Mansoor ibn Amaar says:
One night I went out and I thought morning has arrived, although night was still remaining. I sat near a small door. I heard a young man crying who was saying:
By Your Honor and Jalal! I did not intend to oppose You by disobeying You. When I disobeyed, I did not disobey because I do not know Your punishment nor that I will be punished by You, nor did I underestimate Your Sight but my nafs [self] deceived me. My misfortune overtook me and Your that curtain that conceals my sins deluded me. And now who can protect me from Your punishment? Whose rope should I hold, if Your rope is cut from me?
O grief! On my those days that were spent in the disobedience of my Lord. O regret! How many times should I repent? How many times should I turn back? Now the time has arrived that I have shyness for my Lord.
This is the acknowledgement of one’s sins. Sometimes we commit a sin not because we do not know of Allah’s punishment, but we know it very well yet we get deceived by our nafs.
Everyone has their own way of seeking repentance from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. We can recite the Qur’anic and Masnoon du’as of repentance, and we can also whisper to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in our own words.
One shares their secrets with the one he loves. If we love Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, as it is the trait of the believers, then we should speak with Him in secret. Confess your sins before Him, and seek repentance sincerely in your own words. Shed sincere tears and keep your heart attentive to the words and customize your du’as according to your pain.
The best thing about Islam is that you do not have to go to a priest to confess your sins. Share them with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala privately and preserve your honor. Do not disclose your sins to anyone not even your spouse or parents.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala knows everything, but that does not mean that we should never ask for anything. Rather we should put our wishes on our tongues. Instead of sharing our secrets and desires with people who can exploit us we should share them with the Secret Keeper who never deceives His servants.
We also need to learn to tame our nafs. It appears in Surah Yusuf: “Indeed, the soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil, except those upon whom my Lord has mercy.” (12: 53) We should make it our slave and not become its slave. We should ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for nafs mutma’ina.
On the Day of Judgment some will say, “Our Lord, our wretchedness overcame us, and we were a people astray.” [al-Mominoon 23: 106] Let us not become of those who will confess on the Day of Judgment that indeed they were of the astray. We need to learn our Deen “right now” and make the most of our health and free time to learn what pleases Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and what calls for His wrath. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala guide and protect us, aameen.