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How Does One Repent?

Question: How does one make tauba? what does one do if he/she is unable to actually have tears while making tauba, does that mean it wasn´t accepted? and what should a person do if he/she keeps repeating the sin even after sincere tauba everytime?

Ans. Four things are needed for repentance to be valid:

1. Leaving the sin;
2. Remorse over having committed the sin;
3. Resolve never to return to the sin;
4. (If it relates to the rights of another person, then to) Return the rights or property one wrongly took .

If these conditions are truly met, then one can expect one´s sins to be forgiven . However, one has to be very careful about how sincere one is in fulfilling one´s conditions . It is recommended to seek forgiveness a lot, and to repent every time the sin comes to one´s mind .

If one keeps repeating the sin, then one should find the root cause(s) of the sin and eliminate them . For example, if one falls into a certain sin because of the company one keeps, then it would be necessary to either stop keeping their company, or to change the nature of one´s relationship with them .

Tears are a good sign of the second condition (remorse), but not in themselves necessary .

It is recommended to perform ablutions, and pray two rakats of the repentance prayer . It is recommended to repent and seek forgiveness while prostrating during the prayer, in the final sitting after the tashahhud & blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), and also after the prayer . It is best to make supplication with the Prophetic invocations, if one knows them, or with that which comes from your heart otherwise .

Imam al-Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) said in his hadith collection, Riyad al-Salihin,

This is from Imam al-Nawawi´s hadith collection, Riyad al-Salihin. Spread it..


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