Repentance means turning from sin

Repentance in the Quran

Every son of Adam is a sinner, the best is those who repent. Repentance should be made immediately, losing no time and should never be delayed. Many glad tidings are covenanted to those who repent and ask Allah for pardon. This is the greatest glad tidying for those who repent and combine their repentance with faith and good deeds. Allah is Forgiving and Merciful, and He loves the repentance of His slaves. He commands them to repent so that He might forgive them. Allah always allows asking for repentance for their mistakes and sins. Allah says:

فَمَن تَابَ مِن بَعْدِ ظُلْمِهِ وَأَصْلَحَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ 

“Whoever repents after his transgression and corrects himself, then Allah shall relent towards him. Surely, Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.” (Surah Al-Ma`idah 5:39)

Repentance has been extremely important in Islam since the beginning of the creation of mankind. Islam realizes that humans make mistakes and intentionally or unintentionally they commit sins. Islam does not expect humans to become angels, rather it expects them to be themselves and repent for whatever mistake that gets committed by them. We are human beings sent into this world (Dunya) by Allah. Repentance is the noblest and most beloved form of obedience in the eyes of Allah. Allah says:

وَالَّذِينَ عَمِلُواْ السَّيِّئَاتِ ثُمَّ تَابُواْ مِن بَعْدِهَا وَآمَنُواْ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِن بَعْدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“But those who committed misdeeds and then repented after them and believed – indeed your Lord, after that, is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Surah Al-Araf 7:153)

Allah is Forgiving and Merciful, and He loves the repentance of His slaves. Man is weak. If a person sins then he has to repent and seek forgiveness every time. Allaah is Forgiving and Merciful. Sincere repentance is not merely a matter of words spoken on the tongue. Rather, the acceptance of repentance is subject to the condition that the person gives up the sin straight away, that he regrets what has happened in the past, that he resolves not to go back to the thing he has repented from, that he restores people’s rights or property if his sin involved wrongdoing towards others, and that he repents before the agony of death is upon him.

Repentance, Redemption, & Salvation in the Islamic Framework:

  1. Repentance means turning to a life of faith and obedience
  2. Repentance motivates us to obey God’s commandments 
  3. Repentance is at the heart and core of God’s message
  4. Repentance means to worship God in spirit and truth
  5. Repentance begins with a positive side of God’s law
  6. Repentance entails putting away sinful activities
  7. Repentance is a result of a change in behaviour
  8. Repentance encourages the mental disposition
  9. Repentance is linked to the message of God
  10. Repentance means surrendering one’s life
  11. Repentance implies a change in direction
  12. Repentance means turning from sin
  13. Repentance is a gift of God
  14. Repentance is necessary for salvation
  15. Repentance is the fruit of Godly sorrow
  16. Repentance brings about the love of Allah
  17. Repentance is the fruit of  God’s goodness
  18. Repentance is inseparable from saving Faith
  19. Repentance always willing to put aside grievances
  20. Repentance is an action requiring deliberate choices
  21. Repentance means turning from the way to God’s law
  22. Repentance provides an overview of the changes in mind
  23. Repentance is a change of attitude and mental perspective
  24. Repentance involves both a turning from sin and a turning to God
  25. Repentance means to God’s will as expressed in His revealed Word

Repentance is the noblest and most beloved form of obedience in the eyes of Allah. He loves those who repent and it is because of His love for His creation that He tests them with sins so that He may shower His blessings and favours upon them after they 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 traveller is happy when he finds his lost mount in the desert. Allah says:

إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا فَأُولَٰئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا 

“Except for those who repent, have faith and good deeds, those Allah will change their sins for good deeds. Certainly, Allah is most forgiving and merciful.” (Surah Al-Furqan 25:70)

Repentance is not the hardening of the spiritual arteries. Repentance is a feeling of regret for bad deeds in the past, then aim your heart to Allah. for the rest of your life and control yourself to do bad deeds. True repentance is composed of many elements, each one related to the others. If you have turned to repentance and also decided to not commit that sin again, be faith in Allah that your prayers have been accepted.

Sincere repentance and its conditions, Allah says in the Holy Quran:

  • “And He wishes to forgive you.” (Quran 4:146)
  • “Allah wants to accept your repentance.” (Quran 4: 27)
  • “And My Mercy encompasses everything.” (Quran 7:156)
  • “My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, so forgive me.” (Quran, 28:16)
  • “And whoever does not repent, they are the wrongdoers.” (Quran 49:11)
  • “Obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain mercy.” (Quran 3:132)
  • “Surely Allah is Most Gentle, Ever Compassionate to people.” (Quran 22:65)
  • “And ask forgiveness of Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Quran 4:106)

Repentance is a means to Allah’s mercy and it is a shelter for the individual servant. Feeling Allah’s satisfaction has a great impact on the heart of the one repenting. Repenting frequently is a sign of a believer’s humility and awareness of his weakness in front of Allah. It is a behaviour that pleases Allah. Islam fully understands the temptations that come in the way of every one 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.

Merits of the soul, and constant repentance remind us of our sins:

  • Awareness of our sins: One of the worst things that can happen to Muslims is for them to lose the ability to recognize when they have sinned.
  • The devastation of sinning: Repentance must be a consciousness of guilt. It cannot be brushed aside. It must be acknowledged and not rationalized away.
  • Deprivation of Knowledge: Being deprived of knowledge for knowledge is light that Allah causes to reach the heart, and sin extinguishes that light.
  • Alienation from Creator: Sense of alienation that comes between a person and his Lord, and between him and other people.
  • Life becomes difficult: Things become difficult for him so that he does not turn his attention towards any matter but he finds the way blocked or he finds it difficult.
  • The heart is darkened: The sinner will find darkness in his heart, which he will feel just as he feels the darkness of night.
  • Sin breeds sin: Sin breeds sin until it dominates a person and he cannot escape from it. True repentance must come to each individual.
  • Weakens willpower: It gradually strengthens his will to sin and weakens his will to repent and express repentance.
  • A Desire to Be Better: A Muslim who is aware of their sins and their Lord because of constant repentance will undoubtedly develop the desire to be a better Muslim.
  • We should repent immediately: Repentance should be made immediately, losing no time and should never be delayed.

Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.. Allah is Kind to His slaves and loves those who repent. He accepts their repentance. Do not be arrogant and try to justify your wrongdoing. Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise. Allah says:

وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَعْفُو عَنِ السَّيِّئَاتِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ

“And He (is) the One Who accepts the repentance of His slaves and pardons [of] the evil, and He knows what you do.” (Surah Ash-Shura 42:25)

Allah accepts repentance and is Merciful. He calls sinners to repent so that He might forgive them. The mercy of Allah encompasses all things. “Sin” is a spiritual illness that should be cured immediately with repentance. Repentance gives relief to the heart. If a person’s sins are very great and he has wronged. himself very much, but he then repents, Allaah will accept his repentance and will forgive his sins no matter how great they are. We must always exercise extreme vigilance and caution against all types of sins, both major and minor. Allah says:

وَأَنِيبُوا إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمْ وَأَسْلِمُوا لَهُ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ الْعَذَابُ ثُمَّ لَا تُنصَرُونَ

“And turn in repentance and obedience with true Faith to your Lord and submit to Him, before the torment comes upon you, then you will not be helped.” (Surah Az-Zumar 39:54)

God often uses the circumstances of day-to-day life to bestow upon us the gift of repentance. Dua for Allah (SWT) to give us and all Muslims the ability to repent (sincerely), routinely and perpetually and end this piece with this beautiful narration about the Mercy of AllahWe must develop the habit of repenting in the prescribed manner and expiate for our sins by consistently engaging in good works as best as we can. May Allah help us all to protect the purity of our hearts, and may He grant us forgiveness and mercy. Ameen.