The 5th Day,Ramadan 2012
Posted July 25, 2012on:
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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