can’t handle success either.  In the end, you will have attained the love of Allah.  How you ask?  Allah mentions in the Qur’an that He loves the pious and the righteous.  But Allah also mentions that He loves those who frequently repent.  One will only frequently repent when one frequently fails and sins.
 
7. You do not have access to the right resources.
It is not about having the right resources; it’s about using the resources available to you.  Imam Abu Yusuf was a poor person.  He did not have the luxury to give everything up and sit and learn.  What he did have though, was his eyes on the prize and sincere yearning for learning.  That resulted in the great Imam Abu Hanifah noticing this and resolving to look after the financial needs of Imam Abu Yusuf.  Get it?  Got it? GOOD!
 
8. You need more money saved before you can take the first step.
You do not need more money. You need a plan. You need a budget. Eliminate ALL the nonessential costs in your life. If pursuing your dream requires you to leave your day job, figure out the absolute minimum amount of income that you realistically require. Studying the lives of those who have succeeded with similar ventures helps a great deal. But above all, take baby steps. Do not be foolish and assume that you must have a certain amount of money saved right now, or that you must quit your day job today in order to pursue your Deen. Instead, ask yourself this question, “What actions can I take right now with the money and resources I have right now that will bring me closer to the desired goal of practicing Deen properly?”

 

9. You do not need any help. It is smarter and better to learn and practice on your own.
You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with. If you socialize with the wrong people, they will negatively affect you. But if you socialize with the right people, you will be far more capable and powerful than you ever could have been alone. Find pious people who you click with and work together to make a difference in all of your lives.

 

10. That sounds like a lot of hard work.
You are darn right it does! But that does not mean it is not worth it. I think success in life hinges on one key point: finding work you love doing and knowing that Allah also loves that work.  As long as you do not do anything to incur the wrath of Allah, remain true to yourself and follow your own interests, values, and dreams, you can find success through passion. Perhaps most importantly, you won’t wake up a few years from now in a situation you and Allah despise, wondering, “How the heck am I going to be like this for the rest of my life?  What is Allah going to do to me if I were to die?” So if you are not breaking the laws of Allah, nor going against the Sunnah, and you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, do not stop. You are onto something big.  Deen is not hard when you concentrate on it and make Deen your passion.

Disregard these misguided bits of nonsense and Insha Allah, you will be on your way to fulfilling your Deen. Now get up and go earn Allah’s pleasure!

 

 

He turned to you so you could turn to Him.

He turned to you so you could turn to Him.
 
As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah
When Ibrahim and his son built the Ka’bah, their du’a included this:
“…Our Lord, and make us Muslims (submitting) to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation (in submission) to You. And show us our rites and turn unto us (in Mercy). Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.” [al-Baqarah: 128]
The last bit is very interesting because it says ‘tub `alayna’ which means ‘turn to us’ but the term used is the same derivative as tawbah itself (which is what they’re requesting). Subhan’Allah, Ibrahim (as), the close friend of Allah, understood something that most of us don’t understand… There is a step before repentance; a process happens before any of us can repent and that is: Allah first turns to us in Mercy.
This is why in the story of Ka’b ibn Malik (who didn’t go on the Tabuk expedition along with 2 others), Allah says:
“And (He also turned to) the three who were left behind (

and regretted their error) to the point that the earth closed in on them in spite of its vastness and their souls confined them and they were certain that there is no refuge from Allah except in Him. Then He turned to them (taaba `alayhim) so they could repent (li-yatubu). Indeed, Allah is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.” [al-Tawbah: 118]
He first turned to them, so that they could turn to Him in repentance. Subhan’Allah, how merciful is Allah, and how arrogant we can be if we think that our repenting was from our own accord – no, it’s all from Allah `azza wa jall. So let’s learn a lesson from Ibrahim, the khalil (close friend) of Allah, and beg Allah to always turn to us, so that we can keep turning to Him.

Autopilot to Allah: The Power of Routine

 

If you’re reading this article, chances are you have spiritual goals. Perhaps you want to increase your knowledge, memorize more Quran, or simply be a better Muslim. Almost all of us have thoughts running through our minds about how and who we want to be. Yet if you’re like me, at some point you’ve felt frustrated by slow progress. Life gets busy and spiritual goals too often get put on the back burner as we tend to daily tasks and responsibilities.
But what if your spiritual goals were an inseparable part of your daily tasks and responsibilities? Wouldn’t it be nice to simply put your spiritual life on autopilot, so that you could feel at peace and enjoy the journey to Allah (swt)?
The beautiful news is that you can! In fact, Allah (swt) created the autopilot option just for you. The Prophet Muhammad (saws) told us that “The best actions are those that are small and consistent” [Bukhari and Muslim]. This hadith reveals the power of routine. A routine is a sequence of actions that is followed regularly. By implementing a routine in your life, you can autopilot to Allah (swt)!

With a Routine, Work Becomes Progress
Let’s think deeper about the hadith above. Why are small, consistent actions best? Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” In other words, slow and steady is the only way to progress.  With small actions each day, instead of feeling burdened by how much we have to do, we feel empowered when we look back and see what we have done over time. That’s the power of routine!
Start Small and Take Baby Steps
Allah (swt) tells us we are weak – but at the same time He tells us He wants to help us: Allah wants to lighten for you [your difficulties]; and mankind was created weak [Quran, 4:28]. Since we know we are weak, we should start small. Remember – small is best and small is powerful.
Take Action: Start These Simple Routines Today
The Sunnah is rich with routines we can benefit from, but we must implement them. Here are just a few of those routines that you can adopt to fuel your journey to Allah (swt):
  • Pray salah (on time). If you aren’t praying salah, starting to pray five times is the most beneficial routine. If you are praying, upgrade to praying right at the time of the adhan as this is the most beloved deed to Allah (swt). You will benefit immediately because your time afterward will, in shaa Allah (swt), be filled with baraka. Each minute we delay salah is one minute closer to missing salah. Bonus: when al-Fajr is included in this effort then we would be awake to implement other prophetic routines, like reading Quran and saying dua.
  • Fast on Mondays and Thursdays. Some of us worry about fasting the long days of Ramadhan that are drawing near. Yet a person who fasts on Mondays and Thursdays won’t find the transition into Ramadan nearly as hard – because they’ve already worked their way up to fasting those long days a little at a time. That person also reaps the benefits of fasting all year long.
  • Read the Quran DailyReading just one ayah a day, or memorizing one word a day, can accumulate to include the whole Quran over time! Interaction with the Quran on a daily basis is an essential lifeline to Allah (swt).
  • Make wudhu before sleeping. It only takes a minute or two to do this simple and beautiful Sunnah.
  • Make daily dua and dhikr of the Prophet (saws). By establishing a practice of saying the things that the Prophet (saws) said each day, we can draw nearer to him (saws) and also invite more peace and blessings into our lives.
Routines are powerful, and Allah (swt) made them that way. He made the sun rise and set so that our journey to Him would be divided into one day at a time. Choose one daily routine of the Prophet (saws) to establish in your life. It’s time for you to autopilot to Allah (swt). Start small and stick with it. In shaa Allah (swt) soon it will not even feel like work; it will simply be part of how you live your life.
written by Kelly El-Yacoubi is a revert to Islam and freelance writer.

How to Overcome Sadness and Be Happy

How to Overcome Sadness and Be Happy
 
By Taheerah Alam
So should I be thankful for the good clothes I wear or the Gucci bag I carry? Maybe the good food I can eat? Oh wait, what about the opportunity to study at a reputable university or being employed at a good company? Hey, did I mention my caring and wonderful parents or my cool siblings who are my best friends? Hold on, I completely forgot about the blessing of Islam in my life; How Allah guided my heart to His path! AlhamdulilLah (praise be to God).
Tired of counting already?!
No wonder Allah said in the Qur’an that if we were to count the favors of Allah, we will not do justice to even one favor! (14:34)
Yes, we are all struggling with something and I feel ya, my brother/sister in Islam. Maybe it’s been months and you are still looking for a decent job. Maybe you are a single brother/sister struggling to fight off temptations while there seems to be no progress in the ‘marriage’ part of your life and you are tired of searching for that ‘right’ person. Maybe you have been trying for years and still with no success in conceiving a baby. It could be anything. Anything that makes you feel that sense of unhappiness and dissatisfaction. A gap between what you desire to happen and what is happening in reality. And I feel your pain and I will never underestimate it.
But brothers and sisters, I request you all to take concrete steps to change your situation. Do something about it right now! You know how?
“…If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]…” (Qur’an, 14:7)
Here’s how:
  • Shift your focus.
    • Pay attention to the wonderful things you have, as opposed to what you don’t have.
    Believe me, you will get lost in the counting of those blessings even if you’re a math expert!
    And then, when you genuinely appreciate the blessings you enjoy and, in turn, appreciate how Merciful He, your Lord, has always been to you, He will do as promised inshaAllah (God willing); He will increase you in various ways in life. Trust me, with a positive and grateful mindset, you will feel His barakah(blessing) in your life constantly and that will make you a much happier human being. You will enjoy the days and nights of this fleeting life that doesn’t want to slow down! You will kick away depression from your life and make way for activism and energy!
    And most importantly, you will be able to remember your Lord consistently and His consciousness will become ingrained in your lifestyle inshaAllah. What a wonderful way to worship the One to whom we owe everything!
    But then you might be thinking “how” exactly do I show this gratitude? Is it just repeating “thank you God” every time I buy a Louis Vuitton bag?
    That too and maybe something more. 

    The best way to be grateful for Allah’s favors is to use them for things that make Him happy.
    So you’re good in accounting? Help someone to do their homework. You love writing? Use your beautiful words to inspire people to Allah’s deen (religion). Maybe Allah blessed you with wealth so you can buy all the good stuff alhamdulilLah. Why not buy something nice and gift it to a poor person once in a while? And you can be as creative as you want! The list is endless. But you get the point inshaAllah.
    Come on fellas. It’s time to be positive. It’s time to be grateful. It’s time to act.
    And always remember this motto no matter what you go through in life:
    “An attitude of gratitude is what is truly needed!” – Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan
    Stay blessed.