The forgiveness of sins through easy sayings and actions
Sheikh ‘Abdul Muhsin al Qaasim
Verily all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him, seek help from Him and seek His forgiveness, and we seek His protection from the evils of our selves and from the evils of our actions. Whoever Allah guides, then there is no misguidance for him, and whoever is misguided, then there is no guidance for him. And I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone. He has no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. May Allah send salutations on him and on his family and his companions, and may much peace be upon them.
Thereafter: So fear Allah – servants of Allah – the true fear, for fearing Allah is the pillar of guidance and shunning it is the path of misery.
O Muslims: Allah created the humans and the jinn for His worship, so whoever obeys Him, He promises him Paradise. And whoever disobeys Him, He threatens him with a painful recompense. And reckoning by Him – Glorified is He – is by the weights of atoms. He – Glorified and Majestic – says: “And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it.” [Surah Zalzalah: 8]
And the sins of the servants are many, some of which are the like of mountains. He ﷺ said: “People from amongst the Muslims will come on the Day of Judgement with sins the like of mountains.” [Narrated by Muslim]
And some of which are as much as the foam of the sea. In the Hadeeth regarding it: “His sins are expiated even if it is as much as the foam of the sea.” [Agreed upon]
And some sins are of the heart: like believing other than Allah to benefit or harm, or weakness of dependence on Allah, or pride, or jealousy. And some of it (sins) are verbal sins: like invoking other than Allah of the deceased and others, or swearing by other than Allah, or lying, or backbiting. And some of it (sins) are physical sins: like circumambulating around graves, or murder, or theft, or fornication.
And associating partners with Allah is not forgiven except by repentance. And it may be forgiven by good actions if truthfulness and sincerity is strong, just as an adulteress gave water to a dog and was forgiven. And in the Hereafter, the one who commits major sins without repenting will be under will. If He (Allah) wills, He will punish him, and if He wills, He will forgive him.
And the minor sins are forgiven by Allah if the major sins are abstained from. He (Glorified is He) said: “If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall remit from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise).” [Surah Nisaa: 31]
Ibn Katheer (Rahumahullah) said: “That is: if you abstain from the major sins which I have prohibited you from, We will forgive you your minor sins and We will enter you into Paradise.” And the forgiveness of minor sins: (are) correct beliefs, or sayings or good actions by which slips are forgiven.
And He (Glorified is He) is the One Who accepts repentance. He spreads out His hand (of Mercy) during the day to forgive the sins of the night, and spreads out His hand (of Mercy) during the night to forgive the sins of the day. The Exalted says: “Allah wishes to accept your repentance.” [Surah Nisaa: 27]
And the sins of the son of Adam, despite being many, the bounties of Allah are abundant on His servants. When He legislates obediences for them, He commands them on them to forgive their sins. So sincere Tawheed (believing in the Oneness of Allah), characterized by truthfulness and certainty, abstaining from its nullifiers, forgives sins. He – peace be upon him – said: “…if anyone meets Me with mistakes equivalent in weight to the whole earth, having not associated anything with Me, I will meet him with the same amount of forgiveness.” [Narrated by Muslim]
And the affair of Tawheed by Allah is great for the one who realizes it, for there are two days in a week where Allah forgives every Muslim that does not associate anything with Allah if he is not corrupted by one of the major sins. He ﷺ said: “The gates of Paradise are opened on Monday and Thursday, then every servant who does not associate anything with Allah is forgiven, except a man who had a grudge between him and his brother, then it will be said: ‘Delay these two until they are reconciled.” [Narrated by Muslim]
And due to the importance of prayer, its virtue and its great honour, its establishment and actions and words before its fulfillment is a reason for the forgiveness of sins, for athan (call to prayer) is a daily, repetitive, verbal worship by which Allah decreases sins. In fact the muathin (caller to prayer) is forgiven the (amount of the) distance of his voice and “When the muathin says: ‘I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah’, then the listener says: ‘And I (too) bear witness. I am pleased with Allah as my Lord, with Muhammad as my messenger and with Islam as my religion’, his sins will be forgiven.” [Narrated by Muslim]
And whoever performs ablution properly, his sins leave him with the drops of water or with the last of it. Then if he “stands to pray and praises Allah, lauds Him and glorifies Him with what befits Him and shows wholehearted devotion to Allah, his sins would depart leaving him (as innocent) as he was on the day his mother bore him.” [Narrated by Muslim].
“If a man performs ablution perfectly and then offers the prayer, Allah will forgive his sins committed between that (prayer) and the (next) prayer.” [Agreed upon]
And the steps of walking towards prayer, one of them decreases sins and the other raises ranks, and performing ablution properly in spite of difficult circumstances, walking with more paces to the mosque, and waiting for the next prayer erases sins and raises ranks.
And whoever comes to the mosque waiting for the prayer, exposes himself to the fragrance of Allah with the supplication of the angels for forgiveness and mercy for him. He – peace be upon him – said: “Each of you is in the prayer as long as he is waiting for it, and the angels pray for every one of you as long as you remain in the mosque, saying: O Allah forgive him! O Allah have mercy on him!, as long as he does not break ablution.” [Narrated by Bukhari]
Ibn Battaal – may Allah have mercy on him – said: “Whoever has many sins and wishes to decrease them from him without trouble, should take benefit from remaining in the place of prayer after prayer in order to increase the supplication of the angels of forgiveness for him.”
And when the Imam says ‘ameen’ after the recitation of the opening (chapter) and the followers say ‘amen’ and “his amen corresponds with the amen of the angels, all his previous sins are forgiven.” [Agreed upon].
“And when the Imam says: ‘Allah hears the one who praises Him’, and the follower says: ‘O Allah for You is all praise’, then verily whoever’s saying corresponds with the saying of the angels, all his previous sins are forgiven.” [Agreed upon]
And sayings after prayer forgive sins, for : “whoever glorifies Allah after every prayer thirty-three times, and praises Allah thirty-three times, and says Allah is great thirty-three times, that makes ninety-nine, and he says to complete one hundred: ‘there is no god but Allah alone, He has no partner. For Him is the kingdom and praise. And He is All-Powerful over everything’, his sins will be forgiven even if they may be as much as the foam of the ocean.” [Narrated by Muslim]
And the five (compulsory) prayers forgive sins. He ﷺ said: “What do you think would happen if there was a river by someone’s door in which he washed five times every day? Do you think that any dirt would remain on him? They said: Not a scrap of dirt would remain on him. He said: “That is a metaphor of the five prayers by which Allah wipes out wrong actions.” [Agreed upon]
And every week there are acts of worship that forgive minor sins. He ﷺ said: “Whoever takes a bath on Friday, purifies himself as much as he can, then uses (hair) oil or perfumes himself with the scent of his house, then proceeds (for the Friday prayer) and does not separate two persons sitting together (in the mosque), then prays as much as (Allah has) written for him and then remains silent while the Imam is delivering the sermon, his sins in-between the present and the last Friday would be forgiven.” [Narrated by Bukhari]
And the fast of Ramadan forgives what is between it and the next Ramadan if the major sins are left out, “and whoever stands in Ramadan with faith and expecting reward, his previous sins will be forgiven, and whoever stands on the night of Power with faith and expecting reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Narrated by Bukhari]
And the fast of the day of ‘Arafah forgives (the sins of) the past and remaining years, and the fast of ‘Ashooraa forgives (the sins of) the past year, and charity forgives sins. He – peace be upon him – said: “Charity obliterates sins just as water extinguishes fire.” [Narrated by Tirmidhi]
And pilgrimage wipes out sins. He – peace be upon him – said: “Whoever performs pilgrimage without having intimate relations or committing wickedness, then he will return like the day he was born from his mother.” [Agreed upon]
And from the virtue of Allah on the believer: is that if he is deficient in his righteous words and actions, then his sins compensate for it due to what their hearts suffer of worries, sadness and distress. He – peace be upon him – said: “No worry, nor sorrow, nor harm, nor distress befalls a Muslim except that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it.” [Agreed upon].
“And the trial faced by a man (i.e. his shortcomings with regard to religious duties) because of his family, wealth and children may be expiated by prayer, fasting, charity and enjoining good and forbidding evil.” [Agreed upon]
And righteous deeds, unlimited in their variety – like recitation of the Quraan, and kindness to parents, and joining family ties – forgive sins. He (Majestic in His Being) said: “Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins).” [Surah Hood: 114] And he ﷺ said: “Follow up an evil deed with a good one, it will wipe it out.” [Narrated by Tirmidhi]
And Allah bestowed words that are not restricted to time that forgive sins, for “whoever says ‘glory be to Allah’ one hundred times, one thousand good deeds are written for him, or one thousand sins are forgiven for him.” [Narrated by Muslim]
And words of remembrance forgive sins, for “whoever says ‘glory be to Allah and I praise Him’ one hundred times a day, his sins will be forgiven even if they are as much as the foam of the ocean.” [Agreed upon]
And Allah legislated actions, not restricted to time that sins are forgiven by, for an ‘Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) to an ‘Umrah is an expiation for what is between them, and kindness to the creation expiates sins, for “once there was a dog moving around a well, suffering from thirst so bad he was nearly dying; then, a prostitute from among the Children of Israel happened to see him, so she drew water in her shoe and made him drink; and Allah forgave her because of this.” [Agreed upon]
And pardoning and forgiving forgives sins. He (Glorified is He) said: “Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you?” [Surah Noor: 22]
And Allah bestowed on His servants the forgiveness of sins of their gatherings by easy sayings said after dispersing from them. He – peace be upon him – said: “Whoever sits in a gathering wherein there is much idle talk and before rising from his place recites: ‘Glory be to You our Lord and all praise. There is no god but You. I seek Your forgiveness and turn in repentance to You’, then he is forgiven of all that had taken place in that gathering.” [Narrated by Nasaa’i]
And food is an enjoyment and strength for the bodies, and when a Muslim thanks his Lord for it, his sins are forgiven. He – peace be upon him – said: “Whoever eats some food, then says: ‘Praise be to Allah Who has fed me this and provided me with it with no power or strength on my part’, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Narrated by Abu Dawood]
And if the body is afflicted with hardship, difficulty, the prick of a thorn, or the like thereof, it is an expiation of sins. He – peace be upon him – said: “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” [Agreed upon]
And illness is an expiation for the patient. He ﷺ said: “No Muslim is afflicted with any harm – sickness and the like – but that Allah will remove his sins as the leaves of a tree fall down.” [Agreed upon]
And the gatherings of remembrance erase sins. He ﷺ said: “Verily Allah has angels that roam the roads to find the people of Thikr (remembrance), and when they find a group of people remembering Allah, they call out: come to your need.” He said: “They encompass them in layers until the first heaven.” He said: “then their Lord asks them – while He already knows the answer – : What are my servants saying?” He said: “They say: They are praising You and magnifying Your Name and glorifying You, and giving You the best attributes.” “Then the Lord says: I am making you my witness that verily I have forgiven them.” [Agreed upon]
And true supplication is the reason of forgiveness of sins. The Lord (Glorified and Majestic) said: “O my servants, you sin by night and day, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness of Me and I shall forgive you.” [Narrated by Muslim]
And the last third of every night is an expectation of the forgiveness of sins, when “our Lord descends to the first heaven in the last third of the night and says: Who is asking forgiveness from Me so that I may forgive him.” [Agreed upon]
And Allah (Glorified is He) does not call upon His servants to seek His forgiveness except to forgive them.
And repentance wipes out all sins, and there is no reason for the forgiveness of all sins except it (repentance). He – Glorified is He – said: “Verily Allah forgives all sins.” [Surah Zumar 53]
And the best days of life: is the day of repentance. He ﷺ said to Ka’b when his repentance descended: “Rejoice in the best day that has come to you since your mother bore you.” [Narrated by Muslim]
In fact, verily when a slave repents, he is not taken to account by his sin. He – peace be upon him – said: “Whoever repents before the sun rises from the west, Allah will accept his repentance.” [Narrated by Muslim] Ibn Abi ‘Izz (Rahimahullah) said: “And the existence of repentance is a reason for the forgiveness of sins and not being taken to account for them, and there is no difference of opinion among the Ummah.”
Thereafter: O Muslims: Sins have an effect on the body, wealth and children. And a servant is in need of the erasure of sins during the day and night, and bounties fade due to sins, and misfortunes befall due to sins, “and the black stone descended from Paradise while it was whiter than milk, then the sins of the sons of Adam blackened it.” [Narrated by Tirmidhi].
And Allah is Most-Forgiving, Most-Merciful. He varies the expiation (of sins) for His creation, which they employ every time for their sins to be forgiven. And no one approaches to Him (Glorified is He) except that He draws closer to him. And the happy one is the one who exposes himself to the fragrance of Allah and His forgiveness, day and night.
I seek protection in Allah from the accursed Satan. “And verily, I am indeed Forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them, (till his death).” [Surah Taha: 82]
May Allah bless me and you in the great Quraan, and benefit me and you with what is in it of verses and wise reminders.
All praise be to Allah for His kindness, and thanks to Him for His ability and His gratitude. And I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone. He has no partner, Great in His Being. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. May Allah send salutations on him, and on his family and companions and may very much peace be upon them.
O Muslims: A sin is ugly, and uglier than it is the absence of repentance and seeking forgiveness. And whoever knocks the door of repentance finds it open. And from the attributes of Allah is forgiveness, pardon and concealment. And Allah is happy with the repentance of the repenting to Him, and He substitutes his evil with good. And leaving out sins is easier than seeking repentance, and surely the effect of the sin is hidden from the creation but Allah knows it, and surely its effect is manifested in the life of the servant, in his misery, his worry and the difficulty of his life.
Then know that verily Allah commands you to send salutations and peace on His prophet, so He said in the accurate revelation: “Allah sends His Salat (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet and also His angels too. O you who believe! Send your Salat on him, and (you should) greet (salute) him with the Islamic way of greeting.” [Surah Ahzaab: 56]
O Allah send salutations and peace on our prophet Muhammad, and be happy O Allah with the rightly-guided successors, those who judged with truth and were just: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and with all the rest of the companions, and with us as well by Your generosity and nobility, O Most Generous of the generous.
O Allah grant honour to Islam and the Muslims…