O my dear brother! Repentance is obligatory immediately; delaying it is an additional sin. He who is in need of repentance and delays it stating, I will repent tomorrow, does he know that tomorrow he will be alive? In fact, does he know that he will be able to move from his place? Because death comes suddenly without reasons or initial signs. How many people have we seen who died suddenly due to cardiac arrest? Or due to heart-shaking accidents? Or due to such reasons that nobody knows except Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala?
We learn that delaying repentance is a sin in itself. Don’t take your moments for granted. Right now we are alive, who knows whether we will be there the next second or not? No human knows what the next moment holds for him. We can make plans, but what are Allah’s plans no one knows. People go to sleep and do not wake up the next morning. People plan their wedding and die in the evening. People go to work and die in a bomb blast or road accident. Live your each moment as your last and be conscious of your relationship with other people. Be watchful of your tongue and keep it busy in istighfar [seeking forgiveness] and thikr [remembrance of Allah].
It does not mean that one should not make plans in their life, rather we will make plans, but we should know that there is no guarantee that our plans will be fulfilled. Allah’s plans are superior!
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
“And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die.” [Luqman 31: 34]
And Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala commanded to hasten toward that which makes forgiveness obligatory and among it is Tawbah. Thus, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,
“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth…” [Aal-Imran 3: 133]
And He said,
“So race to [all that is] good.” [al-Baqarah 2: 148]
And Allah azzwa jala said,
“And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? – and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know.” [Aal-Imran 3: 135]
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala commands us to race in good deeds, among these good deeds is hastening in repentance. Do not let your evil deeds make you stubborn. If you have slipped once, hold yourself accountable. Don’t blame others. Regret your wrongdoing and turn to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in repentance.
And the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Destruction is for those who persist in their doings, although they know it.” [Ahmad, Saheeh Albani]
So, O My Dear Brother!
Repent now, before your heart is layered by blackness so you no more have the power to turn away from sins.
Repent now, before sickness or death overtakes you and you do not get the chance to repent.
Repent now, before Maalik ul Maut [the Angel of Death] comes to you and you say, “O my Lord! Send me back.” So, it will be said to you, “Never!”
When a person commits a sin, a black dot is placed on his heart. If he repents the black dot is removed. But if he persists and commits another sin, then another dot is placed. And if a person keeps sinning without realizing his errors, the heart is covered in layers of blackness. After that he is not inspired to seek repentance. Don’t let your heart reach that state. Repent immediately and protect your Tawbah by not repeating that mistake.
The pleasure of sins prevents one from turning to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. But who knows when they will die? If your heart has hardened, recall your sins and shed sincere tears of repentance. Use masnoon du’as [Prophet’s supplications] or make du’a in your own words. Ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for forgiveness for every minor and major sin including hurting others, back biting, lying, misusing office stationary, etc.
How can one soften their heart? By the remembrance of death and by sitting in the company of the righteous people.
If you know someone who is deep into sins, but they are repenting, extend a hand to them and pull them out of that filth. Recall the message of Surah Al-Asr; an attribute of the believers is that they do righteous deeds themselves and also encourage others to do it.
A sign of accepted Tawbah is that one is encouraged to do good deeds. But this should not make us complacent because we don’t know what test tomorrow brings for us. Our faith should be between hope and fear.
We seek refuge with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala from a life of ghaflah and from death in the state of negligence, Allahumma aameen. Dear brothers and sisters, let us not delay Tawbah. Let us make it a habit to do a Tasbeeh of Tawbah every morning and evening. Go to sleep reciting the istighfar and have remorse for your evil deeds.