How Can I Be Forgiven, If I Cannot Fulfill the Requirement of Repentance: Remorse?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


How can I be forgiven if I cannot fulfill the requirement of repentance: remorse?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

One’s heart can become numb to sin due to the following factors:

  1. Ignorance of what sins do to one’s relationship with Allah Most High
  2. A blackened and veiled spiritual heart


If a person is ignorant of the destructive nature of sins concerning one’s relationship with Allah Most High, they will be less likely to abandon such sins and have the requisite remorse to repent.

The scholars defined remorse as pain experienced in the heart when one realizes that they have lost something beloved to them. [Ghazali, Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din]

Nothing is more beloved than Allah Most High, and there is no worse tribulation than Hellfire.

To this point, Imam ‘Abdur Rahman bin Abdullah Balfaqih mentioned that those who have conviction in Allah Most High and the Hereafter have more fear of Allah than the worst of sinners. [Balfaqih, Fath Basa’ir al-Ikhwan]

This is because they have more knowledge of Allah than the sinners, and knowledge is the key to fear of Allah and remorse when one sins. [Ibid.]

Veiled Hearts

Another understanding of the above point from Imam Balfaqih is that because those who have conviction in Allah Most High obey Him, their hearts are unveiled, and therefore, they are more cautious not to disobey Him. But, since the hearts of the disobedient are veiled because of their disobedience, they cannot truly understand the gravity of their sins and the greatness of their Creator, Allah Most High. [Ibid.]

Allah Most High says, “But no! In fact, their hearts have been stained by all ˹the evil˺ they used to commit!” [Quran; 83:14]

Moving Forward

The cure to being unable to have remorse is to increase one’s faith, conviction, and knowledge of Allah Most High. Obedience is crucial to achieve this as each sin increases the darkness of the spiritual heart and thickens its veils.

The next most important thing directly linked to the above cure is the remembrance of Allah Most High. Amongst the best formulas for remembrance of Allah, Most High is seeking forgiveness of Allah (Istighfar). Through Istighfar, you may be able to bring yourself to a state of remorse by reflecting on the immense blessings Allah has given you and your incessant ingratitude in response.

Hope this helps

Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom Seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.