Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I've done something bad.. now what?

In the Name of Allah, The Most Kind The Most Merciful

One of the things I am involved in is assisting reverts. I got an email from a revert about a 'bad' sin they had committed. This revert felt 'felt too ashamed to even approach God'. Here is the email I replied with, I think it's beneficial to share this.

As I said before, we all commit sins. And when muslims do this, one of a number of things can happen:
  • They don't even feel bad about doing it, but continue to do it and enjoy it
  • They feel bad about doing it, and want to stop, but the desire of their soul keeps pushing them to do it again
  • What happened with you: they feel so bad about doing it, that they think they have lost all connection with God. Like you say, this leads to a domino effect
All of the above are the 'wrong' thing to do. The most important thing, of course, is to do what Allah wants us to do. What does Allah want us to do? Does he want us to just sulk away out of fear and shame? Or does he want us to approach him? It is very, very clear that Allah WANTS us to approach him after sinning. The idea that what we have done is so bad that we can't approach Allah is simply a trick of Satan to keep us away from Allah. Allah says in the Quran:

Allah wants to turn to you in repentance, but the wish of those who follow their lusts is that you should turn away from Him- far, far away.
Allah wants to lighten your difficulties: For man was created Weak . 4:27-28

These verses make it very clear that when you do a sin, Allah WANTS you to turn to him in repentance. Those who reject Allah, like Satan, and follow their own lusts - they want you to NOT turn to Allah in repentance, but to do what you did, which was turn away from Allah. Allah knows that we are weak, and we sin. One of the names of Allah is Al Haleem, which means 'The Most Tolerant'. Allah is tolerant of our sins, and gives us chance after chance to turn back. In the Quran, Allah says that if He were to take everyone to task for his sins, there would not be a single human being left on earth. What matters is the state you are in when you die. So Allah gives everyone time to repent. So you may be thinking, or rather Satan may be whispering in your mind 'what I did was REALLY bad'. So for a start, it's a good thing you realize how grave what you did was (and I'm not judging you here). The Prophet(SAW) said 'Remorse is repentance', meaning that feeling bad is actually a good thing, as it really is a sign that Allah has accepted you. As for whether there are any sins which Allah does not forgive, Allah says this in the Quran:

Those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as Allah has made sacred except for just cause, nor commit fornication; - and any that does this not only meets punishment, but the Penalty on the Day of Judgment will be doubled to him, and he will dwell therein in ignominy, unless he repents, believes, and works righteous deeds, for Allah will change the evil of such persons into good, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful 25:68-70

In these verses, Allah is saying that there are three sins which deserve a double punishment: taking partners with God, murder, and fornication. But even these sins are forgiven with repentance and doing good deeds, such as salat. Allah does NOT say that whoever does these three things can never come back to him. So look at what you did, which was not as the same level as these three things... how can you think, based on this, that Allah will not accept you if you turn back to Him?

I sincerely pray to Allah to help you stay on the right path, Ameen.