Dear brothers, one of the many blessings of the month of Ramadan is the potential for seeking forgiveness from Allah SWT.
And Allah SWT loves it when we ask Him for forgiveness. In fact, the greatest trick that Shaitaan plays on us is that he convinces us that the sins we commit are either too great or too many. It is the biggest achievement of Shaitaan if he can convince us that we are beyond saving and that we are too bad as people to ask Allah SWT for forgiveness.
In fact, one of the hadiths mentioned of the Prophet SAWS speaks of this point. It is translated to say:
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “By the One in Whose Hand my soul is, were you not to commit sins, Allah would replace you with a people who would commit sins and then seek forgiveness from Allah; and Allah would forgive them”.
Alongside this, we have the reminder of Sura Al-Tahrim, ayat 8 which is translated to say:
O believers! Turn to Allah in sincere repentance, so your Lord may absolve you of your sins and admit you into Gardens, under which rivers flow, on the Day Allah will not disgrace the Prophet or the believers with him. Their light will shine ahead of them and on their right. They will say, “Our Lord! Perfect our light for us, and forgive us. ˹For˺ You are truly Most Capable of everything.”
Dear brothers, we can ask Allah SWT for forgiveness at any time and for anything. This is the majesty of our Creator and the magnitude of the mercy we are shown. But not only are we blessed in forgiveness, Allah SWT rewards us for seeking forgiveness as mentioned in the 70th ayat of Sura Al-Furqan which is translated to say:
As for those who repent, believe, and do good deeds, they are the ones whose evil deeds Allah will change into good deeds. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
And so, dear brothers, especially with the month of Ramadan soon to arrive, this reminder concludes with 3 practical tips regarding todays reminder.
- Seek forgiveness from Allah SWT with sincerity. What this means is that we do not only ask for forgiveness but make an active decision to avoid falling in the same sin again. The imam reminded us of ayat 135 in Sura Imran which says:
˹They are˺ those who, upon committing an evil deed or wronging themselves, remember Allah and seek forgiveness and do not knowingly persist in sin—and who forgives sins except Allah?
- Once you have sought forgiveness, move on with your life. One of the tricks of Shaitaan is to make you dwell on the mistakes you have made in the past. This is a key trick for him to keep you feeling worthless, rejected and sad. Only he is the outcast and not us and so we need to seek forgiveness from Allah SWT with sincerity but once we have done this, learn to forgive ourselves and move on with our lives and not dwell in the mistakes of the past.
- Lastly, we need to demonstrate the mercy Allah SWT shows us on other people around us. If we are wrong by others, we need to demonstrate that same mercy and forgive them. It serves no positive purpose to hold onto bad feelings towards others and so we should also be merciful.
Dear brothers, this coming month is the month of forgiveness. Lets use this reminder to make the month a true month of mercy for all.