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I feel bad about what I did. Does sincere repentance eradicate sin?

Question: I feel bad about what I did. Does sincere repentance eradicate sin?


Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahim

Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuhu

We all make mistakes. This is part of human nature – our fallibility.

AlhamduliLlah, even when we fall into wrongdoing, Allah Most High does not close His door on us. Rather, He grants us opportunity after opportunity to return to Him in repentance (tawba).

If we sincerely repent, Allah Most High will accept it and the sin will be wiped away inshaAllah.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The one who completely repented of sin is like one who has not sinned at all.” [ibn Majah]

Furthermore, no one should ever despair Allah’s mercy if they’ve truly repented. He is the only One who can forgive us for the wrong we willingly commit. He is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Allah says in the All-Mighty Quran:

“Say: Oh my slaves who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all sins.” [Throngs: 53]

“And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins – Who forgives sins save Allah only? – and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did.” [Ali Imran: 135]

“O you who believe! Turn in sincere repentance to Allah.” [The Forbidding: 8]

Conditions for a Sincere Repentance

If one has committed an action that is prohibited in Islam, one needs to make a sincere repentance. Allah Most High says, “Ask your Lord for forgiveness and then turn in repentance to Him.” [Hud: 3]

A sincere repentance entails the fulfillment of three main conditions:

  1. One leaves the sin.
  2. One feels remorse for the action committed.
  3. One resolves to not return to it.

If the sin involves the rights of others, then one must also pay back the person, return what is owed, or ask for the person’s pardon.

[Nawawi, Riyad al-Salihin]

Even if one has repented from the sin committed, one should continue to actively engage in repentance. The Companion Abu Huraira (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘By Allah, I ask Allah’s forgiveness and turn towards Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.’” [Muslim]

Jazak Allah khayran

Naielah Ackbarali (Ustadha Umm Ihsan)

References included in article.

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Naielah Ackbarali

Ustadha Naielah Ackbarali is the founder and CEO of Muslima Coaching. She is passionate about inspiring Muslim women by way of spreading the beauty of living an Islamic life. Ustadha Naielah is a trained strategic relationship coach, certified life coach, and a certified NLP Master Practitioner. Combined with her knowledge of the shariah sciences, coaching experience, and personal marriage of 15 years, she also offers faith-based marriage coaching and relationship advice.