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Newsletter for October 2014
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Repentance could be defined as a feeling of being ashamed, sorry and regretful for past sins. Oral admission of sins is not sufficient for a pure and sincere repentance.
Following three ingredients are required for repentance:
1. He must be disgusted by heart for his past sins and his “self” should have a feeling of shame, regret, and sorrow.
2. He must make a firm decision not to indulge in sinning in future.
3. If, because of indulgence in to a particular sin, he has done something, which could be compensated, then he must take a firm decision for its compensation. For example: If he owes money to people, usurped property or stolen money, he must return it to the owner at the first available opportunity. In case he is not in a position to pay at present, he should try to get the owner’s consent or satisfaction through what ever means available at his disposal to pay in future.
If a Muslim commits sin, he should not be disappointed from Allah’s Blessings because, the path of spiritual migration, self refinement, and ascent towards Almighty Allah (s.w.t.) remains for ever open and is never closed except where Allah expressly declines acceptance.
1. When the faithful come to you, say to them, “Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed for Himself to be All-Merciful. Any one of you who commits a sin out of ignorance, then repents, reforms himself, will find that Allah is All-Forgiving and All-Merciful. (6:54)
2. Allah will only accept the repentance of those who commit evil in ignorance, if they repent immediately. Allah is All-Knowing and All-Wise. (4:17)
3. To those who commit sins in their ignorance then repent and reform, your Lord is certainly All-Forgiving and All-Merciful. (16:119)
4. It is He who accepts the repentance of His servants, forgives their evil deeds, and knows all about what you do. (42:25)
5. ….Allah loves those who repent and those who purify themselves. (2:222)
Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.): A person recited the sentence: “I seek God’s forgiveness” in the presence of Imam Ali (a.s.). He said: “May your mother lament for you, do you know what repentance is? The repentance can be defined with the following six parameters:
1. Feeling ashamed and regretful for the past sins.
2. Taking firm decision for avoidance of sins for ever.
3. Paying all the dues of the people so that when he meets All-Mighty Allah on the Resurrection Day, he does not have any pending claims against him.
4. All the religious obligations (Wajibat) which have not been performed in the past should be discharged as make up (Qadha) obligations.
5. Should feel so sad about his past sins that all the bodily flesh formed as a result of eating forbidden (Haram) should be melted in a manner that skin should touch the bare bones until the new flesh is reformed again.
6. The inconvenience and hardship of worshiping should be imposed upon the body as a compensation for the pleasures it feasted because of past sins. Only after performing all the above, you may recite the sentence “I seek forgiveness from Allah.
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.) said: "After repenting, a person becomes like someone who has never sinned, and the one who is continue sinning while reciting the phrase of repentance on his tongue is like someone who ridicules himself.
The happiness of All-Mighty Allah from seeing a sinner repenting is much more than the joy of a lone traveler who finds his missing animal together with the provisions of journey in a dark night."
Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (a.s.) said: “Delaying repentance is a sort of arrogance and deceit; continuation of delay results in confusion and astonishment; excuses in front of Allmighty Allah (s.w.t.) is total destruction and persistence in sinning is due to feeling secured against Divine punishment and except the people who are losers no one else feels secure against it.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) used to offer repentance seventy times a day, while he was infallible.
When a servant of Allah offers a pure and firm repentance, All-Mighty Allah loves him and deletes all his past sins. The narrator asked: ‘O Son of Prophet! How are the sins deleted? He replied: " The two angels responsible for writing his deeds forget about his sins, simultaneously, All-Mighty Allah orders his bodily parts, limbs and different places on earth to cancel his sins from their register of deeds. Thus, he meets All-Mighty Allah (s.w.t.) in a manner whereby nobody and nothing is a witness to his sins.
Apart from classification of sins into Major or Greater Sins and Minor Sins, the sins may be broadly divided it to two types; Moral Sins and Practical Sins.
Moral Sins are: Hypocrisy, wrath, arrogance, egotism, harshness, oppression, deceit and treachery, back-biting, accusation, criticizing, fault-finding, slander, breach of promise, lying, love of world, greed, stinginess, rejecting parents’ rights, cutting family ties, ungratefulness, extravagance, jealousy, vilification, cursing, and other obscene characteristics.
Practical Sins are: adultery, stealing, homosexuality, giving and receiving interest, usurping of public property, cheating, breach of trust, drinking alcoholic beverages, eating pork and other forbidden meats, gambling, false testimony, accusing innocent person of adultery, refraining from offering mandatory prayers and fasting, refraining from Hajj pilgrimage, refraining from “Amre Bilmaruf and Nahi Anil Munkar”
In response to Prophet Adam’s prayers for the humanity in the face of long life of Shaitaan to distract people, Allah (s.w.t.) in His Divine Mercy had promised following:
1. If a man intends to commit sin, nothing will be recorded in his Deed Sheet. But if he commits that sin then it will be recorded.
2. If a man intends to do good deed, it will be recorded right away. If he performs that good deed, it will be multiplied ten times.
3. If a man sincerely repents for his sins before the time of death, Allah (s.w.t.) will forgive him.
As no one knows when his death will arrive, hence it is recommended by our Sacred Imams to repent as soon as possible.
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