Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is the Most Forgiving and the Most Merciful. His forgiveness is vast and He loves to forgive. It is His promise that anyone who feels remorse for having sinned and repents sincerely shall be forgiven.
[Al-Ghaffar – the All-Forgiving]
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
الَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَاحِشَ إِلَّا اللَّمَمَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ وَاسِعُ الْمَغْفِرَةِ ۚ
“Those who avoid the major sins and immoralities, only [committing] slight ones. Indeed, your Lord is vast in forgiveness,” [an-Najam : 32].
A human being is prone to err, he keeps committing major and minor sins throughout his life for which he feels regret and guilt. Every human being wants to relieve himself of the burden of these sins and come out clean.
Ramadan is the Best Opportunity to Purify Oneself of Sins
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “One Ramadan expiates the sins till the next Ramadan, provided that one has avoided the grave (major) sins.” [Muslim: 552]
Fasting during the Day and praying at Night are a Source of expiating Sins
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari: 38]
[The Signs of those who Repent]
The Fasting Men and Women are promised Forgiveness
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
وَالصَّائِمِينَ وَالصَّائِمَاتِ …أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا
“…the fasting men and fasting women… for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward,” [al-Ahzab 33: 35]
The One who finds Ramadan but does not attain Forgiveness is Unfortunate
At one occasion, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ascended the pulpit and said, “Aameen, aameen, aameen.” The Companions radhiAllahu ‘anhu asked, “O Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, you ascended the minbar and said, ‘Aameen, aameen, aameen.’ He said, ‘Jibreel came to me and said: O Muhammad, whoever finds Ramadan, then dies and is not forgiven, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away (from His mercy). Say, aameen. So, I said, aameen.” [Al Mu’jam al Kabir lil-Tabarani: 2022]
The Time of Sahoor is Ideal for seeking Forgiveness
It is the virtue of Allah’s chosen people that they seek forgiveness from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala secretly during this time. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in the Qur’an,
وَبِالْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ
“And in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness,” [adh-Dhariyat: 18]
In another hadeeth the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “When half of the night or two-third of it is over, Allah, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven and says: Is there anyone who invokes Me that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone who asks Me for something that I may give (it to) him? Is there anyone who seeks My forgiveness that I may forgive him? (And Allah continues saying it) till it is daybreak.” [Sunan al-Darimi, Vol. 1, 1478]
[The Best Times for Asking Forgiveness]
Things to Do:
– Feel regret for your sins, accept your faults cry over them and seek forgiveness from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
– Pray for the forgiveness of all Muslims.
– Do istighfar, especially at the time of Sahoor and remind your family members as well.
– Memorize the words of istighfar and repent at least 70 – 100 times a day.
[Book: Shahrul Ramadan – the Month of Ramadan by Dr. Farhat Hashmi]