PRACTICING SELF CONTROL:
One can stay away from sins by practicing self control. We can practice self control using that the prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) taught us. For example, we are asked to stem anger by reciting A’udhu Billahi min ash-shaytaan-i’r rajeem (I seek refuge in Allah against the accursed Satan), whenever we get angry and are about to do or say something in a fit of anger. Sins pertaining to fulfillment of desires in the haraam, forbidden way, require self control as well. This should be accompanied with supplications to Allah, as we constantly need His help to strengthen ourselves. To help us in such situations where self control needs to be brought forth, we should think of the rewards that Allah Most Merciful has promised those who exercise patience and restrain themselves from reacting with anger or in any negative manner. Those rewards should not be lost!
WEEPING OUT OF FEAR OF ALLAH:
Anas bin Malik (RadhiAllahu Anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) delivered a Khutbah to us the like of which I had never heard from him before. In the course of the Khutbah, he said:
“If you knew what I know, you would laugh little and weep much”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Abu Hurairah (RadhiAllahu Anhu) reported: Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said,
“One who weeps out of fear of Allah, will not enter Hell till milk returns back in the udder…”
Other acts that can help the sinner in getting Allah’s Forgiveness:
● Supplication upon hearing the Athaan: Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas, (RadhiAllahu Anhu), narrated that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said,
“He who says upon hearing the person calling the Athaan,
‘I also bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah alone without a partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and messenger. I accept Allah as a Lord, Muhammad as a messenger, and Islam as a religion’ – all his previous sins will be forgiven.”
● Saying ‘Ameen’:
Abu Hurayrah(RadhiAllahu Anhu) narrated that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said,
“When the Imaam says ‘Ameen’, say ‘Ameen’, because he who coincides with the angels when saying Ameen will get all his previous sins forgiven.”
[Al-Bukhaari & Muslim].
● Praying two rak’aah of salaah attentively The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said,
“He who performs ablution properly, then prays any two rak’aah (of salaah) without being heedless, will get all his previous sins forgiven.”
● Gathering in circles of people mentioning Allah: Sahl ibn Hanthalah (RadhiAllahu Anhu) narrated that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said,
“It is never that a group of people gather to mention Allah, but they will be told upon leaving the circle (after finishing): ‘Your sins have been forgiven.’”
● Being patient in Sickness (accepting it gracefully, without complaints):
Aa’ishah (RadhiAllahu Anha), narrated that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said,
“Whenever a believer becomes sick, he will be purified from his sins, just as fire purifies steel.”
Let us remember that Prophet Adam (alaihi salam) was misled by Satan into disobeying Allah. However, he regretted it considerably and repented very sincerely. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) showed His Mercy and revealed the words for seeking forgiveness from Him.
“Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If Thou forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.” (Al-A’raf; 7:23) and Allah forgave him.
“……. And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful.”
SELECT DUAS ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS:
Both the Quran and Hadith provide us with many Duas that one can use to ask for Allah’s forgiveness. Some of them are stated below:
One should recite Astaghfirullah‘ constantly. This includes saying it 3 times after every salat and a minimum of 100 times a day as was reported in Sahih Muslim
“I seek forgiveness from Allah”
“My Rubb! Forgive me and pardon me. Indeed, You are the Oft-Returning with compassion and Ever Merciful.”
[Reported in Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].
“O Allah! Forgive my sins, my ignorance, my intemperance in
my affairs and all that I am not aware of but You know. O Allah!
Forgive my play and my seriousness. Forgive my sins, be they undeliberate or deliberate, for all ofwhich I am responsible.”
[Source: Sahih Al-Bukhari # 6398]
“O Allah, You are my Lord, there is no God but You. You have created me, and I amYour slave. I try my best to keep my covenant (faith) with You and to live in the hope of Your promise. I seek refuge in You from the evil I have done. I acknowledge Your favors upon me, and I admit my sins. Please, forgive me, for none forgives sins but YOU.”
[Source: Sahih Al-Bukhari # 6306]
“Subhan Allahi wa bihamdihi; Astaghfirullaha wa atubu ilaihi -Allah is free from imperfection, and I begin with praising Him. I beg forgiveness from Allah and I turn to Him in repentance.”
Reported by Aishah (RadhiAllahu Anha) that prior to his death, the Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) used to supplicate this dua frequently. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].