Repent to Allah: Acknowledging Our Sinful Nature Before Allah
Why do believers repent to Allah? And why are Muslims always asking Allah to forgive them?
Don’t we repent to Allah for huge things?
Imagine your best friend making a joke about the lady standing in line. “Did you see all the ice cream she’s buying? She really shouldn’t be eating all that!” You joke and laugh too.
Your son comes to ask if he can play video games for what seems like the 100th time. In frustration, you roll your eyes at him and snap back, “No!”
What about when you screamed at the driver who cut you off on the highway. It wasn’t nice of them, but you weren’t friendly either.
We’re all sinners, knowingly and, many times, unknowingly. We’re all guilty. But there is one solution that Allah, in His mercy, has given us: the ability to ask Him directly for forgiveness.
When you repent to Allah, you acknowledge your weakness before The Almighty.
You also acknowledge Allah’s Mercy, and you’ve chosen to do the opposite of Shaytan. Shaytan didn’t want to admit to his sin and would rather live an eternity in Hell than humbly request Allah to Forgive him.
Yet, Adam (AS), who also disobeyed Allah, immediately asked Allah for Forgiveness. This shows that we make our choices, which have consequences for those who don’t repent and those who do repent to Allah.
Characteristics of a Believer
The character of a believer is someone that is constantly repenting to Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “By Allah, I seek forgiveness from Allah, and I repent to Him more than seventy times in a day.” Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6307
It is the way of our Prophet (peace be upon him) and an example for us.
The Quran and Hadith repeatedly speak of repentance and turning back to Allah, which is a means of coming closer to Allah and purifying ourselves.
“Verily, Allah loves those who repent and purify themselves.”
When we repent to Allah, we journey towards the success of a believer.
Even if we pray five times a day, we don’t know if it’s accepted. Even if we made Hajj, we don’t know if it’s accepted. In all our deeds, we do not know their actual condition. Therefore, it should become a daily practice of seeking Allah’s Forgiveness.
“And O believers, all of you, repent to Allah so that you may be successful.” (Quran 24:31)
When Can’t You Repent to Allah
You can’t repent to Allah when you’re dead. Period.
Until then, it’s never too late to turn back to Allah, and you should never fear Allah rejecting your repentance. Instead, the believer thinks well of His Master and continues to have hope in His Mercy.
Turning back to Allah can only happen when you’re alive. Once you’re gone from this earth, your time is up. After that, all you can do is hope for any righteous family and friends to ask for your forgiveness.
The time to repent is now.
Not later in the day, not when you’re older. But now, at this moment. Ask Allah for Forgiveness. Sometimes people have trouble with this. They say, “I’m too far gone,” “I’ve done so much haram, how can I even ask Allah?” or “Why would Allah even listen to me?”
These thoughts are a trick! Shaytaan is trying to make you lose the opportunity to repent to Allah. He wants you to be like him, but Allah reminds us in the Quran of His Mercy.
“Say: O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (because of sins), do not despair from the mercy of Allah. Verily, Allah forgives all sins. Verily, He is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 39:53)
Part of repentance is being sincere in asking Allah to forgive you. That means not wanting to do that sin again. Even if you slip again, the intent is to try not to do it.
The reason we repent to Allah is to redeem ourselves before Allah for any wrong we have done.
We want to fix our position with Allah. Thus, for there to be validity to your repentance, you must be sincere in it. One way to show this sincerity is through actions, which will allow you to fully internalize your goal to do better and make amends for it.
Consider these when you repent to Allah:
- Good deeds remove bad ones (i.e., charity, forgiving a debt, kindness, good words, reading Quran)
- Ask for forgiveness if you have wronged someone
- If you took away the rights of someone, give them back
The Dua of Yunus (AS) to Repent to Allah
The story of Yunus (AS) is an excellent example of turning back to Allah.
It is a story of a Prophet that was commanded to call people to the worship of Allah. After a long time of rejection, he left without the permission of Allah. When he went, he found himself in the belly of a whale.
The supplication was what he recited and is quoted in the Quran. It is an example for us to follow and a powerful supplication to recite when we repent to Allah.
Ibrahim bin Muhammad bin Sa`d narrated from his father, from Sa`d, that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “The supplication of Dhun-Nun (Prophet Yunus) when he supplicated, while in the belly of the whale was: ‘There is none worthy of worship except You, Glory to You; indeed, I have been of the transgressors. (Lā ilāha illā anta subḥānaka innī kuntu minaẓ-ẓālimīn)’ So indeed, no Muslim man supplicates with it for anything, except Allah responds to him.”
Whatever you are going through, you’ll find that life gets easier when you repent to Allah. Use your time on this earth to turn to Allah and make it a daily habit.
In Islam, we ask forgiveness directly from the One God, Allah. If you are interested in learning more about becoming Muslim or what forgiveness means in Islam, sign up here!