Continue Seeking Forgiveness

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “The devil said to his Lord, ‘By Your Glory and Majesty! As long as the children of Adam exist on earth, I shall continuously misguide them.’ Allah replied, ‘By My Glory and Majesty! As long as they seek My forgiveness, I will continue to forgive them.’”

[Musnad Ahmad and it is Sahih]

Commentary:

The above Hadith Qudsi highlights the fact that whoever continually seeks forgiveness from Allah and repents sincerely to Him, Allah will accept his repentance because Allah is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful, At-Tawab, the One who accepts the repentance of His servants.

Allah has promised the one who repents to Him that He will forgive him his sins. He says (interpretation of the meaning): “Say: ‘O ‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft?Forgiving, Most Merciful’” [al-Zumar 39:53]

When Allah promises something, He does not break His promise.

And Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft?Forgiving, Most Merciful. And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds; then verily, he repents towards Allah with true repentance” [al-Furqaan 25:70-71]

In this aayah, Allah tells us that He will replace the bad deeds of the one who repents into good deeds, and this is one of the blessings of repentance.

A person may ask, “How can I get rid of my sin?”

This is an important matter, for these are the means by which sin is expiated. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in ‘Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Taymiyah, vol. 7, p. 487-501’, “The punishment for sin is lifted from a person by means of ten things:

1. Repentance; this is agreed upon among the Muslims. Allah says (interpretation of the meanings): “Say: ‘O ‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft?Forgiving, Most Merciful’” [al-Zumar 39:53]

“Know they not that Allah accepts repentance from His slaves and takes the Sadaqaat (alms, charity), and that Allah Alone is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful?” [al-Tawbah 9:104]

“And He it is Who accepts repentance from His slaves, and forgives sins” [al-Shoora 42:25]

2. Praying for forgiveness. It was narrated in al-Saheehayn that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “If a person commits a sin, then says, ‘O Lord, I have committed a sin so forgive me,’ He says, ‘My slave knows that he has a Lord Who may forgive sins or punish for it; I have forgiven My slave…’” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

In Sahih Muslim it is narrated that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “If you did not commit sin, Allah would do away with you and bring people who would commit sins then ask Him to forgive them, so He would forgive them.”

3. Doing good deeds which wipe out sins. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):  “And perform As?Salaah (Iqaamat?as? Salaah), at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night [i.e. the five compulsory Salaah (prayers)]. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins)” [Hood 11:114]

And the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The five daily prayers and Jumu’ah (Friday prayers) and Ramadan take away the bad deeds between one and the next, if you avoid major sins.” [Sahih Muslim]

And He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever spends the night of Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

And He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever performs Pilgrimage to this House, and does not behave in an obscene or immoral manner, he will go back free of sin like the day his mother gave birth to him.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

And He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The expiation for the fitnah (trials and tribulations) caused to a man by his family, wealth and children is prayer, fasting, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever frees a believing slave, for each of (the slave’s) limbs Allah will free one of his limbs from the Fire…” [Sahih Muslim]

These and similar ahadith are narrated in the books of Sahih. And He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Charity extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire, but hasad (malicious envy) consumes good deeds as fire consumes wood.”

4. The du’aa’ (supplication) of the believers for the believer, such as when they pray the funeral prayer for him. It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (radi Allahu anha) and Anas ibn Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “There is no Muslim who dies, and a group of Muslims numbering one hundred pray for him, all of them interceding for him, but their intercession for him will be accepted.” [Sahih Muslim]

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (radi Allahu anhu) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) say: ‘There is no Muslim man who dies, and forty men pray the funeral prayer for him, not associating anything with Allah, but Allah will accept their intercession for him.’” [Sahih Muslim]. This refers to praying for him after he has died.

5. Good deeds which can be done for the deceased, such as giving in charity (on his behalf), etc. This will benefit him, according to the clear, Sahih texts of the Sunnah and the consensus (ijma) of the Imams. The same applies to freeing slaves and Hajj (on his behalf), indeed it was proven in al-Saheehayn that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever dies owing any (obligatory) fasts, his heir should fast them on his behalf.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

6. The intercession of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and others on the Day of Resurrection for those who have committed sins. This is narrated in the mutawaatir ahadith about intercession, such as the Hadith in which He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “My intercession will be for those among my ummah who have committed major sins.” [Classed as Sahih by al-Albaani in Sahih Abi Dawood, 3965]

And He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “I was given the choice between admitting half of my ummah to Paradise and intercession, and I chose intercession.” [Sahih al-Jaami’, 3335]

7. Calamities by means of which Allah expiates sins in this world. It was narrated in al-Saheehayn that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “No tiredness, exhaustion, worry, grief, distress or harm befalls a believer in this world, not even a thorn that pricks him, but Allah expiates some of his sins thereby.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

8. The torment, squeezing and terror that happens in the grave. These are also things by means of which sins are expiated.

9. The horrors, distress and hardship of the Day of Resurrection.

10. The mercy and forgiveness of Allah, with no cause on the part of His slaves.

And Allah knows best!

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