Ten Duties of Those Truly Repentant – Abu Talib al-Makki in Qut al-Qulub – and Two Related Qur’anic Verses on Repentance

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Imam Abu Talib al-Makki mentions ten duties of those truly repentant, in his work Qut al-Qulub:

1. It is their duty not to return to disobeying Allah

2. If one falls into sin, then not to keep repeating the sin

3. To hasten to repent to Allah from any sin one falls into

4. Remorse for one’s remissness and shortcomings

5. To make the resolve to remain upright until death

6. Fear of Divine punishment

7. Hope of Divine forgiveness

8. Recognition of one’s sin

9. Conviction that Allah decreed that for them–(f: with His Will) in accordance with His Eternal Knowledge (f: through which He knew the choice the servant would make); but He did not compel the servant nor force them (f: but, rather, the servant chose it with Divinely-grant choice)

10. Following up with righteous deeds, in order that they expiate for the sin–for the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) has said, “Follow a bad deed with a good deed, and it will wipe it out.”

[Makki, Qut al-Qulub]

Repentance (tawba) means returning, in the Arabic language. Islamically, it is to return to Allah: through leaving sin by embracing obedience; and through leaving heedlessness and falling shourt in one’s submission through completely turning to Allah Most High.

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Allah Most High says: “Except those who repent and amend and make manifest (the truth). These it is toward whom I forgive. I am the Relenting (tawwab), the Merciful.” [Qur’an, 2.160]

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And: “Will they not rather turn unto Allah and seek forgiveness of Him? For Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” [Qur’an, 5.74]