Sincerely Repenting To Allah
Allah says: O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky and you would then seek My forgiveness, I would forgive you.
When a person sins and then sincerely turns to Allah for forgiveness, one will find Allah ready to accept his repentance and to forgive him, as this verse indicates:
And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself, but then seeks forgiveness from Allah, he will find Allah forgiving and merciful. (Surat An-Nisaa 4:110)
Everyone commits sin and does wrong, but Allah is always willing to forgive and He always gives them a chance to repent and seek His forgiveness. A believer should never forget the fact that Allah is so forgiving. If Allah had willed, He could have held everyone accountable for his or her sins, but He has decreed that He shall allow His servants to seek His forgiveness and that He shall in fact forgive who and what He wills. In fact, Allah commands that His servants seek His forgiveness:
And seek Allah’s forgiveness. Certainly, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
(Surat al-Muzzammil 73:20)
Repentance is an act, which purifies the soul and brings the servant closer to Allah. It puts the heart at rest from guilt. It protects one from falling prey to his desires and lusts and increases his faith.
We must ask ourselves this question: Would we be willing to forgive anyone who hurts us and disobeys us constantly as easily as Allah is Able to forgive? Most probably, the answer would be no. But our Creator is the Most Kind and He is the Most Perfect.
Lo! Allah is a Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind give not thanks. (Surat al-Baqarah 2:143)
In this Hadithi Qudsi, mankind is encouraged to seek Allah’s forgiveness and repent, but there are five conditions of repentance, which must be met for one’s repentance to be accepted. The first and most important is that the act of repentance be sincerely for Allah alone. Secondly, the person must feel remorse and guilt over his actions so much so that he wished he had never done it in the first place. The third condition is that the person must immediately cease performing the wrong and sinful act. Fourthly, the repentant person must have a firm intention to never commit the sin again. And lastly, the person must repent before it is too late, meaning before death approaches.
However, there is a condition. One must not associate any partners with Allah, which is shirk. And Allah does not forgive shirk and if one dies without believing in Allah alone as one’s Creator, then he will be doomed to the Hellfire for all of eternity. So, Allah emphasizes the importance of calling on Him alone. He has no and needs no partners, associates, wives, children, etc. There is no god, but Allah. None forgives sins except Him, so one who is seeking forgiveness should seek it only from Allah.
Allah’s forgiveness and mercy are far greater and vaster than the sins of the creation. One must always have trust and hope in Allah in both good times and bad times and especially when seeking Allah’s forgiveness. And the believer who calls out to his Lord for forgiveness demonstrates his true weakness and that he is totally dependent on the Creator.
When one confesses his sins to Allah and sincerely repents with hope in Allah’s mercy, the heart should come to peace and the soul should feel rest. When a person has hope, he has no reason to despair because it only leads to destruction. Allah gives hope to all, especially those who despair that there is no reason to despair because Allah is the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy. Allah praises those who repent and turn to Him:
And those who, when they commit a lewd act or wrong themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins, and who forgives sins except Allah? And they do not persist in what (wrong) they were doing while they knew it. For such, the reward is forgiveness from their Lord and Gardens with rivers flowing through, wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is the reward of the doers (of good)! (Surah Ali Imran 3:135-136)