Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him? And Allah is Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing. (An-Nisaa‚ 4:147)

People are created with many weaknesses and imperfections. Throughout our lives, we forget many things and make countless mistakes. However, through repentance, which Allah grants us as a great favor, it is always possible in this world to correct our mistakes. Indeed, the world is created just for this purpose: We are trained, put to test, and purified of our mistakes in this world. It is likely that we may deeply regret our mistakes or the way we have led our lives. However, it is always possible to make up for this regret. After having lived through this regret, we can ask for repentance and hope for Allah’s forgiveness.

In the Qur’an, Allah gives the glad tidings that He will forgive any sin provided one repents sincerely. Allah knows our inner thoughts and every word we keep to ourselves. He knows whether we are true to Him or not. Allah, in the Qur’an, describes His closeness to His servants:

Your Lord knows best what is in your inner selves. If you are righteous, then, verily, He is Ever Most Forgiving to those who turn unto Him again and again in obedience, and in repentance. (Al-Israa‚ 17:25)

Yet, another important fact surfaces here: After death, it is not possible to make up for the mistakes and sins committed in this world unless Allah wills otherwise. So not a single moment do we have to lose. Minutes pass by in a blink of an eye and with every moment passing, we draw even closer to death. Furthermore, we can never foresee when death will confront us. Its date, hour, and minute can never be known. We all will certainly die one day and will give an account of our deeds in the presence of Allah.

For this reason, man must always bear in mind that he may soon die. If he is not to regret in the Hereafter, he must reconsider his life. If it were the time to meet the angels of death right now, would you be able to give an account of all the years you have spent in this world? What have you done so far to earn the consent of Allah? Have you been meticulous enough in fulfilling Allah‚s commands?

A person might not have an affirmative answer to any of these questions. But if he repents and sincerely makes an absolute commitment to living to earn the good pleasure of Allah, then he can hope for Allah’s forgiveness. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) frequently sought forgiveness from Allah:

By Allah, I seek the pardon of Allah and return penitently to Him every day more than seventy times.(Al-Bukhari)

We must take refuge in Allah, Who is Al-Ghaffar (The Forgiver, He Who is All-Forgiving), Al-Halim (Forbearing One, He Who is clement), and At-Tawwab (The Acceptor of repentance). Allah will absolutely give rewards to those who persevere and often turn to Him. He will certainly forgive His servants who have faith and reward their good deeds according to the best of what they did. In one verse, Allah states this great glad tiding as follows:

 Whatever is with you, will be exhausted, and whatever is with Allah (of good deeds) will remain. And those who are patient, We will certainly pay them a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do. Whoever works righteousness – whether male or female – while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment, and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do ( i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter). (An-Nahl 16:96-97)

Never forget that at any time any one of us might be caught by death and, though full of regret, might not have again the opportunity to correct the wrongs we committed in worldly life. For this reason, we should lose no time in asking for repentance from Allah and living by His commands and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). This is the only way to be a servant upon whom Allah bestows His mercy and love. This is, again, the only way to attain Paradise, the eternal abode Allah prepares for His true believers.