Secondly: The blessings of repentance come in this world and in the Hereafter, some are visible and some are hidden. The rewards of repentance are: purity of heart, erasing of sins and increasing of hasanaat (good deeds). Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will expiate from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise) the Day that Allah will not disgrace the Prophet (Muhammad) and those who believe with him. Their Light will run forward before them and (with their Records Books of deeds) in their right hands. They will say: ‘Our Lord! Keep perfect our Light for us [and do not put it off till we cross over the Siraat (a slippery bridge over the Hell) safely] and grant us forgiveness. Verily, You are Able to do all things’.” [Surah al-Tahreem (66):8]
The reward of repentance is a good life in the shade of faith, contentment, peace of mind and tranquility. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves the needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words).” [Surah Hood (11):3]
The reward of repentance is blessings coming down from heaven, blessings coming from the earth, an increase in one’s wealth and offspring, blessings in productivity, good physical health and protection from diseases. Allah says of Hood (Peace be upon him) (interpretation of the meaning):
“And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as Mujrimoon (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah).” [Surah Hood (11):52]
Everyone who repents to Allah, Allah accepts his repentance. The caravan of those who have repented to Allah will not be interrupted until the sun rises from the west.
One repented from banditry, another from adultery, and others from drinking alcohol, taking drugs, severing the ties of kinship, not praying or being too lazy to pray in congregation, disobeying parents, dealing in riba (usury) and bribes, stealing, shedding blood, consuming people’s wealth unlawfully, or smoking. Anyone who repents to Allah from any sin is to be congratulated, because it is as if they have been born anew through their sincere repentance.
It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed Sa’d ibn Maalik ibn Sinaan al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There was among the people who came before you a man who killed ninety-nine people. Then he asked about the most knowledgeable person on earth, and was directed to a hermit, so he went to him, told him that he had killed ninety-nine people, and asked if he could be forgiven. The hermit said, ‘No,’ so he killed him, thus completing one hundred. Then he asked about the most knowledgeable person on earth and was directed to a scholar. He told him that he had killed one hundred people, and asked whether he could be forgiven. The scholar said, ‘Yes, what could possibly come between you and repentance? Go to such-and-such a town, for in it there are people who worship Allah. Go and worship with them, and do not go back to your own town, for it is a bad place.” So the man set off, but when he was halfway there, the angel of death came to him, and the angels of mercy and the angels of wrath began to argue over him. The angels of mercy said: ‘He had repented and was seeking Allah.’ The angels of wrath said: ‘He never did any good thing.’ An angel in human form came to them, and they asked him to decide the matter. He said: ‘Measure the distance between the two lands (his home town and the town he was headed for), and whichever of the two he is closest to is the one to which he belongs.’ So they measured the distance, and found that he was closer to the town for which he had been headed, so the angels of mercy took him.” (Agreed upon)
According to a version narrated by Muslim (2716): “He was closer to the righteous town by a hand-span, so he was counted among its people.”
According to a version narrated by al-Bukhari (3470): “Allah commanded (the righteous town) to draw closer and (the evil town) to move away, and he said: “Measure the distance between them,’ and he was found to be closer to (the righteous town) by a hand-span, so he was forgiven.”
According to a version narrated by Muslim: “He leaned with his chest towards it”.
What is meant by repentance is returning to Allah, giving up sin and hating it, and regretting falling short in obedience to Allah. Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Repentance is essential from every sin, even if it is something between a person and Allah and has nothing to do with the rights of another person. There are three conditions of repentance:
1- You should give up the sin
2- You should regret having done it
3- You should resolve never to go back to it.
If one of these three is missing, then your repentance is not sincere. If the sin has to do with the rights of another person, then there are four conditions: the three mentioned above and restoring the rights of that person.
If it is money or property, etc, it must be returned to him; if it had to do with slandering him etc, then you should allow him to insult him in return, or ask for his forgiveness; if it had to do with backbiting about him, then you have to ask for his pardon. It is essential to repent from all sins; if a person repents from some, his repentance from the sins from which he repented is valid – according to the scholars who follow the right path – but he must still repent from the rest as well.
Based on the above, if these conditions are met by the person who is repenting, then there is the hope that his repentance will be accepted, by Allah’s leave. After that he should not worry about waswaas (whispers) suggesting that his repentance is not accepted, because that is from the Shaytaan and is contrary to what Allah and His Messenger (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) have told us, that repentance is accepted if it is sincere.
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