>> Monday, August 2, 2010
I wasn’t really born into a religious family. I met a nice friend, though, and recently I’ve started getting more and more interested in Islam. A friend told me about this blog and from what I’ve seen you guys aren’t judgmental. The thing is I’ve done so many wrong things…things I can’t even name. I’m so ashamed of myself. Sometimes I think it’s too late. My question is this: Can Allah really forgive me?
Dear my little friend Muneeba (I’m going to call you that because it means to ‘return to Allah’!)
Awww, I’m so glad that you have started to become more interested in Islam. That’s wonderful news! Alhamdillah. Remember, if you take one step to Allah, He draws near to you a fathom’s length!
Now about having committed sins…Can Allah forgive you? Can he, EVER! Of course, He can! He is the Forgiver, the One who accepts Repentance, the One who Blots our Sins…
In fact, no matter what sins you committed, I can pretty much bet you that you did not kill 50 people, right? What about 70? What about 99? What about 100? I mean we are talking literally murder 100 people…
I doubt very much that you, Muneeba, are a serial killer. And yet, look at how Allah is still able to forgive them if they truly repent.
Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Prophet of Allah (sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam) said: "There was a man from among a nation before you who killed ninety-nine people and then made an inquiry about the most learned person on the earth. He was directed to a monk.
He came to him and told him that he had killed ninety-nine people and asked him if there was any chance for his repentance to be accepted. He replied in the negative and the man killed him, also completing one hundred. He then asked about the most learned man in the earth. He was directed to a scholar. He told him that he had killed one hundred people and asked him if there was any chance for his repentance to be accepted. He replied in the affirmative and asked, `Who stands between you and repentance? Go to such and such land; there (you will find) people devoted to prayer and worship of Allah, join them in worship, and do not come back to your land because it is an evil place.' So he went away and hardly had he covered half the distance when death overtook him; and there was a dispute between the angels of mercy and the angels of torment. The angels of mercy pleaded, 'This man has come with a repenting heart to Allah,' and the angels of punishment argued, 'He never did a virtuous deed in his life.' Then there appeared another angel in the form of a human being and the contending angels agreed to make him arbiter between them. He said, `Measure the distance between the two lands. He will be considered belonging to the land to which he is nearer.' They measured and found him closer to the land (land of piety) where he intended to go, and so the angels of mercy collected his soul".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
But you know what? In another version it actually read that "Allah commanded (the land which the man wanted to leave) to move away and commanded the other land (his destination) to draw nearer and then He said: "Now measure the distance between them.' It was found that he was nearer to his goal by a hand's span and was thus forgiven.”
Allah Subhanoo Wa’ Tala forgave that ‘murderer’. He granted him paradise. He moved the earth for his servant who showed sincere regret and an honest longing to return to Allah; obviously, then, if you do that too (if you show sincere regret and honest longing), He would do the same for you.
You see, the truth is, committing ‘sins’ doesn’t make you ‘unforgiveable’. Not at all. It only makes you human. Allah never told us to be ‘perfect’. He told us to try our best and return to Him whenever we made a mistake.
In a hadith qusdi, Allah says:
"O son of Adam, as long as you call upon Me and put your hope in Me, I have forgiven you for what you have done and I do not mind. O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky and then you would seek My forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, if you were to come to Me with sins that are close to filling the earth and then you would meet Me without ascribing any partners with Me, I would certainly bring to you forgiveness close to filling it."
The Messenger of Allah(Sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam was even reported to have said, "By the One in Whose Hand my soul is! If you do not commit sins, Allah would replace you with a people who would commit sins and seek forgiveness from Allah; and Allah will certainly forgive them ..''
And you know what else he said? He said that Allah is sooooo happy when we repent! He said:
“Indeed, Allah is more happy with the repentance of His slave than a man who stops in a barren, desolate land; with him he has his riding animal. He then goes to sleep. When he wakes up, [he realizes that] his mount is gone. He searches for it until he is on the verge of dying. He then says, ‘I will return to the place wherein I lost it, and I will die there.’ He went to that place, and he was then overcome by sleep. When he woke up, his mount was [standing] right beside his head: on it was his food, his drink, his provisions, and the things he neded. Allah is more happy with the repentance of his believing slave than the aforementioned man when he finds his mount and his provisions.”
[al-Bukhaari: 6308 ; Muslim: 2744]
So what do you do now?
- Have strong faith in Allah’s Mercy and forgiveness
- 'My sins seemed very great to me but when I compared them to Your forgiveness,
I found Your forgiveness to be far greater",
Repent: Stop doing the sin, feel regret, and resolve never to go back to it again.
- Do some extra good deeds! Allah is looking for you to do a good deed- to show mercy to others… He is looking for any any excuse at all to grant you paradise. You know, we all know the hadith that says a good deed is rewarded 10 X- but if you read the actual words, it can be rewarded 700 X! It all depends on your sincerity, etc.
- Try to find some “good” friends to support you. You might want to go check out the local mosque on Friday and get to know some other sisters. If your community isn’t that active, you can join an Islamic forum for sisters.
- Obviously, make sure you stay away from not so good friends. If your iman isn’t that strong yet, peer pressure can really get you down.
- Do more dhikr and keep making istighfaar.
- Keep making dua that Allah forgives you and keeps you steadfast on His Path.
- If you talked about somebody behind their back (and we’ve all done that), you should try to apologize. You don’t need to go up to the person and say “Could you forgive me? I called you a jealous loser who has no friends and whose own mother can’t stand. I hope you don’t mind”. You don’t need to be auntie to know that’s not going to solve the problem! Instead, you could have a gathering with a bunch of your friends and you could say something like “Guys, I haven’t always been such a good friend. I’m really sorry for anything I might have said or done. I hope you guys can forgive me”. If you can’t meet all your friends, you could send a sincere forward or just make it your Facebook status.
- If you took something that didn’t belong to you, you really need to try to return it. Again, you don’t have to go straight to the person and say “Hey, dude, remember how you were looking for your 100 dollar bill and couldn’t find it? This is funny- it’s cause I stole it. Haha.” Yeah, that’s not going to work. Instead, try to be creative. For instance, if you took money, leave an anonymous envelope with cash on their doorstop. If you can’t return whatever it is you took (because the person moved away or something), then you can donate its value in money to the poor and make your niyah for that person to get the ajr.
If you do all this, inshaAllah, (and I know you can!), you’ll find on the Day of Judgment a great many ‘good deeds’ in your records that you don’t remember doing….You know why?
Because Allah would have changed your bad deeds to good!
Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah willYallah, go for it! Run to Allah’s Mercy and Forgiveness and let’s race to Paradise,
replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.
[Surat Al Fuqran, 70]