e) Forgiving Sins through Supplication and Invocation of Allah:
As this life is not the end of all things, and we are to have its fulfillment in the Hereafter, we have only to pray to the Lord of the Present and the Hereafter, and He will hear us, forgive us, guide us, and make our path smooth. But pride will have its fall, and its humiliating Punishment. Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, "And your Lord says: Call on Me; I will answer your (prayer): but those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely enter Hell Abased." He also says, "When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I respond to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me."
The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to urge the Muslims to call on Allah and pray to Him. A great many Hadiths [Prophetic traditions or narratives relating deeds and utterances of the Prophet (peace be upon him)] support this idea Supplication cannot be sincere unless Allah is always remembered. Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, "Then do ye remember Me; I will remember you. ", and "For men and women who engage much in Allah's remembrance, Allah has prepared forgiveness and great reward." Invocation of Allah purifies the heart and protects it from worldly temptations which can drive a seduced person into
perilous situations. Invocation of Allah crosses out sins and upgrades a suppliant's rank in the Hereafter. Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever says, 'Subhan Allahi Wa bihamdihi' one hundred times a day, will be forgiven all his sins even if they were as much as the foam of the sea." 'Subhan Allahi wa bihamdihi' means 'I deem Allah free of any resemblance to anything whatever in any respect, and I glorify His praises.'
Since one's invocation must be accepted by Allah, a Muslim has to show patience, has to appeal to Allah with determination, and he should not lose hope if the response to his invocation is delayed. Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "None of you should say: 'O Allah! Forgive me if You wish; O Allah, be Merciful to me if You wish, but he should always appeal to Allah with determination, for nobody can force Allah to do something against His Will"; and he (peace be upon him) said, "The invocation of anyone of you is granted (by Allah) if he does not show impatience (by saying, I invoked Allah but my request has not been granted')". A Muslim will have to refrain from earning his living dishonestly, for Allah does not accept the invocation of those who encroach upon others' rights. Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "If one gives in charity what equals one date-fruit from the honestly earned
money-and Allah accepts only the honestlyearned money- Allah takes it in His Right (hand) and thenenlarges its reward for that person (who has given it), as anyone of you brings up his baby horse, so much so that it becomes as big as a mountain."
In concluding this book we can say that the Islamic concept of sin and its means of forgiveness, if compared to that of Christianity, are very simple. It is quite easy to comprehend and practice. This is far away from the mysterious rituals of Christianity which are meant to wipe out sins like the belief in the idea of Crucifixion, Monasticism, Baptism, Confession before Priest, Eucharist and Transubstantiation.
According to Islam, Adam and his wife Eve had committed a sin by eating from the forbidden tree. But they have repented and asked forgiveness from Allah who accepted their repentance. Hence, there was no need to assume that the original sin committed by them was inherited by their innocent children.
According to Islam committing a sin or going stray is an individual choice. Seeking forgiveness is an individual responsibility. There are so many ways, a Muslim can attain forgiveness from Allah for his sins. These include repudiating corrupt religions and embracing Islam instead, abstaining
from forbidden things especially grave sins, observing religious duties, following the sunna of the Prophet (peace be upon him), performing desirable acts, turning to Allah in repentance and seeking his pardon, reciting the Holy Qur'an, supplication and invocation of Allah at all times.