One effective snare that Shaytaan uses to fill the hell-fire, is that he makes the Servants of Allah lose hope in His mercy. They erroneously assume that they are irredeemable, that they are somehow a lost cause; this leads to them becoming despondent. We must come out of this faulty thought process, regardless of the severity of wrong that we may commit, the frequency of the wrong action, we must always turn to Allah .
First and foremost, we must establish what Allah has said in His Book about sinners: “Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (30:53) If we ever happen to sin, and yes it will happen, we should remember that Allah is the Forgiver. Why do we think that Allah’s mercy is somehow limited? Do we contain so much hubris?
Allah has stated numerous times in the Quran that we should call unto him and invoke his forgiveness: “And your Lord says, ‘Call upon Me; I will respond to you.'” (40:60) He further asserts, “and ask forgiveness of Allah . Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (2:199) In another place He mentions; “Seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him” (11:3) Verily, these pearls of encouragement are spread throughout the Quran. We simply have to act upon them, a believer is never in a disadvantageous position, for if he sins Allah forgives and Allah says “Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (25:70) Your sins wont just be expiated rather they will be a means of reward. This is a win-win situation, no person will ever lose anything for begging Allah’s forgiveness.
The Best of creation has stated “Allah, exalted is He, said, “Son of Adam, as long as you call on Me and hope in Me, I will forgive you whatever comes from you [of wrong actions] and I do not care. Son of Adam, even if your wrong actions were to reach to the clouds of the sky and then you seek forgiveness of Me I will forgive you. Son of Adam, even if you were to come to Me with nearly the earth in wrong actions, and then later you meet Me, not associating anything with Me, then I will definitely bring you nearly as much as it [the earth] in forgiveness”.” (Tirmidhi) What a beautiful Hadith! It makes the eyes of sinners fill with tears, after hearing this, how can anyone assume that they won’t be forgiven? If we were to learn our Religion would anyone ever become despondent in Allah’s mercy? But as stated in the Hadith one of the conditions for this mercy is that we call upon Allah and we hope in Allah.
The Prophet of Allah has informed us that; “Allah, exalted is He, says, ‘Whoever approaches Me by a span, I will approach him by a cubit, and whoever approaches Me by a cubit I will approach him by a fathom. Whoever comes to Me walking, I will come to him in haste. Whoever meets Me with nearly the equal of the earth [full] of wrong actions without associating anything with Me, then I will meet him with nearly the equal of it in forgiveness.'” (Muslim) This is our Lord, he is waiting for us to just come back to Him. He wants to forgive us, we just need to ask. Why is it we suddenly become shy to ask the Being who owns everything?
The Prophet has counselled us; “Supplicate to Allah while you are certain of a response, because Allah does not accept a supplication from a forgetful distracted heart” (Tirmidhi) This is one of the reasons that our hearts become disillusioned, we do not supplicate to Allah with full conviction. Allah also states; “And invoke Him in fear and aspiration. Indeed, the mercy of Allah is near to the doers of good.” (7:56) We have become detached when we make supplication. We just raise our hands and murmur some Arabic that we do not understand, speak to Allah in a language that you know, so that you can ask him what your heart desires. We, unfortunately, have restricted supplication to after the Obligatory Prayers; it should not be that way, call unto Allah whenever a need arises.
In regards to asking His forgiveness the Prophet of Allah stated: “By Allah! I certainly seek forgiveness of Allah and turn in tawbah to Him in a day more than seventy times” (Bukhari) And similarly he states in another Hadith, to a Companion who asked about his sharp-tongue; “Where are you in respect ton seeking forgiveness? I certainly seek forgiveness of Allah in a day and a night one hundred times” (Ahmad) This was the state of the Prophet, whom Allah has protected from sin, yet still he sought Allah’s forgiveness. So really, what excuse do we have?
If we excessively beg to Allah for forgiveness, not only will we be forgiven, the Prophet has stated that: “Whoever asks forgiveness of Allah a great deal, Allah will give him deliverance from every worry, and a way out of every tight spot, and provide for him from where he does not expect.” (Abu Dawud) Look at the benefits of asking forgiveness, how numerous they are! We should increase our time in supplicating to Allah, the ones to stand to benefit are ourselves alone. It is so simple yet we complicate matters, I urge everyone who reads this that do not wait to ask Allah for forgiveness; rather, ask this instant.
May Allah forgive all of our sins. May he give us the ability to repent to Him before we meet Him. May He allow us to invoke him with full conviction. Ameen.