بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Our teacher began with praising Allaah and sending salaat and salaam on the Messenger of Allaah, his family, companions and followers until the Last Day and began:
Regarding At-Tawbah and its conditions as came in the three lines of the poetry:
The three general conditions for the validity of tawbah are:
- An-Nadam – Regretfulness
- Iqlaa`a – abandonment of the sin
- An-Niyatu Yakuff – determination of not returning to the sin
Ibnu Qayyim Al Jawziyyah (rahmahullaahu Ta`aalaa) spoke about At-Tawbah in some 300 pages (in Madaarijus-Saalikeen) and since At-Tawbah is the returning to Allaah’s obedience and involves every act which is considered an act of obedience our teacher mentioned his sayings in brief:
“The level of repent does not leave the slave – the slave is always in this state of tawbah He is in this level from the beginning of the writing of his deeds until his death. When he leaves to his last resting place he is in tawbah – it is the beginning of the slave and his end as well; his need to it is significant. Allah said: “… And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.” (24:31) – this particular verse is a Madiniyy verse [there are two types of verses: Makiyy (revealed before the hijrah – even if it was revealed in Madinah), and Madaniyy (revealed after the hijrah – even if it was revealed in Makkah)]. This order (to repent) was directed to the people of eeman and the best of all His creation; after their faith, patience, migration and their jihaad. Then He (Allah) mentioned that success was the result of at-tawbah (i.e. repentance was made a means to success) – and he used the word “la’alla” which means “that you may”; it is a word which gives the meaning of hope – meaning if you were repenting then you are in hope of success, and that he who does not repent is not in hope of success.
And Allah said which translates to mean: “…And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc).” (49: 11); He made His slaves into two parties: a party which is repenting, and a party which is wrong-doing; there isnt a third type at all (so He ascribed he who does not repent to wrong doing).
And the Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam) said: “Oh people! Repent to Allah, for I repent in a day to Him 100 times.” (Muslim).
Surah Al-Faatihah and the true meaning of at-Tawbah
When tawbah was the return of the slave to Allah; and when tawbah was his departing of the way of those who deserve the wrath of Allah and those who are astray – then Suratul Fatiha contained this meaning and clarified it very plainly. Whoever gave Al-Fatiha its right, and pondered upon this verse as he should; he will then recognize in it the true meaning of tawbah. The total guidance to the straight path does not be with the ignorance of sins or insisting on them (i.e. being ignorant of what is a sin, contradicts guidance; and he who insists on sins, is not completely guided.)
The difference between repenting and asking forgiveness
The difference between repenting and asking forgiveness is: seeking forgiveness is more general then repenting; as repenting is to leave a particular thing which you know (is a sin), and knowing the sin which you are repenting from is a conidition to the validity of repentance. However, asking forgiveness is general, as the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam) used to ask forgiveness for that which he knew and that which he didn’t know.
And Ibnul Qayyim said (in Madaarij as-Saalikeen): “Being pleased with a sin is proof of three things:
- The strong desire in it
- The ignorance of the worth of the One disobeyed
- The ignorance of the consequence of the sin, and its danger
His happiness with the sin blinded him from the previously mentioned (last two things). This happiness is more harmful to the slave than comitting the sin. And the believer never gets a comlpete taste of his sin (i.e. it is always accompanied with the bittereness of regret), neither is he completely happy with it (i.e. it is always accompnaied with sadness). Rather, he doesn’t engage in it except with sorrow in his heart; but it is the drunkness of desire which covers this feeling of guilt from him. So if ever one’s heart is free from such a feeling (of guilt), let him then accuse his faith, and greive the death of his heart; for if it was alive, then the comitting of sin would have grieved him, and it would have troubled him, and would be very difficult for him, and the heart would have then felt it. So when the heart doesn’t feel it, then know that there is no pain of a wound in a dead body. And this issue very few people are guided to knowing, or paid attention to; and it is a very scary zone falling down to destruction – unless it was changed by three things: the fear of being punished for it, before repenting (i.e. death); regretfulness of what has passed of disobedience; the strive to make up for it.
Insisting on a sin is another sin
Insisting on it is far greater than the first sin; and this (insisting) is out of the punishment of the sin (i.e. insisting on the sin is Allah’s punishment for you comitting it), so that it brings another greater (sin) than it, then the next –until destruction takes a firm hold (of you).
Insisting on a sin is another sin; and falling back from rectifying the excess of sin is (considered three things): insisting on it; being pleased with it; finding comfort in it. And that is the sign of destruction.
(And even greater than that is) doing it (the sin) openly, along with the certainty that Allah is ever watchful over him from above His Throne. So if he believed in His watching over him, and had the courage of doing it openly; then that is great! And if he didn’t believe in His watching over him, then it is disbelief, and a slipping out of the fold of Islam. So he is between two cases:
- Lack of shame; and openly disobeying Him, when he knows He is ever watchful (over him).
- Disbelief and total slipping out of the fold of Islam.
That is why it is a condition in the validity of repenting that one is certain that Allah is ever watchful over him; because repenting is not valid except from a Muslim – unless he disbelieved in Allah’s watching over Him.
The reality of repentance is three things
The reality of repentance is three things: regreting what has preceded; abandoning it immediately (as repenting is not possible while insisting on the sin); the determination not to return (to the sin). As for regreting, whoever wasn’t regretful of the wretchedness; then that is proof of being pleased with the sin and insisting on it. And it was narrated by Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) in his Musnad that the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam) said: “Regretfulness is repenting”.
As for the second condition (abandoning), repenting is impossible with engaging in the sin; because the very meaning of tawbah is returning back to the obedience of Allah, and that isnt possible while remaingin in the disobedeince.
Of the complete repentance is to leave justifying (the sin), because justifying a sin is making an excuse for that crime. And leaving it (i.e. leaving justifying the sin) is (in) admitting it; and repenting isn’t valid except after admitting to it; so that both the heart and the tongue says: ‘Oh lord! I am not innocent of falling into this sin, therefore I am sorry; and there is no power with me to succeed, but I am a sinner and I seek forgiveness. Oh Allah! No excuse is there for me, but it is your mere right, and my mere crime; so if you pardon – otherwise it is your right.”
The drunkeness of one’s desire is from his nafs; especially if he is comitting a sin which he previously used to do and got used to doing; as they say: “leaving that which you got used to is tough.”
Transcribed by: Karima Muslimah
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