While the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) was in Makkah for thirteen years, the verses that were revealed, during that time, mostly dealt with the iman and Islamic behavior of a Muslim and after that was set, Allah revealed laws and regulations, because then, they would be able to handle it and obey. So, the Sahaba, themselves, changed gradually and Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) spent thirteen years in Makkah perfecting their iman before he migrated to Madinah. So, even the beloved companions of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) changed step-by-step and not all at once. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, “If you were to put the acts of Abu Bakr on one side and the acts of my whole Ummah on the other side, the acts of Abu Bakr would outweigh the whole Ummah.” This is how strong the iman of this Sahabi was after so much devotion, time, and effort, and love he had for Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam).
Remember the story of the man who killed 99 men. For those who cannot recall or don’t know the story, a man had mercilessly killed 99 men. He, at a time in his life, started to feel remorse and guilt over what he had done. He went to a religious man and asked him if he could repent over what he had done and if he would be forgiven. The man told him, “No.” So, he killed him, and the total he had now murdered was 100 men. He then visited another religious preacher and this man told him, “Yes, you can repent, but you must go to this place.” So, the killer, set out on his trip to his destination. On the way, he died. The angels of mercy and the angels of punishment came at the same time to take the soul. The angels of mercy argued that he had a pure intention of repenting and would’ve done so and deserved to be forgiven, but the angels of punishment added that he had mercilessly killed 100 men! So, Allah sent a third angel to settle the dispute. This angel came up with a solution: Measure the distance from where the man set off from to his body and then measure the distance from his body to his destination. If he is closer to his destination, the angels of mercy will take his soul. If not, the soul will be in the hands of the angels of punishment. By the will and mercy of Allah, the man was only a few inches closer to his destination and, Alhumdulillah, the angels of mercy took his soul. Look at the great kindness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. He forgave a man, who had pitilessly killed one hundred men. Why? Because he had a firm, pure intention of asking for Allah’s forgiveness without despair and,
“Allah loves those who turn to Him.”
What more could one say to convince a person of how forgiving the Lord of Kindness, the King of all kinds, the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, truly is?
“Allah is Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind gives not thanks.”
(Suratul Baqarah 2:243)
If, by the will of Allah, we make the intention of changing ourselves, we must try to change gradually with the hope of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness. There will be times when it will seem like we will be astray forever, but this is a thought from Satan to discourage us, so always remember Allah’s mercy and how much He loves to forgive and never give up. For some, the change takes only months, for others it takes longer, but we can do it as long as we have confidence in ourselves as well as confidence and faith in Allah, our Creator. It can be done by following the guidance of Allah’s words and by the teachings and examples of His final Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam).
In conclusion, we must try our best to change ourselves from the level of the animals to the heights of the angels and we must be hopeful of Allah’s forgiveness, His kindness, His mercy, and His guidance. And we must help each other, as Muslim brothers and sisters, in reaching to become the highest of the high, Insha Allah.
May Allah bestow upon us His mercy and His forgiveness. May Allah give us the towfique to want to change, to repent, and to turn our hearts to Him. May He give us the towfique to shake off the Shayaateen that hold us back from taking His path, the path of success. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala give us the towfique to become such servants that strive for His pleasure in all that we do. Ameen.
Ash hadu alla ilaha illallahu wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa Rasooluh.
I declare that there is no God, but Allah, and that Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) is the servant and the final messenger of Allah.