Six signs of repentance:
- Controlling one’s tongue from futile talk, backbiting, lies and all sins
- Keeping one’s heart clean from envy and rancor
- Leaving bad company
- Preparing for death; repenting for past sins, being regretful, and striving in obedience to Lord
- All worldly desires leave one’s heart. And sorrows of the Hereafter are evident in one’s heart
- One frees his mind from (worrying about) provision which has been guaranteed by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and busies himself with that which he has been instructed to do
What happens at social gatherings or at lunch breaks? What do we talk about? Our conversations are usually about other people: their clothes, their children, their families, their jobs, and so on. In the few minutes that we have with other people how much do we talk about Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala?
Isn’t it a sad reality that the speech ability that we have been given is often used in futile talks, backbiting, lies and other kinds of sins? We need to train ourselves to talk less and engage more in thikr [remembrance of Allah]. Our speech should have a purpose such as, helping someone, giving da’wah or replying when spoken to.
We will not talk about other people unless our hearts were cleansed of envy and rancor against them. We need to erase bad feelings and bad memories from our minds to become better Muslims. If someone has hurt us, there is no point in talking about them with other people. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is our Best Recourse. Hand over your pains and problems to Him and He will take care. His attribute Al-Jabbar is known to mend broken hearts.
Also memorize the du’a in Surah Al-Hashr and whenever a bad thought enters your hearts (about your family, friends, co-workers or in-laws), simply recite this du’a and ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to clean your heart from rancor.
Our houses are stocked with things that were bought on a whim. We had not need for them yet we bought them. How much have we sent forth for the house of the Hereafter?
Whenever you are comparing your life with others’ prosperity distract your mind with thoughts about the Hereafter. This life will eventually end with all its pains and miserliness, but the life of the Hereafter is eternal. If your financial standing is less than your friends, it is not a calamity. If you are single and all your friends have gotten married, it is not a misfortune. If all your married friends have children but you, it is not a tragedy. We all have different purposes and path. We need to focus on what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has given us and how we can use that for His service. All of us who are healthy and sane, how much do we think about Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and how much to do think about this world? In the Hereafter everything will be fixed, therefore, work for the Akhirah not just for this dunya [world].
Instead of crying over our deprivations, we should be concerned about our responsibilities toward others. Are we fulfilling Allah’s rights? If yes, then with what feelings and in what way? Are our prayers, fasting, Hajj and Zakat according to Sunnah? If we are able have we performed the Hajj? If not, then why not? What is stopping us from offering this obligatory duty? Is our earning halal? What about rights of other people on us? Are we raising our children as Muslims or have we surrendered to the societal norms? Are we really conscious of our lives or do we live according to whatever pleases our hearts?
We need to reflect on our lifestyle, our food, our clothing as well as our worship. We need to ask ourselves if we are living according to the commands of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Do I only cover my head with a scarf or am I also modest in speech and the way I carry myself in public? Am I properly covered (the dress is opaque hiding the contours of the body) or is it just an additional piece of cloth that I have worn? We cannot bear the pain of fire in this world then how will we endure the pain of eternal fire in the Hereafter?
When we are leaving for a journey we take due care in packing our luggage so that we don’t encounter any problems in the new place. But what about our luggage for the eternal abode? Do we know the questions that we will be asked in the Hereafter? Are we prepared to answer them?
[Our fellow admin is doing an Aqeedah series on the three questions that all of us will be asked in our graves. Follow her posts to better prepare for the reckoning.]
For our worldly trips if we forget something in our home, we can borrow or buy them again. But in the Hereafter, we will have no such options. We have only one chance. As much as we worry about other people, what they are going to say or how much they are progressing in their worldly lives, we need to worry about our life in the Hereafter.
Now what has passed has passed! Instead of only crying over the days gone by we need to make the best of the time that we still have. For example, if we used to delay our prayers then now not only should we reply to the words of Athan [call to prayer] but also get up, perform ablution and offer our prayers right away. We need to set new targets for ourselves: memorize more Surahs of the Qur’an, increase our sadaqah (giving only the best in the path of Allah and not rags or rotten food).
[To get some encouragement on memorizing the Qur’an, listen to this Hifdh recording of Sister Asma Huda. Pretend you are sitting in her class and memorize the 30th Juz with them. Once you have completed Juz 30, you will be encouraged to memorize more of the Qur’an, in sha Allah]
Memorizing the Qur’an is a surefire way of improving the quality of our prayers as we are more attentive to the words. As a cherry on top, read the Tafseer of the ayaat that you intend to memorize and just imagine your heart will be filled with the words of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. When the heart is filled with the words of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will it give space to worries and depression? Try it to see it!
Many women complain of not having any me-time or activity for themselves. The best advice for such women is to get attached to the Qur’an.
Take the desires of this world out of your heart. When a person is young they desire to finish school, get a job, get married and start their own family. As his desires get filled, he longs for the next thing; his longing never ends. Instead of desiring this world which is called dirt we should long for the company of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in the Hereafter. This world is not worth worrying for.
Similarly, there is no need to worry about rizq [provision] because it has been promised by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. What we really need to worry about is what we are sending for ourselves in the Hereafter. We want to fill up our homes in this world and raise our status here, however, the real concern should be of raising our scales in the Hereafter.
If you do not participate in gossips and backbiting, or you distance yourself from bad company and the deluding pleasures of this world, then you will labeled a misfit. Do not worry! Because a believer is a stranger in this world. While people will make fun of him, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala loves such people. It should be our goal to become the beloveds of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
So when these signs are evident in them, then he will from those about whose right Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said, “Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant (tawwabeen) and loves those who purify themselves (mutatahirreen).” [al-Baqarah 2: 222]
We should remember that we will die according to the life that we have lived. If we lived a righteous life, then in sha Allah, we hope to die in a righteous way – in a manner that is pleasing to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. As the students were sharing their reflections, one of them shared a story of a young girl who died with the Qur’an. She was a young student of the Qur’an. Instead of sitting with other girls to chat she would keep herself busy with the Book of Allah. After revising her lesson, she would help others who struggled with reciting the Qur’an correctly. One day after teaching Qur’an to a lady, she gave her mus-haf to her sister and left to perform ablution. While she was performing wudhu her soul returned to its Lord inna lilahi wa inna ilahi rajeoun. She was from the Ahlul-Qur’an and she died in a muthahir [pure] state. She was from those that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala informs us are His beloveds.
Sit back and reflect on your life. How will our end be like? Do we please Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala as we are in our current state? Will we die a righteous death?
We also learn that good friends encourage one another to good deeds. What do our friends encourage us to do? And what do we teach them? What kinds of friends are we?