Spirit of repentance in Islam
[ May 20, 2016 ]
Repentance (Tawbah) means that one feels regret and filled with remorse for his or her sins, turns to the Almighty Allah with the intention to obey him or her. According to truth-seeking scholars, repentance signifies a sincere effort to no longer oppose the Divine Essence in one's feelings, thoughts, intentions, and acts, and to comply sincerely with His commands and prohibitions.
Repentance means regaining one's essential purity after every spiritual defilement, and engaging in frequent self-renewal. Repentance is an oath
Repentance does not mean being disgusted with what is bad or prohibited and thus no longer engaging in it; rather, it means remaining aloof from whatever Allah hates and prohibits, even if it seems agreeable to sense and reason. Repentance is usually used with Nasuh, literally meaning pure, sincere, reforming, improving, and repairing. Tawbah Nasuh (genuine repentance) means a pure, sincere repentance that perfectly reforms and improves the one who feels it. One who feels such a sincere, heartfelt, and true remorse for the sin committed seeks to abandon it, thereby setting a good example for others. The holy Quran points to this when it mentions true repentance: "O you who believe! Turn to God in true, sincere repentance."(At-Tahrim: 8). Among three categories of repentance is the repentance of those who cannot discern divine truths. Such people are uneasy about their disobedience to Almighry Allah and, conscious of the sinfulness clouding their hearts, turn toward Almighty Allah in repentance saying, for example: "I have fallen or committed a sin. Forgive me, or I ask for Allah's forgiveness.” Those half-awakened to Divine truths beyond veils of material existence, who feel an inward pang of sinfulness and remorse right after thinking or doing anything incompatible with the consciousness of always being in Almighty Allah's presence, or after every instance of heedlessness enveloping their hearts, and who immediately take refuge in the mercy and favor of Almighty Allah. Such people are described in the Hadith which reads "One who sincerely repents of his sin is as if he had never committed it. When Allah loves one of His servants, his sins do not harm him. Then he recited the verse: assuredly, Allah loves the oft-repentant and those who always seek to purify themselves.'"
Those who live such a careful life that, their eyes sleep but their hearts do not, their hearts are awake. Such people immediately discard what-ever intervenes between Allah and their hearts and other innermost faculties, and regain the consciousness of their relation to the Light of Lights. They always manifest the meaning of:. "How excellent a servant! Truly he was ever turning in contrition (to his Lord)"(Sad:44). Repentance means regaining one's essential purity after every spiritual defilement, and engaging in frequent self-renewal. Repentance is an oath of virtue, and holding steadfastly to it requires strong willpower.