Significance of repentance (Tawbah)

Chapter No.: 

If the eyes are protected by not looking at what is prohibited then the heart will remain safe from number of calamities and this is also the highest degree of Tawfeeq (Divine help) and a cause of extreme strength.

Hadhrat Abu Bakr Abdullah al-Muzni (RA) says that a butcher fell in love with the daughter of his neighbour. Once, the parents of this girl sent her to a neighbouring colony for some job. When the butcher came to know this, he followed and stopped her at roadside and then provoked her to commit sin with him. The girl advised him not to do so and also said to him, “I have more love for you in my heart then you have for me, but I fear Allah”. The butcher said, “If you fear Allah, why shouldn't I, how can that be?”. He repented at that place and turned back. On his way back, he felt thirsty and his thirst intensified to such an extent that he was about to die. Meanwhile, an envoy of a Prophet from among the Prophets of Bani-Isra’eel passed by and he enquired about his condition. The butcher said, “I am thirsty”. The envoy said to him, “Let’s invoke together that until we reach that particular village, the shadow of a cloud may remain on us”. The butcher said, “I don't have any good deed that I will invoke through, so I request you to invoke”. The envoy said, “Alright! I will invoke, but you should say Amin”. The envoy started invoking and the butcher kept on saying Amin until a big lump of cloud cast its shadow on them and they started their journey. After reaching their destination, when they started to depart from each other, the lump of cloud moved along with the butcher. The envoy on seeing this asked him the reason behind it. The butcher narrated to him the incident of his repentance.

A famous noble man Hadhrat Ahmad bin Sa’eed (RA) narrates from his father that in Kufa there lived an extremely devout young man who usually spent his time in Jama Masjid. He was very tall, handsome and of very high character. A woman saw him and she fell in love with him at the first sight. For a long time the spark of love kept blowing inside her heart but she couldn't get any opportunity to express it. One day while going to the Musjid, this woman held his way and said, “O young man! First listen to me then do whatever you wish to do”. But this young man did not say anything and moved on until he reached the Musjid. On his return, she was still there waiting for him and when this young man reached near her, she tried to talk to him. The young man said, “This is a place of ill-repute and I don't want anybody to see me with you and defame me, so don't hold my path and let me go”. She said, “By Allah, I didn't stand up here because I am not aware of your status, or that I don't know that this is a place of ill-repute. May Allah not let the people become suspicious about me. But in this very matter, the issue that incited me to meet you is that the people exaggerate any small thing, and the devout people like you are just like a mirror which gets affected even by a small cloud of dust. I just want to make a very reasonable point that I am passionately in love with you and it is only Allah Who may decide the affair between you and me”. The narrator says that the young man went straight to his home without saying any word. After reaching his home, he tried to offer Salaah but was unable concentrate on it. Under compulsion he took his pen and wrote down few lines on a piece of paper to this woman. After writing down, he came out of his home and saw that she was still there. He threw this piece of paper towards her and quickly went back inside. It was written:

“O lady! You should know that when a slave disobeys Allah, He forgives him. When he again indulges in this, He keeps it secret. When he makes it an amusement, then He sends down such a wrath that the land and the sky, the trees and the stones and even the animals shiver up. Who is there who can handle His displeasure? Whatever you said, if it is wrong, then remember the day on which the sky will melt like copper, the earth will become like carded cotton and all the mankind will fall in prostration before the Jabbar-i-Azim (The Mighty Subduer). I swear by Allah, my own condition is that I am unable to reform my own Nafs and in such a situation it is not possible for me to reform others. And if you are speaking truth, I will convey you the address of such a Tabeeb (physician) who is able to treat satisfactorily and remedially every kind of injury and ailment, and that Tabeeb is Allah, who is the Sustainer of all the world. Submit before Him and ask your desire to Him. I can’t do anything for you except to recite this Aayat:

وَأَنْذِرْهُمْ يَوْمَ الْآزِفَةِ إِذِ الْقُلُوبُ لَدَى الْحَنَاجِرِ كَاظِمِينَ مَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ حَمِيمٍ وَلَا شَفِيعٍ يُطَاعُ () يَعْلَمُ خَائِنَةَ الْأَعْيُنِ وَمَا تُخْفِي الصُّدُورُ ()

“And warn them of the day that draws near, when hearts shall rise up to the throats, grieving inwardly; the unjust shall not have any compassionate friend nor any intercessor who should be obeyed. He knows the stealthy looks and that which the breasts conceal”. (40:18-19)

After few days that woman was again seen on the road side, when he saw her, he intended to turn back but she called him and asked, “Why are you turning back, this is the last meeting and after this we will meet only before Allah”. She wept profusely and said, “I pray to Allah in Whose hands your heart is to make it easy the difficulty that confronts you because of me”. After this she requested him for an advice. The young man said, “I only advise you to keep yourself safe from your Nafs and always remember this Aayah:

وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَتَوَفَّاكُمْ بِاللَّيْلِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا جَرَحْتُمْ بِالنَّهَارِ

“And He it is Who takes your souls at night (in sleep), and He knows what you acquire in the day” (6:60)

The narrator says that after listening to this advise she wept profusely for a long time and when she recovered, she went to her home, prayed for a while and then died. After this the young man used to remember her and weep. The people used to say to him, what is the benefit of weeping now when previously you disappointed her. He used to reply, “I had slaughtered her desire on the very first day and I had the belief that this act will be my provision for the Hereafter, but now I fear that this provision may not turn back on me”.