Praisebe to Allaah, the Lord of the 'worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon Muhammad, His last Messenger, his household, his companions and all those who follow him till the Last Day.
Sufyaan ath-Thawree (RAH) was crying from night until the morning time. When heawoke he was asked "Was all of this crying due to fear of your sins?"He then took a handful of straw from the earth and said,"The sins are of lesser value than this (the straw in his hand) yet I cry only out of fear from an evil ending." This incident shows the great understanding of our pious predecessors. Sins - of any kind, major or minor, light or heavy- they know are heinous; but having an evil end because of the weight of sin one hasn't repented from is far more heinous.
Of the commonest forms of sins that many Muslims are oblivious of are vows and oaths. We swear so often [Can you count the number 0f times you have said wallaai today? and make vows Bi ith ni laahi ta ‘alaa! etc] at the drop of a hat. Add to that the significant sins we commit, sometimes with premeditation, and then you see a man that is being carried away by a tide of sins. Imaam Hasan al-Basri (RAH) said,"O son of Adam! Abandoning the Sins is easier than seeking repentance". Hence our first recourse is to stay away from sins as much as possible.
Repentance & Expiation
Still, when we commit sins; Allaah has opened for us- from His Mercy- the doors of repentance and then expiation depending on the nature of the sin. Whereas repentance clears the sins away by the Mercy of Allaah, expiation wipes the ill-effects that may have resulted from the sin. If a person repents from any sin, Allaah accepts his repentance, because Allaah says:
"And those who invoke not any other ilaah (god) along with Allaah," (this is shirk) " nor kill such person as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause," this is murder - "nor commit illegal sexual intercourse" ( this is immorality, transgression against Allaah, against other people and against their honour. )
Then Allaah says:
"... and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrectlon, and he Will abide therein disgrace; except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allaah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful" (Q 2 5 [a1- Furqaan]:68-70)
A person must repent sincerely, fulfilling all the five well known conditions of repentance, which are regret, giving up the sin, resolving never to go back to it in the future, sincerity, which is the basic requirement, and repenting before the time for repentance is over. If these are met then this is sincere repentance, by means of which Allaah erases all sins that came before, even zina.
Another aspect of repentance is restoring the rights where they have been, taken unjustly. Kaffaarah or Expiation is one way by which this is done. In this edition, we present kaffaarah in respect of oaths and vows as well as some major sins.
Hope & Fear
Please note that the Muslim must live his life in a state between fear and hope, fearing his sins and not feeling safe from the Plan of Allaah, and not being certain that he will enter Paradise. Then the Muslim must obey Allaah, repent unto Him and hope for His Mercy of Allaah; knowing that Allaah forgives and accepts the repentance of the one who repents to Him. We ask Allaah to make us steadfast in His religion, and bestow more of His bounty upon us, for He is All-Hearing, Ever Near.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited