al-Ghunya - Virtue of Tawba

1. CONCERNING THE NECESSITY OF REPENTANCE [TAWBA].

As far as repentance is concerned, we have already provided a full account of the subject.  At this point, in order to emphasize its importance, we shall simply add the following remarks:

Allah loves those who repent [at-tawwabin], and He loves every heart that is pure and free from sins, for He has told us (Almighty and Glorious is He): 

Truly Allah loves those who turn [to Him] in repentance, and He loves those who keep themselves in purity. (2:222)
inna 'llaha yuhibbu 't-tawwabina wa yuhibbu 'l-mutatahhirin.

'Ata', Muqatil and al-Kalbi (may Allah bestow His mercy upon them) have all told us: 

"Allah loves those who turn in repentance from sins, and those who use water to purify themselves of traces of excrement [ahdath], menstrual discharge [mahid], seminal fluids [janabat], and other causes of defilement [najasat].  This is explained in the story of the people of Quba', of whom Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has made mention in His words (Exalted is He):  

In it [in Quba'] there are men who love to purify themselves, and Allah loves those who purfy themselves.  (9:108)
fi-hi rijalun yuhibbuna an yatatahharu wa 'llahu yuhibbu 'l-muttahirin.

"The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) asked them about what they did [to make themselves clean], so they told him:  'We apply water after the [rubbing with] stones in the process of istinja' [removal of impurities following acts of excretion].'"

It was Mujahid (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him) who said:

"Allah (Exalted is He) loves those who repent their sins, and those who keep themselves pure by abstaining from anal intercourse with women.  If a man penetrates the anus of a women, he cannot be one of those who keep themselves pure, because the anus of a woman is similar to that of a man."

 It has also been said:

"[Allah (Exalted is He) loves] those who repent their sins, and those who keep themselves pure of shirk [associating partners with Him]."

Abu 'l-Minhal (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him) is reported as having said:

"On one occasion, while I was in the presence of Abu 'l-'Aliya, he performed a ritual ablution [tawadda'a wudu'an] in splendid fashion, so I said to him:  'Allah loves those who turn in repentance from sins, and those who purify themselves!'  To this he replied:  'Physical cleanliness is very important.  Physical cleanliness is beautiful indeed, but they [the ones whom Allah loves] are those who purify themselves of sins.'" 

Sa'id ibn Jubair [ibn Hisham al-Asadi] (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him) is reported as having said:

"Allah (Exalted is He) loves those who turn in repentance from shirk [associating partners with Him], and those who purify themselves of sins."

There are many other sayings on this subject, including the following:

"Allah (Exalted is He) loves those who turn in repentance from unbelief [kufr], and those who purify themselves through faith [iman]."

"Those who turn from sins in repentance do not repeat them, and those who have kept themselves pure of them have not committed them."

"Allah (Exalted is He) loves those who turn in repentance from major sins [kaba'ir], and those who keep themselves pure of minor sins [sagha'ir]."

"Allah (Exalted is He) loves those who turn in repentance from [sinful] actions [af 'al], and those who keep themselves pure of [sinful] statements [aqwal]."

"Allah (Exalted is He) loves those who turn in repentance from [sinful] actions [af 'al] and statements [aqwal], and those who keep themselves pure of [unlawful] contracts ['uqud] and furtive concealment [idmar]."

"Allah (Exalted is He) loves those who turn in repentance from misdeeds [atham], and those who keep themselves pure of criminal offenses [ajram]."

"Allah (Exalted is He) loves those who turn in repentance from sinful deeds [jara'ir], and those who keep themselves pure of wickedness in their secret thoughts [sara'ir]."

"Allah (Exalted is He) loves those who turn in repentance from sins [dhunub], and those who keep themselves pure of faults ['uyub]."

 "The penitent [tawwab] is someone who repents [taba] whenever he commits a sin."

 Speaking of Himself, Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has told us: 

He is always Forgiving to those who turn back [to Him]. (17:25)
fa-inna-hu kana li-'l-awwabina Ghafura.

According to a traditional report, transmitted by Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir on the authority of Jabir ibn 'Abdi'llah (may Allah be well pleased with him and with his father), Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) once said:

A man, one of those who lived before your time, once came upon a skull as he was passing by, so he looked and it and said:  "Yes indeed, my Lord, You are You and I am I.  You are the One who is Ever Repeating Forgiveness [Anta 'l-'Awwad bi'l-maghfira], while I am the one who is ever repeating sins [ana 'l-'awwad bi'dh-dhunub]."  Then he fell down in humble prostration, but he was told:  'Lift up your head, for I am the One who is Ever Repeating Forgiveness [Ana 'l-'Awwad bi'l-maghfira], while you are the one who is ever repeating sins [anta 'l-'awwad bi'dh-dhunub].'  So the man raised his head, and he was granted forgiveness.

 

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