https://www.khutbah.info/virtue-of-repentance Al Bukhari reported that AbdAllah bin Masood (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The believer views his sins as if he was seated under a mountain fearing that it would fall upon him. And the wicked sees his sins like a fly that passes by his nose and he drives it away like this. Then he mentioned the hadith of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ: Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His servant than a man who camps at a place of doom, and he has his riding animal carrying his food and water. He then rests his head and sleeps for a bit then wakes to find his riding animal gone. (He starts looking for it) and suffers from severe heat and thirst or what Allah willed (him to suffer from). He then says, ‘I will go back to my place.’ He returns and sleeps, and then (getting up) he raises his head to find his riding animal beside him. [Sahih al-Bukhari 6308] And Imam Muslim added in his narration from Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him)
إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ لِلَّهِ ,نَحْمَدُهُ ,وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ , وَنَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا ,مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ , وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ , وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
Verily, all praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His assistance and we ask for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Him from the evils of our selves. Whoever Allah guides, none can misguide. Whoever He misguides, none can guide. And I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Mohammad is His slave and messenger.
يَا أَيُّهَا الّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ – آل عمران:102
Al Imran 102 : O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.
Al Bukhari reported that AbdAllah bin Masood (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
إنَّ المُؤْمِنَ يَرَى ذُنُوبَهُ كَأنَّهُ قاعِدٌ تَحْتَ جَبَلٍ يَخافُ أنْ يَقَعَ عليه، وإنَّ الفاجِرَ يَرَى ذُنُوبَهُ كَذُبابٍ مَرَّ علَى أنْفِهِ فقالَ به هَكَذا، ثم ذكر حديث رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم
The believer views his sins as if he was seated under a mountain fearing that it would fall upon him. And the wicked sees his sins like a fly that passes by his nose and he drives it away like this. Then he mentioned the hadith of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ:
لَلَّهُ أفْرَحُ بتَوْبَةِ عَبْدِهِ مِن رَجُلٍ نَزَلَ مَنْزِلًا وبِهِ مَهْلَكَةٌ، ومعهُ راحِلَتُهُ، عليها طَعامُهُ وشَرابُهُ، فَوَضَعَ رَأْسَهُ فَنامَ نَوْمَةً، فاسْتَيْقَظَ وقدْ ذَهَبَتْ راحِلَتُهُ، حتَّى إذا اشْتَدَّ عليه الحَرُّ والعَطَشُ أوْ ما شاءَ اللَّهُ، قالَ: أرْجِعُ إلى مَكانِي، فَرَجَعَ فَنامَ نَوْمَةً، ثُمَّ رَفَعَ رَأْسَهُ، فإذا راحِلَتُهُ عِنْدَهُ
Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His servant than a man who camps at a place of doom, and he has his riding animal carrying his food and water. He then rests his head and sleeps for a bit then wakes to find his riding animal gone. (He starts looking for it) and suffers from severe heat and thirst or what Allah willed (him to suffer from). He then says, ‘I will go back to my place.’ He returns and sleeps, and then (getting up) he raises his head to find his riding animal beside him. [Sahih al-Bukhari 6308]
And Imam Muslim added in his narration from Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him)
قدْ أَيِسَ مِن رَاحِلَتِهِ، فَبيْنَا هو كَذلكَ إِذَا هو بِهَا، قَائِمَةً عِنْدَهُ، فأخَذَ بِخِطَامِهَا، ثُمَّ قالَ مِن شِدَّةِ الفَرَحِ: اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ عَبْدِي وَأَنَا رَبُّكَ، أَخْطَأَ مِن شِدَّةِ الفَرَحِ
He despaired from (finding) his riding animal, and while he was like that he finds it standing by him, so he takes hold of its nose harness then says out of his extreme joy: Oh Allah You are my servant and I am Your lord. He erred out of his extreme delight. [Muslim 2747a]
It is from the kindness of Allah Almighty upon His servants that He facilitates for them the doors of repentance and seeking forgiveness so that the sinner returns to his Lord and repents from his sins, no matter how great. The rational person should view his sins and misdeeds as described by the Shariah, and should not belittle them.
And in this hadith, AbdAllah bin Masood (may Allah be pleased with him) described the state of the believer with his sins. And he compared it to a man sitting under a mountain fearing that it will fall upon him. And if a mountain falls upon him, the chances of being saved are dismal. For the believer looks at the greatness of Allah Almighty, and His Majesty, and the Glory of His authority, His self-sufficiency from His creation, and the utter need of His creation for Him. And the slight disobedience of His Majesty is not an easy matter for the believer. For this reason, out of the fear of what he did, he views it as if he is sitting under a mountain.
While the wicked person – a reckless immoral person – belittles his sins. He even sees the most major sins as simple and trivial, as if it was a fly passing by his nose that he drives away with his hand, and the fly leaves without effecting him. Not out of the lightness of his sins, but rather due to the lightness of his iman (faith) in Allah the Exalted.
Then AbdAllah bin Masood (may Allah be pleased with him) mentioned what eases the believer’s fear of his sins narrating that the Prophet ﷺ said that Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His servant than a man who camps at place of doom. That is a place of almost certain doom, in barren wilderness and an empty wasteland. And with him is his riding animal, like a camel or horse or other animal that carries his food and drink. And after he is tired from the travel, he stopped for rest and slept without sensing what is around him and did not safeguard his riding animal. Then he woke up and his riding animal had wondered far off into this desert. And after searching for it, he did not find it. And he kept searching for it until the heat and thirst became severe for him or what Allah willed of other types of afflictions. Then he said to himself after trying to search for his riding animal: I will return to my place. That is the place in which he previously slept waiting for Allah’s decree upon him, that is death. And it is possible that he returned to this place, because it is the habit of a lost or wandering animal to follow the traces of its steps and return to the initial place. Then the man returned to the initial place and slept a bit and raised his head after he woke up and saw that his riding animal was at his side. It returned to him. And there is no doubt in this situation he would have extreme joy. And in the narration in Muslim he said due to his extreme delight:
اللَّهُمَّ أنت عبدِي وأنا ربُّك، أَخْطَأَ مِن شِدَّةِ الفَرَحِ، فاللهُ أشدُّ فَرَحًا بتَوبةِ عبْدِه مِن ذلك الرَّجُلِ
Oh Allah You are my servant and I am Your lord. He erred out of his extreme delight. For Allah is more joyous of the repentance of his servant than that man.
Allah is more joyous for the repentance of His servant to Him than that man is of the return of his riding animal when he gave up hope and despaired that he would die.
Ibn Qayim (may Allah have mercy on him) said that repentance has a status with Allah unlike any other act of obedience. And for this reason, Allah is extremely delighted with the repentance of His servant when he repents to Him. Just as the Prophet ﷺ compared it to the one who finds his riding animal in the barren and desolate land of doom after having lost it. And he lost hope in the means of life. And this joy does not come in acts of worship other than repentance. And it is known that this joy has a great effect on the state and heart of the repentant, and more of it is beyond expression. And it is from the secrets of decreeing sins upon people.
And Allah has obligated repentance upon anyone who is aware that they have committed a sin, whether minor or major. Allah Almighty said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَصُوحًا-التحريم: 8
At Tahrim (66) 8: O you who have believed, repent to Allāh with sincere repentance.
And Allah Almighty said:
وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ-النور: 31
An Noor (24) 31:And turn to Allāh in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.
And Allah Almighty said:
إِنَّمَا التَّوْبَةُ عَلَى اللَّهِ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِنْ قَرِيبٍ-النساء: 17
An Nisa (4) 17: The repentance accepted by Allāh is only for those who do wrong in ignorance [or carelessness] and then repent soon [after].
So every sinner is ignorant while sinning, even if he is knowledgeable.
Allah’s mercy has encompassed everything and from His mercy is that He opened the door of repentance for His servants during the night and day. And Allah loves the repentant and invites and encourages His servants to repent. So He accepts the repentance of those who repent and forgives the sins. And He is patient with the disobedient and does not hasten the punishment so that they repent and return to Him.
Imam Muslim reported that Abee Musa Al Asha’ari, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
إنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَبْسُطُ يَدَهُ باللَّيْلِ لِيَتُوبَ مُسِيءُ النَّهَارِ، وَيَبْسُطُ يَدَهُ بالنَّهَارِ لِيَتُوبَ مُسِيءُ اللَّيْلِ، حتَّى تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ مِن مَغْرِبِهَا.
Indeed, Allah extends His hand at night so that the one who did misdeeds during the day may repent and extends His hand in the day so that the one who did misdeeds during the night may repent, until [the time when] the sun rises in the west. [Muslim 2759a]
For Allah accepts the repentance from His servants even if it is delayed after having committed the sin. For the repentance even though it was commanded immediately after sinning, Allah Almighty accepts it even if it is delayed. So if someone commits a sin in the day time and repents at night, Allah accepts his repentance. And if he commits a sin at night, and repents in the day time, Allah accepts his repentance. And Allah extends His Hand to receive the repentance of the repentant out of joy for it and to accept it.
And this is the situation for people until the sun rises from the west. For if it rises from the west before the Day of Resurrection, then the door for repentance will close. Then after this milestone, no one’s repentance will be accepted. And iman (faith) will not be of benefit unless they have believed before that. And it is the meaning of Allah’s words:
يَوْمَ يَأْتِي بَعْضُ آيَاتِ رَبِّكَ لَا يَنْفَعُ نَفْسًا إِيمَانُهَا لَمْ تَكُنْ آمَنَتْ مِنْ قَبْلُ أَوْ كَسَبَتْ فِي إِيمَانِهَا خَيْرًا-الأنعام: 158
Al Anam (6) 158: The Day that some of the signs of your Lord will come no soul will benefit from its faith as long as it had not believed before or had earned through its faith some good.
And there is another deadline for repentance, which is for a person to repent before their soul is about to exit. That is before their soul reaches their throat as Allah Almighty said:
وَلَيْسَتِ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ حَتَّى إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ إِنِّي تُبْتُ الْآنَ-النساء: 18
An Nisa (4) 18: But repentance is not [accepted] of those who [continue to] do evil deeds up until, when death comes to one of them, he says, “Indeed, I have repented now,”
Perhaps the wisdom of not accepting repentance after the sun rises from the west or at the time of death is because at these times the reality is uncovered for people. And they witness the horrors that oblige them to affirm and believe in Allah and His signs. And their ruling is like that of the one who witnesses the punishment of Allah. As Allah Almighty said:
فَلَمَّا رَأَوْا بَأْسَنَا قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ وَكَفَرْنَا بِمَا كُنَّا بِهِ مُشْرِكِينَ * فَلَمْ يَكُ يَنْفَعُهُمْ إِيمَانُهُمْ لَمَّا رَأَوْا بَأْسَنَا-غافر: 84، 85
Ghafer 84-85: (84) And when they saw Our punishment, they said, “We believe in Allāh alone and disbelieve in that which we used to associate with Him.” (85) But never did their faith benefit them once they saw Our punishment.
أَقُولُ مَا تَسْمَعُونَ وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ لِي وَلَكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ ذَنْبٍ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
I say what you have heard and I seek forgiveness from Allah for me and you from every sin. So seek forgives from Him, Verily He is Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
الحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ, وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ , وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَاْ إِلَهَ إِلَّاْ اَللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَاْشَرِيْكَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدَاً عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُوْلُهُ
All praise is to Allah, and peace and blessings upon the Messenger of Allah, and I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Mohammad is His slave and messenger.
Know that the Angel of death passes by us and goes to others. And he will inevitably come to us and pass by others. For the joyous is the one who takes heed from others and prepares for meeting his Lord. And Allah Almighty has informed all creation of their passing. For Allah Almighty said:
كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَمَنْ زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ-آل عمران: 185
Al Imran (3) 185: Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.
The Imam Ibn Kathir, may Allah have mercy upon him, said in his interpretation of this verse that this noble verse informs of the death for all the people. That is because no one remains except that they will die. And only the Ever-Living, the Self-Sustaining will remain.
It is incumbent upon the believer to be prepared for this hour upon which depends his eternal destiny and future life. For a person will be resurrected upon what he passed upon and deeds are gauged by how they conclude. We ask Allah to make us among those turn to Him and repent to Him during the day and the night. And to make us among those who delight Him with our repentance and those with whom He is pleased. Indeed Allah is All Hearing, Answering.
هَذَا وَصَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى نَبِيِّكُم كَمَا أَمَرَكُمْ بِذلِكَ رَبُّكُمْ , فَقَالَ
I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon your Prophet as your Lord commanded:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
Al Ahzaab (33) 56: Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace.
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنا فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ وَعَافِنا فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ وَتَوَلَّنا فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ وَبَارِكْ لنا فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ وَقِنا شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ إِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ وَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ
O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْنا مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ نَعْلَمْ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الشَّرِّ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْنا مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ نَعْلَمْ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ خَيْرِ مَا سَأَلَكَ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا عَاذَ بِهِ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَنَسْأَلُكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ كُلَّ قَضَاءٍ قَضَيْتَهُ لَنا خَيْرًا
O Allah, We ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge. O Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good
عِبَادَ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
Servants of Allah. Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.
اُذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ الْعَظِيمَ يَذْكُرْكُمْ واشْكُرُوهُ يَزِدْكُمْ واسْتَغْفِرُوهُ يَغْفِرْ لكُمْ واتّقُوهُ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَمْرِكُمْ مَخْرَجًا وَأَقِمِ الصّلَاة
Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favors – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters. And, establish the prayer.
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