The Month of Repentance - II

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How can Allah The Exalted not call them to forgive them, while the most honored, noblest and the most righteous among them, Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), who was forgiven his previous and future sins, repented to Allah The Almighty every single day. Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
·        {Indeed, We have given you, [O Muhammad], a clear conquest. That Allah may forgive for you what preceded of your sin.} [Quran 48: 1-2]
·        {And We removed from you your burden.}[Quran 94: 2]
In spite of that, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), used to say as reported in Saheeh Muslim on the authority of Al-Agharr ibn Yasaar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him: “O people, repent to Allah, for I repent to Allah one hundred times a day.” [Muslim]
Is it not our right upon ourselves to hasten to draw near to Allah The Almighty in this blessed month in which one is in a dire need of the generosity of Allah The Almighty? Part of His generosity is that He The Exalted rejoices at the repentance of the sinners and loves the return of the one who transgressed against or rejected His commands. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves."}[Quran 2: 222]
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), also said:
“Allah rejoices more at the repentance of His slave than any one of you, whose camel runs away from him in a desolate land carrying his food and drink, and he despairs of finding it, so he goes to a tree and lies down in its shade, having despaired of finding his camel. Then while he is like that, it suddenly it appears in front of him and he takes hold of its reins and says, because of his intense joy, ‘O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your lord,’ making this mistake because of the intensity of his joy.” [Muslim]
Here we have to ask ourselves about the validity of our repentance: does Allah The Almighty accept it?
There are signs for the validity of repentance. They are mentioned in Madaarij As-Saalikeen as follows:
There are certain signs of sound accepted repentance:
1-    One should be better after repentance than before it.
2-    Fear should accompany the repentant person for he does not feel secure from the plan of Allah The Almighty for the twinkling of an eye. His fear should persist until one hears the saying of the Messenger (angel) who is commissioned to take his soul: {"Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised.} [Quran 41: 30] Only then will his fear vanish.
3-    His heart stops and trembles with regret and fear. This is according to the greatness or insignificance of the sin. This is the interpretation of Ibn ‘Uyaynah  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him of the Saying of Allah The Almighty (which means): {Their building which they built will not cease to be a [cause of] skepticism in their hearts until their hearts are stopped.} [Quran 9: 110] He said, “They are stopped by repentance.” There is no doubt that intense fear of the great punishment in the Hereafter fills the heart with regret and worry. This is the meaning of 'stopping' it. This is the reality of repentance, for his heart is filled with regret for what he has neglected and fear for his bad end and punishment. Thus, whoever does not have his heart stopped in the worldly life out of regret and fear for what he has neglected, it will be stopped in the Hereafter when the facts are revealed and he witnesses the reward of the obedient and the punishment of the disobedient.
4-    The other signs of valid repentance include a special unprecedented anguish that leaves one heartbroken. It can only be felt by a sinner. It cannot happen due to hunger or pure love, but it is something completely different than that. It breaks the heart completely before the Lord, humbles it and makes it submissive before Him. All these conditions are very beneficial and fruitful to him. They are a great cure for him and will bring him closer to His Master. Nothing is dearer to his Master than such submission, humility and yielding to his Master. 

The Month of Repentance - I

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