Repentance of a servant satisfies God

By: Imam Lavdrim Hamja – Kenosha, November 4, 2011

O Allah, we only thank You for Your abundant kindness which You have bestowed upon us. We thank You constantly for leaving the door of repentance open for us day and night. All thanks belong to You, the Lord of universe, which you have brought the Quran saying: “Has not the time yet arrived for the believers, which their hearts, in all humility, should engage in the remembrance of Allah and of the truth which has been made known to them.” (Al-Hadid: 16)

Peace and blessings be upon our beloved Messenger, the Prophet of mercy, Muhammad (a.s) which he told us that: “Every child of Adam is a sinner, but the best among them, are those who repent.” (Adman, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Hakimi…) and “The one who repents from his sins is as if he has not committed a sin.” (Hadish Hasen)

Peace and blessings be upon Prophet Family, upon his companions and upon all of those who pursue his path until the Day of Judgment.

Mistake is a human quality and there has not been, nor there is and there will never be a person without a mistake, except elected people from God, His messengers which He with His Majesty and Wisdom protected them from any errors or sins, in a manner that people may follow their best examples in their lives from the Messengers.

For this human quality no one should despair nor should have a great concern, because Allah (xh.sh) has created us in such a condition, in a manner that the servant after a mistake to have the option to repent and Allah to forgive his mistakes.

The Prophet (a.s) has told us very clearly saying:

وأخرج مسلم وغيره أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال { والذي نفسي بيده لو لم تذنبوا لذهب الله بكم ولجاء بقوم يذنبون ويستغفرون الله فيغفر لهم

 “By Him who my soul is in His hands, if it were that you hadn’t made any mistakes, Allah would have made you vanish and He would have brought different people, who make mistakes, repent and ask forgiveness from God and He forgives them.” (Muslim)

God Almighty has told us through His words in the Quran that a mistake is not a sin, because He Himself have put this quality to men and does not take a person to account for something which is unavoidable. But, a sin is it a person continues in a path of mistakes and shows to be convicted, hardheaded, and arrogant without an effort to seek repentance for his or her mistakes.

This matter is seen clearly in the Quran through the examples of Prophet Adam (a.s) and the rejected Satan.

Adam (a.s) made a mistake breaking God’s covenant and ate from the forbidden tree, but he repented, asked God’s forgiveness and He forgave him while Satan made the mistake, broke God’s covenant not prostrating to Adam, he was arrogant indeed, haughty, heedless and did not repent for his mistake nor did he ask for forgiveness, that is why Allah removed him from His mercy rejecting him forever.

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ أَبَىٰ وَاسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿٣٤﴾وَقُلْنَا يَا آدَمُ اسْكُنْ أَنتَ وَزَوْجُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَكُلَا مِنْهَا رَغَدًا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا وَلَا تَقْرَبَا هَـٰذِهِ الشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُونَا مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿٣٥﴾فَتَلَقَّىٰ آدَمُ مِن رَّبِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿٣٧﴾

 “And (remember) when We said to the angles: “Bow down to Adam.” And they bowed down, except Satan, he refused and was haughty he was of those who rejected faith. And we said: “O Adam! You and your wife live in the Garden, and eat of the plentiful things in there whatever you want; but do not approach this tree, or you will run into harm and transgression.” Then Adam received the words of inspiration, from his Lord, and God forgave him, for He is one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.” (Bekare: 34-35, 37)

While the Satan rejected and didn’t comply, he found rejection and the curse of God in both worlds.

فَسَجَدَ الْمَلَائِكَةُ كُلُّهُمْ أَجْمَعُونَ ﴿٣٠﴾إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ أَبَىٰ أَن يَكُونَ مَعَ السَّاجِدِينَ ﴿٣١﴾ قَالَ يَا إِبْلِيسُ مَا لَكَ أَلَّا تَكُونَ مَعَ السَّاجِدِينَ ﴿٣٢﴾قَالَ لَمْ أَكُن لِّأَسْجُدَ لِبَشَرٍ خَلَقْتَهُ مِن صَلْصَالٍ مِّنْ حَمَإٍ مَّسْنُونٍ ﴿٣٣﴾قَالَ فَاخْرُجْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّكَ رَجِيمٌ ﴿٣٤﴾وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ اللَّعْنَةَ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ ﴿٣٥﴾

 “So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together; except Iblis (Satan). He refused to be amongst who prostrated themselves. O Iblis! What is the reason for not being from those who prostrated themselves?” (Iblis) said: I am not one to prostrate myself to a man whom you created from sanding clay.” “Then you get out from here; for verily, you are an outside and cursed. And surely: The curse shall be on you until the Day of Judgment.” (Hijr: 31-35)

Respected brothers and sisters, we are currently in some particular days of abundance, in which the mercy and goodness of God are endless, specifically for those servants, which return towards their Creator while seeking forgiveness and repent to Him. This is greatest thing, which satisfies and makes God happy. The Prophet (a.s) tells us that:

وفي الصحيحين وغيرهما عن عبد الله رضي الله عنه قال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول { لله أفرح بتوبة عبده المؤمن من رجل نزل في أرض دوية مهلكة معه راحلته عليها طعامه وشرابه فوضع رأسه فنام فاستيقظ وقد ذهبت راحلته فطلبها حتى إذا اشتد عليه الحر والعطش أو ما شاء الله ، قال أرجع إلى مكاني الذي كنت فيه فأنام حتى أموت ، فوضع رأسه على ساعده ليموت فاستيقظ فإذا راحلته عنده عليها زاده وشرابه ، فالله أشد فرحا بتوبة العبد المؤمن من هذا براحلته.

 “Allah is happy more for the repentance of his servant than that of a person, which he happens to be in a deserted land with his animal, of which on that he has food and water. He lays down to sleep and when he gets up he sees that the animal has gone. He looks endurably until his thirst becomes unbearable from the extensive heat, or until God decides. He says to himself: I will return to the place where I was initially and I will sleep there until I die. He puts his dead down, laying there to die, he wakes up and in front of him he see his animal with food and water. Allah is happiest with the one who repents than this person for his animal.” (Buhariu, Muslim etc.)

And the purpose of believer in this world is to make God happy with good deeds and good manners as we have seen that God is happy when His servants returns to Him, repents with sincerity while saying: O my God, forgive me my sins that I made and accept me in your everlasting mercy.

The Prophet (a.s), even though Allah had rendered him free from all mistakes, knowing that the Prophet (a.s) was free from any mistakes, but he again and again asked Allah for forgiveness and would repent to Allah 100 times a day. But us, people of today, which we make mistakes at every moment, day and night, how many times should we ask for forgiveness and to repent?

Is it enough 4 to 5 times a day, after each prayer to ask for forgiveness and to repent, while Rasulullah asked Allah for forgiveness 100 times a day. He, who knew the value and the importance of forgiveness and repentance he turned to the people saying:

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَسَلَّمَ : « يَا أَيُهَا النَّاسُ تُوبُوا إِلى اللهِ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ ، فَإِنِّي أَتُوبُ في الْيَوْمِ مَائَةَ مَرَّةٍ.أخرجه مسلم

 “O you people, repent to Allah and ask for His forgiveness, because I repent 100 times per day.” (Muslim)

In another hadith the Prophet (a.s) has said:

وَعَنْ أَبي هُرَيرةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ : سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ : « وَاللهِ إِنِّي لَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيهِ في الْيَوْمِ أَكْثَرَ مِنْ سَبْعِينَ مَرَّةً . أخرجه البخاري

 “By Allah, I ask Allah’s forgiveness and repent to Him, more than 70 times a day.” (Buhari)

Seeking forgiveness and repentance has been the road or the path of every messenger, while being an example to mankind they taught them if they wanted to be saved they must pursue and walk in this path, they were humble in front of their Creator and they were not haughty and arrogant.

Through the history of Prophets in the Quran we learn that the reason of punishment and the distraction of the earlier peoples was the lack of asking forgiveness and repentance, while the seeking of forgiveness and repentance have been a reason for goodness and abundance and global power. God Almighty tells us as how the prophet Hud addressed his people saying:

وَيَا قَوْمِ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَارًا وَيَزِدْكُمْ قُوَّةً إِلَىٰ قُوَّتِكُمْ وَلَا تَتَوَلَّوْا مُجْرِمِينَ ﴿٥٢﴾

 “O my people! Ask forgiveness from your Lord and turn to Him in repentance. He will send you the skies pouring plentiful rain and add strength to your strength: So you do not turn back (from Him) as criminals.” (Hud: 52)

Brother and sisters, we know that Allah is quick in account and a precise Judge and nothing can be hidden from Him from our lives and if He were to punish His servants according to their mistakes He would have made all of us disappear, because there isn’t a single person in the world who does not make a mistake, but Allah is Merciful, Compassionate, of which our Prophet (a.s) has told us that He accepts His servants forgiveness and repentance in every moment at any time, day and night. Listen what the Resulullah tells us:

وَعَنْ أَبي مُوسَى عبدِ اللهِ بن قَيسٍ الأَشْعَرِيِّ رَضِيَّ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ : « إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالى يَبْسُطُ يَدَهُ بِاللَّيْلِ لِيَتُوبَ مُسِيءُ النَّهَارِ وَيَبْسِطُ يَدَهُ في النَّهَارِ لِيَتُوبَ مُسِيءُ اللَّيْلِ ، حَتَّى تَطْلِعُ الشَّمْسُ مِنْ مَغْرِبِهَا  .أخرجه مسلم

 “Allah extends His hand at night to accept the repentance of a sinner of the day and extends His hand at day to accept the repentance of the sinner of the night. Continues like this until the sun rises from the west (until the Day of Destruction comes).” (Muslim)

Allah Almighty has promised to His servants that, not only He accepts their repentance, but He in turn loves them and changes their bad deeds into good deeds.

{إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ} [البقرة:43

 “Indeed Allah loves those who repent and those who are clean.” (Bekare: 43)

{إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلاً صَالِحاً فَأُوْلَئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً} [الفرقان: 70

 “Unless he repents, believes, and does rightful acts, because Allah will change the evil of such persons into good deeds, and Allah is often Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Furkan: 70)

While the hadith which I’ll read now, it is not to say to open the door for people to do evil, but to give them hope, all of us and all people, which are burdened with mistakes (sins), that Allah is Merciful and He forgives His servants every time who asks for forgiveness and repents. Listen carefully to this hadith:

وأخرج البخاري ومسلم عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أنه سمع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول { إن عبدا أصاب ذنبا فقال يا رب إني أذنبت ذنبا فاغفره لي ، فقال له ربه : علم عبدي أن له ربا يغفر الذنب ويأخذ به فغفر له . ثم مكث ما شاء الله ثم أصاب ذنبا آخر وربما قال ثم أذنب ذنبا آخر فقال يا رب إني أذنبت ذنبا آخر فاغفره لي ، قال ربه : علم عبدي أن له ربا يغفر الذنب ويأخذ به فغفر له . ثم مكث ما شاء الله ثم أصاب ذنبا آخر وربما قال ثم أذنب ذنبا آخر فقال يا رب إني أذنبت ذنبا فاغفره لي ، فقال ربه : علم عبدي أن له ربا يغفر الذنب ويأخذ به فقال ربه : غفرت لعبدي فليعمل ما شاء }

 “A man committed a sin and said: O my God, I have committed a sin, forgive me. God said to him: My servant knew that there is only One God, which He forgives sins, but also punishes for it. God forgave him.

Then some time passed, again that person committed another sin and said: O my God, I have committed a sin, forgive me. God said to him: My servant knew that there is only One God, which He forgives sins, but also punishes for it. God forgave him.

Then some time passed, again that person committed another sin and said: O my God, I have committed a sin, forgive me. God said to him: My servant knew that there is only One God, which He forgives sins, but also punishes for it. I have forgiven my servant; therefore let him do whatever he wishes.” (Buhariu, Muslim)

This hadith tells us that when a person asks for forgiveness from his sins and repents with sincerity, Allah forgives his servant for any mistake which he may commit.

Brothers and sisters we are in the days of abundant mercy, where millions of people throughout the world have answered the call of Allah going to Qaba to perform the duty of Hajj. Specifically tomorrow, the day of Arafat Allah Almighty is proud for His servants to His angels for the pilgrims. But, this goodness and great forgiveness can be upon every Muslim, which decides that tomorrow, the day of Arafat to fast. The Prophet (a.s) has said:

رواه مسلم عن أبي قتادة، عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : « صيام يوم عرفة أحتسب على الله أن يكفر السنة التي قبله والتي بعده ».

 “Fasting of the day of Arafat, I hope to Allah that He will forgive the sins of last year and the coming year.” (Muslim)

Also, don’t forget that this Eid is the Eid of Sacrifice, where every muslim which has means, and I believe that each one of us who are here has means, should sacrifice an animal or send the same value of sacrifice (Udhiya-Qurban) to be performed somewhere else, where the poor muslims have the need for it. Therefore, do not delay this thing, but hastily perform this duty.

May Allah give you an abundant goodness and may He reward you with His goodness in both worlds. Amin

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