Allah invites you to Paradise and to forgiveness, by His permission

Allah swt says in Surah an-Nisa 4 v28: “Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak”.

Brothers in Islam: To find perfection in the human being is impossible and infallibility is limited to Allah’s Prophets and His Messengers. Allah swt says that man has been created weak. Therefore no matter how strong his body becomes, he is weak when he faces the desires of his own soul, we see him crumble with no strength or ability to resist temptations.

Our Lord, the Most Compassionate, is most knowledgeable regarding His creation; He is fully aware of their inabilities, weaknesses, deficiencies and their short comings. Consequently, He warns them of His disobedience and His punishment but despite all of this, they still sin and transgress. As a result, He has opened to them the door of hope for His pardon, mercy, pleasure and forgiveness and invited them to the spaciousness of His generosity and compassion, saying,

Allah swt says in Surah al-Baqarah 2, verse 221: “Allah invites to Paradise and forgiveness with His permission.”

Imam Muslim has recorded in a hadith that the messenger of Allah (pbuh) said ‘Allah says “O my slaves indeed you commit sins by day and by night but I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness from Me and I will forgive you’.”

Thus deficiency and heedlessness is part of our nature and we commit sins and disobedience and all the while Shaitan is on our right and on our left, in front of us and behind us, enticing us and inviting us to commit sins. Therefore we become weak and succumb to his invitation and thus become disobedient. After which the ‘accursed one’ says to us, “I had no power over you except to entice you and you succumbed to me, so do not blame me and blame no one but yourselves.” (Surah Ibrahim 14, verse 22)

أيها المؤمنون: It is from the greatest gifts of Allah and from His good grace that He invites His slaves to His pardon and forgiveness; not only this but He also follows it with another great bounty: He grants them respite to critically examine their own souls, help amend their mistakes and correct their state. As He, the Exalted says in the Surah Ibrahim 14, verse 10: “He invites you so that He may forgive you your transgressions and He delays [your death] until an appointed time.”

Thus, give glad tidings to those who know that they have a merciful Lord, Who is generous, Who pardons, Who accepts the repentance of those who are regretful, Who overlooks the mistakes of those who stumble when they turn to Him truthfully and sincerely and without losing hope. Indeed, this is what He has ordered His Prophet and those with him when He the Exalted says in Surah Muhammad, verse 19: “And know [O Muhammad] that there is no deity except Allah so seek forgiveness for your sins and for those of the believers.”

And our Prophet Muhammad, (pbuh), said to us, “If you did not transgress, Allah would remove you and bring a people who do sin and seek forgiveness from Allah the Exalted and he would forgive them.” (Related by Muslim)

So whoever’s hand committed sins, and whoever spoke that which enrages his Lord and Master by swearing and slander, and whoever walked the path of disobedience, and whoever spent the night worried, anxious, in discomfort, miserable, in despair, the world seemingly constricting him despite its spaciousness, his eyes not enjoying sleep and his mouth not enjoying the taste of food and drink, as if darkness surrounds him because he has disobeyed his Lord and committed a prohibited act, then let his heart be opened, his burden lightened, his worry and anxiety removed and his happiness returned to him by the statement of his Lord the Most High: “Say [O Muhammad]: O my slaves who have sinned against their own souls, do not despair from the mercy of Allah – indeed Allah forgives all sins and indeed it is He who is the All Forgiving, the All Merciful.” (Surah az-Zumar 39, verse53) And are you not overjoyed by the statement of Allah the Most High,

“They are those who if they commit an immorality or transgress against their own souls they remember Allah and ask His forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? [In addition] they do not persist in doing (evil) whilst they are aware of it.” (Surah al-e-Imran 3, verse135)

And by His statement, “And indeed I am the Forgiver of he who repents and believes and performs righteous actions and then was guided.” (Surah Ta-Ha 20, verse 82) and in Surah an-Noor, verse 22: “Would you not like it that Allah would forgive you.”

And by His statement in a hadith Qudsi, “O son of Adam, as long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done and I will 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, if you were to come to me with sins as great as the volume of the earth and were you then to face Me, associating no partners with Me, I would bring you forgiveness of an equal amount to it.” (Related by al-Tirmidhi)

Brothers in Islam: Therefore shouldn’t those who have committed sins repent? And shouldn’t those who were saddened by their disobedience be happy? Don’t they see the extent of Allah’s mercy and His forgiveness? So raise your hands in supplication and raise your voice in remembrance of your Lord, open your heart and allow your tongue to say, “O my Lord I have repented to You so accept it from me and have mercy upon me.” And say, “I seek the forgiveness of Allah the Exalted and I have repented unto Him.”

Say it with a truthful tongue and with a sincere and pure heart and make a firm intention to leave all sins and to return to Allah absolutely, as the person who sought forgiveness but did not correct his repentance, then he is a liar and the person who seeks forgiveness for sins while he is still committing them, is as if he is ridiculing his Lord. So be wary that you do not become such a person. Try to become of those whom Allah describes as follows, “O you who believe, fear Allah and be with those who are truthful.” (9:119) and also Allah swt says in Surah at-Tahreem: “O you who believe, repent to Allah with a true and sincere repentance.”

In Conclusion: seeking forgiveness and repentance and being consistent is not just the task of sinners and the disobedient. It is also for the people of faith, remembrance and sincerity. Seek forgiveness from Allah a great deal, even after performing the greatest acts of worship. For example, our Prophet (pbuh), said, “By Allah, I seek Allah’s forgiveness and repent to Him more than 100 times a day.” (Related by al-Bukhari)

Ibn Umar, (ra) said, “We would count the Prophet, (pbuh) saying, ‘O my Lord, forgive me and accept my repentance, indeed you are the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful’ one hundred times in our gatherings.” (Related by Abu Dawood)

And al-Muzani (ra) related that the Prophet (pbuh), said, “Indeed I find heedlessness prevailing upon my heart and indeed, I seek Allah’s forgiveness a 100 times a day.” (Related by Muslim)

So remain firm upon this and follow the practice of the best of mankind, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and repent and seek Allah’s forgiveness much, so that your sins may be forgiven and your repentance be accepted.

Our beloved Prophet, (pbuh) has taught us the best way in which to seek Allah’s forgiveness by informing us of a supplication to make, as we find on the authority of Shaddad b. Aws (ra) who related that the Prophet (pbuh), said, “The superior prayer for forgiveness is that the slave should say,

‘O Allah, You are my Lord; there is no deity except you. You created me and I am Your slave. I am keeping my pledge and promise to you as much as I can. I seek refuge with You from the evil I have done. I acknowledge the blessings You have bestowed upon me and I confess my sins to you, so forgive me as indeed, no one can forgive sins except You.’

Whoever said this during the day, with surety of faith in it and died before they reached the evening then they will be of the people of Paradise. And whoever said this during the night, with surety of faith in it and died before they reached the morning then they will be of the people of Paradise.”(Related by al-Bukhari)

So my dear brothers seize this great opportunity, learn it and teach it, say it with a truthful heart and a mindful tongue. O Allah, please forgive our sins and ignore our shortcomings and enter us into Your Paradise, Ameen. Farooq Khan