All of us make mistakes. We commit errors. We sin. It’s part of being a human being.
Yet, sometimes we think that we shouldn’t sin that we shouldn’t make mistakes.
Certain people become so distraught about the fact that they sin that they let it become an obstacle to feeling peace in their lives.
They stop with their sin. They beat themselves up emotionally and psychologically. Telling themselves over and over, “I’m bad. I’m a sinner. How can Allah forgive me.”
The question even comes up how should I approach my sin. When I sit to pray should I constantly remember my sin and ask for forgiveness over and over? Is this what is required of me to move past the mistakes I make?
The answer is “No!”
You should not hold onto your mistakes.
First, you should remember that Allah is Gaffour. He is the forgiver and loves to forgive. The deep Islam has an interesting approach to all of this.
Sidi Muhammad al Jamal, the Guide of the Love, writes in his book Music of the Soul (P. 135 At-Tawba the Repentence)
Repentance has a beginning and an end. It has a return. So any person who has repented due to fear of punishment is he ordinary repent her. The second is he who repents for the wish to return to the garden.
The third is the one who repents because he wants to obey the order of God, not thinking of the punishment or of the garden. The first type is a characteristic of the believers, the second group is a characteristic of the people who are near to God, the Saints, (the awliya) and the third and the third is the characteristic of the Prophets and messengers of Allah.
Certain people say that repentance means that you don’t forget your sins, because when you don’t forget them, you always feel regretful, and this regretfulness keeps you on the road to God. Others say that repentance means that you forget your sins, because if you don’t forget them, it means that you don’t trust or have good faith in your God.
But I say repentance takes you out of your sins and out of yourself. Don’t let your sin become a wall standing between you and your Lord because he created you for Him, and He is for you. Nothing can hold the beloved from his lover. You should not be afraid of your God because he created you he loves you. Due to their misunderstanding of God, some people have looked at God is a jailer, when really he is not like this. Truly, He is the merciful, ar-Rahman and the compassionate, ar-Rahim.
Another beautiful story that relates to how we shouldn’t be afraid that Allah will never forgive us comes from Hadith about the Night Journey of the Prophet Muhammad, saws. This story is taken from Book 1, Number 317 of Sahih al-Bukhari: (Reprinted rom The Month of Rajab by Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee)
“I looked and I saw a great sea, so great that there was no end to it and no shore in sight. On it’s near side there was a tree, and upon that tree, there was a bird the size of a dove. In its beak this bird pore a piece of clay as big as a lentil. ‘Do you know what this is?’ And He, (subhana wa ta Allah) told me, ‘ You are always asking Me to forgive your nation of their sins. This sea is the likeness of the Sea of Mercy. That Tree signifies the world, the dove-like bird is the likeness of your nation and that bit of clay is the likeness of their sins. That is the relation of your nation’s sins to the vastness of My Mercy, so let your heart be at rest.”
Allah is the forgiver and loves to forgive.
This doesn’t mean we should sin, but we shouldn’t be afraid that Allah will not forgive us.
Do your utmost not to sin.
Yet, don’t let your sin keep you from finding peace in your life.