Jumu’ah Post: Repentance (Tawbah)

Inevitable is the situation of misdeed by humans, for no one is created to be free from it. It has been a default design by the Creator that creatures will transgress and underperform in places and on things, upon which such act of overdoing or underperforming are condemnable and despicable. It is for this purpose that a corrective step or event that reverses the adverse or unpleasant effect of such character shortcomings, in form of repentance, comes on board. The act of reflecting upon one’s mistake, especially one that has to do with missteps in faith issues in this context, and stepping towards the direction to rectify them and being free from them goes a long way in repentance, which is an act that is highly beloved to Allah SWT. The sincere remorsefulness or penitence that comes with the willingness to disconnect from a wrongdoing is an intent that hugely sets the pace for an effective repentance exercise, after which the resolution not to fall back into it, follows.

A difficult step to take it is, as the thought of leaving the sinful pleasure, in a large chunk of the time, maybe a burden to come off. It is easy to be attracted to those things that happen to bring soothingness to the self – sense organs, in most cases – even though they may cause selfish transgression against the Almighty, for we have been made weak, but not fully suppressed, in overcoming pleasurable desires. The ease with which repentance thrives depends on the magnitude or enormity with which a wrongdoing has penetrated into an existence. The lesser wrong/sin, the easier it is, to successfully wield the tools of repentance and the more the sin, the greater the burden there is, to overcome in the fruition of a sincere repentance. Comparing the previous world situation of lesser innovation and civilization with today’s which is characterized by ‘wokeness’ and advancement in social life and technology, we can outrightly say that repentance is much more easier in the former than the latter.

An assuring process that yields the movement away from misdeeds is to ensure that the stance of those acts that brings one upon goodness outweighs the one of those that do otherwise, as what will quench the fire of a settling/settled evil is a counteraction of goodness, which, after being steadfast upon, will project one into greater good that makes life more productive. Allah SWT is impressed with those who thrive against their souls in the event of situations that promote the continuation of vices which He has commanded us against, and He is surely the best and most just in the reward of such blessed acts of restraint and modesty.

Allah, in the noble Qur’an, says: “But those who repent and reform, Allah will relent towards them, for Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (5:39). This explains how Allah’s knowledge is not unrevealing as regards the human imperfection and his tendency to go against what is morally and spiritually ideal. He is All-knowing, and for this, He has set the space and permission for us to run towards Him, in order to right our wrongs, and the best of all sinners are the ones that repent. It’s a gateway to seek Allah’s favour, in order to meet Him in a state in which He is most pleased with us.

For repentance to fit into the real sense of what it truly is, as prescribed by the dictates of our Lord, it has to follow the suit of four binding conditions which are (1) Regret; which saddens the mind of a wrongdoer, enabling repentance to gracefully/conformably sit on it, (2) Determination to never repeat those wrongdoings, (3) Efforts to compensate any wrongdoings committed via good deeds, (4) Seeking forgiveness from those that have been wronged. Each of the conditional steps mentioned here are individually effective on repentance and jointly dependent on each other, in a manner that aids a successful Tawbah.

One of the most draining and hectic task of the soul, that brings one on track of Allah’s peasure, is making Tawbah. Only if we can relentlessly bring our minds to connection with our Creator, what we stand to experience as our return to Him, and how merciful and forgiving He is, to repentants after a sincere remorse against bad deeds, repentance will be seen as less a burden which we will want to run to, ignoring virtually all the vain pleasures that may be accrued from sinning. May Allah guide us towards the realization of offering good actions and warding off the evil ones, Aameen.


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