May 28, 2012

Repentance - The Way Back (Part 3)

By Shiney


Fruits of Repentance-The Benefits of Taubah 

Okay, so we should repent…but what do we get from it? What are the merits? What are the benefits? Now that we have discussed the importance of taubah and how it is done, we move to the benefits of repentance in the last installment of this series. (Actually, the benefits of repentance are probably the exact things that we want so desperately.) Here are some benefits of repentance.
  • Allah subhaana wa ta’aala admits you into paradise - the more we repent, the greater our chance is to go to Jannah. Allah subhaana wa ta’aala says,
    And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous.” (Ali Imran: 133)
  • Allah subhaana wa ta’aala wipes away your sins - in a Hadith Qudsi, Allah subhaana wa ta’aala says, “O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.” (40 Hadith Qudsi: 34) 
  • Taubah increases our eeman. 
  • Allah subhaana wa ta’aala turns our evil deeds into good ones - Allah subhaana wa ta’aala says, “Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (Al Furqan: 70) 
  • Taubah helps us overpower the Shaitan - Shaitan says, “I’ve destroyed human beings through their sins but they have destroyed me through their repentance.” Shaitan also said, “As long as the bodies of the humans have souls in them, I will misguide them.” Allah subhaana wa ta’aala replied, “And as long as they seek forgiveness, I shall forgive them.” (related by Ahmad, Saheeh al-Jami' 2/32)
  • Taubah helps us become humble - when we feel a sense of broken-heartedness and do sincere taubah, it brings on humility and removes arrogance form our hearts because we realize what we are capable of (sinning) and what Allah subhaana wa ta’aala is capable of (Everlasting Mercy). When we remove from (break) our heart (from) ego, sin, arrogance, we get closer to Allah subhaana wa ta’aala. This concept of broken-heartedness is derived from the Hadith Qudsi (related by Muslim) in which Allah subhaana wa ta’aala mentions that He would be found with the sick person. This is because the sick person’s heart is broken. Another point is that when we recite the du’a of Adam (AS) found in Surah Al-A’raf,
    They said, "Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers." (Al Araf: 23)
    We are acknowledging our helplessness in front of Allah subhaana wa ta’aala and reminding ourselves of the power of His Mercy, which in turn, removes all arrogance from our hearts and induces humility in us. 
  • Taubah brings on the love of Allah subhaana wa ta’aala-As mentioned in ayah (Baqarah: 222), Allah subhaana wa ta’aala loves and is happy with the one who repents.
  • Along with Allah’s love, His assistance makes our life easier-in a Hadith Qudsi, Allah subhaana wa ta’aala says,
    "…My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and my servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love Him. When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him…” (40 Hadith Qudsi: 25 )
    The explanation of the things Allah subhaana wa ta’aala mentioned is as follows:
    Hearing - the person cannot tolerate cursing, gossip, music and other haram things that Allah subhaana wa ta’aala dislikes.
    Sight - the person only likes to see things which please Allah subhaana wa ta’aala and dislikes to see haram things.
    Hand - only does good (halal) deeds and does not like to sin.
    Foot - only goes to places that Allah subhaana wa ta’aala approves of and refrains from going near haram.
  • The angels make du’a for him - Allah subhaana wa ta’aala says,
    Those [angels] who carry the Throne and those around it exalt [ Allah ] with praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask forgiveness for those who have believed, [saying], "Our Lord, You have encompassed all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who have repented and followed Your way and protect them from the punishment of Hellfire.” (Ghafir: 7) 
Acceptance of Repentance - The Effects of Taubah (and Aftermath)

One question remains - how do we know if Allah subhaana wa ta’aala has accepted our repentance or not? Well, as the ayah 53 in Az-Zumar mentions, we are not to despair of the Mercy of Allah subhaana wa ta’aala but we have to be hopeful that He will forgive us because that is part of our trust in Allah subhaana wa ta’aala. This hope must not develop into a reassured guarantee that we are forgiven, though; we can only hope to be forgiven. Another way we can tell whether Allah subhaana wa ta’aala has forgiven us or not is by checking whether we are still doing the sin that we repented from. If we had repented sincerely from something, and if we stopped doing that sin, then it is a sign that Allah subhaana wa ta’aala has accepted our repentance. For example, after Ramadan or after Hajj, if a person repented, their life should have changed in a positive way. It is not necessary that this change comes about immediately but the main point is that the person should have stopped major sinning or at least have decreased it significantly. Another very important point is that after repenting, one must increase in their good deeds (like pray extra nafl or fast extra or be extra helpful to parents) because Allah subhaana wa ta’aala says in the Qur’an:

Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (Al Furqan: 70)

May Allah subhaana wa ta’aala forgive all of our sins, guide us to the Straight Path and accept from us our good deeds. Ameen.

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