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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Tackling ‘The Lazy Syndrome’ in Ramadan

Lazy-in-Ramadan

The ’Lazy Muslim Syndrome’ is commonly experienced in Ramadan by those who fast, and unless there is proactive planning and continuous improvement of one’s self, Ramadan could fly by, not cherished like it should be. Like a typical disease, the syndrome can be avoided through precautionary care and combated through active treatment. This implies that you should proactively prepare for Ramadan and correct your shortcomings during the month, insha’Allah. We’ll be discussing ways to identify and deal with the signs and symptoms of the ’Lazy Muslim Syndrome.’

Identify What Makes You Lazy

You will only be able to treat a disease when you know what causes it and laziness in Ramadan is caused by factors that are often overlooked. Some causes of laziness are Shaytan’s whispers, hunger, over-eating, irregular sleep, lack of physical exercise, and a deficit in spiritual commitment. People who want to sleep in a bit longer compromise suhoor. Most people complain of insufficient sleep during Ramadan. This is because they stay up too late, following their usual routine of watching television, or pursuing another leisure activity.

Irregular sleep is the biggest contributor to laziness that one experiences throughout the day. In order to cover up, the person is found sleeping whenever he gets the chance, or spinning with dizziness when he doesn’t. A general practice is that people reduce their physical exercise. It feels as if they’ve labelled themselves “fragile.” They explain that if they move around too much they would run out of energy or feel hungry or thirsty. Also, the missing element of “commitment” to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) invites the “Lazy Syndrome.” When a person does not strongly feel the love for his Creator, he fasts as if he’s merely starving himself or skipping lunch, and Ramadan becomes very boring for him.

Be Proactive

Fortunately, there are ways that can help you eliminate laziness in order to truly benefit from Ramadan. Being proactive for Ramadan means that you actively start a planning process before the blessed month arrives. At this stage, you schedule your Ramadan activities and identify the possible factors that can meddle with your sincere intentions of pleasing Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). You may ask what time, what number of days, before Ramadan should this phase begin? It is the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessing be upon him) to fast in Sha’baan, the month that precedes Ramadan, in particular, the first half (Al-Bukhari, Muslim). This is the ideal time to plan ahead.

Revise the Importance of Ramadan

When you are aware of your purpose, and have strong pure intentions, you can act productively without succumbing to laziness. Ramadan is an opportunity to show our love, obedience, and commitment to Allah. Second, it is a golden opportunity for self-development whereby you learn self-control, consciousness of Allah Ta’ala (a loose definition of taqwa). We can pray Sunnah and Optional prayers without food and water during the day; this shows us of our potential to perform these prayers during the year when we have nourishment. We can abstain from the usually halaal (food, water), so we surely also then have the ability to abstain from the haram. Ramadan is a training camp, Ramadan is a time to recognize your potential and live up to it, Ramadan is a time for change and improvement (though this is not restricted to the month of Ramadan).

The first 10 days of Ramadan present an opportunity to seek His Mercy, the 2nd calls for seeking repentance for all misdeeds, and the 3rd allows you to seek protection from the torment of Hellfire. You should look up the hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and the verses of the Noble Quran to understand the importance and the beauty of Ramadan – a treasure for the Muslims.

Plan for Quran Recitation

Reading the Quran and understanding its meaning is spiritually uplifting and mentally engaging, therefore it helps to combat laziness. It is a guide, a mercy, and a healing for us. You should plan for reading the Quran, improving your tajweed (pronounciation), and understanding the Tafsir (exegesis) throughout Ramadan. This connects you directly to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), increases your eman, and commits you entirely towards your purpose of pleasing Him (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala).

Prepare for Laylatul Qadr

Since Laylatul Qadr is hidden in the odd nights of the last ten nights, it is advisable that you pray and observe Qiyamul Layl (standing in prayer and engaging in His remembrance) on all odd nights. Napping shortly but effectively during the day can help you achieve maximum productivity. You should also research prayers and supplications that help you maximize your efforts during the great Night of Power.

Exercise

In addition to prayers, supplications, and Quran recitation, which will make you spiritually productive, creative involvement also keeps away the “Lazy Syndrome.” Brisk walking during early morning hours, after Suhoor, refreshes the mind and keeps you physically active throughout the day. This would be a good time to listen to a lecture or to do dhikr.

Suhoor and Iftaar Menus

Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) provides abundant sustenance for us during Ramadan. Suhoor shouldn’t be rushed and the menu should be nourishing instead of unhealthy fast food which will make you feel lethargic. You shouldn’t eat too little, so you feel hungry in a few hours, and you shouldn’t eat excessively either, it contributes to laziness. Iftaar should be planned like a nourishing celebratory meal at the end of the day when you’ve successfully completed your fast; but again, eat in moderation as over-eating will make you feel sleepy and lazy.

Conclusively, if you productively plan your Ramadan and take special care of the vital elements of nourishment, exercise, and spiritual bonding with Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), you will reap great benefits. You can always monitor your performance by keeping a checklist, make your own Ramadan planner, and recognizing when you’re becoming lazy and work to rectify it. May you all have a happy, beneficial, and accepted Ramadan!

Author : Anum Ali

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Dhikr after Salaah and before Sleeping

Bis-millahir-rahmanir-raheem.
As’salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatu,

My question is concerning dhikhr after every fard salat. I have read hadith that state recite “Allahu Akbar”, “Al-hamdulillah” and “SubhanAllah” 33 times each. I was informed that it only a total of 30 times after each compulsory(Allahu Akbar, Al-Hamdulillah and SubhanAllah 10 times each). Which, if either, is the correct method for this particuliar dhikr? Also, it has been related to me that you perform the same before you go to sleep except you recite “Allahu Akbar” 34 times which will total one hundred.
What is the reward recorded on your behalf for this action? Finally, what is the proper method for performing dhikr on the right hand ? Do you start with the thumb going down and left to right? Which joints to you count on? Your reply would be greatly appreciated, insha’Allah. Jazakullahkhair

Praise be to Allaah

The dhikr after salaah referred to in the question has been reported in a hadeeth reported by Abu Hurayrah from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever glorifies Allaah (says Subhaan Allaah) thirty-three times immediately after each prayer, and praises Allaah (says Al-hamdu Lillaah) thirty-three times, and magnifies Allaah (says Allaahu akbar) thirty-three times, this makes ninety-nine, then to complete one hundred says Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer (There is no god except Allaah Alone, with no partner, His is the power and His is the praise, and He is Able to do all things) – his sins will be forgiven even if they are like the foam of the sea.” (Reported by Muslim, 939).

A number of different descriptions of the dhikr after salaah have been narrated, an example of which has been referred to in the question. The evidence for this is the hadeeth of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘There are two qualities, no Muslim man acquires them but he will enter Paradise, and they are simple and easy. He should glorify Allaah (say Subhaan Allaah) ten times immediately after each prayer, and praise Him (say Al-hamdu Lillaah) ten times and magnify Him (say Allaahu akbar) ten times.’ I saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) counting this on his fingers. He said: ‘That makes one hundred and fifty on the tongue, and one thousand five hundred (hasanaat) in the scales. [Translator’s note: each of three phrases repeated ten times makes thirty; multiplied by the number of daily prayers, which is five, makes one hundred and fifty. Each of these good deeds of the tongue will be rewarded with ten hasanaat which will be added to the total of good deeds to be weighed in the balance or scales on the Day of Judgement]. When you go to bed, glorify Him and praise Him and magnify Him one hundred times: that will be one hundred on the tongue and a thousand in the scales. Who among you does two thousand and five hundred sayi’aat (bad deeds) in one day?’ They said: ‘How could we not count (our sins)?’ He said: ‘The Shaytaan comes to any one of you whilst he is praying and says, Remember this, remember that, until he finishes his prayer and does not do (this dhikr), or he comes to him when he is lying down and makes him sleepy, until he falls asleep (without doing this dhikr).’” (Abu ‘Eesaa said: This is a hasan saheeh hadeeth. Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 3332).

Among the adhkaar that may be recited before going to sleep, as referred to in the question, is that reported in the hadeeth of ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said that Faatimah (upon whom be peace) came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and asked him for a servant. He said, “Shall I not tell you of something that is better for you than that? When you go to sleep, say ‘Subhaan Allaah’ thirty-three times, ‘Al-hamdu Lillah’ thirty-three times, and ‘Allaahu akbar’ thirty four times.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 4943).

As regards counting this tasbeeh, the Sunnah is to use the fingers of the right hand, although it is permitted to use the left hand. The evidence that the right hand is preferable was reported by Abu Dawood (may Allaah have mercy on him), who said: “ ‘Ubayd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar ibn Maysarah and Muhammad ibn Qudaamah, among others, told us: ‘Aththaam told us from al-A’mash from ‘Ataa’ ibn al-Saa’ib from his father from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr who said: ‘I saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) counting the tasbeeh.’ Ibn Qudaamah said: ‘With his right hand.’” (Sunan Abi Dawood, Kitaab al-Salaat, Baab al-Tasbeeh bi’l-hasaa).

It was said in Haashiyat al-Tahtaawi: “It is correct that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to count the tasbeeh on his right hand. It was reported that he said: ‘Count with your finger tips, for they will be asked and they will be made to speak.’ Ibn Hijr said: Counting the tasbeeh with the fingertips is better than using the subhah (prayer-beads or “rosary”).

The sunnah is to count with the fingertips by putting them on the palm of the hand. As to precisely which finger of the right hand one should start with, I have no specific information on this.

And Allaah knows best.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Drinking Thinking that Dawn had Not Yet Come

Ramadan_Kareem Greeting Cards 2012_4 :: taken from Topislamicwallpapers.com

Drinking Thinking that Dawn had Not Yet Come

Q: I was sleeping and I did not hear the adhaan of Fajr, and the alarm clock was running slow. After I had drunk a cup of water the iqaamah for prayer was given. What should I do? Please advise me, may Allaah reward you.

Praise be to Allaah.

The correct scholarly view is that whoever eats thinking that Fajr (dawn) has not yet come, then finds out that it had in fact come, does not have to do anything, because he was unaware of the time, so he is excused.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

If a fasting person eats or drinks anything that breaks the fast out of ignorance, then his fast is still valid, whether he was unaware of the time, or unaware of the ruling, such as a man who gets up at the end of the night, and thinks that dawn has not yet come, so he eats and drinks, then he finds out that dawn had in fact come – his fast is still valid because he was unaware of the time. An example of one who is not aware of the ruling is a fasting person who has cupping done and does not know that cupping invalidates the fast, so we say to him: your fast is still valid. The evidence for that is the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):

“Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Mawlaa (Patron, Supporter and Protector) and give us victory over the disbelieving people”

[al-Baqarah 2:286]

That is the evidence from the Qur’aan.

The evidence from the Sunnah is the hadeeth of Asma’ bint Abi Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with her) which was narrated by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh. She said: “We broke our fast on a cloudy day at the time of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then the sun came out.” That meant that they had broken their fast during the day, but they did not realize, because they thought that the sun had set. But the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not tell them to make up that day; if it had been obligatory to make it up he would have told them to do so. And if he had told them to do that it would have been transmitted to us.

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 19.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

 The 7th Day,Ramadan 2012

Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere, Who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return”:-They are those on whom (Descend) blessings from Allah, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance. (Surat al-Baqara, 155-157)

“How amazing is the affair of the believer! Everything which happens is good for him. And that is for no one except the believer. When he encounters good times and ease, he gives thanks and that is good for him and if he encounters hardship he is steadfast and that is good for him.” (Muslim)


When Something Troubles You, Think Immedıately About The Troubles Muslims Face In The World.

You Will Better Understand How The Things You Think Of As ‘Great Problems’ Are In Fact Just Irrelevant And Minor Details…

The billions of people in the world all lead different lives. Not one person’s life resembles that of another. Yet when they encounter problems or troubles, each one thinks that he has ‘the worst troubles in the world.’

Sometimes, people who fail an exam, who cannot buy an article of clothing they want, who had a bad hair day, who cannot lose weight or who have to work alongside someone they dislike, imagine that they are facing serious troubles. In the same way, people who take offense at something someone says, who fall out with their best friend, who imagine they have been treated unfairly, who are suspicious of someone else or who imagine they are not loved or respected sufficiently also say, in their words, that ‘their lives are falling apart.’ They go on about the matter for days on end, telling everyone how wronged they are, how difficult things are for them and how much they are suffering.

However it is perfectly clear that none of these things are actual ‘troubles’. Actually nothing people face can be considered as ‘trouble.’ What is more, even if these people were to encounter far graver difficulties than the present ones, their lives would still not ‘fall apart.’ They might face a serious health issue, major surgery, or have crippling debts, or be unemployed or work under difficult conditions or have family problems. But none of these could be a reason for them to see themselves as ‘the most troubled person in the world.’

First and foremost, nothing in this world is a ‘trouble’ for someone who knows the moral values of the Qur’an. There are just events created by Allah, events created with wisdom. There are tests created by Allah to judge that person’s faith, trust in and devotion to Allah and that person’s moral virtues. In one verse Allah mentions: “We test you with both good and evil as a trial. And you will be returned to Us. (Surat al-Anbiya, 35)

In addition, thinking about what is happening to Muslims all across the world will be instrumental in someone, who imagines that he is facing a huge problem because of something that has happened to him, realizing that his troubles are in fact quite mundane and can easily be resolved. He will more quickly realize that, compared with the oppression and troubles facing Muslims in East Turkestan, Palestine, the Crimea, Kirkuk, Moro and many other parts of the world, the worries preoccupying him are quite trivial.

The conflict, strife, oppression and cruelty that have been going on for decades in Islamic lands have cost the lives of thousands of innocent Muslims, crippled tens of thousands and forced millions more from their homes. The majority have also been detained for their beliefs and ideas. Young girls, children and old people are subjected to terrible oppression in East Turkestan, just because they are Muslims. People are ruthlessly executed and tortured for no reason. People who attend mosques have their salaries cut and Muslims are denied permission to perform religious observances. With the massacres taking place after 1965, over the last 60 years, 35 million Uighur Muslims have been subjected to genocide. In East Turkestan, in July last year, 796 MUSLIMS were executed and martyred without even being able to offer a legal defense. These people were even denied funeral rites. During those same days when the streets were full of bodies, 10,000 MUSLIMS DISAPPEARED IN A SINGLE NIGHT AND 100,000 OF OUR UIGHUR MUSLIM SISTERS WERE TAKEN FROM THEIR HOMES BY FORCE. These sisters of ours are forced into illicit relationships under the threat of death. The fate of the 10,000 Muslims who disappeared overnight is still unknown. There is a strong likelihood that these innocent people have been martyred. China has never accounted for the fate and whereabouts of these 10,000 Uighur Muslims and our 100,000 Uighur sisters.

A Muslim will always think along those lines, even if he is tested with the most difficult conditions or if he enjoys countless blessings. He will think about the blessings he is given and thank Allah. Even if he is in East Turkestan, or Palestine, or subjected to persecution, oppression and torture, he will still give thanks to Allah. He will always be content with Allah and the things he faces, because Allah gave him reason, faith and conscience, allowed him to know and love our Lord, and gave him the means with which to seek His approval.

That is because whatever form of test Allah ordains for any person is always the best for them. And Allah will definitely reward those who have patience in their moral virtues, in this world and in the Hereafter, insha’Allah.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

 The 6th Day,Ramadan 2012

He Who responds to the oppressed when they call on Him and removes their distress, and has appointed you as successors (khalif) on the earth. Is there another Allah besides Allah? How little you pay heed! (Surat an-Naml, 62)

A Muslim is a Muslim’s brother; he does not wrong him or abandons him. If anyone cares for his brother’s need, Allah will care for his need; if anyone removes his brother’s anxiety, Allah will remove from him one of the anxieties of the Day of Resurrection. (Al-Bukhari, Muslim)

Being Self-Sacrificing Is Most Rewarding Both In This World And The Hereafter

Among the people of ignorance sacrifice is perceived as a kind of “imprudence.” According to these people a person is “smart” to the extent of his ability of watching for his interests. According to their flawed rationale, a person employs his wisdom in the best way possible if he is able to use people around him for his own interests, get advantage of their means while he provides minimum advantages to them in return.

Surely these people simply err in their thinking. For people who have no faith in the Hereafter providing benefits to another person, providing ease and comfort to him; furthermore doing all these by making concession from his own interests may be perceived as “imprudence.” But a faithful person who believes in the Hereafter and does all these to earn Allah’s good pleasure is the smartest person of the world.

Allah grants an average lifetime of 60-70 years to people. People who use this time in the best way possible are the “smartest” people in the true sense of the word. However “using this time in the best way possible” does not mean  reaping the most benefits. On the contrary, it means making the most self-sacrifice. What is important here is to do all these only to earn Allah’s good pleasure.

Indeed also in the societies of ignorance there are some people who simply disregard their own comfort and interests and make an all-out effort to make others happy, to provide them better conditions and make them more comfortable. However the goal of these people is not to earn Allah’s good pleasure. They simply consider each one of these people as an investment. Sooner or later these people expect something in return from these people and it is this “expectation” that gives them the energy to make self-sacrifice. When they buy a gift to a friend they expect at least a similar one from that person. If they offer a meal to their neighbor, they soon expect him to do the same to him. Even if they cannot get what they expect, making friends with them is also an important interest for these people. They believe that there will surely be a day when all these investments will yield their benefits. Furthermore they even consider the good they do to their own children as an investment to the years when they will grow old. They assume that the effort and opportunities they provide for a better education or career will add more comfort to their life in their old years. This is the sole belief that motivates them. Believers, on the other hand, derive their power for making self-sacrifice from their love of Allah, the profound awe and respect they feel towards our Creator. The will to be more loved by Allah makes believers to be enthusiastic about being self-sacrificing during 24 hours. Even at difficult moments when they feel physically exhausted or weak, they try to find an opportunity to be more self-sacrificing. Even if there may be other people who can make that sacrifice, they “race to the good.” In the absence of any valid reason, they consider leaving such an opportunity to another person as a loss.

Self-sacrifice of a believer is an obvious sign that he loves Allah more than his own lower-self, body, possessions, life and everything he has in material and spiritual terms. Without a moment of thinking, such a person has the might to sacrifice anything he has to earn Allah’s love. He has submitted his soul, possessions, life and everything he has to Allah. In the Qur’an Allah gives the good news to believers who display such moral perfection and reminds that only by this means can “great salvation and bliss” be attained:

Say: ‘My salat (regular prayer) and my rites, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds. (Surat al-Anam, 162)

Allah has bought from the believers theirselves and their wealth in return for the Garden… It is a promise binding on Him in the Torah, the Gospel and the Qur’an and Who is truer to his contract than Allah? Rejoice then in the bargain you have made. That is the great victory. (Surat at-Tawba, 111)

Religious Prohibitions Gain Acceptance

Today, although such harmful activities as prostitution, alcohol consumption, usury, and bribery are unlawful or religiously forbidden in many lands, more and more people are indulging in them. Even more, some those who engage in them are praised and encouraged, whereas those who do not are disparaged and belittled. Lifestyles that know no bounds, that care nothing for what the scriptures allow and forbid, and that regard all forms of excess as permissible have spread far and wide during the last few decades. The hadiths describe this dark age, a herald of the Mahdi’s coming, as follows:

Strife will be seen, and more will follow. Such a level of strife will come that the first will spur the last to clashes of swords, and after this there will be such strife that what is forbidden is regarded as lawful. Then the caliphate will come to the Mahdi, the most auspicious individual on Earth, while he is sitting at home. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi, p. 26)

The Mahdi will not emerge until unbelief invades everywhere and is openly committed in public. What rules in such times is… the invasion by unbelief. That is its power. (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, 2:259)

The Mahdi will emerge after the appearance of such vile corruption, whereby all prohibitions are regarded as lawful. (al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 23)

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

 The 5th Day,Ramadan 2012

He Who responds to the oppressed when they call on Him and removes their distress, and has appointed you as successors (khalif) on the earth. Is there another Allah besides Allah? How little you pay heed! (Surat an-Naml, 62)

The Prophet (saas) said: ‘The religion (of Islam) is easy. No one ever made it difficult without it becoming too much for him. So avoid extremes and strike a balance, do the best you can and be cheerful, and seek Allah’s help (through prayer) in the morning, and evening, and part of the night.’ (Sahih Bukhari)

While Praying To Allah For A Blessing, One Must Also Ask Him For The Moral Values With Which To Appreciate It

While reading the Qur’an, we see that the willingness to ask for forgiveness is a natural and unfailing attribute of the believers. On that account, we understand that believers never see themselves as beings purified of all sins and faults. On the contrary, they continually seek refuge in Allah’s mercy. In the following verse, turning to Allah in repentance is regarded as one of the important attributes of a believer:

Those that turn to Allah in repentance; that serve Him, and praise Him; that fast in devotion to the cause of Allah; that bow down and prostrate themselves in prayer; that enjoin good and forbid evil; and observe the limit set by Allah, shall be richly rewarded. Proclaim the glad tidings to the believers. (Surat at-Tawba, 112)

The distinction between and inter-relatedness of the concepts of repentance and forgiveness should be carefully considered.

Asking for forgiveness of Allah is a regular aspect of worship for believers. Man can ask forgiveness of Allah all day long for all his sins, whether deliberately or unintentionally committed. Moreover, as well as asking for forgiveness for oneself, one can also do it for other believers, as stated in the Qur’an. In Arabic, the word for “asking for forgiveness’ is “istigfar” which is “asking for Allah’s attribute of Gafur.

(Gafur (G-F-R), in Arabic, means to “cover, protect, hide totally, recover.”)

Thus, asking for forgiveness of Allah is like pledging to purify oneself and hence seeking refuge in the mercy and grace of Allah. In the Qur’an the believers pray saying, “Our Lord! Forgive us our sins, remove from us our iniquities, and take to Yourself our souls in the company of the righteous.” (Surah Al’Imran, 193). The judgment of Allah regarding this is as below:

I am with you: if you (but) say your prayers regularly, practice regular charity, believe in My messengers, honor and assist them, and loan to Allah a beautiful loan, indeed I will rid you of your evils, and admit you to gardens with rivers flowing beneath; but if any of you, after this, denies Me, he will truly have wandered from the path of rectitude. (Surat al-Ma’ida, 12)

As mentioned above, praying for forgiveness of Allah may be both for sins, committed intentionally or unintentionally, as well as for the sins of other believers. This is the most important distinction between asking for forgiveness and repentance. Although praying for forgiveness is a regular prayer of the believers, repentance is the steadfast attitude taken towards a particular sin or fault, or the giving of a firm decision not to turn to that sin again.

Repentance is seeking refuge in Allah for one’s sin, promising not to commit that sin again and, to this end asking the guidance and help of Allah. The exact meaning of repentance is “to turn back”. Thus, repentance expresses an absolute commitment not to commit any particular sin again.

The intention behind repentance is not to repeat the same sin. Allah enjoins the faithful thus: “O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance, in the hope that your Lord will remove from you your ills and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow…” (Surat at-Tahrim, 8)

However, this is not to say that a believer repents for a sin or fault only once. He may repent on one occasion, and then, in a moment of weakness, repeat the same sin. However, the mercy of Allah never ceases to encompass him. This is why he can still repent to Allah and seek refuge in Him.

Still, there is one kind of repentance Allah will not accept: the insincere repentance offered when death comes to a man. This is actually the moment a man meets the angels of death. Of this the Qur’an says:

Allah accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them Allah will turn in mercy: for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom. Of no avail is the repentance of those who continue to do evil, until death faces one of them, and he says, “Now I have indeed; repented indeed” nor of those who die rejecting Faith: for them We have prepared a most grievous punishment. (Surat an-Nisa, 17-18)

Since repentance is essential to the eternal salvation of man, one should well be aware of its importance and observe this form of worship to the best of one’s ability. Allah even forgives unbelievers and hypocrites who fought against Him and His Messenger, if they turn back to Allah with sincere and true repentance.

Asking forgiveness of Allah and repenting one’s sins serve as pure expressions of being a sincere servant to Allah. In the Qur’an it is mentioned that praying for forgiveness and expressing repentance are ways to eternal salvation:

If it were not for Allah’s grace and mercy to you, and that Allah is Forgiving and full of Wisdom, (you would indeed be ruined). (Surat al-Nur, 10)

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