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Hadiths giving hope to the sinner who sins and then repents

Question

Please mention some narrations about sinning and forgiveness.

I have sinned, repented, sinned again, repented again, sinned again and repented again. I now feel ashamed of myself.

Do you have anything from Hadith which will help me?

 

Answer

One should never lose hope in the mercy of Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala mentions:

1) “Say, O My slaves who have transgressed against their souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Truly Allah forgives all sins. Undoubtedly, He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful”

(Surah Zumar, Verse: 53)

 

2) In Surah Al Baqarah, Allah Ta’ala mentions:

“Allah loves those who constantly repent and He loves those who purify themselves”

(Surah Baqarah, Verse: 222)

 

3) In Surah An Nisa, Allah Ta’ala says:

“Whoever commits a sin or wrongs himself and then seeks Allah’s forgiveness will find Allah Most Forgiving, Most Merciful”

(Surah An Nisa, Verse: 110)

 

Human beings are prone to sin as Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Every Human being is a sinner and the best sinners are those who repent (Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 2499). However, one should ensure that after slipping up he/she repent, and make a firm intention not to return to those sins. There are many Verses of the Holy Quran wherein Allah Ta’ala implores us to turn in repentance to Him.

 

The following Hadiths offer us some hope, despite our persistence upon sin:

 

1) Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) [reported a Hadith Qudsi, Allah Ta’ala said]:

“A servant of Allah committed a sin and said, ‘O Rabb, I have sinned, so forgive me!’ His Rabb said, ‘Does My slave acknowledge that he has a Rabb who forgives sins and also punishes/takes to task for it? I have forgiven My slave.’

Then he remained for [some time] as long as Allah wished and then again committed a wrong sin and said, ‘O Rabb, I have sinned again, forgive the sin.’ Allah Ta’ala said, ‘Does My slave acknowledge that he has a Rabb who forgives wrong action and punishes for it? I have forgiven My slave.’

Then he remained for [some time] as long as Allah wished and then committed a sin and said, ‘O Rabb, I have committed another wrong action, so forgive me.’ Allah Ta’ala said, ‘Does My slave acknowledge that he has a Rabb who forgives wrong action and punishes for it? I have forgiven My slave,’ three times ‘so let him do what he likes.” [i.e. let him continue asking for forgiveness and making a firm intention of abandoning that vice each time he slips up]

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 7507, Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2758 with difference in the wording. Refer: Targhib, vol. 4 pg. 91)

 

2) Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Allah Ta’ala spreads [His mercy] at night and accepts the repentance of those who sinned during the day and spreads [His mercy] during the day and accepts the repentance of those who sinned during the night until the sun rises from the west.

(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2759. Refer: Al Minhaj of ‘Allamah Nawawi, Hadith: 6921)

 

3) Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Allah Ta’ala is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than one of you who loses his camel in the desert and then stumbles upon it”

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 6309, Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2747)

 

4) Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Allah Ta’ala says, ‘O Son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and have hope in Me, I shall forgive you for whatever you have done and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky and then you were to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, if you were to come to Me with an earthful of sins and were you then to face Me, without having ascribing any partner to Me, I would grant you an earthful of forgiveness”

(Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3540. Declared sound –hasanun gharib– by Imam Tirmidhi. Some editions of Sunan Tirmidhi have the word ‘gharib’ only)

 

5) Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“If you were to commit so many sins that they reach the sky and then you were to repent, your repentance would be accepted.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 4248. ‘Allamah Mundhiri (rahimahullah) has declared the chain authentic –jayyid-, Targhib, vol. 4 pg. 90/91)

 

 

Refer to Riyadus Salihin and other similar books for more narrations on this topic.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar,

If one is sincerely remorseful over the sin, then even if he keeps relapsing seventy times in one day, Allah Ta’ala will accept his repentance each time.

Remember! Every saint had a past, therefore every sinner has a future.