If Good Deeds Expiate Sins, Does That Mean I Can Commit Sins?

Question: If good deeds expiate sins, does that mean I can commit sins, as long as the good deeds are more?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Expiation Refers to Minor Sins

While it is true that there are many Hadith regarding the expiation of sins by doing good deeds, it must be understood that the sins intended in these narrations are minor sins, also know as slip-ups (lamam). This concept is clearly mentioned in the Qur’an in the following verse.

Allah Most High says, “Those who avoid great sins and vices except the inadvertently committed sins (lamam), indeed your Lord is of Great Forgiveness. He knows you well when He created you from the earth and when you were fetuses in your mothers’ wombs. Therefore, ascribe not purity to yourselves. He knows best him who fears Allah” [Qur’an, 53:32].

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The five prayers, Jumu’a till Jumu’a, and Ramdhan till Ramadhan are expiations for what was committed between them, as long as major sins were avoided” [Muslim].

The Ruling of Keeping a Dog

In the Hanafi School, it is prohibitively disliked (makruh tahriman) to keep a dog as a pet. It is however allowed if the dog is kept for hunting or protection [Ala’ al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya].

Thus it is more than just a slip up to intentionally keep a dog. Also, we should not look at sins as a game of numbers. Rather we should understand that our purpose in this life, as Believers in Allah, is to strive to attain His good pleasure and mercy.

Sins are Barriers to Attaining the Divine Pleasure of Allah

We should see sins as an impediment to our life’s purpose. We should never lose hope in the mercy of Allah but we should not allow ourselves to knowingly disobey Allah.

Never Belittle Any Sin

Just as the Messenger (may Allah bless him) said, “Do not belittle any good deed, even if meeting your fellow believer with a smiling face” [Muslim].

This concept of not belittling also applies to sins. For we never know what good deed it is that Allah accepts and grants us His mercy for nor do we know which sin it is that earns His wrath.

Punished Due to a Cat

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Then the Hell-Fire was presented to me and I saw therein a woman from Bani Isra’il. She was being punished due to a cat of hers. She confined it and never fed it nor did she let it free to eat from the land…” [Muslim].

Thus this woman, regardless of her lifetime of good deeds, was cast to the Hell-Fire because of one sin, which she may not have perceived to be that bad.

Likewise, you should not perceive disobeying the command of Allah regarding the dog, as something small or not that bad.

Hope this helps
Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Am I an Hypocrite for Promising God to Be a Better Believer and Breaking That Promise?

Question: Am I a hypocrite for promising Allah to be a better Muslim and breaking that promise in light of the verses of Sura al-Tawba 74-76?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

The verses of Sura al-Tawba that you quoted are referring to disbelievers. The word Nifaq or hypocrisy is used in the Qur’an in two different ways.

Two Types of Hypocrisy

One of the types is the hypocrisy of the heart, which is to profess faith while their hearts disbelieve. Sura al-Munafiqun (the Chapter of the Hypocrites) is about this type of hypocrisy.

The second type refers to actions that one does that don’t truly manifest the faith that they claim. However these people are true believers but their faith is weak and has fallen into sin. For example reluctance to prayer and disobeying Allah’s command.

Regarding this second type, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three. When they speak they lie when they promise they break their promise, and when they are entrusted they betray that trust” [Nasai’, al-Sunan al-Kubra, Ahmad].

These actions are in hypocrisy because they are not befitting for the one who believes in Allah and the Last Day. However, they are not disbelievers because of these sins.

Recovering from Sins

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “All of the children of Adam are sinners and the best of the sinners are those who constantly repent” [Ibn Majah].

It is important to know that no matter how far we stray from obeying Allah or how far we go off the straight path – the door of repentance is always open as long as we are still breathing.

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].

It is important to have a good opinion of Allah and know that Allah wants to show mercy to us and forgive us.

Allah Most Highs says, “Allah wants to make clear to you [the lawful from the unlawful] and guide you to the [good] practices of those before you and to accept your repentance. And Allah is Knowing and Wise. – Allah wants to accept your repentance, but those who follow [their] desires want you to digress [into] a great deviation. – And Allah wants to lighten for you [your difficulties], and mankind was created weak” [Qur’an; 04:26-28].

Keep in mind that it is the shaytan that wishes to make you despair of Allah’s mercy and despair from the Religion. He wishes to make you feel that Islam is impossible and difficult whereas Allah Most High tells us that He wishes for our ease.

He says, “Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship” [Qur’an; 02:185].

Moving Forward

The first step to getting back on track and reconciling your relationship with Allah Most High is to repent. For your repentance to be valid it must meet the following conditions:

(1) You must regret your sins
(2) You must desist from your sins
(3) You must intend to never repeat your sins

[Nawawi, Riyadh al-Salihin]

Secondary Issues Mentioned in the Question

Growing a beard:

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) did command the growing of a beard however the scholars have differed as to the nature of this command.

Many scholars understood this command to be a command of propriety and encouragement, not obligation.

Thus, even though growing a beard is indeed ideal there remains expansiveness in the issue.

Free-Mixing:

The prohibition of free mixing does not mean that one is not allowed to be in the vicinity of the opposite gender. Rather it relates to intermingling in a way that goes against the Sacred law. For example touching, flirting, seductive mannerism, flirtatious complimenting, excessive joking, being in seclusion with the other gender – these are prohibited.

However, if one works or goes to school with people of the opposite gender or one attends a family gathering, this is not impermissible as long as one keeps their interactions to a formal, appropriate, and dignified manner.

Advice

My advice to you is to strive to fulfill the foundational principles of the Religion, such as the five daily prayers and fasting during Ramadan. Refrain from the major sins like lying, backbiting, stealing, harming others, and so on. Lastly seek knowledge. Furthering your understanding of the Sacred law will prove greatly beneficial for you in your practice of the religion.

Consider the various classes offered at SeekersGuidance.org

See the following links for more detail.

What Are the Rulings of Growing a Beard in the Hanafi School? (Video)

Mixed Gatherings: A Detailed Response Regarding Gender Interaction

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Confused After Breaking-up With My Boyfriend

Question: I am a 24-year-old girl who was in a haram relationship with a boy for a year and then broke up with him. There is much guilt inside me, how can I move on? I know I wronged my future spouse. I want to break all attachment to this fellow because he is not good for me but Shaytaan gives me waswasa that I must marry him because we sinned together. What can I do?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you fell into this trap of giving into your desires without a nikkah, but I am certain that your repentance will be accepted and that you will be able to move on.

Repentance

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “When half of the night or two-third of it is over, Allah, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven and says: Is there any beggar so that he be given? Is there any supplicator so that he be answered? Is there any beggar of forgiveness so that he be forgiven? (And Allah continues it saying) till it is daybreak”[Muslim].

Please see the conditions of repentance here:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/featured-articles/what-are-the-conditions-of-making-tawba-transcript-ustadh-abdullah-misra/

Marrying him

Do not marry him unless he will make a good life-partner for you. Your previous relationship with him does NOT necessarily make him suitable to marry you. It seems to me that you already know that he is not right for you, so try to move on and pray that Allah sends you a pious spouse. Ignore this waswasa and know that these are the things that you should be looking for in a spouse:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/marriage-and-divorce/look-marrying-somone-deen/

Moving on

Here are a few steps that you can take:

  • Make tawba for being in an unlawful relationship and resolve never to repeat this
  • Attach your heart to Allah and His Messenger and strive to fulfill your duties to Him. Accept what comes to you from Him with humility, servitude, and submission to His will.
  • See this article about detaching yourself: https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/any-advice-for-detaching-my-heart-from-someone/
  • Keep the company of good religious people who have a positive influence on you and don’t spend too much time alone idly.
  • Keep yourself busy with worship and beneficial activities, hobbies, or acquire a new skill.
  • Don’t ever mention this illicit relationship to your future husband and trust that Allah will place love in your hearts for each other.

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/should-i-tell-my-spouse-about-my-relationships-before-i-got-married/

May Allah help you transform and grow from this experience with guidance and taqwa to become the better you.

Please see this article and video as well:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/i-am-in-an-impermissible-but-healthy-relationship-what-should-i-do/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15XyOUnjzPI

[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.

Sorrow Over Sexual Misdeeds

Question: When I was about 7, I visited overseas on my yearly vacation, there my male cousin, showed me a video and told me to imitate it. After that, every summer, we ended up having oral and anal intercourse, not sex. This Ramadan my Lord guided me and I repented.  I thought I had committed adultery, but I realized that it was sodomy. I am now 16 and have faith Allah will forgive me but my regret is not the same anymore. Has Allah forgiven me already for repenting for adultery or do I need to repent again? I also used to disobey my parents and steal and lie, but am unable to feel guilty about it. I fear Allah’s wrath or to be called amongst the people of Lut. I read that if one doesn’t repent from sodomy, the Earth will swallow one up from the grave and one will be annihilated.

Answer: 

Assalamu alaykum,
Thank you for your question. I am very sorry to hear that you were made to commit such acts during your innocent youth. I want you to understand that when you were seven, your cousin sexually abused you and you were a victim. I pray that he doesn’t prey on anyone else the way he did on you and he will be accountable for this enormity on the Day of Judgment. If you are ever in his presence again, try to keep any other possible victims away from him.
Tawba

It seems from your question that you committed these acts voluntarily as you grew older and I pray that Allah accepts your repentance. There is no need for you to repent again. Even if you labeled it wrongfully, saying “adultery“, you still intended to repent for what you did and that is enough. It is not a problem that you don’t feel a pang of fresh, deep guilt about it, because you felt guilt at the time of repentance.Looking forward, do keep away from your cousin and make sure that you are never in khalwa (isolation) with someone of the opposite gender. I can’t tell you if Allah has forgiven you, but we know this: The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin’” [Ibn Majah].
Feeling regret

As for feeling regret about stealing and lying, you must feel some regret about these actions, knowing that Allah has forbidden them, which has incited you to repent. That is sufficient for your repentance. See the conditions of repentance here:  https://seekersguidance.org/articles/featured-articles/what-are-the-conditions-of-making-tawba-transcript-ustadh-abdullah-misra/
Look ahead

The best thing for you now is to travel the path of light and knowledge and try to better yourself in every aspect. Learn about our beautiful religion, the halal and haram of everyday and basic fiqh. Read the seerah and strive to fulfill your obligations to the One who created you. Don’t let the devil keep you busy in futile things. I pray that your past feels like another lifetime to you and that Allah gives you high rank and closeness to Him.[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.

I No Longer Love My Husband After He Married a Second Wife

Question: I am the first wife. Before my husband married a second wife he used to treat me badly just because he wanted to marry the second wife until I felt no love towards him. But soon after marriage, he became caring and loving towards me. I fail to return my heart to him. Please help.

Answer: Assalamu alaykum sister,

This situation is very difficult indeed. I empathize with you having to be in an unhappy marriage and having the challenges of living as a co-wife.

I want to commend you for staying in the marriage. Dealing with what you have dealt with is enough to break a heart and make life very difficult. Despite this, you have stayed in the marriage; may Allah reward you for that.

You may dislike something in which there is good.

Allah, Most High, says, “You who believe, it is not lawful for you to inherit women against their will, nor should you treat your wives harshly, hoping to take back some of the bride-gifts you gave them unless they are guilty of something clearly outrageous. Live with them in accordance with what is fair and kind: if you dislike them, it may well be that you dislike something in which God has put much good” [Qur`an, 4:19].

Allah, Most High, does not command that a married couple love each other. Rather, He commands that they dwell with each other in tranquility and be a garment for one another. This entails having all the qualities of a garment with each other: warmth, protection, and concealment of faults. They also have a duty towards each other and must be kind and merciful to one another. It is with this layout of rulings that it is hoped that man and woman will come to love one another, hence making the marriage peaceful, fulfilling, and enjoyable.

It’s not just about love

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “No believing man should hate a believing woman. If he dislikes one of her characteristics, he may be pleased with another” [Muslim].

Also, `Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said to a man who wanted to divorce his wife, ‘Why do you want to divorce her?‘ He said, ‘I do not love her.‘ He said, ‘Are all families based on love only? What about care and decency?” (`Uyun al-Akhbar, 3/18).

One more chance

Mending a broken heart is not easy, but deep down, I feel that you should give him one more chance. There could be many reasons for his change of heart. Perhaps he regrets how he treated you? Perhaps he realizes that you are the best wife for him? Perhaps he has come to know how much he loves you?

Every time you smile at him, are kind to him, or do him a good deed, you are being rewarded by Allah and stepping on your ego (nafs). This will empower you, refine you and build your character; good character is the heaviest thing on the scales on the Day of Judgment.

Turn to Allah

Fulfill your five daily prayers on time, pay zakat on time, eat only the halal, cover correctly, read some Qur`an with the meaning every day, and learn your personal obligatory knowledge. Pray the Prayer of Need often and  ask Allah to guide you through this marriage. It is important to realize that Your husband does not belong to you, He belongs to Allah, and so do you and your children. Never look at him as your property. Look at him like a person with whom you have a transactional relationship, which is soon coming to an end. Treat every moment of your life as worship and soon you will see the bigger picture.

A bit of jealousy here and there is probably inevitable, but you have a much greater and bigger thing to prepare for than to busy yourself with jealous thoughts: Meeting Allah with your religion intact and your heart pure.

“Truly it is in the remembrance of God that hearts find peace” [Qur`an, 13:28].

May Allah help you through this difficult time.

I Am Jealous of My Husband’s Other Wife. What Do I Do?

[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.

Negative Thoughts About God

Question: I didn’t pray or read the Quran. I asked relatives to teach me and help me understand certain aspects, and it helped me become a better Muslim. I’ve been praying now for over a year. Recently I’ve been having these terrible thoughts and doubts about Allah. Is this from Shaytan? 

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.

The ability to control your thoughts is an undertaking but very doable. I pray that Allah guides you out of this and brings you back to your original zeal. Please see the following links for full information on your question.

Types of Thought, Blasphemy, and Sin
Plagued by Many Obsessive Thoughts
Plagued by Thoughts of Faith in Allah

Remember that your worry about having these thoughts and your contempt of them is a sign of clear faith. Don’t despair in the mercy of Allah and that He can remove them from you. I assure you: you are capable of getting rid of them.

Some of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, came to him and said, ‘We find in ourselves thoughts that are too terrible to speak of.’ He said, ‘Are you really having such thoughts?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘That is a clear sign of faith’ [Muslim].

There are different types of thoughts, and they do have different moral weights. However, one is not held accountable for passing thoughts if one acknowledges the ones that are bad and discards them immediately.

These negative thoughts could be from the Shaytan, or from one’s own ego (nafs), so occupy yourself with ridding yourself of these thoughts and not where they are from. As soon as the thoughts comes to you, seek refuge from the Devil, and make dhikr. Continue this and soon it will become a habit and the Devil will learn that his whispering only causes you to remember Allah, so he will stop. May Allah help you through this and purify all of our souls.

[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.

Will My Future Husband Find Out About My Virginity?

Question: I have committed zina before marriage at the age of 16 and the boy left me. I am no longer a virgin now, what will happen if I marry a guy who is good? What will happen if he gets to know that I’m a non-virgin on the first night of marriage?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.

Sister, the most important thing that you must do first is repent. Know that your tawba is always acceptable to Allah and that He is eager to forgive the one who seeks forgiveness. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin” [Ibn Majah].  See this link about repentance:

What Are the Conditions of Making Tawba?

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Allah, Blessed is He and Most High, said: ‘O son of Adam! Verily as long as you called upon Me and hoped in Me, I forgave you, despite whatever may have occurred from you, and I did not mind. O son of Adam! Were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky, then you sought forgiveness from Me, I would forgive you, and I would not mind. So son of Adam! If you came to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, and then you met Me not associating anything with Me, I would come to you with forgiveness nearly as great as it” [Tirmidhi].

You are not obliged to disclose your past sin to your future spouse. It is actually unlawful to tell him because Allah hates that you uncover something that He had covered for you. See this link:

Should I Tell My Spouse About My Relationships Before I Got Married?

As for your husband figuring out that you are not a virgin on the wedding night, I can tell you this: Failure to bleed on the wedding night is not a sign of loss of virginity, nor is it recognized as such in Islamic Law. Please be sure that your future husband knows about the biology of a woman. Hymens are different and every woman’s body reacts differently. If he knows this, he is less likely to judge.

I pray that your future husband does not interrogate you or inquire about your past, either way, you can’t reveal your sin to him. Instead, prepare for marriage, take a course at Seekers, plan to be a kind and loving wife, and pray to Allah that you leave your past behind you, and never repeat such  an action. Please see this link as well:

Can Someone Guilty of Fornication Marry Someone Chaste?

[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. Afterwards, 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.

Do One’s Evil Deeds Cause Punishment to Come in this Life?

Question: What is the correlation between making mistakes and having bad things happen to you? How to get out of the mindset of “whenever I sin and something bad happens, it means I’m being punished”? How should one explain that Allah’s wisdom and choices aren’t limited to what we do? How does one pull oneself out of thoughts like “I’m the common denominator and everything is my fault”? Is it correct to say that Allah doesn’t distribute punishment based on someone’s bad deeds? If something bad happens in a city, how should we think when someone says “Oh, they deserved it” or “Oh, of course, they are getting punished because that was a sinful town”. For example, Pompei was a town infamous for sins so I figure Allah punished them, but why is Las Vegas still around? Linking qadr and what’s happening in one’s life to what one has done and criticizing oneself is not useful, right?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Your question is a very important one and I pray that you can find clarity on it.

Generally speaking, our deeds are not linked to Allah’s punishment in this world because recompense is for the hereafter. Allah, Most High, says, “Your Lord is the Most Forgiving, and full of mercy: if He took them to task for the wrongs they have done, He would hasten their punishment on. They have an appointed time from which they will have no escape” [Qur’an, 18:58].

Rather one should look at what happens to them, of difficulties, pain, and suffering as trials and tests. Allah, Most High, says, “Do people think they will be left alone after saying ‘We believe’ without being put to the test? We tested those who went before them: God will certainly mark out which ones are truthful and which are lying” [Qur’an, 29:2-3].

Please see this excellent answer that covers your topic in detail:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/everything-going-wrong-life/

And see this excellent article that refers to the Turkish earthquake in 1999, and how Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad looks at it:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/reflections-on-the-earthquake-when-the-generous-appears-with-the-name-avenger-shaykh-abdal-hakim-murad-on-the-turkish-earthquake-in-1999/

May Allah reward you and give you the best in this world and the next.

[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.

Misappropriation of Company’s Money

Question: As a manager in a company I have access to the company’s cash. A few years ago I had to take some of the cash for a family emergency and I genuinely had the intention to pay it back. The debt is now huge and it will be very hard to pay it back. Should I come clean and face the consequences or should I try and cover myself up?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

May Allah relieve you of the great plight that you are in, and make a reason for great happiness in this life and the next, and open up the doors for you from where you never expected.

Your obligation is to return the money that you took, not necessarily to come clean and face the consequences. You may not, however, pay back the money by taking out an interest-bearing loan.

Furthermore, if you have misappropriated funds from your company, you only owe them the amount that you took. I’m not quite sure what the relevance of the market has in bringing your debt to the company into the millions.

If I were in your shoes, I would pray the Prayer of Need, and then go and ask as many people as possible to lend you the money that you actually need to pay back. I would not try and pay the money back with an interest-bearing loan because there would be no barakah in that and only more problems would arise.

See: What Is the Correct and Reasonable Way to Repay Money That Has Been Stolen? (Shafi‘i)- https://seekersguidance.org/answers/shafii-fiqh/correct-reasonable-way-repay-money-stolen-shafii/
I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language

Waswasa, low faith, and insincerity

Question: I have done some bad things two weeks ago and I need to make tawba. I keep trying but I feel insincere or that the remorse I had would disappear. I feel like my heart is blocked. My heart doesn’t listen to me because it is hardened. How can I feel true remorse and make tawba? I started getting really bad waswasa a year ago and I used to fight it really well but now it’s hard. I either forget all my problems or am in despondency when I remember. I’ll never let shaytan win, but how do I get rid of the waswasa once and for all? The lowering of my iman worries me the most because I feel like every day that passes, it gets worse. I’m worried that a time will come where I can’t fix my situation. I have read your reader on repentance but I don’t think anyone has the evil of feeling little to no remorse. How I could
bring it back?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Feeling that you have done bad things and need to repent is a clear sign of your faith. This is good news and you should not worry about what you think might be in your heart.

Don’t assume that you are insincere

Allah, Most High, accepts repentance in any form by the one who is sincere. Don’t assume that you are insincere and continue to make your tawba. The Shaytan’s job is to trick you into not repenting even when you are inclined towards it. He has thousands of years of experience with mankind, so don’t fall into his trap. Follow your heart and repent with its conditions.

Hardened heart

If you feel that your heart is hard, there are many ways to soften it. The first and foremost  way it to bless the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, night and day. Learn about his life, his sacrifices, make dhikr, and keep the company of those who are striving for Allah. Try listening to these heart soothing lectures by SeekersGuidance or take a free course:
https://www.facebook.com/SeekersGuidance.org

Waswasa

Getting rid of your waswasa is key to having a successful and happy religious life without undue hardship. Please see these links for good tips:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/a-reader-on-waswasa-baseless-misgivings/

Please make yourself accustomed to discarding any negative thoughts that come to you immediately and make dhikr when they do come. Eventually, the Shaytan will see that his whispering doubts lead you to  dhikr and he will stop. Also, address the topic of your waswasa by acquiring correct reliable knowledge. This is the best weapon against it.

Low iman and remorse

I know that you feel that your iman is low but you should not obsess with trying to measure it. The only thing that you should measure is your obligations. Make a checklist and check off your deeds every day, it’s the only way to grow and change. Try something like this:

Prayed 5 times a day today on time: Y/N
Did I backbite today?: Y/N
Am I caught up on my zakat and missed fasts?: Y/N
Did I do a charitable deed today: Y/N
Did I read my daily litany of Quran?: Y/N
Did I read the translation and understand it?: Y/N
Did I do something for my knowledge and growth today?: Y/N
Etc….

Once you have a list, just focus on completing it and you don’t need a measuring stick for anything else. Continue to do good deeds for verily faith increases by good deeds.

As for your remorse, please don’t measure that either. Feeling a little remorse is fine and be sure to repent when you get that feeling. Ask Allah to increase you in every good, and pray the Prayer of Need to increase your reliance on Him and hand all your problems over to Him. He will not abandon you. Please see this link:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-can-i-do-to-strengthen-and-increase-my-faith/

[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.