In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Ignorance of the reason of our existence is unforgivable:
Dear brother, the prophet PBUH said in a Qudsi Hadith: Allah says:
((O My slaves, you commit sins night and day and I forgive all sins, so seek My forgiveness and I shall forgive you.))
And in another Qudsi Hadith, the prophet PBUH said that Allah says:
((Whoever returns to Me, I accept him no matter how far he is; and whoever turns away from Me, I approach him and call on him. Whoever leaves a sin for my sake, I reward him with many gifts and whoever seeks to please Me, I seek to please him. Whoever acknowledges My Will and Power in whatever he does, I make the iron bend for his sake. My dear people are those who are with Me (i.e. whoever would like to be with Me, let him supplicate to Me and remember Me). Whoever thanks Me, I grant him more blessings; whoever obeys Me, I raise him and endear him more. Whoever disobeys Me, I keep the doors of My Mercy open for him; if he returns to Me, I bestow him with My Love since I love those who repent and purify themselves for My Sake. If he does not repent, I still treat him by putting them in hardship to purify him. Whoever favors Me over sh3er, I favor them over sh3er. I reward every single good deed ten times over or seven hundred times over to countless times over. I count every single bad deed as one unless the person repents and ask for My Forgiveness in which case I forgive even that one. I take into account any little good deed and I forgive even major sins. My Mercy supersedes My Anger; My Tolerance supersedes My Blame; My Forgiveness supersedes My Punishment as I am more merciful with My slaves than a mother with her child.))
Ibn Al Kayem said – May Allah have mercy on his soul- “It strokes with wonder to know Allah yet don’t love Him, and it strokes with wonder to love him yet don’t obey Him”
Dear brother, any ignorance could be forgivable, no matter how bad its results were, except for the benightedness in respect to the reason behind existence, the purpose of life, the message of mankind, and the reality of this mission.
It is a shame for the first honored creature (mankind), who is bestowed with reasoning and the free will, to lead his/her life ignorantly and heedlessly. It is a shame for him/her to eat and relish like animals do, knowing nothing about the reality of his/her existence and the nature of his/her assignment in life, and because of which he/she might go astray and might deviate from the right path because of ignorance and heedlessness. Beware, ignorance is the most aggressive enemy of man, and the ignorant person might harm him/herself in ways which his enemy can’t harm him/her.
Because of frivolous seduction, or wild lust man drops his/her humanity value and quality worth, hitting rock bottom, to such an extent that he/she can’t fulfill the burden of doing what is right and good, and by which he/she breaks away from purity and transcendence, and instead, he/she bursts forth in order to achieve self-satisfaction, to fulfill his/her lusts, to opt for his/her interests, to build his/her triumph over sh3er’ ruins, to collect wealth on sh3er’ impoverishment, and to relish life on other’s misery, and by doing so, he/she remains in heedlessness, going far in his/her allurement, until death surprises him/her, and he/she comes face to face with unprepared destiny, when he/she pays the price of heedlessness, ignorance, and corruption in an eternal torment, and then, remorse is useless and seeking salvation is unreachable.
On the other hand, the prudent person is the one who has reasoning with which he/she takes the initiative by asking the following questions: Why was I created? What is my mission in the world? What is my message in this life? The answers to these questions are in the noble Quran, Allah says:
(( And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).))
Worship is the acme of loving and obeying Allah:
Worship is the reason behind our existence, our safety, our happiness, our achievements, and our submissiveness to Allah the Almighty in all His orders and bans, and that is because Allah is the manufacturer (creator), and the manufacturer is the only party whose instructions should be carried out to the letter, Allah says:
(( O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you))
Dear brother, worship is the acme of Allah’s love and obedience, and that is due to the human’s self-consumed attitude, and the love of existence, safety, perfection and continuity of existence, only, this can’t be achieved save by Allah’s will and favor.
He doesn’t worship Allah who submits to Him and doesn’t love Him, and he doesn’t worship Allah who loves Him and didn’t submit to Him.
Dear brother, there are people who live to eat, sh3er who eat to live, but the believer is the one who lives to know Allah, to worship Him, and to enjoy drawing closer to Him, it was reported in a Qudsi Hadith:
((O, children of Adam! I did not create you so as to seek companionship through you after being lonely, or to seek your help on matter in which I was inefficient, or for the sake of a benefit or for warding off harms. but I created you so you can worship me constantly and thank me a lot, and praise me day and night.))
And in another Qudsi Hadith:
((O, son of Adam, I created everything in this universe, so don’t bother yourself, and I created you to worship me so don’t play around, and don’t be consumed in what I granted you and forget about what I ordered you))
Man is granted the freedom of choice by Allah:
Dear brother, man is molded of reasoning and lust – according to Imam Ali May Allah be pleased with him- and Islam [the religion of fitrah (human nature)] came to establish a delicate balance between the two, through the divine method of the Quranic verses and the prophetic Sunnah. Given man is bestowed with the freedom of choice, he/she is in the compass of mandate and affliction, not to mention that his/her soul is the trust he/she bears.
The reason behind giving mankind the freedom of choice is to evaluate his/her deeds, with which he/she might enter gardens of paradise, or (if his/her choice was wrong) he/she might slip in the holes of hellfire.
Man is created as a weak creature in order to resort to Allah due to this weakness, and by which he can gain happiness, however, being weak necessitates to be inattentive and forgetful, heedless and negligent, and weak and overpowered, and this results, sometimes, in disobeying Allah and deviating from the divine method, and this is the exact reason behind legislating repentance on mankind by Allah.
Repentance is man’s bail towards salvation:
The guidance’s activity on earth is maintained by legislating repentance and accepting it by Allah.
Hence, repentance is man’s bail towards salvation when he/she is indulged in sins, needless to say that repentance is the safety valve when man is under the pressure of his/her sins, it is the rectifying factor of the path in life when desires lead someone astray, and it is the divine durable rope with which man is saved when he/she is drowned in his/her lusts.
Therefore, one of the greatest graces, we are bestowed with by Allah, is that He opened the gate of repentance to us:
((When a sinner servant turns back to Allah and repents, a caller calls those in the heavens and earth to congratulate him as he has reconciled with Allah)).
Some Arifeen (knowledgeable pious men) said: People of sins have three rivers, with which they purify themselves in this worldly life, and in case these rivers were not enough to purify them, they will be purified in a river in hell. The first river in life is the sincere repentance, the second is the river of good deeds in which sins and shortcomings sink, and the third river is the river of disastrous affliction through which sins are atoned. Hence, if Allah meant goodness for a servant of his, He will purify him in one of those three rivers in thisworldly life, in order to come purified on the day of resurrection, and in such case, he is in no need for the forth way of purification (the river in hell).
((By My Greatness and Exaltedness, I will not take my believing servant’s soul (embracing him in my mercy), before afflicting him against every sin he committed in his life, either by illness in his body, shortage in his sustenance, or adversity in his wealth and kids, till I cover all his sins, and if there is any sin left, I will afflict him with agony before death, till he meets me as pure as he was on the day he was born))
If one of us reaches death purified of all his/her sins, he/she will be one of the most successful people in life, O son, any good (as it might seem) ends with hellfire, is not good, and any
Malevolence (as it might seem) which ends with paradise, is not evil, and be aware that any prosperity other than paradise is degraded, and any adversity other than hellfire is healthy.
Knowing Allah is the main reason for turning back to Him:
Dear brother, people would have been doomed if not for repentance, furthermore, without repentance corruption will prevail all over the world, and that is because if man was expelled from Allah’s mercy for committing one sin (without the ability to repent), he/she will not return back to Allah’s method due to the absence of any hope in acceptance (by Allah), and why would someone return to Allah if he is expelled from His mercy? Instead, he/she would turn into a lascivious and salacious creature, filling earth with corruption, deviation and oppression.
To elaborate, some Arifeen gave an example of a small kid, whose mother was after him forcing him out of the city, while he was crying and asking for help and mercy, till she shut the door in his face and went in., Thinking it over, the kid couldn’t go far, as he can find any shelter but the house he was kicked out from, however, the door was closed, so he lays down next to the closed door, putting his cheek on the door step, and going into deep sleep. Watching him in this position, the mother couldn’t help it, and she throws herself on him, kissing him, crying and saying: O son, where else can you go but to me? Who will take you in but me? Did not I warn you from disobeying me? Don’t let your sin make me resort to act in a wayother than what I was molded of, that is, being merciful, passionate and seeking what is good for you?
Then she lets him in.
This is just an example story in order to picture repentance.
Now let us read what the prophet PBUH said:
((By Allah, Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His servant than the pleasure of this woman after meeting her son))
The gist of repentance is to return to Allah the Almighty, which, in turn, can’t be reached without knowing Allah, believing in His existence and oneness, admitting that He is the creator, the educator, the director, and the one with the best attributes and glorified names.
Meanings of repentance:
1- Turning back to Allah the Almighty:
Knowing Allah is the headmost reason to return back to Him. Having the knowledge that one broke away from Allah and was imprisoned by the devil- the enemy of Allah, he/she will realize that his/her ignorance in his/her Lord and daring to disobey Him, put him/her in his/her enemy’s claws, and then he/she should know how he/she became that ignorant? When did that happen? How was he/she imprisoned by the devil? And when did that happen? Hence, repentance, in its first sense, is to return back to Allah the Almighty.
2- Getting rid of the enemy and turning back to the most merciful:
Repentance, in its second sense, is to get rid of the enemy (devil), to return back to the bounty, most gracious, and most merciful, and to follow the right path.
3- Replacing sinning with obedience:
Repentance, in its third sense, is to replace sinning with obedience.
4- Forsaking the impermissible and obeying the divine orders:
Repentance, in its forth sense, is to forsake the impermissible, and to obey the divine orders, needless to say, that it means to abide by what Allah likes us to do, and leave what He hates us to do.
Triumph in Allah’s sight, is the success in the worldly life and the hereafter altogether, is to obey orders, and is to leave the impermissible, Allah says:
(( And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.))
Every repentant person is a successful one, unlike the one who refuses to repent and insists on committing the impermissible, thus, he/she will be oppressing him/herself more than anyone else, Allah says:
(( And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc.).))
Allah is pleased by one’s repentance:
Repentance is the gist of religion, and the latter is embraced in repentance, and thus the repentant deserves to be dear to Allah, Allah says:
(( Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves (by taking a bath and cleaning and washing thoroughly their private parts, bodies, for their prayers, etc.).))
That is why Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His believing servant. It was reported in the authentic Hadith:
((By Allah, Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His servant than the pleasure of the lost after finding his way, the sterile after having children, and the thirsty after drinking water))
The three figurative examples are the deepest ones that could be. It was reported by Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood, May Allah be pleased with him, he said: I’ve heard the prophet PBUH 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).))
Allah willed to show us how delighted He is if we return back to Him. It was reported that when a sinning servant turns back to Allah and repents, a caller calls those in the heavens and earth to congratulate him as he has reconciled with Allah.
Repentance is all about knowledge, attitude and deeds:
Dear brother, repentance, according to Imam Al Ghazali, is all about knowledge, attitude and deeds.
First, it is knowledge: that is because the first phase in solving any problem is to acknowledge it, hence, the first phase in repentance is to acknowledge the sin.
When you comprehend your religion, you will be able to distinguish your level of obedience from your sins, better yet, you will be able to acknowledge your sins through your obedience.
Hence, you should own the knowledge, for example, that trading with this commodity is forbidden in religion, that this commerce transaction is wrong, that this affair is Haram, and that attending this party is forbidden, thus, the question to be asked is: How can one know that he contradicts with Sharee’a (Islamic law)? The answer to that question is to know Sharee’a (in order to know that you contradict with it), therefore, seeking Islamic knowledge is a required and fundamental condition for repentance.
Seeking knowledge is a requirement for repentance:
How can one repent from the hidden Shirk (polytheism) and from the apparent Shirk if he does not know what Shirk is? If he does not know what Tawheed (monotheism) is? How can he repent if he does not know how to achieve Tawheed? If he does not know how one slips in Shirk? If he does not know what Tawheed is? Hence, seeking the Islamic knowledge is a must. How can one repent from evil thinking of Allah? Allah says:
(( And that He may punish the Munafiqun (hypocrites), men and women, and also the Mushrikun men and women, who think evil thoughts about Allah, for them is a disgraceful torment, and the Anger of Allah is upon them, and He has cursed them and prepared Hell for them, and worst indeed is that destination.))
Dear brother, one, who does not pay any effort, invest the time to know Allah, to know His glorified names, to know His best attributes, to be acquainted with His actions, to dig deep in the resources in order to comprehend the method of knowledge, how can this person repent from doubting the prophets and messengers who were selected from the cream of crops of Allah’s creatures, and who were chastened, purified, safeguarded, and who set a good example and a role model for the nations?
How can someone repent from such a sin, without resorting to those who are firmly grounded in knowledge and ask them about the reality of prophet’s infallibility, the secret behind their stances, and the interpretation of the Ayahs (verses) which were not entirely clear to them?
How can someone repent from earning ill-gotten money without knowing the limitations of Halal and Haram, without knowing the reality of usury, the conditions of selling and the cases in which it might become corrupted or invalid, and without knowing the legitimate and illegitimate ways of earning money?
It has been said by some scholars: desisting from one speck of sinful deeds is better than performing eighty supererogatory pilgrimages after the obligatory pilgrimage.
One’s entire earning might be Haram (unlawful), or he might trade with Haram commodity which is Haram as well.
How can someone repent from all sins that are related to spending money, without the mere knowledge of rights and duties, Halal and Haram, the value of money in Islam, and the important role it plays in preserving the honor and drawing closer to the Lord?
How can someone repent from oppressing his partner without the knowledge of the validity of the partnership contract, and when it is corrupted and invalid? He should know that Allah makes the third of the two partners unless they deceive one another.
How can someone repent from the sins of social relations, especially mingling between men and women, without knowing the Islamic manners and conduct, as they were shown by the prophet PBUH?
How can someone repent from being undutiful to his parents, unfair in treating his children, denying his wife’s rights, depriving the females from their rights in inheritance, and knowing nothing about Allah’s orders and bans in all domestic related affairs?
How can someone repent from lying, cheating, deceiving, monopolizing, and raising prices without knowing the reward Allah preserves for him who is beneficial to people and who eases the burden of life on them, and does not know the punishment Allah preserves for him who eats their money illegally? The prophet PBUH said:
((All people are servants of Allah, and the closest to Him is the best among them to mankind))
Ignorance is the reason of inclining the right path:
Dear brother,, you should seek knowledge, out of must not out of exploration in order to know if you are a sinner or not.
Every calamity, from which any humane society suffers, is because of deviating from the divine method, which is approved by Allah to His servants.
Moreover, every deviation from Allah’s method is because of ignorance, which is the most aggressive enemy of mankind, and be aware that the ignorant person harms himself in ways, with which his enemy could not harm him.
Repentance is all about knowledge, attitude and deeds. Knowledge of Allah, of His orders, of dangers of sins, of the abundant goodness one might miss, and of the great harm one might bring to him/herself.
Having known the danger of sins and the hurtful consequences they cause, starting in the worldly life, and continuing to the hereafter, brings about a psychological state of agony which was described by the prophet PBUH as remorse, He said:
((The remorse is repentance))
Having sought knowledge, will give you the ability to discriminate Halal from Haram, to know if your marriage is healthy or corrupted, and if your job is legitimate or not.
Remorse is a result of a certain knowledge or deed:
Dear brother, scholars said: Remorse is a result of a certain knowledge or deed.
Maybe the story of our Master Umar – May Allah be pleased with him- with the suckling mother clarifies this state of remorse.
Abdul Rahman Ibn Aof- May Allah be pleased with him- said: A convoy reached Al Madinah and stayed in the mosque, so Omar told me we should guard them tonight?
So we spent the night watching, then Umar heard the weeping of a child so he went towards him and told his mother: “Fear Allah and be good to your child” and he went back to his place. He heard the child crying again and told his mother the same thing and went back to his place. By the end of the night he heard him crying again so he told his mother: “You are a bad mother, your child did not sleep all night.” So she said: “You have bored me with your questions all night. I am trying to wean him but he refuses.” He said: “Why are you doing that?” She said: “Because Umar does not prescribe child support except for children who are already weaned.”
Biography reported that he hit his forehead and said:” “Misery is for Umar. He has killed Muslim children.”
So he considered himself as a killer, because he cut short this baby’s breastfeeding so that his mother will be paid the support for him.
And he wrote an order (in that regard) and sent it all over the Islamic land.
And when he prayed in the mosque he cried to the extent that no one could understand what he was reciting, and he said: “O Lord, did You accept my repentance so I would congratulate myself, or did You reject it then I would feel sorry for it”.
Again, repentance is knowledge, attitude, and deeds.
Hence, you have to seek knowledge to know beyond doubt if your job is acceptable or not by Allah, and in order to know if your trading is Halal or Haram.
Repentance is not acceptable without forsaking sins:
Dear brother, this state of remorse occurs because of knowledge, and the latter brings about “will”, which in turn ends up in deeds. Hence, repentance is a complicated process.
You should seek knowledge in order to know where you stand with regards to the Sharea’ (Islamic law)? Where does your income stand? Where does your spending stand? Where does your family stand? Where do your daughters stand? The repentant should abandon his sins immediately, for repentance will never be accepted without abandoning sins. One will be ready to leave sinning immediately when he knows who the law-giver is, that the latter is the creator of heavens and earth, that He is the Wakil (Trustee, Disposer of affairs, Guardian, etc.) over all things, that to Him return all affairs (for decision), and to Him is the final return.
One will leave sinning when he knows that his happiness in the worldly life and in the hereafter is up to obeying Allah’s orders and avoiding His impermissibles.
As for the repentant’s attitude in terms of future actions, he should be certain of forsaking sins and should hate to go back to them like he hates to be thrown in fire. Our Master Umar- May Allah be pleased with him- interpreted the sincere repentance as follows: The sincere repentance is to repent from sins, and never go back to them just like milk never goes back to the udder (after being milked).
Whereas Saeed Ibn Al Musayeb said about the sincere repentance: It is the repentance with which you a advise yourselves.
As for repentant’s attitude in terms of the past, he should ask forgiveness for his sins in case the latter was between him and his Lord, however, if the sin was related to other peoples’s rights, and given that people’s rights are based on argument, whereas the rights of Allah are based on forgiveness, the repentant should give back the right to its owner, or to his heirs, or by donating Sadaqah on his behalf, or by asking his forgiveness directly. It was reported that the prophet PBUH said:
((He who has done a wrong affecting his brother's honor or anything else, let him ask his forgiveness today before the time (i.e., the Day of Resurrection) when he will have neither a dinar nor a dirham. If he has done some good deeds, a portion equal to his wrong doings will be subtracted from them; but if he has no good deeds, he will be burdened with the evil deeds of the one he had wronged in the same proportion))
For that Allah says:
(( Except those who repent thereafter and do righteous deeds, (for such) verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.))
Dear brother, call yourselves to account before you are called to do so and weigh your deeds before they are weighed for you, and you should know that the Angel of Death has been reaching sh3er and will reach us soon, so pay heed. The clever one is he who upbraids himself and works for what comes after death; and the weak one is he who follows his desires and lives on wishful thinking, and praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds and may He bless and grant peace to Muhammad, the Faithful and the Honest, and may Allah bless his folks and companions.
Islam’s role in cleansing and environment protection:
Dear brother, I have in my hands the letter of the minister of Religious Endowments- May Allah reward him- in which he encourages you to level up with the needed knowledge of the role of Islam in cleansing and environment protection.
Environment protection is the hottest issue all over the world, and because of the western life style, environment was polluted in its air, water, and plants, and because of chemical fertilizers, the soil is polluted, it becomes salty, and the crops become tasteless, very big, lack nutrients and useless. There is one thing at the end of days that was summarized by the Quran in one word:
(( to change the nature created by Allah))
There is a public note from the minister of Religious endowments that encourages us to know the role of Islam in protecting the environment from pollution. And the word pollution embraces more than one sense, as it extends to pollution in morality, in the air, and in the affairs. Hence, dear brother, let us all go back to this great religion which is based on cleanness, and the latter is part of faith, and I am not talking about the limited sense of cleaning (like the clothes, the self hygiene, and the place around us), but I meant it in the vast meaning in terms of purification of the heart, in connections, and in purposes.
Raising people’s awareness to abide by traffic laws:
There is another public note from the same minister addressing the mosques Khutabaa (speakers) and reminding them to raise the awareness of people in order to abide by the traffic laws.
It was brought to my attention that a few days agothey started executing the new traffic law, by which one might go to jail for three months for violating certain laws. Hence, this matter extends to greater purposes in order to protect people’s lives.
According to international statistics, people who die due to traffic accidents are more than those who die of any epidemic disease.
It is not acceptable any more that someone, who is granted the right to live, should die because of someone else’s fault, recklessness, excessive speed, or traffic laws’ violation.
These two public notes are very important, and according to the first, we should abide by the traffic laws, which failing to do so, you could pay fines up to fifty thousand, not to mention the possibility of going to jail for three months because of the excessive speed, driving through the wrong side of a one way road, and driving crossing the red light.. Remember, this is all for the best of our interest, and it is part of the divine method to protect the nation’s safety.
You can imagine someone who has a child so dear to him who he can’t bear being separated from, if he was told that his child died of an accident, don’t you think he would suffer? Treat people as you wish them to treat you. I ask Allah to inspire you to do the right thing while driving your cars.
The second thing is the environment which is the hottest issue all over the world. The polluted environment is one of greatest sources of diseases on earth.
According to an accurate report from W.H.O. (world health organization), there are 300 million individuals on earth who are sick because of filth. And in the Islamic world this number narrows down to its lowest levels because of the ablution and the weekly self cleaning.
We beseech you Allah to show us the way of rightness, together with those to whom You have showed it; and give us good health, together with those whom You have healed; and be our Protector, together with those for whom You have become their Protector; and bless us in what You have bestowed on us and save us from the afflictions that You have decreed, for You rule with justice and You are never judged. He whom You protect shall never be humiliated and he whom You make enemy shall never be exalted. Blessed and dignified are You, and we thank You for what You have decreed.
We seek Your forgiveness and we repent our bad deeds, O, Allah guide us to perform a good deed, as You are the one who guides to the best of deeds.
O, Allah make us do well in the religion which is our dignity and make our lives good for it is our living and make us safe on the day of judgment for it is our final destination please make life our supply for all good things and make the death a rest from every evil our master the Lord of all worlds.
O, Allah please make what You have made lawful for me needless of what You have made unlawful and make me with Your benevolence independent of all sh3er.
O, Allah raise high the word of truth and religion, and grant victory to Islam, and dignity to Muslims and give them triumph all over the world and in all lands, O, Lord of the worlds.
O, Allah show us your mighty by destroying our enemies, as you are The Generious.