Tauba (Repentance)

Akhlaq & Spirituality / Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Allah Ta’aala says: “O Believers! Make Tauba unto Allah; a pure Taubah.”

Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “O people! Make Taubah unto Allah.”

We have been informed in the Hadith that the second ten days of Ramadaan are the days of Maghfirat (Forgivenss). These are the days wherein Allah Ta’aala opens His “Arms” and accepts the pleas of those seeking forgiveness and hears the cries of those who repent. These are the days when Allah Ta’aala looks with pity and compassion at the sad hearts of those who are regretting their sins. These are the days when Allah Ta’aala appreciates and accepts the resolve of those who firmly decide to shun past sins and who pledge that they will abstain from the sins in future by controlling their Nafs and combating Shaytaan.

Sins; respected brothers and sisters in Islam, are poison. Nay, worse than poison. Poison only destroys the transitory body, whereas sins destroy the permanent soul. Another point to reflect upon is that poison is something which people generally are cautious and careful about. With sins it is so very different: People are attracted to it because of the very nature of it. The poison of sin is camouflaged with the sweetness of Nafsaani pleasure. It is addictive. It is ‘delicious’. Did Jibra’eel Alayhi Salaam not see Jahannam covered with Haraam pleasures and delight? And despite the awful horrors of Jahannam, did Allah Ta’aala not inform him that many people would enter into Jahannam?

Since we lack Yaqeen and are ignorant of Jahannam’s terrible horrors, we treat Taubah lightly.

How many of us are prepared for even a moment to seriously accept the idea of snakes coiling around our throats for discarding Salaah, tongues being pulled with pliers of fire for speaking lies, eyes gorged out with iron rods for committing Zina with the eyes or molten lead poured into our ears for listening to music? How many of us are prepared to acknowledge that we are serious contenders for Jahannam’s awesome fire which will melt our skins only for it to be replaced immediately? Parched throats that will be quenched with puss and blood, intense hunger that will be satiated with thorns – this, we feel, is not for us. The dead bodies – kidneys, livers, hearts and limbs that we will be made to chew for the act of Gheebah is not going to apply to me.

After all, I am holy! I am the Imaam, I am a Sheikh, I am a khalifa, I am a Mufti, I am a Moulana, I am a Qari, I am a Mutawalli, I contribute thousands of rands…

By Allah! The fear for Jahnnam will make Ambiya call and cry out: ‘Nafsi, Nafsi…’

By Allah! The fear for Jahannam caused Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam to seek protection from it seven times every morning and seven times every evening.

By Allah! Umar Radiallahu anhu cried out of fear until two permanent black lines were etched on his cheeks due to the constant stream of tears flowing.

By Allah! Jahannam itself will rage and call out unto its Rabb: “Are there more, are there more…?”

Allah Rabbul Izzah has given us an opportunity to make Taubah and turn towards Him. The last ten days of Ramadaan are the days of freedom from Jahannam. We should hasten to put in our “applications” to obtain that freedom.

The difference between Taubah and Istighfaar is that Istighfaar is an acknowledgement with remorse and shame of a sin committed with a resolve not to commit it in future. Taubaah is to turn unto Allah and to reform that evil act.

An example is when a person gets angry at this wife and vents his frustration on her without any real reason. The wife cries. After calming down, he realizes he has erred.

He realizes just how kind she is. Despite being hungry, she fries all the spring rolls and samoosas. Despite being tired she wakes up for Sehri and prepares meals for the family. Despite having to perform twenty Rak’aats tarweeh, she cleans out the whole kitchen. In addition to this she is concerned about his ways and habits. She stresses and wakes him up. She tends to his children.

She is his cook, she is the nanny of his children, she is his counsellor, she is his receptionist, she is the minder of his Aakhirah, she is his comforter in times of distress, she is his friend with whom he shares, she is a barrier for him committing Zina. Any half decent husband would be ashamed. The husband is remorseful and embarrassed at making her cry.

He says “sorry” to her. He has made ‘Istighjfaar’. He decided to reform his ways and learns how to control his anger and be pleasant even when frustrated and annoyed. This effort is known as ‘Taubaah’.

When a person turns and makes Taubah unto Allah, Allah turns towards him even more. Some of the greatest Saints in Islam were at one stage the greatest of sinners.

Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah Rahmatullahi Alayh narrated the following story:

Hadhrat Fudhail bin Ayaad was the leader of a gang of robbers who instilled fear in everyone. No one was saved from his clutches. People were scared to even travel in the vicinity where he operated. Children were threatened with his name if they misbehaved.

One day, whilst his band was out on a robbing spree, a traveller approached Hadhrat Fudhail in the mountains. He did not recognise Hadhrat Fudhail and requested place to perform some Salaah. In Salaah, the traveller recited the following Aayat:

“Has the time not arrived for the Mu’mineen that their hearts bow to Allah…”

Upon hearing this, Hadhrat Fudhail could not contain himself. How many years had passed by in sin? How much longer did he want to continue with his old ways? Instead of bowing to Allah, he had spent his life ‘bowing’ to Shaytaan. The burden of his sins caught up with him. He was an evil human being. He was a burden upon the earth. The Ayat jolted him.


Hadhrat Fudhail made sincere Taubaah. He repaid and asked forgiveness from all those people whom he had robbed. He cleared his accounts in this world. He was fearful of Jahannam. He was not brave enough to withstand its torments. He proceeded to reform his life under a great Sheikh called Hadhrat Abdul Waahid Rahmatullahi Alayh.

Such was the Taubaah of Hadhrat Fudhail that he eventually was invited to join the circle of Hadhrat Imaam Abu Hanifa’s (Rahmatullahi alayh) council of Ulama. This, despite him not being an Aalim.

Someone inquired from Imaam Abu Hanifa Rahmatullahi Alayh as to why he was included amongst the circle of esteemed Ulama. Imaam Saheb replied:

“Such is the strength of the Taqwa of Hadhrat Fudhail that he will not permit any unwanted laxity in the Shariah.”

The heart of the chief robber of the times had made Taubah! The heart of the chief robber of the times had bowed to Allah!

When will we make a firm Taubah if not in this Ramadaan? When will we turn our hearts towards Allah if not in this Ramadaan?

When will we exchange once and for all the poison of sins for the Pleasure of Allah if not in this Ramadaan?

Allah calls, has the time not come for us to respond? Allah calls not once but five times daily. For how much longer shall we ignore His Call?

Let’s start off with pledging ourselves that we will not miss a single Salaah. No matter where we are, no matter what we will be doing, no matter with whom we are, we shall perform our Salaah, Insha-Allah.

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