Authentic Adhkar: Lesson 29

Sat 27th Oct 2018

Lesson 29: Forgiveness, Repentance and how this is related to Tawheed

  • Recap of previous lesson:
      • The need for Repentance
      • To begin your dua with Repenting from sins
      • Criteria for Repentance (from Imam An-Nawawi):
    • Seeking forgiveness is often mentioned in connection with seeking repentance
    • Qur’an verse: “And (commanding you): “Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).” [Surah Hud (Hud) verse 3]
  • Qur’an verse: “”And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah).”” [Surah Hud (Hud) verse 52]
  • This indicates that there is a great connection between seeking forgiveness and making repentance as well as the great need a servant has to perform this

Sins are of two types

  • Type 1:
      • This is a sin that has already gone by
      • However even though it has gone by, it has consequences
      • Therefore for this you are ask Allah for protection against its evil consequences
  • Type 2:
      • This is a sin that you fear you may committing
      • Therefore for this you ask Allah to give you firmness and resolve not to fall into it
    • A servant returns back to Allah in both cases
  • A person who commits a sin is like the example of one who is following a pathway which is leading to his own destruction. And indeed this path will not lead you to your goals and aspirations, rather it only leads to destruction
  • Therefore one who is upon sins then it is required for this person to turn back from this path and pursue the pathway of his salvation

Difference between Forgiveness and Repentance

    • Sometimes people uses them interchangeably however they have a difference
  • Therefore there are 2 important matters
    • 1. To abandon sins
    • 2. To turn to Allah and the right path
  • Seeking repentance is in connection to returning to the right pathway and to be kept upon this pathway
  • Seeking forgiveness is in connection with abandoning the pathway of sins and asking Allah for salvation from the consequences of these sins
  • Seeking forgiveness has a great ranking and status. Shaykh Ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy upon him) mentioned that a servant is taken out from the disliked actions and onto the beloved and good actions by way of seeking forgiveness and making repentance, and from the deficient actions onto the perfect and fulfilling action, and a servant is raised from the lowly and degraded position to the higher and perfect position
  • Therefore a servant of Allah, who recognises and remembers his lord, then indeed this person increases in his knowledge and insight into his religion such that he will find improvement in all of his actions
  • However whoever finds that he has a shortcoming in the presence of his heart, then this person is in great need of seeking forgiveness and making repentance
  • There are great benefits to seeking forgiveness and making repentance

Connection between seeking forgiveness and Tawheed

    • One of the things which highlights the importance of seeking forgiveness is that in the Qur’an it is often connected with the tawheed and the shahaadah which is the greatest statement
      • Qur’an verse: So know (O Muhammad (ﷺ)) that La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of) believing men and believing women. And Allah knows well your moving about, and your place of rest (in your homes). [Surah Muhammad verse 19]
      • Qur’an verse: “And (commanding you): “Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).” [Surah Hud (Hud) verse 3]
      • Qur’an verse: Say (O Muhammad (ﷺ)): “I am only a human being like you. It is inspired in me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God – Allah), therefore take Straight Path to Him (with true Faith Islamic Monotheism) and obedience to Him, and seek forgiveness of Him. And woe to Al-Mushrikun (the disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, polytheists, idolaters, etc. – see V. 2:105). [Surah Fussilat (They are Explained in Detail) verse 6]
    • Other examples:
      • When concluding a gathering and rising up, the supplication (dua) made contains both the shahaadah as well as seeking forgiveness
      • The supplication made after performing wudhu contains the shahaadah as well as seeking forgiveness

  • Why is there this connection between seeking forgiveness and tawheed (the Oneness of Allah)?
    • 1.  When one seeks forgiveness from Allah, you are affirming and recognising that only Allah can forgive and give repentance
    • 2. No matter what level of sins one may be upon, by seeking forgiveness he/she is recognising that Allah can forgive all sins
    • 3. The greatest cause or means for the forgiveness to be accepted by Allah is that you are upon tawheed

The high station and rank of seeking forgiveness

  • Qur’an verse: “And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah’s Forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah An-Nisaa (The Women) verse 112]
  • Qur’an verse: And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse etc.) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; – and none can forgive sins but Allah – And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know. [Surah Aali-Imran (The Family of Imran) verse 135]
  • ‘Abdullah bin Busr said that : The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Glad tidings to those who find a lot of seeking forgiveness in the record of their deeds.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
    • The word used for “Glad tidings” (Tuubaa) is also said to be a tree in paradise
  • Narration mentioned by Imam At-Tabaraani
  • Bilal bin Yasar bin Zaid [the freed slave of the Prophet (ﷺ)] narrated: “My father narrated to me, from my grandfather, that he heard the Prophet (ﷺ) say: ‘Whoever says: “I seek forgiveness from Allah, the one whom there is none worthy of worship but Him, the Living, Al-Qayyum, and I repent to him,” (Astaghfirullāh alladhī lā ilāha illā huwal-Ḥayyul-Qayyūmu wa atūbu ilaih) then Allah will forgive him, even if he fled from battle.’” [Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and others]

Sincerity in seeking forgiveness

  • Whoever seeks forgiveness yet he is still intent and continues to commit sins then he is not sincere

Criteria for Repentance:

    • 1. To sincerely seek forgiveness
    • 2. To Stop and abandon the sin
    • 3. To Sincerely regret it
    • 4. To make a firm intention not to return to doing it again
    • 5. It must be done before the window of opportunity is not gone
    • NOTE: the above always apply, however if you have wronged someone you must return their rights in addition to this
  • There is a time period in which repentance is accepted, outside of this no repentance is accepted:
    • Ibn `Umar narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Indeed Allah accepts the repentance of a slave as long as (his soul does not reach his throat).” [At-Tirmidhi]
    • Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated:“Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “He who repents before the sun rises from the west, Allah will forgive him”.[Muslim]

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) seeking forgiveness much

    • The Prophet (ﷺ) used to seek forgiveness much
    • A’isha reported that when Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) occupied himself in prayer, he observed such a (long) qiyam (posture of standing in prayer) that his feet were swollen. A’isha said: “Allah’s Messenger you do this (in spite of the fact) that your earlier and later sins have been pardoned for you? Thereupon, he said. “O A’isha should I not grateful servant (to Allah)? [Sahih Muslim]
    • Ibn Kathir says that the Prophet’s (ﷺ) future and past sins having been forgiven was a virtue which was specific to the Prophet (), no one else can claim this for themselves, yet despite this he continued to seek forgiveness, there is no one comparable to him
    • Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying.” By Allah! I ask for forgiveness from Allah and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
    • Ibn Umar said: “In one sitting of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), one could count that he said a hundred time, before he would get up: ‘O my Lord, forgive me, and accept my repentance. Verily, You are the Oft-Returning, the Most Forgiving (Rabbighfirlī watub `alayya innaka antat-Tawwābul-Ghafūr).’” [At-Tirmidhi]
    • Al-Agharr al-Muzani who was from amongst the Companions of Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) reported that Ibn ‘Umar stated to him that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “O people, seek repentance from Allah. Verily, I seek repentance from Him a hundred times a day.” [Sahih Muslim]

What is the best supplication (dua) to make to seek forgiveness?

    • Narrated Shaddad bin ‘Aus: The Prophet said, “The most superior way of asking for forgiveness from Allah is: ‘Allahumma anta Rabbi la ilaha illa anta. Khalaqtani wa ana `Abduka, wa ana ‘ala ‘ahdika wa Wa’dika mastata’tu abu’u Laka bi ni ‘matika wa abu’u Laka bidhanbi; faghfirli fa’innahu la yaghfiru-dh-dhunuba ill a ant a. A’uidhu bika min sharri ma sana’tu.’ If somebody recites this invocation during the night, and if he should die then, he will go to Paradise (or he will be from the people of Paradise). And if he recites it in the morning, and if he should die on the same day, he will have the same fate.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
  • NOTE: you can find this famous dua in the “Fortress of the Muslim”
  • The Prophet (ﷺ) seeking forgiveness often (despite his sins having been forgiven) should encourage us all to make sure we are regularly upon this also


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