How Can I Overcome My Guilt Over Past Sins?
Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I often get angry and become ungrateful as to why Allah gave me guidance right now. Then I realize later what I have done and repent. It is too much for me to bear as I suffer from OCD and really bad demonic habits. I lack sleep, etc. Alhamdulillah, this Ramadan Allah guided me, and I repented for some major sins. Then, realized I have committed hypocrisy, jealousy, and doubted Allah, as well.
Thank you for your question. I am very pleased to see that you have changed your condition and that you are putting Allah first in your life. Please do not see this as a problem but rather as a great gift and blessing.
Previous Sins and Repentance
If you are suffering from guilt over your past sins, join the club. There is not a single God-fearing person that is content with his previous sins or feels comfortable at the thought of them, even after repentance. But at the same time, please do not belittle repentance and make it paltry. Allah rejoices at the repentance of his servant. See this hadith:
The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said, ‘I live in the thought of My servant, and I am with him as he remembers Me.‘“ (The Prophet) further said, “By Allah, Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His servant than what one of you would do on finding the lost camel in the waterless desert. When he draws near Me by the span of his hand. I draw near him by the length of a cubit and when he draws near Me by the length of a cubit. I draw near him by the length of a fathom, and when he draws near Me walking, I draw close to him hurriedly.“ [Muslim]
He also, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace (you with) people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them.” [Muslim]
Please do not let the Devil fool you into despair or hopelessness after seeing the proof above that Allah loves sincere repentance. Remember that only the Prophets were free of sin, it is not possible for the rest of us. Please see the link below.
What Are the Conditions of Making Tawba? (Transcript) – Ustadh Abdullah Misra
Sins of the Heart
The same applies to sins of the heart. A person who has jealousy, arrogance, hypocrisy, and doubts is just someone who is trying to strengthen his faith and increase his taqwa (God-fearingness). Ask Allah to help purify your heart and I commend you for wanting to do something about it. Take this course and try to start on a routine for self-purification. But do not deem yourself unworthy and do not despair as these things take work, effort, and time.
Please take this free course to get you started:
Purification of the Heart for Youth: Diseases of the Heart and Their Cure
See this reader for more details.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.