It was reported that the Prophet (pbuh) as saying that a person committed many sins and when he was going to die, he left this will:
- (When I die), burn my dead body and then cast my ashes to the wind and in the ocean. By Allah(God), if my Lord takes hold of me, He would torment me as He has not tormented anyone else.
They did as he had asked them to do. Allah said to the earth:
- Return what you have taken.
And he was thus restored to his original form. Allah said to him:
- What prompted you to do this?
- My Lord, it was your fear or your awe.
And Allah pardoned him because of this. ( Hadith, Sahih Muslim Book 037, Number 6638)
It was reported the Prophet (pbuh) as saying that a woman was thrown into Hell-Fire because of a cat whom she had tied and did not provide it with food. Nor did she set it free to cat insects of the earth, until it died inch by inch. ( Hadith, Sahih Muslim Book 037, Number 6638)
These two hadiths show that a person should neither feel confident of getting into Paradise because of his deeds, nor should he lose all hopes of getting into Paradise.
Repentance means that one feels regret and, filled with remorse for his or her sins, turns to Allah(God) with the intention to obey Allah. 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 the commands and prohibitions of Allah.
Repentance means regaining one's essential purity after every spiritual defilement, and engaging in frequent self-renewal. The stages of repentance are:
- Feeling sincere remorse and regret
- Trying to eradicate injustice and support justice and right
- Reviewing one's responsibilities and performing obligations previously neglected
- Reforming oneself by removing spiritual defects caused by deviation and error
- Regretting and lamenting the times when one did not mention or remember Allah(God)
- Being always apprehensive and alert so that their thoughts and feelings are not tainted by things that intervene between themselves and Allah(God).
After repentance man should not continue committing sins by trusting the mercy of Allah. This fact is stated in the following verse: O men! Certainly the promise of Allah(God) is true. Let not then this present life deceive you, nor let the Chief Deceiver(Satan) deceive you about the mercy of Allah(God). (Quran: 35/5)
Repentance means a pure and sincere act 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 Quran points to this when it mentions true repentance: "O ye who believe ! turn to Allah(God) in sincere repentance. It may be that your Lord will remit the evil effects of your deeds and admit you into Gardens through which streams flow" (Quran: 66/8)
( pbuh = peace be upon him )
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