Monday, 27 February 2012

Repenting to Allah and what to do?

Quite a few people have asked me about repentance and how to become steadfast in Islam. So I did some reflecting, and Alhamdulillah wrote this.
Firstly we should be grateful that Allah swt has turned our hearts to Him and made us realise our mistakes and allowed us to become alive, and repent. This is when many people are lost around us, we don't want to realise our mistakes when its too late I.e. When we die.
So Allah swt iA wishes good for us:) so take things as a positive sign, and don't lose hope in Allah swt.
We know that when we turn to Him, He turns to us even more closer. A hadith qudsi is: "Allah the Almighty said:

‘I am as My servant thinks I am (1). I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed."  (Muslim)
As for the past, remember it is the past and we just have to repent and fulfill the conditions of repentance and leave the rest to Allah swt, since He promised to forgive those who repent. And His promise is true and His mercy is bigger than our sins. The promise of despair and non-forgiveness that shaytan gives us is false.
Now what we should focus is what we can change. And that is the future. So we should strive to avoid sins, especially the ones we have repented from.
This needs different steps:
1) Strong will and trusting and turning to Allah, even if we sin again and again
2) Remind yourself of the reward of paradise for those who turn to Him, read about the rewards, and think about the things you want in your life, and you can't get. But you can get in jannah, like lost relatives, or eternity with spouse, or the palace you've dreamed of, or the clothes that you want, or the beautiful things you enjoy or see etc. I don't know what you want dearly, but I want to have a dragon ball z world and its characters in my jannah:) I want to turn super saiyan hahah! Maybe you want sailor moon stuff haha. After all, one of the companions wanted a red camel in paradise and the Prophet said he can get it, and we can get anything we want in paradise. Of course most importantly I want to see Allah swt, our Creator, and the Prophet, our guide. And I want to meet my mothers, the mothers of the believers, I.e. The wives of the Prophets. And I want to eat from the tree that the Prophet planted in paradise, because the tree cried for the Prophet when in this world, and it wanted to be put in paradise so that the friends of Allah swt can eat from it.
Write or print out verses and hadiths on topic of jannah. So you remember before you start day or sin
3) Remind yourself of the punishment of hell by reading its description, and touch something hot, like a boiling kettle, and then remember that the fire of hell is 1000+ times greater. Write or print out verses and hadiths on topic of hell. So you remember before you start day or sin, what the consequences are
4) Seek righteous/good religious muslim friends and be in their company, so they encourage and help you in good and in avoiding bad. If you can't find them in real life, then try to find them online (although need to be careful)
5) Avoid bad friends, especially those that encourage you to sin. But if you can't avoid them, then don't become close to them. Don't socialise much with them. Try not to go to their parties where they forget Allah or sin. And remember that the company of Allah, His angels and the righteous is better.
See Hadith qudsi about Allah mentioning such people to Angels etc. Remember that the Prophets and Sahaba/companions and many righteous people faced total isolation for their beliefs, and many had to sacrifice their lives and wealth. So seek inspiration through that. Remember that bad friends will abandon us in the next world and will say to us (if we encouraged them in bad) 'why was I ever your friend? You should get double punishment'
6) Watch and read inspiring Islamic books/talks/articles so your Iman becomes stronger, you gain knowledge and become stronger in facing your challenges
7) Read and reflect on the Quran everyday, both Arabic and translation. When you come across verses that touch you, bookmark them, maybe with a sticky note. So you can turn to that verse again when down.
8) Stick to your fardh acts always, never give them up.
9) Remember the mercy of Allah and have hope, but also have fear
10) Remember that you are human so you might fail or fall, but your job is to get up and try again. It helps if you do the daily dhikr for forgiveness, like the dua sayyidul istighfar

Now that's for stuff relating to repentance. There's other things you should do too:
1) Increase in good deeds, even if the deeds are small. This is so that you can replace the bad deeds. Remember to start with things you can do and in a quantity that you can sustain. And then you increase those things and quantity over time. It is like you don't try to learn physics degree in one day, but you start from things you can do and you increase:)
2) Help others in doing good deeds and in gaining knowledge. This is a way of getting lots of reward, since when they do the good, you get the good deeds too inshaAllah. And the one who teaches knowledge, her sins are forgiven
3) Increase your love for Allah and His Prophet, since that is your connection to Islam and it makes your Iman grow and gives you sweetness of Iman
4) Attend Islamic courses and events, so that you meet and make new good Muslim friends. And the one who seeks knowledge, her sins are forgiven
5) Join an Islamic organisation or group, such as an Islamic project to help homeless or to gain knowledge etc, so you meet good Muslim friends.
6) Remember Allah swt much and read much selawat, especially go to gatherings of knowledge and zikr/dhikr and your sins will be forgiven.
The parts about sins being forgiven, that's from Hadiths like:
Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah Almighty has angels who travel the highways and by-ways seeking out gatherings of dhikr in the earth. When they find a gathering of dhikr, they enfold them with their wings stretching up to the heaven. Allah asks them, 'From where have you come?' They reply, 'We have come from Your slaves who are glorifying You, praising You, proclaiming Your oneness, asking of You and seeking refuge with You.' He says � and He knows better than them, 'What are they asking Me for?' They reply, 'They are asking You for the Garden.' He says, 'Have they seen it?' They reply, 'No, our Lord.' He says, 'How would it be if they were to see it?' Then He asks � and He knows better than them, 'What are they seeking refuge from?' 'From the Fire,' they reply. He asks, 'Have they seen it?' 'No,' they reply. Then He says, 'How would it be if they were to see it?' Then He says, 'I testify to you that I have forgiven them, I have given them what they ask Me for, and I give them the refuge which they ask of Me.' They say, 'Our Lord, among them is a wrongdoer who is sitting with them, but is not one of them.' He says, 'I have forgiven him as well. The one sitting with these people will not be wretched.'" (Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, al-Hakim)

 Remember that Islam is a struggle, precious things in life are a struggle and need effort. Like getting a degree or A levels needs work and effort, sometimes sleepless nights and worse health because of exams and stress.
But what is the reward? ANYTHING that you want and for eternity in Jannah. If we get there, then we will have no worry, no pain, no jealousy, no anger, no sadness. It will be pure happiness.
And all we have to do is sacrifice maybe 60 years of our life

I leave you with the phenomenal advice of the Prophet:“Ahead of you there lie days of patience, during which being patient will be like grasping a hot coal. The one who does good deeds then will have a reward like that of fifty men who do such deeds. They (the companions) said: O Messenger of Allah, the reward of fifty of them? He said: “The reward of fifty of YOU.” (Tirmidhi)

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