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

Allah loves gentleness in all things

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

Islam is mercy for the entire creation

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

Should I Confess ?

I want to Repent but …

A person may sorrowfully ask: “I want to repent, but do I have to go and confess the sins I have committed? Is it a condition of repentance that I should tell the qaadi (judge) in the court about everything that I have done, and ask him to carry out the appropriate punishment on me? What is the meaning of the story I have just read about the repentance of Maa’iz, of the Ghaamidi woman and of the man who kissed a woman in the garden?”

My response to you is that the slave’s direct relationship with Allaah, with no intermediaries, is one of the most important aspects of the belief in Tawheed (Divine Unity) with which Allaah is pleased. He says (interpretation of the meaning): “And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor)…” [al-Baqarah 2:186]. If we believe that repentance is only for Allaah, then confession is only for Allaah too. In fact, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray in his du’aa’s asking for forgiveness: “Aboo’u laka bi na’matika wa aboo’u bi dhanbi (I acknowledge Your blessings and I acknowledge (i.e. confess) my sin to You).” This is a confession to Allaah.

We are not, by the grace of Allaah, like the Christians, with the priest, the chair of confession, the documents of forgiveness, etc.

Indeed, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Know they not that Allaah accepts repentance from His slaves…?” [al-Tawbah 9:104], i.e., He accepts repentance from His slaves without any mediator or intercessor.

As regards the carrying out of punishments, if the deed has not come to the official attention of the imaam, ruler or qaadi, a person does not have to go to them and confess. If Allaah has covered the sins of a person, there is nothing wrong with him covering his own sins. It is sufficient for him to repent to Allaah, and the matter is between him and his Lord. One of the Names of Allaah is al-Sitteer, meaning the One Who covers or conceals (the faults of His slaves), and He likes His slaves to conceal sins too. As far as the Sahaabah such as Maa’iz, the Ghaamidi woman who committed zinaa, and the man who kissed the woman in the garden are concerned, all of them did something which they were not obliged to do, may Allaah be pleased with them, because they were so keen to purify themselves. The evidence for this is the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) turned away from Maa’iz and from the Ghaamidi woman at first. When ‘Umar said to the man who had kissed the woman in the garden, “Allaah covered his sin. He should have covered it himself?” the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) remained silent, indicating that he concurred with these words.

So it is not necessary to go to the court and register an official confession, if Allaah has covered one’s sins. Nor is it necessary to go to the imaam of a mosque and ask him to carry out the appropriate punishment, or to ask a friend to carry out the punishment of lashing inside the house, as some people imagine.

The following story will teach you how important it is to be careful of the attitude of some ignorant people towards those who repent: a man who wanted to repent went to the ignorant imaam of a mosque, confessed his sins to him and asked him what he should do. The imaam said, “Go to the court and confess your sins officially. They will carry out the appropriate punishment on you. Then we will see what to do next.” The poor man saw that he would not be able to do this, so he forgot about repenting and went back to his old ways.

Here I will take the opportunity to add an important comment: knowing about the rules of Islam, and seeking them from the correct sources is a trust. Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings):

 “… so ask of those who know the Scripture, if you know not.” [al-Nahl 16:43]

“… The Most Beneficent! Ask Him, as He is al-Khabeer (the All-Knower of everything).” [al-Furqaan 25:59]

Not every preacher is qualified to issue fataawaa (rulings or edicts). Not every imaam or muezzin, speaker or storyteller, is qualified to deliver rulings to the people. But the Muslim is responsible for knowing from where he can take rulings. This is an important matter of religion. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) feared what might befall his ummah at the hands of misguided imaams. One of the salaf (early generation of Islam) said: “Knowledge is religion, so pay attention to who it is you are taking your religion from.” Beware of these pitfalls, and only consult trustworthy scholars when you are in doubt about an issue. And Allaah is the source of help.

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

My sins haunt me

I want to Repent but …

You might say: “I committed many sins, and I have repented, but my sins pursue me and I am haunted by what I have done. My memories disturb my sleep and do not let me have any rest. How can I free myself?”

My advice to you is that these feelings are evidence of your sincere repentance. This is essentially remorse, and remorse is repentance. But you can look at your past with hope: the hope that Allaah will forgive you. Do not despair of the mercy of Allaah, for He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And who despairs of the Mercy of his Lord except those who are astray?” [al-Hijr 15:56]

Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The gravest of major sins are to associate partners with Allaah, to feel secure against the plan of Allaah and to despair of the mercy of Allaah. (Reported by ‘Abd al-Razzaaq and classed as saheeh by al-Haythami and Ibn Katheer).

In the process of moving towards Allaah, the believer is always motivated by both fear of Allaah and hope of His mercy. One or other of them may prevail at times of need. If he sins, the fear of Allaah overwhelms him, and so he repents. When he repents, the hope of Allaah’s mercy fills his heart and he seeks the forgiveness of Allaah.

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

They threaten me

I want to Repent but …

You may say: “I want to repent but my old friends are threatening to reveal my past and publish my secrets to everyone. They have pictures and other papers they can use against me. I am worried about my reputation, and I am scared!”

Our advice is: fight back against these friends of Shaytaan. The tricks of Shaytaan are weak, and all the pressure that the helpers of Iblees may bring against you will soon crumble in the face of the patience and perseverance of the true believer.

You should realize that if you try to placate them, this will only give them more evidence to use against you, and you will be the loser sooner or later. Do not pay any heed to them, ask Allaah to help you to deal with them and say: “Hasbi Allaah wa ni’m al-wakeel (Allaah is Sufficient for me and He is the Best Disposer of affairs).” When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was afraid of a people, he would say: “Allaahumma innaa naj’aluka fi nuhoorihim wa na’oodhu bika min shuroorihim (O Allaah, we ask You to seize them by their throats and we seek refuge with You from their evil).” (Reported by Ahmad and Abu Dawood; see also Saheeh al-Jaami, 4582).

It is true that this is a difficult situation. Take the poor girl who has repented, but her former boyfriend calls her on the phone and threatens her by saying: “I have recorded our conversations and I have pictures of you. If you refuse to go out with me I will disgrace you in front of your family.” She is certainly in an unenviable position.

Look at the way in which the friends of Shaytaan wage psychological war on those singers and actors, male and female, who have repented. They distribute the worst of their former productions in the marketplace, to put pressure on them. But Allaah is with those who fear Him and those who repent. He is the Friend and Supporter of the believers. He will not abandon or forsake them. Never has anyone sought His protection and been refused. Remember that with hardship there is ease, and after every difficulty comes relief.

The following moving story offers clear testimony in support of what we are saying. This is the story of the great and heroic Sahaabi Marthad ibn Abi Marthad al-Ghanawi, who used to help oppressed Muslims flee from Makkah to Madeenah in secret.

There was a man called Marthad ibn Abi Marthad, who used to smuggle Muslim prisoners-of-war from Makkah to Madeenah. There was a prostitute in Makkah, called ‘Anaaq, who had been a friend of Marthad’s. Marthad had promised to take one of the prisoners from Makkah to Madeenah. He said: “I came to the shade of one of the gardens of Makkah on a moonlit night, then ‘Anaaq came and saw my shadow by the garden. When she reached me, she recognized me and said: ‘Marthad?’ I said, ‘Marthad.’ She said: ‘Welcome! Come and stay with us tonight.’ I said, ‘O ‘Anaaq, Allaah has forbidden zinaa (unlawful sexual relations)’ She called out, ‘O people of the camp! This man is taking your prisoners away!’ Eight men came after me, and I climbed al-Khandamah (a mountain outside one of the entrances to Makkah) and hid in a cave. They came and stood right over me, but Allaah blinded them and they did not see me, so they turned back. I came back to my companion (the prisoner he was planning to take to Madeenah) and picked him up, and he was a heavy man. When we reached al-Udhkhar, I released him from his chains. Then I carried him again and I found the journey difficult. When I reached Madeenah, I came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and asked him, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, should I marry ‘Anaaq?’ I asked him twice. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) remained silent and did not answer me at all, until the aayah ‘Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry any but a woman similarly guilty, or an Unbeliever; nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman; to the Believers such a thing is forbidden’ [al-Noor 24:3 – Yusuf ‘Ali’s translation] was revealed. Then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘O Marthad, Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry any but a woman similarly guilty, or an Unbeliever; nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman, so do not marry her.’”

(Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 3/80).

Do you see how Allaah protects those who believe and how He is with those who do good?

But if the worst comes to the worst, and the thing you fear happens – they broadcast bad things about you – what you need to do is to be honest and explain your situation to others. Tell them, “Yes, I was a sinner, but now I have repented to Allaah, so what do you want?”

We should all remember that true disgrace will occur not in this world, but in the Hereafter, on the Day of Judgement, the Day of the Greatest Humiliation, not in front of one or two hundred people, not in front of one or two thousand, but in front of the whole of creation, angels, jinn and mankind, all the people from Adam to the last man.

Let us remember the du’aa’ of Ibraaheem:


“And disgrace me not on the Day when (all the creatures) will be resurrected;

The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail,

Except him who brings to Allaah a clean heart”

[al-Shu’araa’ 26:87-89 – interpretation of the meaning]

At moments of distress, seek help with the du’aa’ of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):

Allaahumma ustar ‘awraatanaa wa aamin raw’aatanaa. Allaahumma aj’al tha’ranaa ‘ala man zalamananaa wa’nsurnaa ‘ala man baghiya ‘alaynaa. Allaahumma la tushammit binaa’l-a’daa’ wa laa’l-haasideen (O Allaah, cover our faults and calm our fears safe. O Allaah, avenge us over those who have oppressed us, and grant us victory over those who have wronged us. O Allaah, do not cause our enemies or those who envy us to take malicious joy in our misfortune).”

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

Evil people pursue me

I want to Repent but …

You might say, “I want to repent, but evil friends are pursuing me wherever I go. As soon as they learn of any change I have made, they launch an attack against me, and I feel too weak to resist them. What can I do?”

Our answer is: bear this with patience, for this is how Allaah tests His sincere slaves, so that He may distinguish the truthful from the liars, the good from the evil.

As you have taken the first step on the Straight Path, stand firm and persevere. These people are the devils of men and jinn, who will conspire with one another to turn you away from this path. Pay no heed to them. At the beginning, they will tell you that this is just a passing fancy, a temporary crisis that will not last. Strangely enough, such people have been known to say of friends who were setting out on the road of repentance, “What evil he has fallen into!”

One of these evil people, when her former boyfriend put the phone down on her because he had repented and wanted nothing more to do with this sin, called him back a few days later to say, “Maybe the evil insinuations have stopped now!”

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):


“Say: I seek refuge with (Allaah) the Lord of mankind,

The King of mankind,

The ilaah (God) of mankind,

From the evil of the whisperer (devil who whispers evil in the hearts of men) who withdraws (from his whispering in one’s heart after one remembers Allaah),

Who whispers in the breasts of mankind,

Of jinns and men.”

[al-Naas 114:1-6]

Is your Lord more deserving of obedience, or these people who call to evil?

You should know that they will pursue you wherever you go and will use every means at their disposal to try to bring you back to the way of sin. One young man told me that he had had a girlfriend who, after he repented, used to tell her driver to follow him, and she would call to him from the window of her car whilst he was on his way to the mosque!

But Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):


“Allaah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world (i.e., they will keep on worshipping Allaah alone and none else) and in the Hereafter.” [Ibraaheem 14:27]

They will try to remind you of the past and make your past sins appear attractive, by means of reminders, earnest pleas, pictures, letters… Do not pay any attention to them. Be on your guard against the ways in which they will try to tempt you. Remember the story of Ka’b ibn Maalik, one of the great Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded all his Companions to cut off ties with Ka’b because he had stayed behind and had not joined the expedition to Tabook. This boycott was to last until Allaah decided concerning him. The kaafir king of Ghassaan sent a letter to Ka’b, in which he said: “We hear that your master has treated you badly. Allaah has not put you in a house of humiliation and loss, so come to us and we will provide for you.” The kaafir wanted to win over the Muslim so that he would leave Madeenah and be lost in the land of kufr. How did this great Sahaabi react to this? Ka’b said: “When I read it, I said, ‘This is also a test,’ and I threw it in the oven and burned it.”

This is how the Muslim, male or female, should deal with everything that is sent by bad people: burn it to ashes, and whilst you are burning it, remember the Fire of Hell.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):


“So be patient. Verily, the Promise of Allaah is true, and let not those who have no certainty of faith, discourage you from conveying Allaah’s message” [al-Room 30:60]

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