قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىأَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُالذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
Say: “O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [az-Zumar : 53]
Indeed, Allah has opened the door of repentance to every sinner. The Prophet SAW said,
“Oh people, repent to Allah, for indeed, I repent to Allah 100 times every day” [Muslim : 2702]
It is truly encouraging to know that the door to repentance is always open, but what is more, Allah is actually happy when one of His slaves repents. It is important to note here that the keys to repentance are that a sinner must desert from his sin, feel regret for having perpetrated it, and then make a firm resolve not to return to it.
Who among us does not sin? And who among us does all that is required of him in the religion? It is an undeniable fact that we all have shortcomings; what distinguishes some of us from the others, what raises some of us above the others, is that the successful ones among us are those who repent their sins and ask Allah to forgive them. Sadly, some people are guilty of thinking in this manner: “Those I see around me perpetrate minor sins, while I am guilty of perpetrating major sins, so what is the use of repenting?!” True, such a person does well by finding fault with his own self, yet he makes a grave, ruinous error when he loses hope, when he underestimates Allah’s Forgiveness and Mercy. To be sure, the door of repentance is open both to the perpetrator of minor sins and to the perpetrator of major sins.
In regard to repentence, the following beautiful hadith should inspire hope in us all:
Ibn Mas’ud narrated that the Prophet said:
“Indeed, Allah is more happy with the repentance of His slave than a man who stops in a barren, desolate land; with him he has his riding animal. He then goes to sleep. When he wakes up, [he realizes that] his mount is gone. He searches for it until he is on the verge of dying. He then says, ‘I will return to the place wherein I lost it, and I will die there.’ He went to that place, and he was then overcome by sleep. When he woke up, his mount was [standing] right beside his head: on it was his food, his drink, his provisions, and the things he neded. Allah is more happy with the repentance of his believing slave than the aforementioned man when he finds his mount and his provisions.” [al-Bukhaari: 6308 ; Muslim: 2744]
This hadith clearly illustrates that no one should become so hopeless that he refrains from repenting to Allah. Glad tidings, then, to every Muslim who constantly and consistently hastens to repent to Allah and to ask for his forgiveness.
And Allah knows best.