Rejoice! Your bad deeds can be replaced with good ones
May 16 2020 12:31 AM
state mosque
state mosque

Suppose a master tells his fugitive slave, after he commits many mistakes, to count them so he can be rewarded for them – provided he shows sincere regret, stops making these mistakes, and does not return to them again – would this slave not have good cause to rejoice?
Such an act is beyond the capacity of any human being, because there is no way a person can determine the real nature of the regret felt by someone who makes a mistake. There is no foolproof way to know whether the sinner has given up the sin because of regret and repentance or he has left it only outwardly, and continues to commit it secretly. Even if we assume that he is certain of his slave’s repentance, what is even more certain is that the human soul cannot patiently endure someone committing the same mistake repeatedly. Even if a person excuses the one who makes a mistake against him once, he will certainly not endure the mistake to be repeated against him many more times.
Indeed, Allah The Almighty is beyond comparison. See how He accepts the repentance of the one who repents and turns to Him, removes sins from him, and replaces them with good deeds. He is Allah, the Most Merciful, the ever Merciful, the One who accepts repentance, the Forgiving of sins, as He describes Himself Saying (what means): {The forgiver of sin, Acceptor of repentance, Severe in punishment, the Bestower (of favours). There is no deity except Him; to Him is the destination.} [Qur’an 40:3]
Is it not He who Says (what means): {Do they not know that it is Allah who accepts repentance from His servants and receives charities and that it is Allah Who forgives and accepts repentance, the Most Merciful?} [Qur’an 9:104]
Is it not He who addressed His servants Saying (what means): {And it is He who accepts repentance from his servants and pardons misdeeds, and He knows what you do.} [Qur’an 42:25]
According to Ibn Katheer, may Allah have mercy upon him:
“Allah The Almighty reminds His servants of the favour of His accepting the repentance of him who repents and turns to Him, telling them that it is out of His generosity and forbearance that He forgives, pardons and conceals (the sins and mistakes). In confirmation of that, He The Almighty Says (what means): {And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself but then seeks forgiveness of Allah will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful.} [Qur’an 4:110] His Saying {and pardons misdeeds} means He accepts the repentance in the future, and forgives the misdeeds of the past. {and He knows what you do} means that He is well-acquainted with all your deeds, words and acts, but still He accepts the repentance of him who repents to Him.” [Mukhtasar Ibn Katheer]
Glad tidings to the one who turns to Allah The Almighty in sincere repentance, by which He removes his sins from him, and multiplies his good deeds. Glad tidings are for him, especially in a month where the way of repentance and the return to Allah The Almighty are made easy, given the great number of those who repent, the abundance of forgiveness from Allah The Almighty, and the multitude of those to be released from the Hellfire in this month. Ramadan makes matters that were difficult easy for the repentant, and makes available to him what he aspired to obtain.
This repentance is a great gain and a blessed gift from the One who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful. It is attained only by the one whom Allah The Almighty guides. Has He not said, in connection with those left behind in the Battle of Tabuk (what means): {And [He also forgave] the three who were left behind [and regretted their error] to the point that the earth closed in on them in spite of its vastness and their souls confined them and they were certain that there is no refuge from Allah except in Him. Then He turned to them so they could repent. Indeed, Allah is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.} [Qur’an 9:118]
In his comment, Imam As-Sa‘di, may Allah have mercy upon him, said that the verse {Then He turned to them} means that He permitted them to repent, and guided them to repentance, so that He would accept their repentance. {Indeed, Allah is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance} i.e. He turns in repentance, pardons more and more, and forgives slips and acts of disobedience, {the Merciful} i.e. His great mercy continues to descend upon the servants at all times, to help them perform their religious and worldly obligations.
These Qur’anic verses indicate that the acceptance of one’s repentance by Allah The Almighty is the most glorious and the highest rank. Allah The Almighty made it the end for the select among His servants, and conferred it upon them when they did the deeds which He likes and is pleased with. Furthermore, Allah The Almighty turns in repentance to His servant as much as he shows sincere regret and sorrow. Whoever is careless about their sin, and does not feel disconcerted for doing it, then, his repentance is rejected even though he claims it to be accepted. [Tafseer As-Sa‘di]
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Supplication on the Night of Al-Qadr

In a Hadith on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah, radhiallah ‘anha, she said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, if I know which night is the Night of Al-Qadr, what should I say on that night?’ He said: ‘Say: ‘Allaahumma innaka ‘afuwwun kareemun tuhibbu al-‘afwa fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Ever Pardoning and Generous and You love pardoning, so pardon me!)’’” [At-Tirmithi: Hasan Saheeh]
In another narration, she said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, if I witness the Night of Al-Qadr, what should I say?’ He said: ‘Say: ‘O Allah, You are Ever Pardoning and Generous, and you love pardoning, so pardon me.’’” [Ibn Maajah]
Benefits and rulings:
First: The virtue of the Night of Al-Qadr and the keenness of ‘Aa’ishah, the Mother of the Believers, to witness it, offer voluntary prayers in it and supplicate to Allah in it.
Second: The keenness of the Companions to ask about matters that benefit them.
Third: The virtue of supplication on the Night of Al-Qadr and the fact that it is most likely to be answered.
Fourth: A recommendation to supplicate to Allah by the succinct words of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and not to burden oneself with supplications that are rhyming or those whose meanings are not known. 
Fifth: The supplication mentioned in the Hadith is one of the most beneficial and all-inclusive supplications because it combines between the good of the worldly life and the Hereafter. For if Allah pardons His slaves in the worldly life, He will remove punishment from them and bestow favour upon them. If He pardons them in the Hereafter, He will save them from Hell and admit them to Paradise. 
Sixth: Ascribing the attribute of love to Allah in a way that befits His Majesty and that He The Almighty loves forgiveness. 
Seventh: The virtue of pardoning people because Allah The Almighty loves pardoning and those who pardon others.
Eighth: The advice of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, to his Ummah (nation) and teaching them what benefits them.

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