Repentance is the action or process of turning from sin/mistakes and the dedication of self to the amendment/corrections of one’s life.
Likewise, Repentance is not just a one-time apology; it’s a change of heart, lifestyle and a commitment to obey Allah.
Through sin, man turns away from Allah and by repentance he turns from sin and returns to the path of Allah.
Hence, Repentance is a means by which man may strive to purify himself and return to his original sinless state of the fitrah.
By the Mercy and Grace of Almighty Allah, the act of repentance is itself an act of worship through which man may earn his own salvation as Allah commands all believers in (Q24 vs 31) to repent so as to become successful.
Anas ibn Malik reported that, The Prophet (S.A.W said “All of Adam’s descendants constantly err, but the best of those who constantly err are those who constantly repent”.
In another narration reported by Abu Ayyoub and Abu Huraira quoted that The Prophet (S.A.W) said, “If you did not commit sins, Allah would sweep you out of existence and replace you by another people who would commit sins, ask Allah’s forgiveness and He would forgive them”.
Allah is pleased when a sinner turns to Him in repentance because He created man with a natural tendency to err in order that he would repent and be forgiven by Allah in His infinite Mercy.
Hence, when man turns to Allah in repentance, he is fulfilling Allah’s wish as well as a part of the reason for his creation. Repentance then becomes an act of righteousness and worship greatly pleasing to Allah.
Shaikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “Repentance is not only from committing sins, as many ignorant people think; they cannot see repentance except only from committing evil immoral deeds. Rather, repenting from abandoning performing necessary righteous deeds, is more important than repenting from committing prohibited evil actions.”
Consequently, the first man and first Prophet of Allah, Adam along with his wife Hawaa (Eve) set the example to all mankind with regard to human failing, its solution and the magnificence (magnanimity) of Allah’s Grace.
Adam and Eve sought forgiveness from Allah for their error of disobedience and by the Grace of Allah they were forgiven.
They were responsible for their mistakes and they turned directly to Allah in repentance using words which He mercifully taught them and forgiveness was granted to them.
Allah forgave them as He will forgive anyone who turns to Him repentant. When a person commits a sin by disobeying the commandments of Allah, he is responsible before Allah for his sin and as such he has to shoulder full responsibility for it by himself.
No man will be held responsible for the sin of another nor can he carry the sin of others even if he wished to.
In the Qur’an, Allah explicitly says;
Surely Allah loves those who constantly turn to Him in repentance and those who keep themselves pure. (Q2 vs 222).
The Prophet (S.A.W) also emphasized this point on several occasions, among them is one reported by Anas ibn Malik in which he quoted the Prophet (S.A.W) as saying;
“Allah is more delighted with the repentance of His Servant than one of you who suddenly finds his camel laden with supplies after losing it in a barren land”.
To round it up, Allah is the most forgiving and He forgives us in as much we sincerely repent to Him in true hope and faith.
As He has stated;
“And who forgives sins besides Allah” (Q3 vs 135).
“It is He who accepts repentance from His servants” (Q 42 vs 25).
The Prophet (S.A.W) informed his companions and followers that;
Any man, who calls on Allah, is prayer will be answered. It is either granted to him in advance in this life or stored away for him for the next life as long as he does not pray for something sinful of the breaking of family ties and as long as he is not impatient.
When the companions of the Prophet (S.A.W) asked him how is one impatient, he Rasulullah said; by saying, I called on my Lord and He did not answer my prayer for me”.
He (S.A.W) also taught Abu Bakr;
“Allahumma inne dhalamtu nafsee dulman katheraa, wa la yaghfirudh-dhunooba illaa ant”.
“Oh Allah, truly I have wronged myself much and none can forgive sins except you”.
As a believer, we should never despair in the Mercy of Allah and we should away have hope in His Blessing towards us.
Allah is the Most-Merciful, Most-Forgiving and He loves those who repent.
Even if we think we have no sins or mistakes, we should always beg Allah.
Remember these words that, you should always repent to Allah, you should obey Allah and you should change to always be on the path of Allah’s commandments .
Lastly, may Allah forgive our sins and shortcoming, may He give us the strength to always seek His forgiveness with sincerity and submissiveness. And may He make us truthfully muslimah to ourselves, our family, our friends and the muslim in general.