#22 – Making a Resolve to Change
Jan 3 – 9, 2022
Jumaadal Ula 30, 1443 – Jumaada Thaaniyah 6, 1443

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Making a Resolve to Change

What have Allah and His Messenger said about

Making a Resolve to Change

أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُوٓا۟ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ يَقْبَلُ ٱلتَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِۦ وَيَأْخُذُ ٱلصَّدَقَـٰتِ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ ٱلتَّوَّابُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ۝
Do they not know that it is Allah who accepts repentance from His servants and receives charities and that it is Allah who is the Accepting of Repentance, the Merciful?

Surah At-Tawbah (9) – Ayah 104
إِنَّمَا ٱلتَّوْبَةُ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ ٱلسُّوٓءَ بِجَهَـٰلَةٍ ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٍ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ يَتُوبُ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا۝
The repentance accepted by Allah is only for those who do wrong in ignorance [or carelessness] and then repent soon [after].1 It is those to whom Allah will turn in forgiveness, and Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.

Surah An-Nisa (4) – Ayah 17
وعن أبي سعيد سعد بن مالك بن سنان الخدري رضي الله عنه أن نبي الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ “‏ كان فيمن كان قبلكم رجل قتل تسعة وتسعين نفساً، فسأل عن أعلم أهل الأرض، فدل على راهب، فأتاه فقال‏:‏ إنه قتل تسعه وتسعين نفساً، فهل له من توبة‏؟‏ فقال‏:‏ لا، فقتله فكمل به مائةً، ثم سأل عن أعلم أهل الأرض، فدل على رجل عالم فقال‏:‏ إنه قتل مائة نفس فهل له من توبة‏؟‏ فقال‏:‏ نعم، ومن يحول بينه وبين التوبة‏؟‏ انطلق إلى أرض كذا وكذا، فإن بها أناساً يعبدون الله تعالى فاعبد الله معهم، ولا ترجع إلى أرضك فإنها أرض سوءٍ، فانطلق حتى إذا نصف الطريق أتاه الموت، فاختصمت فيه ملائكة الرحمة وملائكة العذاب‏.‏ فقالت ملائكة الرحمة‏:‏ جاء تائبا مقبلا بقلبه إلى الله تعالى، وقالت ملائكة العذاب‏:‏ إنه لم يعمل خيرا قط، فأتاهم ملك في صورة آدمي فجعلوه بينهم- أي حكماً- فقال‏:‏ قيسوا ما بين الأرضين فإلى أيتهما كان أدنى فهو له، فقاسوا فوجدوه أدنى إلى الأرض التي أراد، فقبضته ملائكة الرحمة‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏
Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

Prophet of Allah (ﷺ) said: “There was a man from among a nation before you who killed ninety-nine people and then made an inquiry about the most learned person on the earth. He was directed to a monk. He came to him and told him that he had killed ninety-nine people and asked him if there was any chance for his repentance to be accepted. He replied in the negative and the man killed him also completing one hundred. He then asked about the most learned man in the earth. He was directed to a scholar. He told him that he had killed one hundred people and asked him if there was any chance for his repentance to be accepted. He replied in the affirmative and asked, ‘Who stands between you and repentance? Go to such and such land; there (you will find) people devoted to prayer and worship of Allah, join them in worship, and do not come back to your land because it is an evil place.’ So he went away and hardly had he covered half the distance when death overtook him; and there was a dispute between the angels of mercy and the angels of torment. The angels of mercy pleaded, ‘This man has come with a repenting heart to Allah,’ and the angels of punishment argued, ‘He never did a virtuous deed in his life.’ Then there appeared another angel in the form of a human being and the contending angels agreed to make him arbiter between them. He said, ‘Measure the distance between the two lands. He will be considered belonging to the land to which he is nearer.’ They measured and found him closer to the land (land of piety) where he intended to go, and so the angels of mercy collected his soul”.

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Repentance from a Deliberate Sin

At this point, it should be noted that the Holy Qur’an has used the words “in ignorance” which apparently gives an impression that the repentance may be accepted when a sin is committed unintentionally and unknowingly. But if it is committed deliberately, it will not be acceptable. However, according to the explanation of this verse given by the noble Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, the word, “jahalah” (ignorance) here does not mean that a sinning person is not aware of a sin as sin, or has no intention or volition to commit a sin. Instead, it means that it was the insensitivity and heedlessness of a person towards the evil end of sin and its ultimate punishment which became the cause of his audacity to venture into sin, even though he knew a sin as sin, and had approached it with intention and volition as well.

In other words, the word, “jahalah” or ignorance used here is in the sense of carelessness or stupidity. This is supported by an evidence in Surah Yusuf. Sayyidna Yusuf (AS) had said to his brothers: (قَالَ هَلْ عَلِمْتُم مَّا فَعَلْتُم بِيُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ إِذْ أَنتُمْ جَـٰهِلُونَ). Here the brothers have been called, “jahilun”, the ignorant ones, although what they did was not the outcome of any error or forgetfulness but they had done that knowingly and with full deliberation. Yet, it is because of their heedlessness towards the evil end of their act that they have been called “jahil” (ignorant).

[Maarif ul Quran Vol-2 (pg 363 – 364), Maktabah Dar al Uloom, Translation by Prof. Muhammad Hasan Askari & Prof. Muhammad Shamim]
Don’t Despair!

Through this hadith, the Prophet (SAW) gives us many lessons; the first is that we should not despair from the mercy of Allah (SWT), and we should have hope that one day, we will also have the chance to make amends and we will make amends. The second thing we learn is that you have to do something to make up for what you have done. You cannot sit around and wish or wait for it. As long as you are sitting there wishing for it, nothing is going to happen. In this case, it was the influence of the environment this person had grown up in that had made him that way. He had to be ready to make the decision to make that place. Similarly, there will be times where we have to make the decision to leave our negative influences and those things that are having a negative impact on us, otherwise there is no path of correction for us. We also learn that, when a person makes the effort to get on the path of rectification, the mercy of Allah (SWT) will come, and Allah will go out of his way to make sure things happen in your favor. In this case, the earth shrunk and stretched in an arrangement for this person because they had taken the serious step to go out of his way to do whatever needed to be done. We learn from it the power of intention when it meets the power of action. You have to intend to do things to make them happen. If we are not intending to do them, we will not see results in our lives and we will not see the impacts of our wishes and aspirations or the little voice in our head that says, “I want to improve.” We will never see the effects of that. So, we should all have in our hearts and minds the desire to improve and the desire to do whatever it takes to please Allah (SWT). The second thing is that we need to bring from ourselves the power to make the decision to do whatever it takes to reform and do better. It will not simply happen by us sitting around; we need to take steps to ensure it happens.

[From a Lecture by Mufti Aasim Rashid, Motives and Intentions – Repentance]

Spiritual Reminders

Accepted Repentance
Abdullah bin Abbas RA narrates that Rasulullaah (SAW) sent a messenger with the invitation of lslam to Wahshi bin Harb who was responsible for killing Saidina Hamza RA (the uncle of Rasulullah SAW). The messenger returned with a message from Wahshi stating, “O Muhammad! How can you call me to Islam when you say that a murderer, a Mushrik and an adulterer shall meet with a grave punishment and this punishment will be multiplied for them on the Day of Qiyaamah where they shall remain disgraced in it forever. I have committed all of these crimes, so is there any scope for me?” Allah SWT then revealed the verse:

إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلًا صَـٰلِحًا فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ ٱللَّهُ سَيِّـَٔاتِهِمْ حَسَنَـٰتٍ ۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا
[The punishment of hellfire is for all murderers, Mushrikeen and adulterers) Except for those who (sincerely) repent, believe and perform good actions. For such people Allaah will convert their sins into good deeds. Allaah is Ever Most Forgiving, Most Merciful]
{Surah Furqaan, verse 70}

In reply to this verse, Wahshi said, “O Muhammad! The condition in this verse is uncompromising which states, ‘Except for those who (sincerely) repent, accept Iman and perform good actions.’ What if I do not have the opportunity to fulfill it?” Allah SWT then revealed the verse:

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِۦ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِٱللَّهِ فَقَدِ ٱفْتَرَىٰٓ إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا
Surely, Allah does not forgive that a partner is ascribed to Him, and He forgives anything short of that for whomsoever He wills. Whoever ascribes a partner to Allah commits a terrible sin.
{Surah Nisaa, verse 48}
To this, Wahshi replied, “This forgiveness depends on the will of Allah (SWT). I do not know whether I shall be forgiven or not. Is there any other scope for me?” Allah (SWT) then revealed the verse:

قُلْ يَـٰعِبَادِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا۟ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا۟ مِن رَّحْمَةِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلْغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
[Say (on My behalf), “O servants of Mine who have acted recklessly against their own selves, do not despair of Allah’s mercy. Surely, Allah will forgive all sins. Surely, He is the One who is the Most-Forgiving, the Very-Merciful.]
{Surah Zumar, verse 53} Upon hearing this, Wahshi said, ‘Yes, this is in order.” He then accepted Islam. other Muslims asked, “O Rasulullaah (SAW), We had also committed the sins that Wahshi committed (Does this verse apply to us as well?).” It was said to them, “It applies to all Muslims in general.”

[Narrated by Tabraani]

YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF

Sirah

The Virtue Of Turning back to Allah (SWT)
Harith b. Suwaid said: I went to see ‘Abdullah to inquire about his health as he was sick and he narrated to us a hadith of Allahs Messenger (may peace be upon him). He heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His believing servant than a person who loses his riding beast carrying food and drink. He sleeps (being disappointed of its recovery) and then gets up and goes in search for that, until he is stricken with thirst. then comes back to the place where he had been before and goes to sleep completely exhausted placing his head upon his hands waiting for death. And when he gets up, lot there is before him his riding beast and his provisions of food and drink. Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His servant than the recovery of this riding beast along with the provisions (of food and drink).
[Sahih Muslim]

The Prophet Muhammed (saw) has said: “Every son of Adam sins and the best of those who sin are those who repent.”
[Al-Tirmidhi, no. 2499]

‘Abdullah bin Busr said that: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Glad tidings to those who find a lot of seeking forgiveness in the record of their deeds.”
[Sunan Ibn Majah 3818]

Sunnah Acts

Repentance
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying: “By Allah, I seek Allah’s forgiveness and repent to Him more than seventy times a day.”

[Al-Bukhari]

Adhkar/Dua

Dua of Adam (AS)
رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَآ أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلْخَـٰسِرِينَ
Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and do not bless us with mercy, we shall, indeed, be among the losers.

[Surah Al-A’raf, Ayah 23]

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