Congregation urged to be sincere in repentance
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
IMAMS nationwide yesterday reminded Muslims to increase taubat (repentance) for the transgressions and sins they committed whilst neglecting their worship of Allah SWT.
“There are many Muslims who claim that they are conscious of Allah and that they fear His punishment, but many too are not conscious of Allah and do not realise His greatness. Hence, they dare go against Allah by committing sins in the day and in the night,” said imams during the Friday sermon.
Muslims were urged to repent to by leaving sins and transgressions as the punishment from Allah SWT is severe. Imams said those who refuse to repent were included among the oppressors.
“There are some who treat sins lightly and no longer fear doing wrong or transgressing. They sin as though they do not fear the punishment from Allah SWT. Know that the punishment from Allah is indeed severe,” they said.In the state-issued sermon, taubat was described as a cleansing process that purifies the self of all forms of sins and wrongdoings.
Imams explained that repentance encourages Muslims to improve their lives whilst making them hopeful for forgiveness from Allah SWT through obtaining His love and mercy. They said one of the most important steps in taubat was to increase istighfar by seeking forgiveness from Allah SWT.
The usual expression for _istighfar _is “astaghfirullah” which means “I seek forgiveness from Allah”, however there are many supplications, dzikir (remembrance) and wird (litany) that also contain istighfar.
“Repentance is not merely the utterance of istighfar, but it should also be accompanied by remorse and the intention and determination not to repeat the sin committed. A person has not repented if he still continues to commit sins, wrongdoings and various transgressions,” said the imams.
Citing explanations from scholars, they added that r epentance is considered complete only if the wrongdoer meets certain conditions.
If it concerns the rights between a servant and his Lord, the person should immediately cease committing the sin, be remorseful and determined not to repeat it. However, if it concerns the rights of sons of Adam, the conditions also include clearing the rights of others.
“For example, if a person has taken the property of another, he should return it to the owner. If he is unable to do so then he should seek forgiveness and request that it be made halal for him,” they said.
Scholars have also stressed that one of the conditions of taubat is that it is done purely for the sake of Allah SWT or due to a realisation that transgressions go against shara’ or out of the fear of punishment from Allah SWT in the Hereafter.
“If someone repents out of fear of misfortune befalling him or his honour or his wealth, then this is not called taubat… Taubat must come from purely sincere remorse to return to Allah,” said the imams.
The Friday congregants were told that the door of taubat is always open to whoever wishes to repent as Allah SWT will accept the repentance of those who truly seek forgiveness from Him. However, repentance will no longer be accepted on the person’s deathbed.
“Therefore, as human beings, who are not free from sins and wrongdoings, let us reflect and check ourselves,” appealed the imams.
Muslims were advised to frequently make istighfar by repenting and seeking forgiveness from Allah SWT “every minute and every second, regardless of whether we are sad and in difficulty or well and happy, because death is certain”.
“If we truly have faith in Allah SWT and in the Hereafter as the day of reckoning, let us hasten towards repentance and be determined to start a better life by doing sincere repentance,” said the imams.
The Brunei Times