Saturday, December 14, 2013

Q&A: Sincere Repentance from Sin

Question:
Assalamu Alaikum, may Allah help you and give you success.
I want to ask you a question that deeply scares me: The one who repents from his sin but then falls back into it, is the old sin written again?
It was reported about sincere repentance from His سبحانه وتعالى saying:
تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّـهِ تَوْبَةً نَّصُوحًا
"repent to Allah with sincere repentance"
(At-Tahrim: 8)
That the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
«هو العبد يتوب من الذنب ثم لا يعود فيه أبدا»
"The servant repents from the sin and then never returns to it."
Therefore sincere repentance is to never return to the sin.
The second part of the question:
Do all the good deeds (hassanat) of one who fell into Kufr and then returned to Islam vanish, while his bad deeds (say'iat) remain!! Because it was narrated from the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم:
قال رجلٌ: لا يَغفِرُ اللهُ لِفلانٍ! فأوْحَى اللهُ إلى نبيٍّ من الأنْبياءِ: إنَّها خطِيئةٌ فلْيستقبِلِ العمَلَ
"A man said: 'Allah does not forgive so and so! Then Allah revealed to one of the Prophets: It is a sin, so let him take up the action."
It was said that the meaning of "take up" in this context is that his action was frustrated, hence he will have to repeat it. It was reported that if the Hadath (impurity) occurred to someone in prayer, then he will have to "take it up", i.e. "take up the prayer", meaning to repeat it. This matter deeply scares me. If I repented from Kufr I fell into, will then all my reward be erased while every sin I have committed in my life remains?! I remember saying to my friend, when he verbally attacked Hizb ut Tahrir with slander: "By Allah you will be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection for these words."
May Allah bless and maintain you.
From Ahla Arch


Answer:
Wa Alaikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatahu
1. The sincere repentance from sin has to be genuine in four aspects: forsake the sin, regret the action, to intend not to fall back into it, and if it was connected to another person's right, then to restore this right or receive that person's forgiveness. All of this must be accompanied by sincerity towards Allah Almighty, and Allah knows best about what is secret and what is public.
Allah Almighty commanded the believers to repent sincerely, so He will forgive their sins. The Highest, the Elevated said:
يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إلى اللَّهِ تَوبَةً نَصُوحَاً عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أنْ يُكَفِّرَ عَنْكُمْ سَيِّئاتِكُمْ وَيُدْخِلَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الأنْهَارُ
"O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance. Perhaps your Lord will remove from you your misdeeds and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow"
(At-Tahrim: 8)
The one who repents honestly and sincerely under the mentioned conditions, then his sin is forgiven, Bidhnillah. Ibn Majah reported from Abu Ubaidah Bin Abdullah, from his father who said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
«التَّائِبُ مِنَ الذَّنْبِ، كَمَنْ لَا ذَنْبَ لَهُ»
"The one who repents from his sin is like the one who has not committed a sin."
As for what was narrated from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that sincere repentance occurs when a person never returns to the sin – meaning that he has not repented if he fell back into it – then this is a weak transmission:
Ahmad reported in his Musnad, where he said: "Al-Hajariy told us from Abu Al-Ahwas from Abdullah who said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: «التَّوْبَةُ مِنَ الذَّنْبِ: أَنْ يَتُوبَ مِنْهُ، ثُمَّ لَا يَعُودَ فِيهِ»
"Repentance from sin is to repent of it, and then not return to it." The chain of transmission (Isnad) attributed to it is weak and the Sahih ended it.
Therefore, sincere repentance is that one intends in honesty and sincerity to never return to the sin. But if he returned, he repeats the repentance with firm intention, determination and regret.
He shall not insist on his sin and say "There is no forgiveness for me!", rather he shall repent again, asking for forgiveness, repeating it honestly and sincerely. And Allah knows what deceives the eyes and what the breasts conceal. The Almighty said in the Holy Ayah:
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُوا اللَّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَنْ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّوا عَلَى مَا فَعَلُوا وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
"And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins - and who can forgive sins except Allah? - and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know."
(Ali-Imran: 135)
The attribute of repentance as indicated in this Ayah has been reported by Ahmad in a Hasan Hadeeth, who said: "Wakee' told us and said Mis'ar and Sufyan told us from Ali (ra) who said: "Abu Bakr (ra) told me, and it is true what Abu Bakr heard from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, who said:
«مَا مِنْ رَجُلٍ يُذْنِبُ ذَنْبًا فَيَتَوَضَّأُ فَيُحْسِنُ الْوُضُوءَ قَالَ مِسْعَرٌ وَيُصَلِّي وَقَالَ سُفْيَانُ: ثُمَّ يُصَلِّي رَكْعَتَيْنِ فَيَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَّا غَفَرَ لَهُ»
"There is no man who commits a sin and then performs a good ablution, Mid'ar added: and prays, and Sufyan said: and then prays two Rak'as and seeks forgiveness from Allah Almighty, except Allah forgives him."
This Hadeeth was also reported by At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and An-Nasa'i. Ibn Hibban counted it among the Sahih. In At-Tirmidhi's, Ibn Majah's and An-Nasai's reports it further says:
إِلَّا غَفَرَ لَهُ قال ثُمَّ قَرَأَ هَذِهِ الْآيَةَ وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ
"...except he is forgiven." Then he صلى الله عليه وسلم read the following Ayah: "And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression]" (Ali-Imran: 135)
Thus, the one who repented of a sin and then fell back into it, should repent again, and honestly and sincerely ask Allah Almighty for forgiveness and ask Allah to accept his repentance. The repetition of the sin does not close the door of repentance, if the repentance is as we mentioned: "genuine in four things: To forsake the sin, regret the action, to intend not to fall back into it, and if it was connected to another person's right, then to restore this right or receive that person's forgiveness. All of this must be accompanied by sincerity towards Allah Almighty, and Allah knows best about what is secret and what is public."
2. As for the question whether the one who was a Kaffir and became Muslim keeps his previous sins? And whether the Muslim's repentance who fell into Kufr and returned to Islam is accepted, or his repentance remains unaccepted, so he does not return to Islam...The answer is as follows:
a. Ahmad reported from Ibn Shimasa, from Amr Bin al-Aas, who said: "When Allah Almighty placed Islam in my heart, I went to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to have him receive my Shahada. He صلى الله عليه وسلم stretched out his hand to me, I said: 'I will not pronounce it to you oh Messenger of Allah until you forgive me what preceded from sins.' The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم told me:
«يَا عَمْرُو أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّ الْهِجْرَةَ تَجُبُّ مَا قَبْلَهَا مِنَ الذُّنُوبِ، يَا عَمْرُو أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّ الْإِسْلَامَ يَجُبُّ مَا كَانَ قَبْلَهُ مِنَ الذُّنُوبِ»
"Oh Amr, did you not know that the Hijra eradicates what came before it from sins, oh Amr did you not know that Islam eradicates what came before it from sins?"
Al-Bayhaqi reported in his Sunan al-Kubra from Habeeb Ibn Abi Auss, who said: "Amr Bin al-Aas (ra) talked to me, he mentioned the story of his conversion to Islam saying: 'Then I went forward saying: 'Oh Messenger of Allah, I will pronounce it to you if I am forgiven my previous sins.' I did not mention that which will come afterwards. He صلى الله عليه وسلم said to me:
«يَا عَمْرُو بَايِعْ فَإِنَّ الْإِسْلَامَ يَجُبُّ مَا كَانَ قَبْلَهُ وَإِنَّ الْهِجْرَةَ تَجُبُّ مَا كَانَ قَبْلَهَا»
"Oh Amr, pronounce it for Islam eradicates what came before it and the Hijra eradicates what came before it." So I pronounced my Shahada to him'"
Therefore Amr was a Kaffir who converted to Islam and the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم told him:
«أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّ الْإِسْلَامَ يَجُبُّ مَا كَانَ قَبْلَهُ مِنَ الذُّنُوبِ»
"Did you not know that Islam eradicates what came before it from sins?"
This means that the sins committed before his acceptance of Islam have been erased, with the permission of Allah Almighty.
b. As for the Kaffir who accepted Islam, fell back into Kufr and then returned to Islam, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم accepted that from him:
An-Nasa'i reported in his Sunan from Ibn Abbas who said: "A man from the Ansar had accepted Islam, then became an apostate and followed Shirk. Then he regretted and sent after his people: 'Ask the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم on my behalf: Is there repentance for me?' Hence his people came to the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم and said: 'So and so regrets and commanded us to ask you: Is there repentance for him?' Then the Ayah was revealed:
كَيْفَ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ قَوْمًا كَفَرُوا بَعْدَ إِيمَانِهِمْ
"How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their belief"
(Ali-Imran: 86)
Until His saying:
غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
"Allah is Forgiving and Merciful"
(Ali-Imran: 89)
It was sent after him, so he accepted Islam.
Al-Hakim reported it in his Mustadrak from Ibn Abbas with the wording: "He said: There was a man from the Ansar who had accepted Islam, then became an apostate and followed the Mushrikeen. Then he regretted and sent after his people: 'Ask the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم whether there is repentance for me.' He said: Then the Ayah was revealed:
كَيْفَ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ قَوْمًا كَفَرُوا بَعْدَ إِيمَانِهِمْ
"How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their belief"
(Ali-Imran: 86)
Until His saying:
إِلَّا الَّذِينَ تَابُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ وَأَصْلَحُوا، فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
"Except for those who repent after that and correct themselves. For indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful."
(Ali-Imran: 89)
He said: «فَأَرْسَلَ إِلَيْهِ قَوْمُهُ فَأَسْلَمَ»
"His people sent after him so he accepted Islam." Al Hakim said: "This is a Sahih Hadeeth, albeit not reported by the two (Bukhari and Muslim)."
c. As for the Holy Ayah:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بَعْدَ إِيمَانِهِمْ ثُمَّ ازْدَادُوا كُفْرًا لَنْ تُقْبَلَ تَوْبَتُهُمْ وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الضَّالُّونَ
"Indeed, those who reject the message after their belief and then increase in disbelief - never will their [claimed] repentance be accepted, and they are the ones astray."
(Ali-Imran: 90)
And the Holy Ayah:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ثُمَّ كَفَرُوا ثُمَّ آمَنُوا ثُمَّ كَفَرُوا ثُمَّ ازْدَادُوا كُفْرًا لَمْ يَكُنِ اللَّهُ لِيَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ وَلَا لِيَهْدِيَهُمْ سَبِيلًا
"Indeed, those who have believed then disbelieved, then believed, then disbelieved, and then increased in disbelief - never will Allah forgive them, nor will He guide them to a way."
(An-Nisa: 137)
It means – concerning the one who falls into Kufr and insists on it –
ثُمَّ ازْدَادُوا كُفْرًا
"and then increased in disbelief"
that their repentance is not accepted as long as they remain in such situation, i.e. their increase in Kufr. They have committed Kufr and insisted on it, so their repentance will not be accepted as long as they are insistent on Kufr, because the first condition of repentance is to abandon the sin. In the Tafsir of Al-Qurtubi it says about the holy Ayah:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بَعْدَ إِيمانِهِمْ ثُمَّ ازْدادُوا كُفْراً لَنْ تُقْبَلَ تَوْبَتُهُمْ وَأُولئِكَ هُمُ الضَّالُّونَ
"Indeed, those who reject the message after their belief and then increase in disbelief - never will their [claimed] repentance be accepted, and they are the ones astray."
(Ali-Imran: 90)
"Qutrub said: 'This Ayah was revealed over a people from Mecca who said: 'We believe in Muhammad but with doubts. If it appears to us that we should return, we shall return to our people.' Then Allah revealed:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بَعْدَ إِيمانِهِمْ ثُمَّ ازْدادُوا كُفْراً لَنْ تُقْبَلَ تَوْبَتُهُمْ
"Indeed, those who reject the message after their belief and then increase in disbelief - never will their [claimed] repentance be accepted"
(Ali-Imran: 90)
Meaning their repentance is not accepted as long as they remain insistent on their Kufr. Therefore he called it unaccepted repentance, because the people did not have determination. But Allah Almighty accepts all repentance if it was with correct determination." [End of citation].
And he said in the Tafsir of the Ayah:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ثُمَّ كَفَرُوا ثُمَّ آمَنُوا ثُمَّ كَفَرُوا ثُمَّ ازْدادُوا كُفْراً لَمْ يَكُنِ اللَّهُ لِيَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ وَلا لِيَهْدِيَهُمْ سَبِيلاً
"Indeed, those who have believed then disbelieved, then believed, then disbelieved, and then increased in disbelief - never will Allah forgive them, nor will He guide them to a way."
(An-Nisa: 137)
"The meaning of ثُمَّ ازْدادُوا كُفْراً "and then increased in disbelief" is that they insisted on Kufr." [End of citation.]
3. What you have mentioned from the one who swears that Allah will not forgive so and so...The matter is as follows:
a. Muslim reported from Suwayd Bin Saeed, from Mu'tamir Bin Sulayman, from his father who was told by Abu Imran Al-Juwainy from Jundub that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
«أَنَّ رَجُلًا قَالَ: وَاللهِ لَا يَغْفِرُ اللهُ لِفُلَانٍ، وَإِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى قَالَ: مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَتَأَلَّى عَلَيَّ أَنْ لَا أَغْفِرَ لِفُلَانٍ، فَإِنِّي قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لِفُلَانٍ، وَأَحْبَطْتُ عَمَلَكَ»
"A man said: 'By Allah, Allah does not forgive so and so.' Then Allah said: 'Who is the one who swears on Me that I do not forgive so and so? For I have forgiven so and so and thwarted your action." Or how he said it." The meaning of يتألى is to swear.
Al-Bayhaqi reported it with the wording:
"Suwayd Bin Saeed told us from Mu'tamir, from his father, from Abi Imran...Abu Salamah Yahya Bin Khalaf Al-Bahiliy told us from Mu'tamar Bin Sulayman who said: 'I heard my father say: 'Abu Imran told us from Jundub that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
«أَنَّ رَجُلًا قَالَ: وَاللَّهِ لَا يَغْفِرُ اللَّهُ لِفُلَانٍ، قَالَ اللَّهُ: مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَتَأَلَّى عَلَى أَنَّنِي لَا أَغْفِرُ لِفُلَانٍ، فَإِنِّي غَفَرْتُ لِفُلَانٍ وَأَحْبَطْتُ عَمَلَكَ»
"A man said: 'By Allah, Allah will not forgive so and so. Then Allah said: 'Who is the one who swears on Me that I do not forgive so and so? For I have forgiven so and so and thwarted your action." Or how he said it."[End of citation.]
At-Tabarani reported it in Al-Mu'ajjam al-Kabeer from Hammad Bin Salamah, from Abu Imran, from Jundub:
«أَنَّ رَجُلًا آلَى أَنْ لَا يَغْفِرَ اللهُ لِفُلَانٍ فَأَوْحَى الله عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَى نَبِيِّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، أَوْ إِلَى نَبِيٍّ: أَنَّهَا بِمَنْزِلَةِ الْخَطِيئَةِ فَلْيَسْتَقْبِلِ الْعَمَلَ»
"A man swore that Allah would not forgive so and so, then Allah Almighty revealed to His Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم or to a Prophet: This amounts to a sin, so let him take up his action."
In these Ahadeeth the man swore that Allah does not forgive so and so, and this is not permissible. How does he swear that Allah does not forgive so and so, when there is no one in the heavens and on earth who knows what is hidden?:
قُلْ لَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ الْغَيْبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبْعَثُونَ
"Say, "None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen except Allah, and they do not perceive when they will be resurrected."
(An-Naml: 65)
Allah punished him by frustrating his actions, because he swore that Allah does not forgive. This is specific about this sin. The one who swears while aware of his words, that Allah will not forgive so and so, then this is applied to him. He سبحانه وتعالى said in the Hadeeth: "Who is the one who swears on Me that I do not forgive so and so?" and He said: "Who is the one who swears on Me that I do not forgive so and so?"
As for what you have said about your statement in your question: "By Allah you will be held accountable for your saying on the Day of Resurrection." This is different according to my understanding, because you swore that he will be held accountable and every human will be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection, if it is good then in goodness, and if it is bad then in vice. Allah Almighty says:
فَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ فَيَقُولُ هَاؤُمُ اقْرَءُوا كِتَابِيَهْ * إِنِّي ظَنَنْتُ أَنِّي مُلَاقٍ حِسَابِيَهْ * فَهُوَ فِي عِيشَةٍ رَاضِيَةٍ * فِي جَنَّةٍ عَالِيَةٍ * قُطُوفُهَا دَانِيَةٌ * كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا هَنِيئًا بِمَا أَسْلَفْتُمْ فِي الْأَيَّامِ الْخَالِيَةِ * وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِشِمَالِهِ فَيَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أُوتَ كِتَابِيَهْ * وَلَمْ أَدْرِ مَا حِسَابِيَهْ
"So as for he who is given his record in his right hand, he will say, "Here, read my record! Indeed, I was certain that I would be meeting my account." So he will be in a pleasant life -In an elevated garden, Its [fruit] to be picked hanging near. [They will be told], "Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you put forth in the days past." But as for he who is given his record in his left hand, he will say, "Oh, I wish I had not been given my record. And had not known what is my account."
(Al-Haqqa: 19-26)
The Most High, the Elevated said:
وَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا عَجِّلْ لَنَا قِطَّنَا قَبْلَ يَوْمِ الْحِسَابِ
"And they say, "Our Lord, hasten for us our share [of the punishment] before the Day of Account"
(Sad: 16)
And Allah Almighty said:
فَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ * فَسَوْفَ يُحَاسَبُ حِسَابًا يَسِيرًا * وَيَنْقَلِبُ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ مَسْرُورًا * وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ وَرَاءَ ظَهْرِهِ * فَسَوْفَ يَدْعُو ثُبُورًا * وَيَصْلَى سَعِيرًا
"Then as for he who is given his record in his right hand, He will be judged with an easy account. And return to his people in happiness. But as for he who is given his record behind his back, He will cry out for destruction. And [enter to] burn in a Blaze."
(Al-Inshiqaq: 7-12)
As you can see, these verses show that people will be held accountable for their actions. Hence if you swear that the person will be held accountable for his work, then the frustration of the actions does not apply to it according to the most preponderant understanding, because it is different from that man's vow that Allah will not forgive so and so. That is because his vow is incorrect, as he does not know if Allah will forgive him or punish him. This is what I perceive to be most correct in this matter, and Allah knows best and most wise.
In conclusion, carry out your actions for Allah with sincerity and repent honestly and sincerely, regretful of every sin you have committed. If your conscience is strained with someone's right, then clear your conscience. It is as it came in the Hadeeth reported from Ali (ra) from Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (ra) from the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم:
«مَا مِنْ رَجُلٍ يُذْنِبُ ذَنْبًا فَيَتَوَضَّأُ فَيُحْسِنُ الْوُضُوءَ قَالَ مِسْعَرٌ وَيُصَلِّي وَقَالَ سُفْيَانُ: ثُمَّ يُصَلِّي رَكْعَتَيْنِ فَيَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَّا غَفَرَ لَهُ»
"There is no man who commits a sin and then performs a good ablution, and Sufyan said: and then prays two Rak'as and seeks forgiveness from Allah Almighty, except Allah forgives him."
Ask Allah to forgive us and you and to guide all of us to the best of our affairs, as Allah Almighty attends to the righteous.
Your brother,
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
05 Safar 1435 AH
08/12/2013 CE
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