Faith Friday: The Best Sinner

We are fond of delaying repentance. Sometimes we are afraid of change. "What might people say?" Sometimes we put off repentance because we fear God will never accept our repentance for the sins we've committed. "I've made so many mistakes. I don't know even know where to begin. What's the point?" This is called losing hope in God's Mercy. Then sometimes we convince ourselves that there will always be a tomorrow.

Whatever excuses we come up with doesn't change reality. We will all die and we don't get to decide when we die. It doesn't matter if you're Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, etc. - no one knows when their time is up. Not even the most pious amongst us are aware of the moment they will breathe their last breath. Our excuses don't change the fact that we are accountable for our own actions on Judgement Day and that we will cross the bridge (Siraat) alone. No one can intercede for us except Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) but the best intercessor would be our good deeds. Abu Umaamah related that the Prophet said: “Read the Quran, for indeed it will come on the Day of Standing (Judgement) as an intercessor for its companions.” {Sahih Muslim} It is only fair that we are individually responsible for our actions. Having said that, Allah (subhanahu wa taala - the Glorified and Exalted) has told us:

Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful."
{Surah Az-Zumar, 39:53}

Why do we deny ourselves of Hope when Allah (swt) has given it to us? Why do we try to please people who expect us to look and behave according to their definition of 'perfection'? Even God doesn't expect perfection from us. Repentance is not a 'one time' thing. Allah (swt) doesn't expect anyone to quit their sins cold turkey. Our destination is Paradise (inshaAllah - God willing) and repentance is a journey that begins with the first step.

So maybe you don't want to quit drinking today. Why not open up the Qur'an and read a page or two to remind yourself of your purpose on Earth and how lucky you are to be Muslim. If you feel it's too hard to pray 5 times a day, start with 3 or 4 times a day with the intention that you will someday be able to pray 5 times a day. If you are heavy-hearted to pray even once a day, train your heart to be humble by saying 'Alhamdulillah' (All Praise and Thanks be to God) when something good happens to you. Teach yourself to recognise that blessings are from Him.

Maybe you don't want to wear hijab today. Why not try to perfect your salah (prayer) by understanding the verses you recite when you pray. Start with Al-Fatihah. A short but powerful chapter if only you gave its tafseer a chance. Perhaps it's hard to stop lying, gossiping and hurting others. Why not be kind and do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return except for God's Mercy? The point is Rome wasn't built in a day so we can't expect iman (faith) to be built overnight. It is cultivated in the heart and gradually manifested into actions. And the same way we can't expect ourselves to practice Islam perfectly, we can't expect perfection from others too.

"They will have whatever they desire with their Lord. That is the reward of the doers of good. That Allah may remove from them the worst of what they did and reward them their due for the best of what they used to do."
 {Surah Az-Zumar, 39:34-35}

Yes, the destination is Paradise, inshaAllah. Repentance is the journey. We are the travellers. Salah (prayers), Qur'an and sunnah keeps us on the Right Path. Iman (faith) is our vehicle. Hope and good intentions are our motivation and His Mercy (rahmah) is what truly allows us to reach this most beautiful destination.

Another day, another chance to attain Paradise. Alhamdulillah.

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." 
{Surah At-Tahreem, 66:8}


amirah said…
Referring to your third paragraph, we always bother about how people think about us, whereas the only question we should ask ourself is how would the Almighty think about us? It is Him and only Him we are pleasing. Not the others.

Anyway, thanks for sharing this. It does give food for thought.
Noor Of My Life said…
This is such a beautiful article to read first thing on a friday morning, we all need a gentle reminder that his mercy knows no bounds !
ashieBee said…
agree :)) start small, then u'll be able to do a lot more in the future. if u keep on finding excuses and delaying yourself to change from bad to good...nanti sampai bila2 pon takkan buat!

Zarine Mohideen said…
I love your "Faith Friday" posts. It is a gentle but strong reminder.
ireminisces said…
Asalamu alaikum

JazakAllah for sharing, if you have 30sec come and have a look at Golden Words..
anonymous said…
"the destination is Paradise, inshaAllah. Repentance is the journey. We are the travellers"

^so well put masha'Allah. your articles are a pleasure to read :)
Shahirah Elaiza said…
@amirah, mashaAllah =) I wrote something similar to what you have said over here:

@Noor Of My Life, alhamdulillah! there's too much focus on negativity these days! Love and Mercy conquers all =)

@ashieBee, baby steps! *hugs*

@Zarine Mohideen, alhamdulillah =))

@SARAH, jazakAllah khair sis! All Praise belongs to Allah swt. Take what is good from my blog and leave what is bad.