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Friday, July 04, 2003  

On Repentance (Tawbah) Part 3 of 3 I heard Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami say ... that Yahya bin Muadh used to pray, "My God, because I know my nature, I cannot say, 'I have repented and will not go back on my repentance.' With what I know of my weaknesses, I can take no responsibility for abandoning sin. Instead I say, 'I am not going back to my old ways - maybe I will die before I do!'" Dhu-l-Nun said, "To ask for forgiveness from God without leaving the sin is the repentance of liars." I heard Muhammad bin al-Husayn say that he heard al-Nasrabadhi say that Ibn Yazdanyar was asked, "When the servant abandons the world for God, what should be the principle of his departure?" He said, "Not to return to what he has left, nor to pay attention to anything but the One for Whom he has left, and to protect his inner awareness from giving any notice to the things from which he has freed himself." Someone remarked, "This is the case of someone who is leaving something behind. What about someone who has nothing to leave?" He said, "Sweetness in the future is compensation for bitterness in the past." Asked about repentance, al-Bushanji said, "When you remember the sin and do not find pleasure in the recollection, it is repentance." Dhu-l-Nun said, "The reality of repentance is that the world with all its vastness will become narrow for you until you find no rest in it; and then your own self will become narrow for you, as God Most High said in His Book, 'Their selves became narrow for them and they bethought themselves that there was no refuge from God except in Him; then He turned to them so they would turn to Him' [9:18]." Ibn Ata said, "There are two sorts of repentance: the repentance of penitence and the repentance of response. The repentance of penitence is when the servant repents for fear of His punishment. The repentance of response is when he repents out of shame at His generosity." Abu Hafs al-Haddad was asked, "Why does a repentant person hate this world?" He replied, "Because it is the place in which his sins were committed." Someone objected, "But it is also the place in which God honored him with repentance!" "Sins are certain," he returned, "but there is risk in his repentance being accepted!" Al-Wasiti said, "The joy of Prophet David and the sweetness he experienced in obedience to God caused him to fall into a long and deep sadness of repentance. But in this second state his condition was more perfect than it had been before, when his true level was unknown to him." A Sufi there said, "The repentance of liars is on the edge of their tongues." that is, merely saying 'May God forgive me.' Abu Hafs al-Haddad was asked of repentance. He said, "The servant has no part in repentance! Repentance is extended to him, not obtained from him." It is said that God Most High revealed to Adam, "O Adam, you have bequeathed to your offspring hardship and disease and you have also bequeathed to them repentance. Whoever among them calls to Me as you have, I will respond to him as I have responded to you. O Adam, I will resurrect the repentant from their graves smiling and laughing and their prayer will be answered." A man said to Rabia, "I have so many sins and acts of disobedience. If I were to repent, would He also turn to me?" "No," said she. "Rather, if He were to turn to you, then you would repent!" Know that God Most High said, "God loves the repentant and loves those who purify themselves" [2:222]. When someone yields to a sin, but sincerely believes that he has sinned and has repented, he is in doubt as to the acceptance of his repentance. This is especially so when he knows that the acceptance of his repentance depends on his being worthy of God's love, for there is a long interval between the time of the commission of the sin and the time when he will find signs of God's love for him in his nature. When the servant becomes aware that he has done something requiring his repentance, constant contrition, with persistent renunciation of the fault and asking of forgiveness, is a necessity. In fact, it is said that he should be continuously worried until his time comes. God said [speaking of and through His Prophet], "Say: If you love God, follow me: God will love you" [3:31]. Continuous asking of forgiveness was part of the way of life of the Prophet. He said, "Something comes over my heart so that I ask forgiveness of God seventy times a day." I heard Abu Abd Allah al-Sufi say ... that Yahya bin Muadh said, "One slip after repentance is uglier than seventy before it." I heard Muhammad bin al-Husayn say that Abu Uthman said concerning the word of God Almighty and Glorious, "Certainly to Us is their return" [78:25] that it means "they will be brought back [to God], even though wandering in opposition has given them respite." I heard Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami say that Abu Amr al-Anmati said, "The vizier, Ali bin Isa, rode in a great procession. It made strangers ask, 'Who is that? Who is that?' A woman standing by the roadside said, 'How long are you going to ask, "Who is that, who is that?" That is the servant who has fallen from God's favor so God is trying him with what you see!' Ali bin Isa heard this. He returned to his house, freed himself of the vizierate, and went to Mecca and remained there." -Imam Abu-l-Qasim al-Qushayri, Principles of Sufism (Risalah Qushayriyyah)



posted by SuFiSTiC | 7/04/2003 07:21:00 AM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
(Bukhari)
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
Abu Bakar Balkhi
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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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