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LANALLAH __Islamic BlogZine__
Friday, July 08, 2005

Yeah...But ALLAH forgives everything,Right?



by Muslim1400


There's a pretty common mistake that a lot of people are making, and it's thinking that Islam is like Christianity somehow. In Christianity, Prophet Jesus['Isa], peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, was supposedly crucified as punishment for the sins of all mankind. He took all our punishment, so now all we have to do is believe in him and we're automatically saved because he went through living hell for us. That's called vicarious atonement.


In Islam, there is no vicarious atonement. No one died or was tortured on a cross to apologize for your sins, so you have to apologize yourself. In order to be forgiven, you have to ask for forgiveness. You can't just lay down at night without praying Isha and just think, "Oh it's ok if I miss Isha Prayer, Allaah forgives everything". It doesn't work that way. Allaah can forgive all sins, but that doesn't mean He will, especially if you don't even ask, especially if you're not even sorry for what you're doing when you know it's wrong. Sinning and then brushing it off by saying that Allaah forgives everything is not actually being repentant, it's being opportunistic, it's called trying to find loopholes. Real repentance is called Taubah.

Repentance, called Taubah in Arabic, works like this- there are four basic steps to repentance according unanimously to Muslim scholars and simple logic:

STEP 1: STOP THE SIN. Obviously you can't repent of something when you're still doing it, that's the equivalent of punching someone in the eye repeatedly and apologizing at the same time. You have to stop doing whatever wrong it is you're doing first.

STEP 2: FEEL BAD. Feeling bad implies you understand what you were doing was probably wrong, ungrateful, and un-Islamic. If you do step one and stop sinning without ever feeling Islamically bad about what you were doing, then chances are you quit for some other reason. It's like not wearing tight clothes anymore only because you gained weight, or not dating because no one has asked you out. If you didn't quit for the sake of your religion or to please Allaah, how can that be counted as repentance?

STEP 3: RESOLVE NOT TO REPEAT IT. You can't just quit smoking...in between cigarettes... You have to decide to quit for good. It?s true that since people are imperfect, that they may lapse back into sins, but the point is that you sincerely repent and resolve to stop doing that specific sin immediately and try, to the best of your abilities, to never do it again. Otherwise it's like "Ya Allaah, I'm sorry, but I'll do this again anyway?".

STEP 4: MAKE UP FOR IT. The last step is the hardest one of all. If you sinned against someone, you have to apologize or do something to make up for it. If you stole, you have to pay what you owe or return what you stole. If you missed prayer, you have to make them up as well. If you don't try to make up for the wrongs you've done, then you're just repenting so long as it doesn't cause you any trouble, and that doesn't sound too sincere, does it?

BUT WHAT IF I HAVE TOO MANY SINS?

There's no such thing as having too many sins, anyone who thinks that hasn't got enough faith in Allaah's Infinite Mercy. It's actually a little cocky too...no don?t bother forgiving me, I got more sins than you have mercy...Astaghfirullah. Allaah says in Hadith Qudsi number 34 of 40 Hadith Qudsi:

"...O Son of Adam! If your sins were to reach the limits of the sky, and then you seek My forgiveness, I shall forgive you, and I shall not mind. O Son of Adam! If you will bring sins equal in volume to the earth and then you meet Me (on the day of Judgment) in the state that you would not have suggested partners unto Me, I shall give you in return forgiveness equal to the volume of the earth."

Remember, forgiveness is conditional; in order to be forgiven you have to repent and do Taubah, and not have committed Shirk (Shirk is worshipping anything other than Allaah or associating anything with Him). ?

But what about "minor" sins?

Said Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him (to one of the followers): "You imagine certain sins to be more insignificant than a straw. But, at the time of the Prophet we used to count them among those that can destroy a man." -[HR: Bukhari]

Ibn Mas'ud, a companion of the Prophet said: "A believer treats a sin as if it is a mountain over his head that may fall on him any moment. Whereas a regular violator looks at them as a fly that perked on his nose and he waved it away with his hand." -[[HR: Bukhari]

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him said: "Beware of the minor sins. For the example of the minor sins is like that of a group of travelers who broke their journey in a valley. Then one of them brought in a straw (to burn for a camp-fire). Another came up with another (and a third with one more) until with their collection they were able to gather enough t o cook their food. Remember! If a man is held for questioning (on the day of Judgment) for his minor sins, surely they will destroy him."

In another version he is reported to have said: "Beware of minor sins. For they add on until they destroy the man." (drop by drop fills the bucket, straw by straw builds a fire, sin by sin?)

"And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad ) about Me (whether I am close to them or at a distance, let them know that), I Answer the prayers of him who calls Me." [Al-Baqarah: 186]


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