In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Some signs are such which verify the correctness of repentance. And these are things with which the penitent is attached and feels joy in them. The appearance of these signs tells him that he is treading on the right path which will take him to success on the Day of Judgment. And of the signs are:
That a person’s condition is better than what it was before repentance
And every human being can feel this condition on himself. If after repentance he longs for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala such that his energy for good deeds increases, his determination is strong, then this is the evidence of his repentance being correct, true and accepted.
The fear of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and the thought of His watching us remains with the person forever
Because the intelligent one does not become ignorant of the retribution of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala even for the blink of an eye. His fear is continuous until angels appear to collect his soul whispering in his ear: Do not fear and do not grief but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you have been promised. (May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala make us of those who will hear these words, aameen.) Then his fear ends and his anxiety disappears.
Abu Bakr Siddeeq radhiAllahu ‘anhu used to say, “By Allah! I would not rest assured and feel safe from Allah’s punishment even if one of my feet was in
And perhaps this saying is from the saying of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “Hearts are between the Fingers of Ar-Rahman, He turns them as He wills.”
That repentance appears in his heart with humility and debasement before his Lord
And this humility and pain is more virtuous than many acts of worship and obedience through which a person considers favoring Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. As it is said: How many disobediences lead to debasement and humility, and how many good deeds make one arrogant and proud.
A person should bend before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala with humility. We shed our tears before people touting our submissiveness but how much do we cry before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? Why cry before people and narrate your tales of sorrow to them when you have Allah? Why not cry before Him and keep your secrets concealed? Crying before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is more beneficial than crying before people.
The less one dwells over their sorrows and losses, the less pain they will feel. When we receive a wound on our skin, we do not scratch it. We clean the surface, apply bandage and keep it covered. If one keeps dwelling over their sorrow, discussing with people, then how will they ever come out of their pain?
If you were broken down by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, then you repented and rectified your deeds, do not consider yourself pious. Let not arrogance seep into your heart because it was the trait of Iblees.
He considers the sin great even if he has repented from it
This will happen when the honor of repentance and the One Who commands it is understood. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “And whoever honors the symbols of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.” [al-Hajj : 32]
Ibn Mas’oud radhiAllahu ‘anhu says, “The believer sees his sins as if he is sitting at the foot of a mountain fearing that it might fall on him, while the sinner [fajir] sees his sins as a fly that lands on his nose, he just waves it away.”
It is for this reason that some Salaf-us-Saliheen [pious predecessors] said that do not look at how small a sin is but think of the greatness of the Lord Who you are disobeying.
From the signs of acceptance of repentance are:
The repentant is fearful of his tongue, thus he protects it from lying, back biting, accusation and futile talk. And keeps it busy with the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and the recitation of His Book.
He fears regarding his food and only consumes halal [permissible].
He fears regarding his eyes, he neither looks at the haram nor looks at the world with desire. (The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to say: What do I have to do with dunya? We should remember we are not here forever. This is not our real home. We should long for the company of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and His prophets and the righteous, in the Hereafter.)
What do we see on our screen? How do we look at the opposite gender when we are not in a public place but in the privacy of our homes? What about movie or television stars? What about the spouses of our friends and family? Are we conscious of our gaze?
What about looking at other’s blessings with desire – their clothing, their cars, their houses? Do we long for dunya? Remember that the worth of this world in the Sight of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is lesser than a mosquito’s wing. How small is the wing of a mosquito and how extensive are our desires?
He fears regarding his ears. So he neither lends his ear to evil (such as music) nor to lies or backbiting.
He fears regarding his hands; he does not stretch them to do haram. Rather, he only stretches them for deeds which call toward the obedience of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
He fears regarding both his feet. Through them he does not walk to places that make him negligent and lead to disobedience. Rather, he walks with them to the Masjid [mosque], and striving in the way of Allah and places where He is obeyed.
One should hold back his hand from harming others such as slapping them, hurting them, pushing them, stealing or hiding other’s belongings, etc.
Where do our legs take us? Why is it that we are thrilled to go to a restaurant, shopping mall or a wedding but least motivated to go to Masjid and Qur’an circles? How come we have time and fuel to socialize and relax but when it comes to improving ourselves and saving our Hereafter, we have neither time nor resources?
He fears regarding his heart. He cleanses it from worldly rancor, grudge, jealousy and other related diseases. And instills in it kindness, empathy and loves and hates for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
He fears regarding his obedience (righteous deeds) as well. He performs righteous deeds solely for the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and does not ruin them through showing off and fame.
One of the tips for cleansing our hearts against other people is to focus on their good qualities and favors. No one in the world is perfect. Each one of us has flaws. Just as we would want others to forgive our mistakes, we should forgive the mistakes of others. Keep your heart at peace by not letting any negative thought or feeling reside there. Keep cleansing it of its filth. In the biography of Imam Bukhari we read that he used to study the books of ‘Abdullah ibn Mubarak to build his character. We too should read the books of the pious predecessors to reform ourselves.
Whoever finds these signs in himself – he should know that (perhaps) his repentance has been accepted. This is not a permission to revert to the past life but a person distances himself from the haram actions and increases in good deeds. He is not attached to the dunya and attached to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Such a person cuts down on his worldly activities and spends more time in deeds that will take him closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. He is encouraged to do more good deeds such as studying the Tafseer of the Qur’an, memorizing Surahs other than the small ones. He is not only conscious of his actions in this world, but also prepares for the Meeting with His Creator. He longs to meet his Rabb.
The Companions radhiAllahu ‘anhum despite being given the glad tiding of Paradise, feared Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and the punishment of the Hellfire. Therefore, if today you are on the Right Path do not assume that you can never falter. Keep fearing Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, your past sins and calamities. Make du’a for steadfastness on His Path.
Stay away from unnecessary conversations, unnecessary socialization, wasting time in nonproductive matters, music, and gossips. Busy yourself in that which takes you closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala including keeping your heart cleansed of hatred and rancor.
A person who is learned is different from he who is ignorant. Many people are invited for pilgrimage to the House of Allah – they change their clothing and actions but when they return home they return to their old habits. Is Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala only in Makkah? Why is it that we cover ourselves at Sacred places and are in a completely different attire in social gatherings? What about our speech? If a person’s conduct does not change despite Ramadan, Hajj, and other good deeds, then it means there is some deficiency in their Tawbah.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is everywhere and not just in Makkah, in Masajid or other places of religious gatherings. Be conscious of Him and hold on to His commands wherever you are. Consider the Greatness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala before disobeying Him. If our pets run to us when we call them, then shouldn’t insaan – the best creation of Allah – display better conduct than animals?
Learn to talk less particularly after the prayers. Recite the Qur’an, reflect on the ayaat, do tasbeeh [praise Allah] and remember Him. Whenever you have free time on hand, instead of picking up your phone or turning on the television pick up the Qur’an or a du’a book. We are all in need of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and of Paradise in the Hereafter.
One should remember that all his deeds should be solely for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and not to please a human being.