The Importance of Tawbah [book]
DEFINITION OF SIN
Any action which is contrary to the commandments of Allah Ta’aala and earn His displeasure is a sin.
Although sins are categorised as “major” and “minor” one should bear in mind that to earn the displeasure of Allah Ta’aala is a major offence. Hazrat Ibne Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “Every prohibition is a major sin.”
Hazrat Fudhail Ibne Ayaaz (rahmatullah alaih) said, “The lighter one regards a sin the greater is its offence in the courts of Allah Ta’aala.”
Hazrat Muhammad Ibne Ka’ab (rahmatullah alaih) said, “The greatest Ibadah is abstinence from sin.”
The pious predecessors have said, “Sin is a conveyance to Kufr (disbelief). It invites towards kufr morals and actions.” (Ma’aariful Quraan).
Rights upon man are divided into two broad categories;
1) Huququllah i.e.the rights of Allah.
2) Huququlibaad i.e. The rights of fellow beings.
Transgression of these rights are regarded as sin in Islaam.
The rights of Allah Ta’aala are of two types, viz;
i) The obligations of Deen eg. Salaah, Qurbani etc.
ii) The prohibitions of Deen eg. consuming alcohol, music etc.
DEFINITION OF TAUBA
Tauba means to return from sin to the obedience of Allah Ta’aala.
VERSES ON TAUBA
Allah Ta’aala says, “SURELY ALLAH LOVES THOSE WHO REPENT” (2:222)
In explaining the magnitude of Allah’s love for a repenter, Nabie (salallahu alai wasallam) said, “Allah is happier with the repentance of a repenter more than a thirsty person finding water, a barren father at the birth of his child, and a stray person finding his way. Whoever repents sincerely, Allah will cause his recording angels, his limbs and the earth (on which the sins were committed) to forget his sins.” (Jami us sagheer)
In one ayah Allah Ta’aala says: “AND VIE WITH ONE ANOTHER FOR FORGIVENESS FROM YOUR RABB AND FOR JANNAH WHICH IS AS WIDE AS THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH.” (3:133)
In this ayah we are exhorted to compete with one another to seek forgiveness from Allah Ta’aala.
The Ulama have stated that certain Sahabah envied the Bani Isra’eel that whenever a person committed a sin, he found it written on his door along with its atonement, also indicating the way it was to be carried out e.g. by cutting off the nose or ear, etc. The Sahaba envied them for the fact that the forgiveness of the sin (after the atonement) was certain, as they viewed the gravity of any sin so serious that punishment for it in this world was considered not only light but enviable, compared to the punishment in the Akhirah. When any of the Sahabah out of human weakness committed a sin, he would be overwhelmed by fear of its punishment. Not only the men, even the women felt the same way. Once a woman committed adultery and presented herself before Nabie (salallahu alaihi wasallam). She confessed her sin and asked for its atonement, which was death by stoning; and that punishment was ultimately carried out. This was because the fear of future retribution for the sin committed was far greater than the fear of death.
Allah Ta’aala, by His Grace and Benevolence, revealed the above ayah. Hazrat Sa’eed Ibne Jubair (rahmatullah alaih) in explaining this Ayah said, “One must hasten, with ones good deeds, towards the forgiveness of Allah Ta’aala and for Jannah, the expanse of which is equal to the seven heavens joined together like a single sheet of cloth stitched out of several pieces and the seven earths also similarly joined with them.”
Hazrat Ibne Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) has also been quoted to say that the seven heavens and the seven earths joined together as one, make up the width of Jannah. Its length is only known to Allah Ta’aala.
In another ayah Allah Ta’aala Says: “ALLAH ACCEPTS THE REPENTANCE OF THOSE WHO DO EVIL IN IGNORANCE AND REPENT SOON AFTERWARDS, TO THEM WILL ALLAH TURN IN MERCY; FOR ALLAH IS FULL OF KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM.” (4:17)
1. The Sahaba (radhyallahu anhum) were unanimous that all sins are committed out of ignorance because at the time of embarking on a sin one is ignorant of its consequences in the Hereafter. Hazrat Mujahid (rahmatullah alai) said, “A person is regarded as ignorant when embarking on any action which is contrary to the commandments of Allah Ta’aala.” (Ibne katheer)
2. In the ayah, Allah Ta’aala made IMMEDIATE tauba the prerequisite of acceptance. Hazrat Abdullah Ibne Umar (radhyallahu anhu) relates that Nabie (salallahu alai wasallam) said, “If a person makes tauba even seconds before his death,Allah ta’aala will accept it on condition it is done with sincerity.” (Ibne Katheer)
Since the hour of death is not known, a true believer should hasten towards repentance. Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ood [radhiallaahu anhu] said, “The sign of a true believer is when he commits a sin he becomes so restless he feels as though a mountain is suspended above his head and he has the fear of it falling on him, i.e. he trembles out of the fear of Allah Ta’ala. And when a transgressor commits a sin, he feels as though a fly is on his nose, i.e. because he has no fear of Allah Ta’ala, he treats sins very lightly.”
A Hadith says, ‘When two thirds of the night had passed, Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] would say, ‘O people, remember Allah! Remember Allah! The quake of doomsday will occur soon. The time for blowing the trumpet is drawing near! And everybody’s hour of death along with its pangs and throes has come.’ (Mishkaat)
Abul Haamid Lafaf [rahimahullah] said, ‘Allah Ta’ala bestows three favours on a person who frequently remembers death;
a) He readily turns to Allah in repentance;
b) He is granted contentment;
c) He shows greater enthusiasm in all modes of Ibaadah.
And he who is heedless of death is punished by Allah Ta’ala in three ways;
a) He persists in sin and is reluctant to offer tawbah;
b) He is not content with his income;
c) He is apathetic in his devotions. (Tanbihul Ghaafileen)
In another aayat, Allah Ta’ala says: ‘Say (O Nabi), O my servants who have transgressed against their souls! Do not despair of the mercy of Allah, for Allah forgives all sins. He is oft forgiving, most merciful.’ (Zumar 53)
Hadhrat Thawbaan [radhiallaahu anhu] relates that he heard Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] saying, ‘I do not love owning anything in the world more than this aayat.’
Hadhrat ibn Mas’ood [radhiallaahu anhu] said, ‘This is the most delightful aayat of the Qur’aan.’
Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Umar [radhiallaahu anhu] said, ‘This is the most inspiring aayat for the sinners.’
Hadhrat Ali [radhiallaahu anhu] used to recite the following couplet, ‘O Sinner, do not despair for Allah is most kind. Do not depart from this world without provisions (repentance), for the path to the hereafter is most dangerous.’
Allah Ta’aala says, “MY MERCY EXTENDS TO ALL THINGS.” (7:156)
In another ayah Allah Ta’aala says, “YOUR RABB HAS INSCRIBED FOR HIMSELF MERCY; IF ANY OF YOU DID EVIL IN IGNORANCE,AND THEREAFTER REPENTED,AND AMENDED HIS CONDUCT THEN HE IS OFT FORGIVING MOST MERCIFUL. ” (6:186)
Rasulullah (salallahu alai wcsallam) said, “When Allah created the creation, He inscribed above His Arsh (throne), Verily My Mercy surpassed My wrath.” (Bukharie, Muslim)
In a Hadith-e-Qudsi Rasulullah (Salalahu alaihi wasallam) said, ‘Allah Ta’aala says, “O son of Adam! I will forgive you as long as you implore me and have hope in me inspite of what you have done, and I don’t care how great a sin you have committed. O son of Adam! If your sins reach the clouds and you seek forgiveness from me, I would forgive you and I don’t care. O son of Adam! If you were to meet Me with the earth full of sins, I would certainly come to you with an earth full of forgiveness on condition you do not ascribe partners to me.”‘ (Mishkaat)
Certainly Allah Ta’aala is Most Merciful and Oft Forgiving, but it will be foolish for one to follow his sensual desires without bothering about what is Halaal and Haraam thereby flagrantly violating the laws of Allah Ta’aala and yet entertaining high hopes that Allah Ta’aala will forgive his sins. This is nothing but beguilement.
Nabie (salallahu alai wasallam) said, “A wise person is he who controls his lowly desires and perform deeds which are of value after death, and a fool is he who follows his baser desires and places false hopes in Allah Ta’aala.” (Mishkaat)
Allah Ta’aala says, “LET NOT THE LIFE OF THIS WORLD BEGUILE YOU, NOR LET THE DECEIVER (SHAITAAN) BEGUILE YOU WITH REGARD TO ALLAH..” (31:33)
Commenting on this ayah, Sa’eed bin Jubair (rahmatullah alai) says, “Shaitaan beguiles a person, with regard to Allah, by seducing him to persist in sins and giving him false hope of Allah’s forgiveness.”
In another ayah Allah Ta’aala says, “YOU TEMPTED YOURSELF INTO ERROR,AND HESITATED, AND DOUBTED, AND VAIN DESIRES BEGUILED YOU.” [57:14]
Abu Sufyan [radhiyaltahu anhu] commented on this ayah thus, “You were led astray owing to your persistence in sins and you were beguiled by false hopes, for you used to say, “Allah will forgive us our sins.” [Durre Manthur)
Sheikh Shazli [rahmatullah alai] said, “The Divines say that “RAJAA” (hope in Allah’s Mercy) does not consist in entertaining false hopes of Allah’s Mercy which beguile a person into neglect of virtues, and lend him the audacity to commit sins. Such hopes are, in reality, vain desires, employed by Shaitan as a means of deceiving people.” Ma’roof Karkhi [rahmatullah alai] says, “It is sinful to yearn for Jannah without performing good deeds; it is a kind of self-deception to entertain hopes of intercession by a pious being, without having any affinity or spiritual link with him; and holding hopes of Allah’s Mercy without obeying His commandments is mere folly and sheer ignorance.” Hasan Basri [rahmatullah alai] says, “Some people neglect virtuous deeds and entertain vain hopes of Allah’s Mercy and Forgiveness, so much so that they leave the world without having performed any act of virtue.” On another occasion he said, “O servants of Allah! Beware of entertaining vain hopes of Allah’s Mercy. For, those who hold such hopes without performing good deeds are living in a fools paradise. By Allah, no person was ‘ever granted good reward by Allah Ta’aala, neither in this world nor in the next, merely for having vain hopes of His Mercy.” [Mazaahir]
Imaam Ghazali [rahmatullah alai] says, “The hearts of those who have been beguiled into vain hopes of Allah’s Mercy are lost in abysmal darkness, where there are layers upon layers of darkness and they can hardly see anything.”
Hasan Basri was asked, “What do you think of the people who do not perform good deeds but say that they have expectations of Allah’s Mercy?” He replied, “They are deluded by vain hopes. For, he who expects to gain a thing must struggle to achieve it, and he who fears a thing [the punishment of Allah Ta’aala] must struggle hard to escape it.”
Once, Sheikh Muslim Yasaar [rahmatullah alai] laid prostrate so long in Sajda that his teeth began to bleed and two of them fell off because of the pressure. Someone said to him, “I am not capable of such devotions but I do have expectations of Allah’s Forgiveness.” The Shaikh replied, “You are far from entertaining hopes of forgiveness, very far indeed! He who expects to gain something must struggle to achieve it and he who fears a thing tries to escape it.”
In short, Allah Ta’aala promised to forgive all the sins of His servants if they turn to Him in repentance and thereafter follow the path of virtue. He says, “VERILY I AM FORGIVING TOWARDS HIM WHO REPENTS AND BELIEVES, AND DOES GOOD AND THEREAFTER FOLLOWS THE PATH OF GUIDANCE. [20:82]
VIRTUES AND CONDITIONS OF TAWBA
Allah Ta’aala says, “SEEK FORGIVENESS FROM YOUR LORD, FOR HE IS OFT FORGIVING; HE WILL SEND RAIN TO YOU IN ABUNDANCE, GRANT YOU INCREASE IN WEALTH AND SONS, AND BESTOW ON YOU GARDENS AND BESTOW ON YOU RIVERS [OF FLOWING WATERS].” [71:10-12]
NOTE: From this ayah the Ulama have deduced that through tauba Allah Ta’aala will cause the rain to fall according to its necessity and He will hold back drought and there will be Barkat in ones wealth and off-spring. However, by the unconceived wisdom of Allah Ta’aala events may prove to be contrary but in most cases this is the system of Allah Ta’aala. By virtue of tauba and abstinence of sins all calamities are removed from the earth. [Ma’aariful Quraan]
On one occasion four people came to Hazrat Hassan Basri [rahmatullah alai] ‘With their grievances. One complained about drought. The second about poverty. The third about not having children, and the fourth about poor irrigation. He advised each of them to make Tauba and Isthighfaar. When he was questioned about why different complaints were given the same prescription, he recited the above ayah. [Mazahir]
Nabie [salalahu alaihi wasallam] said, “A [sincere] repenter is the beloved of Allah Ta’aala, and a true repenter is like one who has never committed a sin.”
In another Hadith Nabie [salalahu alaihi wasallam] said, “For one who continuously seeks Forgiveness from Allah Ta’aala, He will create a way out of every difficulty, a relief from all anxieties and He will supply him provisions from sources which one cannot conceive. “
NOTE: “Continuous Tauba” means;
1. Whenever sins are committed or adversities experienced one hastens towards Tauba.
2. One makes Tauba and Istightaar part of ones daily routine.
Not a moment of ours pass in which we are not in need of repentance. Nabie [salalahu alaihi wasallam] said, “Gladtidings are for him who finds excessive Istighfaar recorded in his Books of Deeds.”
Excessive Tauba and Istikhfaar results in a bond between the servant and Allah Ta’aala. The more the Tauba the greater the bond. This in turn strengthens one’s Yaqeen in Allah Ta’aala which creates a quest for self reformation and fear for Allah in one’s heart. Hence, Allah Ta’aala says;
“And for those who fear Allah, He prepares a way out,and He provides for him from [sources] he never could imagine.” [65:2,3]
CONDITIONS OF TAUBA
Islaam compels us to repent from every sin committed,if however one repents from a particular sin abiding by all the conditions of Tauba forgiveness will be granted. [Ma’aariful Quraan]
Hazrat Allie [radhiyallahu anhu] was asked as to what Tauba is. He replied, “It is a combination of six things,
1) To regret over ones sins.
2) To make Qadha of any Fardh or Wajib one had foregone.
3) To return the property of others which one usurped.
4) To seek forgiveness from the aggrieved if one has harmed him physically or verbally.
5) A firm resolution not to embark on sin in future.
6) Just as one has witnessed himself disobeying Allah Ta’aala he now beholds himself in His obedience. [Ma’ariful Quraan]
ACTIONS OF THE REPENTER
Tauba is a combination of good actions carried out by:
1. The heart.
2. The tongue.
3. The limbs.
GOOD DEEDS OF THE HEART
Tauba consists of much more than a verbal exercise. In fact the condition of the heart of the repenter is the foundation of Tauba which is motivated by humility. Humility inspires the following conditions;
1. Tauba be made only because of the fear of Allah, bashfulness for Him and in honour of His Majesty i.e., no personal motive be pursued when making Tauba.
2. Absolute shamefulness and sincere regret over past sins.
3. A desire to abstain from inward and outward sins in the future.
4. A firm resolution not to embark on a sin in future.
5. Fear of Allah Ta’aala’s punishment.
6. Hope for His forgiveness. [Ihyaa/Daleelul Faliheen]
GOOD DEEDS OF THE TONGUE
To seek forgiveness with the tongue e.g. to say Astaghfirullah is among the good deeds of the tongue. It is best that it is accompanied by submission of the heart, sincerity and enthusiasm. However Istighfaar without the presence of the heart is not void of benefit for certainly it is better than backbiting or vain talks.
Someone once complained to Abu Uthmaan Maghrabi [rahmatullah alai] that sometimes his tongue engages in the recitation of the Quraan and Zikr of Allah Ta’aala while his heart remains negligent. He replied, “Be thankful to Allah Ta’aala when a portion of your body is engrossed in virtue and the rememberence of Allah Ta’aala because it is not engaged in evil.” [Ihyaa].
Rasullulah [salalahu alaihi wasallam] said, “Shaitaan said to Allah Ta’aala, “O My Lord, I swear by your Honour I will continually deviate man so long as their souls are within their bodies.” Allah Ta’aala replied, “I swear by My Honour and Grandeur I will continually forgive them so long as they make Istighfaar”. [Ibne Katheer]
GOOD DEEDS OF THE LIMBS
Hazrat Abu Bakr [radhyallahu anhu] relates that Nabie [salallahu alaihi wasallam] said, “Whoever after committing a sin performs a perfect Wudhu then stands up and offer two Rakaats Salaah after which he repents to Allah Ta’aala, Allah will forgive him.” Thereafter Nabie [salalallahu alaihi wasallam] recited the Ayah of the Quraan, “And those who having done evil, or wronged their souls, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins-and who can forgive sins except Allah-and will not knowingly persist in the wrong they have done.” [3:135]
Hazrat Anas [radhiyallahu anhu] states that when this ayah was revealed Shaitaan wept [Ibne Katheer]
Sins earn the wrath of Allah Ta’aala while charity cools His anger. Nabie [salallahu alaihi wasallam] said, “Verily charity cools the anger of Allah Ta’aala “.
In another Hadith Rasulullah [salallahu alai wasallam] said, “To feed the poor makes forgiveness Wajib.”
In one Hadith Nabie [salallahu alaihi wasallam] said, “Three things make forgiveness Wajib; 1) To keep a Muslim happy, 2) To remove his hunger, 3) To remove his difficulties. [Fadhaile Sadaqaat]
QADHA OF FARDH AND WAJIB
Allah Ta’aala has made certain Ibadaat either Fardh or Wajib upon every Muslim, eg. Salaat, Fasting in Ramadhaan, Zakaat, Qurbani, etc. Non performance of these obligations is a sin. Together with Tauba Qadha of these obligations are necessary. If one had been negligent about these Ibaadaat he will have to carefully scan through his past life and calculate the number of Faraaidh missed from the day he had attained puberty to his present age and make Qadha of them; eg. Zaid is twenty four years old. He attained purberty at the age of fourteen. Since then he had not been performing Salaat at all. Hence Zaid will have to make Qadha of ten years fardh and Witr Salaah. i.e. he will have to perform 3 650 of each of the five daily fardhs and Witr. One should keep the presence of Allah Ta’aala in mind when calculating and seek His assistance and Guidance to accomplish this task.
Similarly, one would have to ascertain the number of fasts one missed and make the Qadha of each one.
In the case of unfulfilled Qurbani one will have to give Sadaqa to the equivalence of an animal for each years Qurbani missed.
Unfulfilled Zakaat for each year must be calculated and paid. If one cannot evaluate the correct amount due, he should try and recall, bearing Allah Ta’aala and the Akhirat in mind.
VIOLATION OF THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS
On the Farewell Hajj Nabie [salallahu alaihi wasallam] said, “O mankind, your blood, wealth and honour are Haraam upon each other”. [Bukharie]
If one violated the rights of others then together with Tauba, compensation for the transgression becomes necessary.
If wealth was usurped,it has to be paid in full to its rightful owner. In the case of goods the actual stolen property, if still in existence, must be returned; otherwise its equivalence or value must be replaced. If its owner is deceased then his lawful Islamic inheritors should be given the goods. In the case where the owner or his inheritors cannot be traced the goods or its value must be given in charity on his behalf. Nabie [salalallahu alai wasallam] said, “Whoever owes his brother anything, be it his honour or wealth should have it redeemed in this world before the day on which neither gold or silver will have no monetary value i.e. The Day Of Judgement. On that day the aggressor’s good deeds will be transferred to the victim in lieu of his rights. When the aggressor has no more good deeds left, the victim’s evil deeds will be transferred to him.”
The author of Mazahir relates, “After the death of a saintly person another pious person saw him in a dream.” He asked, “How did Allah Ta’aala deal with you?” The saint replied, “Without doubt Allah Ta’aala, through His Grace, forgave me; but I was questioned to the minutest detail to the extent that one day while fasting, I was sitting at a friend’s shop. At the time of Iftaar I picked up a grain of wheat. I broke it and when I was about to eat it I realised that it did not belong to me so I put it back into its place. Allah Ta’aala even questioned me about breaking this grain and a proportion of my good deeds were taken away from me.” [vol 5]
Allah Ta’aala bestowed upon Hazrat Isa [alaihis salaam] the miracle of bringing the dead back to life. Once at a grave, he called its inmate. By the Qudrat of Allah Ta’aala his life was restored. When he stood up, Hazrat Isa [alaihis salaam] asked him his identity. He replied, “1Iwas a porter. Once while transporting wood for someone, I broke off a small piece to use as a toothpick. Since the day I died I have been taken to task for this.” [Ghunya]
If one afflicted physical pain to another then it becomes incumbent to seek forgiveness from the aggrieved.
In the case of backbiting, slander, etc. one will have to ascertain whether it reached the ears of the victim. If it did not then tauba will be sufficient. If it did then together with tauba seeking forgiveness from the victim becomes necessary. If however the victim is ill mannered and fears mischief from him then one should call upon Allah Ta’aala to forgive him. Rasulullah [salallahu alai wasallam] said, “The expiation of backbiting is to make Istighfaar on behalf of the one about whom one had spoken evil by saying,” O Allah! forgive him and us.” [Ref: Roohul Ma’aani, Bayaanul Quraan]
Allah Ta’aala says; “O YOU WHO BELIEVE! TURN TO ALLAH WITH SINCERE REPENTANCE IN THE HOPE THAT YOUR RABB WILL REMOVE FROM YOU YOUR EVILS AND ADMIT YOU TO GARDENS BENEATH WHICH RIVERS FLOW [i.e. Jannah]” (66:8)
Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Ubai bin Ka’ab [radhiyallahu anhuma) described “Sincere Tauba” as, “To repent from sin and not to return to it just as milk cannot return to the udder.”
Hazrat Hassan Basri [rahmatulla alai] defined it as, “The repenter regrets over the past and pledges not to return to sin.”
Hazrat Kalbi [rahmatullah alai] says, “It is to seek forgiveness with the tongue, regret with the heart and abstain from sin with the limbs.” [Daleelul Faaliheen]
REFORMATION AFTER TAWBAH
Admission of sins together with regret form an integral part of tauba; it in fact motivates tauba. On the contrary, to justify ones sins is a sin in itself. Shaitaan justified his sin, hence he was not granted the Taufeeq of making Tauba. Furthermore acknowledgement of sins ensures forgiveness. Nabie [salallahu alaiwasallam] said, “When a servant acknowledges his sins and then repents Allah accepts his repentance.” [Mishkaat]
To regret having committed a sin is in fact Tauba in itself. Nabie [salallahu alaihi wasallam] said, “Regret is the foundation of Tauba.”
A person grieved for forty years over a sin which he had committed. Someone inquired about the nature of the sin, he replied, “Once in order to entertain a guest, I bought fish which we ate. Thereafter, I scraped some sand from my neighbour’s wall without his permission to wash my hands. I still cry over this sin.” The questioner expressed surprise that such a “minor sin” caused so much of grief. The person explained, “The biggest sins before Allah Ta’aala are the little errors which man regard as unimportant and thereby thinking that it is not necessary to make tauba. On the contrary, acknowledging ones wrongs, and considering them to be serious creates a sense of guilt within oneself, this will motivate sincere tauba.” [Ghunya]
ELIMINATION OF THE PLEASURE OF SIN
Expulsion of the pleasure of committing sin form the very essence of tauba. It motivates a firm resolution of self reformation, obedience to the commandments of Allah Ta’aala and total abstinence from sin.
A Nabie of The Bani Israeel once requested Allah Ta’aala to accept the tauba of a person who, after having sinned for many years, began to excel in the Ibadah of Allah Ta’aala. Allah Ta’aala replied, “By My Honour and Grandeur! If all the people in the heavens and the earth intercede on his behalf, I will not forgive him while the pleasure of sin remains in his heart.” [Ihya vol 4]
REFORMATION AFTER TAUBA
Allah Ta’aala says, “CERTAINLY YOUR RABB: TO THOSE WHO DO WRONG IN IGNORANCE, AND THEREAFTER REPENT AND MAKE AMENDS, YOUR RABB, AFTER ALL THIS IS OFT FORGIVING, MOST MERCIFUL.” [16:119]
Allah Ta’aala, in this and many other ayaat assures His Forgiveness and Mercy on two conditions, tauba and reformation.
In another ayah Allah Ta’aala says; “…UNLESS HE REPENTS,BELIEVES,AND WORKS RIGHTEOUS DEEDS, FOR ALLAH WILL CHANGE THEIR EVIL DEEDS TO GOOD DEEDS, AND ALLAH IS EVERFORGIVING, MOST MERCIFUL. [25:70]
In this ayah Allah Ta’aala assures not only forgiveness but He will, on the condition of tauba, total Imaan and righteous deeds “Change the evils of such persons into good.” This may have one of five meanings;
1. All sins would be forgiven and only virtues would remain in their books of deeds.
2. Allah Ta’aala would grant them the “Taufeeq” [Divine Guidance] to practise good deeds when otherwise they would have committed evil.
3. They become habitual doers of virtue instead of vice.eg. Hazrat Umar [radhiyallahu anhu]. At one time he had left no stone unturned in molesting the Muslims; but after embracing Islaam and remaining in the company of Rasulullah [salallahu alai wasallam] he became correspondingly hard on the unbelievers.
4. Allah Ta’aala guides him to repent for his sins. He recollects his previous sins, repents over them and prays for forgiveness. Thus for every sin previ ously committed, he gets the reward of tauba, which constitutes a devotion and a virtue.
5. If Allah Ta’aala, The Gracious, is pleased with the good deeds of somebody and through His sheer benevolence grants him virtue equal to his sins, there is nobody to question His authority. He is The Lord, He is The King, He is All Powerful, His Mercy is boundless. Who can close the door of His Forgiveness? Who can stop His Bounty? [Fadhail-e-Zikr]
Hazrat Abdullah ibne Mas’ood [radhiyallahu anhu] relates that once he was passing by a place near Kufa. He saw a gathering of evildoers consuming alcohol in a house. A person named Za’zaan was singing in a beautiful voice and playing his instrument. On hearing his voice Ibne Mas’ood [radhiyallahu anhu] exclaimed, “What a beautiful voice! If only it was used for reciting the Quraan.” Having said this he covered his head with a cloth and went away. Za’zaan heard him say everything. On inquiry, he was informed that the person was Abdullah ibne Mas’ood, a Sahabi of Rasulullah [salallahu alaihi wasallam]. Awe-stricken, he threw his instrument to the ground and ran to Ibne Mas’ood [radhiyallahu anhu] and began to cry at his feet. Ibne Mas’ood [radhiyallahu anhu], also crying, embraced and said, “Why should’nt 1 befriend one whom Allah Ta’aala loves.”
Za’zaan remained in Ibne Mas’ood’s [radhiyallahu anhu] company, he learnt the Quraan and other branches of Islamic knowledge from him until he became an imam of his time. [Ghunya]
TEN PRESCRIPTIONS FOR ATTAINING TOTAL PIETY
Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani [rahmatullah alai] has stated that to attain total piety one should hold fast onto the following ten things;
1. Save the tongue from Gheeebat [backbiting]
2. Refrain from suspicion.
3. Do not mock others.
4. Safeguard the eyes from prohibited things.
5. Always speak the truth.
6. Acknowledge the favours of Allah Ta’aala. Do not attribute any achievement to yourself.
7. Spend your wealth on the deserving, not on those who are not in need, and do not spend it on evil pursuits.
8. Do not desire lofty ranks in this world.
9. Be punctual with the five daily Salaat observing the Ruku and Sajda properly.
10. Follow the Sunnah of Rasulullah [salallahu alai wasallam] and do not disunite from the Ummah.
May Allah Ta’aala accept this humble effort and make it a means of Hidaya and forgiveness for the entire Ummah of Our Beloved Nabi [salallahu alai wasallam]