Repentance: Means turning back from disobeying Allaah to obeying Him.
Repentance: Is beloved to Allaah, as He says: “Verily, Allaah loves those who repent and those who purify themselves.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 222]
Repentance: Is an obligation on every believer. Allaah says: “O you who believe! Turn to Allaah in sincere repentance!” [Surah At-Tahreem: 8]
Repentance: Is from the means of attaining success. Allaah says: “And O believers, all of you, repent to Allaah in order that you may be successful.” [Surah An-Noor: 31] Success is when someone gets what he is looking for and is saved from what he is running from.
Through Sincere Repentance: Allaah forgives sins no matter how big they are and no matter how many they are. Allaah says: “Say: O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (because of sins), do not despair from the mercy of Allaah. Verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Verily, He is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah Az-Zumar: 53]
O my brother who has fallen into sins, do not despair from the mercy of your Lord, for indeed the door to repentance is open until the sun rises from the west. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Verily, Allaah extends His hand out at night in order to accept the repentance of the sinner by day. And He extends His hand out during the day in order to accept the repentance of the sinner by night, until (the day) when the sun will rise from its west.” [Reported by Muslim]
And how many people have repented to Allaah from numerous and enormous sins and Allaah has accepted their repentance? Allaah says: “And those who do not supplicate to another god along with Allaah, nor do they kill a person that Allaah has made forbidden (to kill) except with just cause, nor do they commit fornication. And whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled for him on the Day of Resurrection and he will abide therein in disgrace. Except those who repent and believe and do righteous deeds, for those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds. And Allaah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah Al-Furqaan: 68-70]
Sincere Repentance: Must meet five conditions (in order to be accepted), which are:
1. Sincerity to Allaah, the Most High: This is by the person doing it only for the sake of Allaah and seeking His reward and salvation from His punishment.
2. Remorse: for the sin that was committed, such that he is sad he did it and wishes he had never done it.
3. Ceasing: to commit the sin immediately. If the sin was against Allaah, then he should (1) stop doing it if it was an unlawful act, or (2) hasten to do it if it was an obligation that he abandoned doing. And if the sin was against a created being (such as humans), then he should hasten to free himself from it, whether by returning it back to him or seeking his forgiveness and pardon.
4. Determination: to not go back to doing that sin again in the future.
5. The repentance should not occur before the time when its acceptance is terminated, either by death or by the sun rising from the west. Allaah says: “Repentance is of no effect for those who commit sins constantly until when death faces one of them, he says: Verily I repent now.” The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever repents before the sun rises from its west, Allaah will accept his repentance.” [Reported by Muslim]
O Allaah, grant us the sincere repentance and accept it from us, verily You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.
Written by Muhammad As-Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen 4/17/1406
Sifat Salaat-in-Nabee (pages 49-51) Al-Ibaanah.com