What is the meaning and conditions of repentance?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the many countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Repentance literally means return. Whereas, Imam al-Ghazali defines repentance in his book Minhaj al-Abidin as the action of the heart according to the scholars as the cleansing and purification of the heart from sins. Imam al-Ghazali also cited the opinion of his teacher Abu Bakar al-Turtusi regarding the meaning of repentance as: Choosing to leave his old sins revering the greatness of Allah and fearing His punishments. Refer Siraj al-Talibin ‘ala Minhaj al-‘Abidin (pg.131)
Here, we include the statements of scholars regarding the meaning of repentance from al-Risalah al-Qusyairiyah:
- Sahl bin Abdullah: “Repentance is never forgetting your sins.”
- Junaid al-Baghdadi said: “Repentance is to not forget your sins.”
- Abu al-Hussain al-Nuri said: “Purify oneself from everything except Allah SWT.”
- Zu al-Nun al-Misri said: “The repentance for the general public is from sins, while the repentance of the scholars is from distractions.”
The Conditions of Repentance
- Leaving sins voluntarily
- Repent from the sin
- The choice to leave the sin comes from the reverence of Allah SWT.
We will end our discussion with the statement of Ibn Abbas R.Anhuma:
التَوْبَةُ النصوحُ الندمُ بالقَلْبِ، والاسْتِغْفَارُ بِالِسَانِ، والاقلاعُ بالبَدْنِ، والإِضْمَارُ عَلَى ألا يعودَ
“Real repentance is the regret in the heart, istighfar through the tongue, leave the sin through actions and determination to never repeat the sin.”
May Allah SWT bless us with understanding in our religion.