The Obligation of Repentance to Allah





All Praises belong to Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most-Forgiving, the Forgiver of sins, the Acceptor of repentance, the Severe in Punishment, the Mighty Sovereign, the Bestower. I praise my Lord and thank Him and repent to Him and seek His forgiveness. I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah alone. He has no partner. And I bear witness that our Prophet and Master Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, the one distinguished with the best Book. O Allah! Grant Benedictions and Peace and Blessings on Your servant and messenger Muhammad and his family and all his companions.


Servants of Allah! Fear Allah and know that Allah has mandated repentance on His faithful servants. He, the Almighty, said:

(وَتُوبُواإِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ)

And (O believers!) turn to Allâh; one and all, so that you may be successful.” And He, the Most High says:

 ( يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَصُوحًا عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَنْ يُكَفِّرَعَنْكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَ يُدْخِلَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ)  

O you who believe! Turn to Allah a sincere repentance; maybe your Lord will remove from you your evil and cause you to enter Gardens beneath which rivers flow…” And He, Glorified He is, says:

(وَأَنْ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ)

And (commanding you): “Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance…”

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) has indeed commanded repentance unto Allah and seeking forgiveness, as narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh, with the chain of transmission that reached the prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him and his family), “O people! Repent to Allah. I repent to Him a hundred times a day.” And in a narration according to Bukhaari, he said: “By Allah, I seek Allah’s forgiveness and repent to Him more 70 times a day.” This is the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) who has been forgiven of his past and future sins, asking Allah’s Forgiveness and repenting to Him more than seventy times a day, so how about those of us who are below him?!

The evidence of the Book and the Sunnah and the consensus of the Ummah have combined on the obligation of repentance for every muslim, male and female, and from all sins and transgressions without exception, small or big.

Repentance – servants of Allah – is to cut off from sin, either that of abandoning an obligation or committing forbidden acts. It is turning back from disobeying Allah to obeying Him, Glory be to Him. And just like every deed has conditions, repentance also has conditions. Allah Ta’alaa says:

)يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَصُوحًا(

“O you who believe! Turn to Allah a sincere repentance”, meaning: honest repentance. And for repentance to be sincere repentance, as the Most High said, and for it to be acceptable and correct, condition must be met. Repentance from sin is of two cases:

1. The first case is that the sin is between the servant and his Lord, Glory be to Him, and has nothing to do with the right of another human being. In this case, there are five conditions for repentance:

The first condition: Cutting off from the sin, whether it is abandoning an obligation or engaging in forbidden act.

The second condition: Remorse for committing the sin by feeling sad about his act of that sin, and wishing that he had not done it. On the authority of Abdullah ibn Mas’uud, may Allah be pleased with him, he said: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) said: “Remorse is repentance.”  (Authenticated by Al-Albaani).

The third condition: Determination not to return to that sin. To be determined with a strong will in your heart that you will never return to that sin in the future.

The fourth condition: Sincerity, in that he intends by the repentance to seek the face of Allah, desiring His forgiveness and reward, and fearing His chastisement and punishment. And repentance is not valid if it is for fear of the disobedience of the ruler, or a desire for prestige, money, or something from the glory of the world.

The fifth condition: The repentance must be before the door of repentance is closed, and the door of repentance closes at the time of death, as Allah, The Most High says: (وَلَيْسَتْ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ حَتَّى إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمْ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ إِنِّي تُبْتُ الآنَ) “And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: “Now I repent;”” And the prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “Allah accepts the repentance of a servant as long as he is not at the point of death.” (Tirmidhi). And also, before the sun rises from the west. The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) said: “Whoever repents before the sun rises from the west, Allah will accept his repentance.”

2. As for the second case: If the sin was between a human being and another human being, then in this case six conditions must be fulfilled in repentance, the five that we mentioned earlier, and the sixth condition is that the repenting person must be free of a right due to the other person. If he took his money, he must return it to its owner, if it was backbiting, he must rectify and clear the person he has backbitten. If one of these conditions is missing from repentance, the repentance is


All Praises are due to Allah alone, and prayers and peace be upon the one after whom there is no prophet, his family companions, and those who follow them until the day after which there is no day.

Dear Servants of Allah, among the issues of repentance are:

1- It may happen that a Muslim repents from a sin, then a time passes and he falls into the sin again after repenting from it. His falling into the sin does not invalidate his first repentance, as long as he comes up each time with the conditions of repentance.

2- It is valid to repent from some sins and not others according to the most correct of the sayings of the scholars. If a person neglects solat and also fails to pay zakat, then he repents from neglecting solat, thus began to pray, then his repentance is sound, but the sin of neglecting zakat is still on him.

3- It is not permissible for a person to be described as having committed a sin from which he has repented. Hadith: At-Tawbah (Repentance) cleanses what comes before it.  

4- A person should not think that he is safe from sin. This is one of the plots of Satan., The Prophet (PBUH)  said: “All children of Adam sin, and the best of sinners are those who repent.”(Al-Albani described it as Hassan):

5- Beware, dear brothers in Islam, of despising any one of the sins, thinking it is small, and neglecting Tawbah is one of them, . you may despise a sin while you view it as small, but before Allah it is great. Small sin with small sins accumulates and becomes a big one. Do not belittle a minor *** Mountains are made of pebbles

6- It is not permissible to commit the forbidden act with the intention of repenting, because that is an easy thing for a person to do, committing sins by false tricks. And all of this is a deceit from Satan, and one of his plots to make people fall into the forbidden. Dear brother, you do not know when your time of depart from this world will come. Do you still have time left in your life to give up sins? How many people have met his death with a bottle of wine in his hands! How many people did the taker of souls met while he was on his way to committing sins?

7- A Muslim should know that committing a sin openly is more dangerous and a greater sin than secretly committing it. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah () said, “Every one of my followers will be forgiven except those who expose (openly) their wrongdoings. An example of this is that of a man who commits a sin at night which Allah has covered for him, and in the morning, he would say (to people): “I committed such and such sin last night,’ while Allah had kept it a secret. During the night Allah has covered it up but in the morning he tears up the cover provided by Allah Himself.” (Agreed upon)

This is because committing sins openly is a propaganda and publicity for what is forbidden, and people are by nature agreeable to actions or behaviors that are in accordance with established practice and imitate one another, especially among those who are short-minded and weak-souled, so Satan makes it attractive to them to commit the forbidden, so evil increases and spreads among Muslims, so whoever covers his sins from the public glare and covers himself with the luxury of his sin, Allah Almighty will cover him in this world and the Hereafter and grant him success to repent.

8- There are among mankind who transgresses against his soul with many sins and transgressions until he drowns in them, and he views himself as perished and becomes despaired and hopeless of Allah’s mercy. When he remembers repentance, he despairs thinking there is no repentance for him. To the likes of this person we say him: Listen my Sinner Muslim brother to this divine call, the call of the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the Exalted said: He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. And the Almighty said about Jacob:) And do not despair of the Spirit of God, for He does not despair. of the Spirit of God, except for the disbelieving people.

(قُلْ يَاعِبَادِي الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ لاتَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ)

Say, ˹O Prophet, that Allah says,˺ “O My servants who have exceeded the limits against their souls! Do not lose hope in Allah’s mercy, for Allah certainly forgives all sins.1 He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Zumar: 53) Allah the Exalted also says regarding Ya’qub (AS):

 (وَ لا تَيْئَسُوا مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لا يَيْئَسُ مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الكَافِرُونَ)

“ And do not lose hope in the mercy of Allah, for no one loses hope in Allah’s mercy except those with no faith.” (Yusuf: 87). He also says:

(وَمَنْ يَقْنَطُ مِنْ رَحْمَةِ رَبِّهِ إِلاَّ الضَّالُّونَ)

“He exclaimed, “Who would despair of the mercy of their Lord except the misguided?” (Al-hijr: 56)

(وَالَّذِينَ لا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ وَلا يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ وَ لايَزْنُونَ وَمَنْ يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ يَلْقَ أَثَامًا يُضَاعَفْ لَهُ الْعَذَابُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَيَخْلُدْ فِيهِ مُهَانًا إِلاَّ مَنْ تَابَ وَ آمَنَ وَ عَمِلَ عَمَلاً صَالِحًا فَأُوْلَئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَ كَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا)

“They are˺ those who do not invoke any other god besides Allah, nor take a ˹human˺ life—made sacred by Allah—except with ˹legal˺ right,1 nor commit fornication. And whoever does ˹any of˺ this will face the penalty. Their punishment will be multiplied on the Day of Judgment, and they will remain in it forever, in disgrace. As for those who repent, believe, and do good deeds, they are the ones whose evil deeds Allah will change into good deeds. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-Furqan: 63- 65)

And he, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: If you do not commit sins, Allah would create a people who would commit sins, and He will forgive them.” (Narrated by Muslim)      

9- Contrary to this, he who commits sins such as theft, adultery, consuming people’s money unlawfully, and displaying beauty and nudity, even if he is advised, he says with complete satisfaction and reassurance: My Lord is Forgiving, Merciful. So we say: Yes, you are right. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving, Most Merciful. The Almighty said:

(نَبِّئْ عِبَادِي أَنِّي أَنَا الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ وَ أَنَّ عَذَابِي هُوَ الْعَذَابُ الأَلِيمُ﴾ وقال تعالى: ﴿ ورحمتي وسعت كل شيء فسأكتبها للذين يتقون)

Inform My servants ˹O Prophet˺ that I am truly the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful, and that My torment is indeed the most painful.” (Al-Hijr: 49- 50)

Yes, our Lord is Forgiving and Merciful, but for those who confess their sin and repent and believe and do righteous deeds, and severe punishment is for those who are arrogant against Allah Almighty, persist on their sins, and negligent about returning to Allah and repentance. It was part of the complete methodology of the prophets and the righteous among the servants of Allah to combine fear and hope, so it is not acceptable to hold on to the hope and neglect the fear, or vice versa, rather, they are should be taken together.

The Almighty said – praising His righteous servants:

(تَتَجَافَى جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنْ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ)

They abandon their beds, invoking their Lord with hope and fear, and donate from what We have provided for them.” (As-Sajdah: 16)

Dua: We ask Allah the Almighty, the Lord of the Noble Throne, to grant us success to achieve sincere repentance, and to make us among those who repent and seek forgiveness. O Allah! I beg You for that which incites Your Mercy and the means of Your forgiveness, safety from every sin, the benefit from every good deed, success in attaining Jannah and deliverance from Fire, O Allah! we have submitted ourselves to You. We have turned our faces to You, We relied completely on You and We submitted our affairs unto You. So protect us with the protection of faith, before us, and behind us, from our right, and from our left, from above us, and below us, and towards us and defend us and grant us security in our homeland with your power and strength, for there is neither might nor strength except with You. And honor Islam and Muslims, humiliate polytheism and polytheists, destroy the enemies of the religion, and make this country safe and reassuring, and the rest of the Muslim countries, O Lord of the worlds. Our Lord, accept from us, verily You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing, and forgive us, O Lord of the worlds. Peace and blessings be upon your servant and messenger, Muhammad, his family and all his companions.

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