What about when we constantly slip-up and cannot leave a certain sin? For some of us, this makes us give up on ourselves; we believe we don’t deserve any good from Allah. We have to remember that Allah (swt) is al-Wadud (the Most Loving). His Mercy overcomes His blame. It is not about deserving. If you thank Allah, He gives you more. It is not because we deserve more, it is because Allah is that Great. He is that Generous.Shaytan (the devil) makes us focus on how bad we are in order that we despair of Allah’s mercy, when the Prophet ﷺ taught us: “All the children of Adam constantly err, but the best of those who constantly err are those who constantly repent.” [Tirmidhi]
The Prophet ﷺ said that “One of the signs of excellence of one’s worship is thinking well of Allah (swt).” [Ahmad] This does not mean that we should not reflect on our state. Al-Hasan al-Basri said “A true believer is one who thinks well of Allah (swt) and therefore does good, whereas the disobedient one thinks bad of Allah (swt) and therefore does bad.” If we think well of Allah, no matter how bad we are, we also have hope that we can be better and thus we strive to do good deeds. If we think badly of Allah, we assume that He will never forgive us nor can He make us better; so we continue to sin. However, we should not make a mockery of this concept and deliberately sin, thinking Allah (swt) will forgive us anyway. One of the key principles of repentance is regret. If we do not truly regret the sin, and simply ask for forgiveness to have that sin erased, we are paying lip service. Remember, “You will only get what you intend.” [Bukhari]
When we do wrong, let us feel guilty, but let us also flee to Allah (swt). Have a good opinion of Allah (swt). If you are sincere, He will forgive you. He is that forgiving. He is that Great. He is that Magnanimous. Even when we commit the same sin again and again and again, our good opinion of Allah (swt) should let us know that as long as we constantly strive against our nafs (lower self) and against that part of us that wants to indulge in that sin, we have already been forgiven. At the end of the day, it is shaytan who wants us to go to hell, not Allah. Allah tells us in the Qur’an:
“Allah wants to accept your repentance, but those who follow [their] passions want you to digress [into] a great deviation.” (Qur’an, 4:27)
Shaytan does not just want you to go to hell, but also wants to ensure you live in hell in this world. Just like he despaired, he wants you to despair. Our good opinion of Allah (swt) should never allow us to do that. Allah (swt) wants to accept your repentance, because your repenting is recognition of His Name al-Ghaffar (the One who constantly forgives).
Just as the Prophet ﷺ told us that Allah (swt) is too gracious to turn away the hand that asks Him , He is also too Merciful to disappoint you and your good opinion of Him.
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