The 89th Call: Sincere Repentance – Part 1
Almighty Allah says (what can be translated as): “O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance. Perhaps your Lord will remove from you your misdeeds and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow [on] the Day when Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believed with him. Their light will proceed before them and on their right; they will say, "Our Lord, perfect for us our light and forgive us. Indeed, You are over all things competent. "O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance. Perhaps your Lord will remove from you your misdeeds and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow [on] the Day when Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believed with him. Their light will proceed before them and on their right; they will say, "Our Lord, perfect for us our light and forgive us. Indeed, You are over all things competent." (Surat At-Tahrim: 8)
Almighty Allah commands the believers to return to Allah with sincere and honest repentance to erase their sins.
Allah’s Messenger, Peace Be upon Him, was asked about the sincere repentance and He said that it is repenting when a person commits a sin and asking Allah for forgiveness immediately and not to commit that sin again.
Almighty Allah clarifies to the believers that if they repent sincerely, He will forgive them, remove their sins and admit them into gardens beneath which rivers flow on the Day of Judgment. On that Day, Allah will raise the rank of the Messenger and those who believed with him. Their light will proceed before them, they will move with their book of good deeds in their right hands. They will ask their Lord to keep their light and perfect it, so that it does not fade till they pass the Sirat. They seek forgiveness from their Lord for their previous sins and they say to their Lord, You are over all things competent and Almighty.
Repentance is: sincere intention not to go back to sin or disobedience, and the feeling of remorse for what was committed in the past. The word “True” is added to repentance, but it is actually a description of the one who repents.
Qurtubi quoted 23 different definitions by scholars about true repentance (al-tawba al-nasuh) in his tafsir. It was said that: True repentance is the repentance that never lets you go back to sin again, like the milk that would never go back to the udder. Qatadah said: the true repentance is the sincere and pure one.
Qurtubi said: The true repentance has four characteristics: seeking forgiveness by the tongue, quitting the sin by the organs, intending never to go back in the mind and abandoning the bad company or negative influence.
The scholars said that the repentance of sins that is not committed against people and does not involve any pending rights has three conditions:
First, to stop sinning. Second, to feel remorseful for sinning. Third, to intend never to go back to that sin again.
If those three conditions are met, the repentance is indeed true and honest. If the repentance involves the pending right of someone, then four conditions have to be me; the three previous ones and the fourth is to give the wronged person his right back. If the sin is seizing the money of someone, then the sinner should return that money back. If that pending right is a hadd punishment, then the person seeking repentance should submit himself to the person he wronged or ask for his forgiveness. If this sin is backbiting or slander, then he should ask him for forgiveness. Repentance should be immediate and the sinner should not delay it.
Almighty Allah says: “Perhaps your Lord will remove from you your misdeeds and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow..” The Arabic word in the original text “Assa” is translated into “perhaps” in English, it is used to show the strong promise from Almighty Allah. It shows the kindness and bounty of the Lord, scholars explain that any promise given by Allah in the Quran is ascertained to happen because Allah is The Most Generous The Most Compassionate.
O You who have truly believed in Allah, repent sincerely to Him. You should feel remorseful for your sins and intend not to do them again. You should keep your repentance your whole lives, if you do so, Almighty Allah will forgive your sins and wipe away all your bad deeds. He will admit you to gardens rich with fruits beneath which rivers flow.
Al-Zamakhshari wrote in his book Al-Kashshaaf: “Perhaps your Lord…” is to incite people to seek Allah’s forgiveness. It gives two meanings: Those with power usually answer with ‘perhaps’, and ‘maybe’ to give the meaning of ‘definitely’. The second is a direction to believers to be between the two conditions of fear from Allah and hopefulness in His forgiveness.
“…[on] the Day when Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believed with him..” The verb disgrace here is a reference to the torture in the hellfire, it means Allah Almighty will admit the believers with His bounty to gardens beneath which rivers flow on the Day of Judgment when Allah rescues the Prophet, Peace Be upon Him, and those who believed with him from the torture of the Hellfire and the disgrace in that stressful day.
The believers led by the Messenger, Peace Be upon Him, will proceed with their light before them, that light will be shinning everywhere to illuminate their path. They will thank Allah and say "Our Lord, perfect for us our light...” They pray to Allah to increase their light and not to make it fade till they enter Paradise. “…and forgive us. Indeed, You are over all things competent.” The believers supplicate to their Lord to forgive them for He is The Almighty, The Most-Merciful.
The believers are mentioned with the Messenger, Peace Be upon Him, to show that the reason they are not disgraced on that day is their true belief, good deeds, and the kind companionship they had with the Prophet, and those who followed them believed in the Prophet and followed his footsteps. Almighty Allah mentioned that their light will be before them and on their right because the front and right sides are of a higher rank and importance because when the light shines before the person he would enjoy it and benefit as it would illuminate his way, and when it is on the right he would be cheerful and hopeful of Allah’s mercy. Mentioning that light will be before them and on their right in specific does not contradict the fact that the light will be surrounding them from every direction. It is a true light that Allah honors His righteous servants with.
They concluded their supplication by: “Indeed, You are over all things competent” which shows that they were very hopeful and sure that their prayers are going to be answered because they ask and pray to Allah Almighty, The Ever-Powerful, the Omnipotent.