REPENTANCE

When Adam was created, Satan spat on him out of arrogance and jealousy. The spit landed on Adam’s navel, which laid foundation for the inciting self (nafs). This is the reason Satan manipulates children of Adam and misleads them into committing sin whilst neglecting Allah’s gnosis.

WHAT IS SIN?

The literal translation of sin is mistake, fault or error. With regards to religion, sin includes all those actions that create disturbances in the society. For example, lying, jealousy, malpractice, malice, hatred, adultery, murder etc.
Remember, sin remains an obstacle between man and Allah for as long as he is rigid and does not repent. Repentance is the first and foremost source of liberating oneself from sin and achieving Divine closeness. Repenting with pure intention is in fact turning towards Allah and ultimately gaining His mercy and blessing. Hence, it may be stated that sin is a disease and repentance is its cure.

 

SIN LEADS TO SPIRITUAL DISEASES

  • Sinning leads to disgrace in the court of Allah and His Prophet.
  • Sin weakens the body and soul.
  • The inward becomes dark and cold which drives one away from Divine gnosis.
  • Addiction to sin leads to dishonour in this world as well as the hereafter.
  • Sin keeps the inciting desires awake
  • It decreases fortune, wealth and lifespan.
  • Sinning turns a peaceful life into a difficult one resulting in both physical and mental health
    problems.
    A true believer’s true happiness is only associated with achieving Divine vision and closeness. This is why he always fights against the desires of his inciting innerself. However, a sinner never achieves Divine vision unless he genuinely repents from within.

Allah says:
But whoever repents and believes and does good deeds, so these are the people whose evil deeds Allah will change into good ones. And Allah is Most Forgiving, Ever-Merciful.

Al Quran, (25: 70)

It was narrated from Abu ‘Ubadah bin ‘Abdullah that his father said:

“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

‘The one who repents from sin is like one who did not commit sin.’”

 

WHAT DOES REPENTANCE MEAN?

Shah Mohammad Zauqi says:
“To retreat towards perfection from imperfection (sin), turn to Allah and journey of turning is the first station. In the terminology of mysticism it is also called the door of the doors because all doors open after the opening of this door.”

(Sirr-e-Dilbaran)

Imam Ragheb Isfahani says:
“Repentance is the name of giving up sin, realising it’s evil, feeling remorse and a strong resolution
of not repeating the sin.”

(Tauba-o-Taqwa)

The most respectable person is he who is remorseful in front of Allah. He is the one who seeks His forgiveness for all his intentional or unintentional sins no matter how big or small they may be. Moreover, he is one who repents in a state of complete selflessness. He is the most deserving of Allah’s love and closeness. However, he who shows no remorse or guilt over his sins and is stubborn, only brings about dishonour and humiliation upon himself.

INCIDENT OF FORGIVENESS

The Prophet said:
The one who repents is Allah’s beloved, as though he had never committed the sin.

Abu Huraira narrates an incident where he offered the Isha prayer with the Prophet and then went outside. A woman on the way asked him, “I’ve committed a sin, can I seek Allah’s forgiveness?” He asked, “What (sin)?” She responded, “I got involved in adultery and had a baby which I killed.”

Abu Huraira replied, “You are devastated, there’s no forgiveness for you.”

The woman lost consciousness and fell down. Abu Huraira carried on. A few days later he started wondering whether he should have consulted the Prophet regarding this matter. So, he met with him and shared the entire incident. The Prophet said, “That was not right, have you not read this verse?

“And the people who do not worship any other god than Allah,

Al Quran, (25: 68)

“These are the people whose evil deeds Allah will change into good ones,”

Al-Quran, (25: 70)

Upon hearing this Abu Huraira went searching for this woman desperately. Due to this situation, kids started calling him crazy. Finally, when he found her, he recited that verse to her. The woman got so happy that she had a garden which she devoted in the name of Allah and His Messenger (Mukashifat-ul-Quloob)

ALLAH FORGIVES REPEATEDLY

As mentioned earlier, the inciting self is indeed Satan’s weapon that he uses to lead man astray. It is in fact Satan who makes man doubt Allah’s forgiveness even when he wants to repent. For instance, one could think that since he has committed sin after seeking Allah’s forgiveness so there’s no way Allah will forgive him again. Such thoughts are Satanic as they mislead man.

The Prophet said:
“If somebody commits a sin and then says, “O my Lord!  I have committed sin, please forgive me!” and his Lord says, “My slave knows that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for it, I therefore have forgiven my slave (his sins).” Then he refrains from committing any sin for a while but then again commits another sin and says, “O my Lord, I have committed another sin, please forgive me,”; and Allah says, “My slave knows that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for it, I therefore have forgiven my slave (his sin). Then he remains without committing any other sin for a while and then commits another sin (for the third time) and says, “O my Lord, I have committed another sin, please forgive me,”; and Allah says, “My slave knows that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for it. I therefore have forgiven My slave (his sin), he can do whatever he likes.” (Bukhari 7505)

Allah is Most Merciful

Allah is indeed the Most Merciful and the Most Beneficent. One who cries to Allah ashamed and remorseful, He forgives all his previous sins and blesses him with kindness.

Allah says:
“O son of Adam! As long as you prostrate before Me and remain hopeful I shall keep forgiving your sins without any worry. O son of Adam! If your sins reach the limit of the sky and you seek My forgiveness I shall forgive you without any worry. O son of Adam! If you bring a world full of sin to
Me and associate no partners with Me, I shall bring you a world full of forgiveness.” (Tauba o Taqwa)

“Say: ‘O servants of Mine who have wronged their souls, do not lose hope of Allah’s mercy and turn to your Lord in repentance and total submission and become thoroughly obedient to Him before the torment comes upon you. Then you will not be helped at all. (39: 53-54)

VIRTUES OF REPENTANCE

There’s an abundance of benefits of repentance in this world and hereafter. Some of them mentioned in Quran and Hadiths are as follows:
One who repents wholeheartedly, Allah has announced a place for him in Jannah.

“Except the one who repents and believes and persists in righteous works; they will enter Paradise and will not be wronged in the least.” (19: 60)

“And that you should seek forgiveness from your Lord, then repent before Him (with true inward). He will keep you glad and gratified with an excellent provision till an appointed term, and will reward for merit everyone enjoying merit” with “and will bestow favour on everyone who merits favour.” (11: 3)

It was narrated from Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“When the believer commits a sin, a black spot appears on his inward. If he repents and gives up that sin and seeks
forgiveness, his inward will be polished.” (Ibn Majah 4244)

It was narrated from 'Abdullah bin Abbas that the Messenger of Allah said: ;Whoever persists in asking for forgiveness, Allah will grant him relief from every worry, and a way out from every hardship, and will grant him provision from (sources) he could never imagine." (Ibn Majah 3819)

Al-Ghawth al-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani says:
Repentance is the best of states and the perfect case a man can be in. It is because it is a way of admitting sin and guilt. Repentance is a trait passed on to man from Adam. (Fatooh al Ghaib)

Repentance is source of enlightenment of the inward and purification of the soul. Sins pollute a peaceful and calm life. Repentance is the only solution to all human worries and calamity that results in a harmonious life.
Therefore, it is clear that repentance will remove all inward and outward impurities, leading man to Divine gnosis.

TYPES OF REPENTANCE

Ali ibn abi Talib says:
“It is astonishing if the man who possesses power yet gets destructed.” He was asked what power he was referring to. He replied, “Remorse and repentance.”

(Tawba o Taqwa)

Al-Ghawth al-Azam states:

There are two categories of repentance: physical and spiritual. Physical repentance is when someone directs all his physical faculties from disobedience towards obedience. Spiritual repentance is when someone turns towards the purification of the inward.

Physical repentance includes abstaining from sins committed with physical organs such as the eye, tongue, ear, hand or foot. However, if spiritual repentance isn’t there, physical too is pointless. It is because feeling guilty on the inside and seeking forgiveness means accepting Allah’s greatness and
mercy hence presenting yourself in His court pleading for mercy.

Allah says:
O believers! Turn towards Allah’s presence in perfect and most sincere repentance. (66: 8)

REPENTANCE SHOULD BE FROM WITHIN

Shah Mohammad Zauqi states in his writing Sirr e Dilbaran:
Seeking forgiveness merely with the tongue with inner negligence is not enough to open doors of mercy.
The determination to not repeat the sin ever again, such repentance and commitment is called Taubatan Nasuha.

He further states:
The guilt, that makes one feel ashamed from within is called repentance. Hence, committing minor sins but moving forward in the path of Allah believing He will forgive since He’s the most Merciful, is called repentance.

The repentance which results in such remorse that comes from greatness and exaltation is called "Auba", or such penitence in which the inner self repents and returns to Allah acknowledging His Greatness or exaltation.

Al-Ghawth al-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani states:
As long as you do not repent on the inside truthfully and sincerely from your inward, your outer self is not trustworthy. (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani, Malfoozat e Ghausia)

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE DEVOID OF FORGIVENESS?

Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says the following people will not be forgiven:

  1. One who calls another Muslim an infidel.
  2. One who misleads another walking the true path.
  3. One who intentionally commits sin.

A person who knowingly goes against the Holy Prophet and the Fakirs and misleads people, is disgraceful and damned by Allah and His Prophet. Such a person will not receive Divine Mercy.

Allah says:

“Allah (as a result of their own choice) has set a seal on their inwards and their ears. There is a blindfold (set) over their eyes. There is a severe torment for them.” (2:7)

  • Forgiveness sought from a negligent inward also is not accepted.
  • A person who dies without having faith also shall not be forgiven.
  • Someone who commits sin out of his grudge with Allah would not be forgiven.
  • Al-Agharr al-Muzani reported that Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said: O people! Turn in repentance towards Allah and ask His forgiveness. I turn towards Him a hundred times a day. (Muslim 6859)

In his inspirational conversation “Ar Risala tul Ghausia” Al Ghauth Al Azam mentions:

  • Allah said to me “O Ghawth al-Azam! Neither anyone is distanced from Me because of their sins nor is someone close to Me due to their submission. O Ghawth al-Azam! If there is someone close to Me, they are amongst the humble repenting ones. O Ghawth al-Azam! Humbleness is the source of Divine Light whilst egotism and pride are the springhead of sin and darkness. (Ar Risala Tul Ghausia)

Being regretful of one’s sins and turning towards Allah through repentance leads the soul to Divine gnosis. However, this kind of modesty is only gained under the guidance of a perfect spiritual guide. This is because on the path of gnosis, Satan and evil are the looters.

 

Role of Spiritual Guide in Inward Enlightenment

The innerself is redeemed and becomes truthful only when it is purged. For that, it is completely crucial to look for the perfect spiritual guide. Physical forms of worship cannot lead to purgation of the innerself nor can it keep one in the constant state of true repentance. If that was the case, after the Prophet, Allah would not ask Tabi’un to sit in the company of the Companions of the Prophet (for purification of soul) or Tiba Tabi’un to sit with the Tabi’un. Nor would Allah have sent any Fakirs so on for the guidance of humankind.

Allah says:
Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (pbuh) and those (men of truth) who hold command amongst you.

Al Quran, (4: 59)

In this verse, “those who hold command” does not refer to political leaders, ill-intentioned scholars or the elite of the society.

Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says:

“Those who hold command” refers to a truthful man who is designated as the deputy of the Holy Prophet. Since following him would mean following Allah and His Prophet, instead of the worldly leaders. (Shams-ul-Fuqra)

In today’s world, sanctifying one’s soul and gaining gnosis through Tauba tan Nasuh is only possible with the Divine vision and company of the perfect spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen and through the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat.

Khirad kay paas khabar kay siwa kuch aur nahi
Tera elaj nazar kay siwa kuch aur nahi

Explanation: The mind can give you nothing except news. Your cure is only the attention of the perfect spiritual guide.

Everyone is invited to visit Khanqah Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen to benefit from the blessed company of the perfect spiritual guide, gain gnosis and reach levels of Divine closeness to please Allah before the final judgment. That is in fact the key to everlasting success.

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