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Repentance in Ramadan

Allaah Says (what means): And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers that you might succeed” [Quran 24:31]

And also (what means): “O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance” [Quran 66:8]

Therefore, repentance is not only requested from one who has committed a sin, but rather it is demanded from all people including the believers who wish to win the great prize of Paradise as well as being prosperous in this life.

ask-for-forgivenessOne of the great blessings of Allaah upon His slaves is that He left the door for repentance open for those who wish to repent and return to Him. Allaah made repentance the new dawn that indicates the start of a new day for the journey towards the Hereafter.

Abu Moosaa Al-Ash`ari  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him reported that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Allaah, the Exalted, will continue to stretch out His Hand in the night so that the sinners of the day may repent, and continue to stretch His Hand in the daytime so that the sinners of the night may repent, until the sun rises from the west”. [Muslim].

Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “He who repents before the sun rises from the west, Allaah will forgive him”. [Muslim].

`Abdullaah Ibn `Umar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them reported that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Allaah accepts a slave’s repentance as long as the latter is not on his death bed (that is, before the soul of the dying person reaches the throat)”. [Ahmad and At-Tirmithi].

Know that the month of Ramadhaan is a great opportunity to repent and return to Allaah, and it is a chance to renew the pledge with Allaah. On the other hand, one must be careful lest Ramadhaan passes him by without him utilizing the season and without being one of those whom Allaah forgave their sins. Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them reported that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: May Allaah humble the one who lives long enough to witness Ramadhaan and passes the month without being forgiven”. [At-Tirmithi].

Beloved brothers! This blessed month is the month of the Qur’aan, kindness, repentance, expiation of sins, the descent of mercy and elevation of ranks … So let us rush in repentance to Allaah, because the believers will not find comfort except in Paradise … let us take refuge from Allaah with Allaah and repent to Him before our sins destroy us … let us wake up from our deep sleep as the days pass by very rapidly … let us strive not to be of the deprived ones by undermining the pleasure of Paradise … let us rush and repent and make up for what we have missed out on.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) whose sins have been forgiven repents to Allaah and asked for forgiveness multiple times in a single day. Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) saying: “I swear by Allaah that I seek Allaah’s Pardon and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.” [Al-Bukhaari].

Al-Agharr Ibn Yasaar Al-Muzani  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Turn you people in repentance to Allaah and beg pardon of Him. I turn to Him in repentance a hundred times a day”. [Muslim].

Let us follow the example of our beloved Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and let us not delay our repentance and let us abandon using the term: “I will do it later on”, and remember that life is nothing but an illusion.

O you who has wasted yesterday and is waiting today … you are killing yourself with sins … repent to your Lord and regret your shortcomings … if you cry and humble yourself before your Lord and ask Him to forgive you, He will accept you and be happy with your repentance.

Indeed Allaah is pleased with the repentance of His slaves. Anas Ibn Maalik  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him the servant of the Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) narrated: The Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Verily, Allaah is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than a person who has his camel in a waterless desert carrying his provision of food and drink and it is lost. He, having lost all hopes (to get that back), lies down in shade and is disappointed about his camel; when all of a sudden he finds that camel standing before him. He takes hold of its reins and then out of boundless joy blurts out: ‘O Allaah, You are my slave and I am Your Lord’. He commits this mistake out of extreme joy” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim].

Do you see how Allaah is pleased with the person when he turns to Him in repentance? Who are we for Allaah to rejoice for our repentance? We are nothing but weak creatures of His who possess no power. On the other hand, He is The All Powerful, Almighty, The King and The One Who controls the Heavens and the earth.

Let us not give up on the mercy of Allaah … we must know that there is no sin too great for Allaah to forgive, and that a slave never turns to Him in repentance sincerely, but He will accept and forgive him, as He is The Oft Forgiving and His mercy has encompassed everything.

Anas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him reported that the Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: Allaah, the Exalted, has said: `O son of Aadam! I forgive you as long as you pray to Me and hope for My forgiveness, whatever sins you have committed. O son of Aadam! I do not care if your sins reach the height of the heaven, then you ask for my forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Aadam! If you come to Me with an earth load of sins, and meet Me associating nothing to Me, I would match it with an earth-load of forgiveness` [At-Tirmithi].

When you turn to Allaah repentance, never go back to committing the same sins again, as this is one of the most destructive disasters. Never go back after having been blessed and rescued by Allaah, because returning to sins after having been rescued has severe consequences. Remember that fasting is not merely refraining from eating and drinking, and that you must shun all sins ands rush to Allaah in repentance.

Spreading the Good News of Ramadaan

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allaah (saws) said: “Ramadaan has come to you – a blessed month. Allaah has made it obligatory on you to fast in it. During this month, the gates of heaven are open, the gates of the Hellfire are closed and the evil devils are chained. To Allaah belongs a night in it, which is better than a thousand months. Whosoever is prevented from its good, then he has been deprived.” [1]

The hadeeth is a glad tiding to the righteous servants of Allaah, of the coming of the blessed month of Ramadaan. The Prophet (saws) informed his Companions of its coming and it was not just a simple relaying of news. Rather, his intent was to give them the glad tidings of a magnificent time of the year, so that the righteous people who are quick to do deeds can give it its due estimate. This is because the Prophet (saws) explained in it (the hadeeth) what Allaah has prepared for His servants from the ways towards gaining forgiveness and His contentment – and they are many. So whoever has forgiveness escape him during the month of Ramadaan, then he has been deprived with the utmost deprivation.

From the great favors and bounties that Allaah has bestowed upon His servants is that He has prepared for them meritous occasions so that they may be of profit to those who obey Him and a race for those who rush to compete (for good deeds). These meritous occasions are times for fulfilling hopes by exerting in obedience and uplifting flaws and deficiencies through self-rectification and repentance. There is not a single occasion from these virtuous times, except that Allaah has assigned in it works of obedience, by which one may draw close to Him. And Allaah possesses the most beautiful things as gifts, which He bestows upon whomsoever He wills by His Grace and Mercy.

So the one who achieves true happiness is he who takes advantage of these virtuous months, days and hours and draws closer to His Guardian in them, by doing what is prescribed in them from acts of worship.

Thus perhaps he will be showered with one of the many blessings of those occasions and be helped by it, with an assistance that is enough to save him from the Fire and what it contains, such as its blazing heat. [2]

Being able to reach Ramadaan is itself a magnificent bounty that is bestowed on the one who reaches it and rises to its occasion, by standing in prayer during its night and fasting during its day. In it, he returns to his Protector — from disobeying Him to obeying Him, from neglecting Him to remembering Him, from remaining distant from Him to turning towards Him in submissive repentance.

A Muslim must be conscious of this bounty and acknowledge its magnitude. For indeed, many people are prevented from fasting, either because they die before they reach it, or because they are not capable of observing it or because they oppose and turn away from it. Thus, the one who fasts must give praise to his Lord for this bounty and should welcome this month with joy and delight that a magnificent time of the year out of all the occasions for performing obedience is welcomed. He should exert himself deeply in doing good deeds. And he should invoke Allaah to grant him the ability to fast and stand in night prayer, and that He provide him with seriousness, enthusiasm, strength, and energy in that month. And that He awaken him from heedless oversleeping so that he may take advantage of these virtuous times of good.

It is unfortunate to find that many people do not know the value of this virtuous occasion, nor do they consider it to be sacred. So the month of Ramadaan no longer becomes a significant time for obedience, worship, reciting the Qur’aan, giving in charity and making remembrance of Allaah. Rather, to some people, it becomes a signifcant time to diversify their foods and drinks and to prepare different types of meals before the month begins. Some other people do not know Ramadaan except as a month of sleeplessness and constant recurring gatherings, while sleeping by day. This is to the point that some among them sleep past the time of the obligatory prayers, thus not praying them in congregation or in their proper times. Other people do not know Ramadaan except as a signifcant time for conducting worldly affairs, not as a significant time for conducting affairs for the Hereafter. Thus, they work busily in it, buying and selling, and they stay in the market areas, consequently abandoning the masaajid. And when they do pray with the people, they do so in such a hurried manner. This is because they find their pleasure in the market places. This is the extent that the notions and views (of Ramadaan) have been changed.

Some of the Salaf used to say: “Indeed Allaah, the Most High, has made the month of Ramadaan as a competition for His creatures, in which they may race with one another to His pleasure, by obeying Him. Thus, one group comes first and so they prosper and another group comes last and so they fail.” [3]

Also, the individual does not know if this is perhaps the last Ramadaan he will ever see in his life, if he completes it. How many men, women and children have fasted with us the past year, and yet now they lie buried in the depths of the earth, relying on their good deeds. And they expected to fast many more Ramadaans. Likewise, we too shall all follow their path. Therefore, it is upon the Muslim to rejoice at this magnificent occasion for worship. And he should not renounce it, but instead busy himself with what will benefit him and what will cause its effect to remain. For what else is it, except numbered days, which are fasted in succession and which finish rapidly.

May Allaah make us, as well as you, from among those who are foremost in attaining good deeds.


1. This hadeeth is reported by Ahmad and An-Nasaa’ee. See Ahmad Shaakir’s checking of the Musnad (no. 7148) and Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb of al-Albaanee (1490) as well as Tamaam-ul-Mannah (395)

2. These are the words of Ibn Rajab in Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif: pg. 8

3. Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif of Ibn Rajab: page 246


Author:’Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan
Source:Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab (pg. 13-15)
Translator:isma’eel alarcon

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