5 Conditions for Accepting Repentance.
The word repentance (التوبة) in Arabic comes from the root of the letter ta-alif- or the letter which literally means – to return, to return. In Islamic terminology, repentance means turning from disobedience to God to obedience to God. The importance of repentance in Islam is immense. We can guess its importance in numerous verses of the Qur’an and Hadith. Allah says: “And O you who believe! Repent to Allah that you may be successful.” [An-Noor: 31]
” Ask forgiveness of your Lord and turn to Him in repentance.” [Hud: 3] “O you who believe, make sincere repentance to Allah.” [At-Tahrim: 8]
In the last verse, we see that Allah is telling us to repent sincerely. The question is how can genuine repentance be done? According to the scholars, in order for repentance to be genuine, certain conditions have to be fulfilled. There is disagreement about the number of these terms. Imam An-Nawawi in his famous book Riyadus-Salehin mentions 4 conditions. However, Shaykh Salih ibn al-‘Uthaymeen mentioned another condition in interpreting the book.
Conditions for repentance to be accepted:
Sincerity refers to the purity of purpose. In Islamic terminology, doing an honest deed only for the sake of pleasing Allah is called sincerity. No deed is acceptable to Allah except sincerity. If the act of repentance is to be acceptable, it must be done with full sincerity. If the act of repentance is done to show people or in the hope of gaining their closeness, it cannot be called pure repentance. Nor is repentance to be saved from any danger or to escape from any authority will be accepted as pure repentance. Therefore, the purpose of repentance should be to attain nearness to God and success in the Hereafter. So that Allah may forgive the sins of the penitent.
2. To feel remorse
One must feel remorse for the crime or sin committed. He must have a sense of dying, and he must realize that he has no choice but to ask Allah for forgiveness. The condition for feeling remorse is that it indicates that the person is truly ready to make genuine repentance to Allah.
3. Stop sinning right now
This is the most important condition. Repentance will be considered pure only if the repentant sinner has already stopped. Otherwise, it is not a joke book! And the person who continues to repent to allah and does not feel any remorse, at least he would have stopped doing it. Abstinence from sin has two meanings – first, he was doing something wrong or haraam (such as drinking alcohol) – then he has to stop it. Secondly, he had stopped any obligatory work or obligatory work (such as not praying) – in this case, stopping sinful work means starting this obligatory work regularly.
If any of the rights or rights of Allah have been violated only through sinful deeds (such as not praying or not fasting in the month of Ramadan), then it is enough to repent to Allah alone. There is nothing to say to anyone else about this, the matter is limited between the servant and Allah. Rather, in this case, it is forbidden to inform people about sins. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in a hadeeth: “Everyone in my ummah is the only one who can be forgiven except the mujahids.” [Bukhari and Muslim] The hadith is explained by Mujaheer: “It is a sin to tell people that I have done it.”
On the other hand, if the sin has been committed so that the rights of any other servant have been ruined. In that case, it is not enough just to repent, but to return the right of that servant which has been destroyed. Such activities include embezzlement, backbiting, or beatings or abuse. There is a long discussion about how to return the lost hawk. We will go into that discussion in the next blog post.
4. Determined not to return to that work later
For repentance to be genuine, the sinner must be determined not to do this again or to return to this sin. Suppose a person was once rich. He used to drink wine, gamble, or even commit adultery with his wealth (I seek forgiveness from Allah for all this.) Then suddenly he became exhausted. He cannot go back to his previous sins due to lack of money. Taking advantage of this situation, he repented to God, but if he did not lose his wealth, he would have continued his wickedness. This repentance will never be accepted. Repentance is acceptable only when he makes a firm commitment in his heart not to do that work in the future, whether he has the opportunity to do it or not.
5. Timely repentance
There is a set time for repentance. After this time, repentance will not be accepted. This particular time can again be divided into two parts. A) private time and b) public time.
A) Personal time: Personal time applies separately to each person. And this is the time when death is inevitable. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Repentance is not for those who continue to do evil until death comes and they say, ‘I have repented now.'” [An-Nisa ‘: 18] Therefore, repentance without seeing the change of repentance when death is certain is not acceptable to Allah.
B) Public time: When this time comes, no one else’s repentance is acceptable. We find the time in a hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Migration will not stop until repentance stops, and repentance will not stop until the sun is setting from the west.” [Abu Dawood, An-Nasa’i and Ahmad] One of the great signs of the last time mentioned in the Qur’an or Hadith is that sunrises from the west. From the above hadith we know that when this happens, the repentance of men and women, men and women, will not be accepted. Qur’an pointing to this event are available “On the day when some of the signs of your Lord shall be reached at (then) no person will benefit from his faith and the faith if he did not already have them …” [al-anaamah 158]
God is our sincere repentance at the right time Give tawfiq to continue.
[Based on Shaykh Salih al-‘Uthaymeen’s “Sharh Riyadis-Salehin”]