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Answered by Imam Yama Niazi
I feel like a hypocrite; what should I do? I have sinned a lot. Whether it’s listening to music, stealing from my mother, lying to my parents, backbiting, bullying my younger sibling, teasing people in my class, swearing. I fear for my hereafter.
What to do about sin
Committing sins is something that is going to happen. What is important is our intention and what we do afterward that matters. We should always treat every kind of sin as serious, but we should also not focus on the mercy of the Most Merciful. The following hadith gives us glad tidings if we genuinely repent;
Allah Most High says, “O My slaves who have wronged themselves! Never lose hope in the mercy of Allah. Verily Allah forgives all sins. Indeed He is the Most Forgiving and Most Merciful.” [Qur’an; 39:53]
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The one who repents from sin is like one who never sinned.” [Ibn Maja]
Conditions of Tawba
The following are conditions for a genuine repentance
(1) You must regret your sins
(2) You must cease from your sins
(3) You must intend never to repeat your sins
[Nawawi, Riyadh al-Salihin]
There is an additional condition about returning the rights of others.
Warning about the rights of others
The rights of others are a grave matter and require additional steps in repentance.
For stealing, you need to return it. Again, you do not need to inform them and confess that you stole it if that will lead to harm; maybe you can put it back in your mother’s purse or wherever you took the money from.
However, you do not need to confess that you stole it, especially if doing so would cause more harm than it solves.
You can return the money to your mother in the form of a gift. It is not necessary to tell them that you are returning stolen money. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
In the case of backbiting, you should apologize. If you feel that may bring about more significant harm, then make dua for them. Intend never to do that again.
The great saint and scholar, Shaykh Abd al Wahhab al Sha’rani, recommend that we should regularly perform an act of worship and donate its reward to all of the people we have wronged in some way. This will be a countermeasure for the harm we do to ourselves by wronging them and a means of appeasing them on the Day of Judgement. (Sha’rani, al Kawkab al Shahiq).
I recommend the following things to keep in mind and implement;
No matter what good you are trying to do, you must be consistent in it to achieve success. Many ahadith mention the virtues of consistency:
(1) He (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The most beloved acts to Allah are those that are consistent even if few.” [Ahmad]
(2) Also, “Take on of actions that which you can handle. For it is not Allah who tires; rather, it is you who tires.” [Bukhari]
Prayers as a means to attain righteousness
Becoming beloved to Allah entails prioritizing our obligations like prayer and fasting etc.
Allah says in the noble Quran,
اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمْ الصَّلاَةَ إِنَّ الصَّلاَةَ تَنْهَى عَنْ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ (العنكبوت: 45)
“Indeed, ˹genuine˺ prayer should deter ˹one˺ from indecency and wickedness. The remembrance of Allah is ˹an˺ even greater ˹deterrent˺. And Allah ˹fully˺ knows what you ˹all˺ do.” [Quran; 29:45]
After every prayer, take a moment to reflect and renew your intention to please Allah, after every prayer!
Dhikr and litany schedule
Keep a schedule of active learning and remembrance of Allah. Try to get one of the famous wird or litany for protection and recite it daily. I recommend the wird al Latif of Imam al-Haddad.
Keep good company
Find those who are upright and practicing and stay away from bad influence. If you can’t find good company, then send constant blessings on the noble and blessed Prophet Muhammad abundantly (peace and blessings be upon him). The scholars recommend this practice. By it, Allah will take you out of darkness into light. Perform it with wudu, love, and awe, and respect for him. Close your eyes and imagine him with you. What would you say to him when you meet him? How do you want him to receive you? So remind yourself that you will meet Allah one day and will speak directly to Him without any angel or anyone translating. That is what life is all about, preparing for that moment!
Achieving Allah’s love
If you want to love God and God to love you, then follow the Prophet( peace and blessings be upon him)
We have many classes at Seekersguidance; why not take some classes and increase your love of the Prophet. I taught a course on the character and descriptions of the Prophet Muhammad called” The Perfection of the Chosen One.” Maybe you can consider taking it.
I am confident, without doubt, that if you struggle and implement what I have mentioned to you, you will find a significant change in yourself.
Allah is the one who guides and grants success, and I pray that He give you success.
[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani