“O My servants, you sin by day and by night, and I forgive all sins. Therefore seek forgiveness from Me and I will forgive you.”
As well as providing us with guidance, food and clothing, Allah (swt) provides us with another great bounty that is as important as all of these put together – the forgiveness of our sins.
It is a fact that mankind will commit sins. As Allah (swt) states in this hadith qudsi, we commit sins by day and by night, and we are therefore in need of Allah’s (swt) forgiveness. What distinguishes some sinners from others, is the admission of wrong in committing the sin, and seeking forgiveness from Allah (swt). Allah (swt) is the Forgiving and the Merciful, and we should never lose faith in His Mercy. If we sin, we should turn to Him and seek His forgiveness, and if we do this sincerely, He (swt) promises to forgive us. The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:
“All humans are sinners. And the best sinners are those who repent much.” (Recorded in Abu Dawood)
There are numerous stories in the Qur’an and Hadith of people who committed heinous crimes, but were forgiven when they repented and sought forgiveness from Allah (swt). Even those that commit shirk, the greatest sin of all, can be forgiven if they repent to Allah (swt). Sincere repentance wipes away sins, but it entails more than simply saying ‘Oh Allah forgive me’. Sincere repentance has a number of conditions, which are as follows:
1) The act of repentance must be done solely for the sake of Allah (swt). The person cannot repent for the sake of their reputation, or to be seen by others or get closer to them. Purity of intention is one of the preconditions for any deed to be accepted by Allah (swt) including the deed of repentance.
2) The repenting person must feel remorse for the sin that they have committed.
3) The repenting person must stop committing the sin, and try and make recompense if they have wronged anyone.
4) The repenting person must be determined not to commit the sin again.
5) The person must repent before it is too late. When the pangs of death arrive it is too late to repent.
SubhaanAllah, we don’t know when the pangs of death will overcome us, or even if we will have the time or ability to repent at that point. There are people who say, ‘I am young, I can sin now, and when I am older I will repent and be forgiven’. But we may not make it that far. Death could overcome us at any time, including whilst we are committing the sin. Imagine if your final act was one of disobedience to Allah (swt)…
But it is also one of the signs of the mercy of Allah (swt) that He created us to forget and to sin, so that we could turn to Him to ask forgiveness and therefore draw closer to Him. In fact the one who sincerely repents after a sin may end up being closer to Allah (swt) than they were before the sin was committed. We should therefore never despair of the mercy of Allah (swt). As Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:
“Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray. Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance.” (Surah Taha 121-122)
“O My servants, you will not be able to harm Me so as to bring any harm to Me and you will be able to benefit Me so as to bring any benefit to Me.”
Allah (swt) is not in need of any of His creation. He is self-sufficient and perfect. He (swt) is not in need of any assistant, spouse or son to assist Him (swt) or benefit Him in any way. There is nothing in creation that can either harm or benefit Him. Allah (swt) has said:
“And I [Allah] created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me [alone]. I seek not any provision from them not do I ask that they should feed Me. Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong” (Surah al-Dhaariyaat: 56)
All of the creation belongs to Allah (swt) and yet, He is not in need of any of it. Allah (swt) says:
“And to Allah belongs all that is in the earth. And verily, We have recommended to the people of the Scripture before you to to you [Muslims] that you (all) fear Allah. But of you disbelieve, then unto Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth. And Allah is Ever Rich [Free of all wants], Worthy of praise.” (Surah al-Nisaa:131)
Allah (swt) loves for His slaves to be pious and repent, but He (swt) is not in need of their repentance in any way, it is only for their own good. Similarily He (swt) hates for his slaves to disbelieve and commit sins, but He is not harmed by their actions in any way, they harm only themselves.
It is only out of Allah’s mercy, kindness and goodness to the creation that He (swt) loves what is beneficial for them and dislikes what is harmful for them. It is by His (swt) grace and mercy that He guides people to the Straight Path, while He does not benefit at all from that. SubhaanAllah, the mercy of Allah (swt) is all-encompassing. Let’s ask Him for His Mercy and Forgiveness and to keep us on His Straight Path. Ameen.