“Ya Allah! I’ve lost my wallet! Where did it go? It was right here in my room.”
I nearly screamed while looking for my wallet in my totally messed-up room. From morning till evening, I searched, searched and searched but could not find it. Seeing my frustration, my sister advised me to ask forgiveness, and said that the problems that we face are usually a result of our sins. I sarcastically said, “Yeah, right!”.
Seeing that I was unconvinced, my sister told me to listen to a lecture of Ustadh Raja Zia ul Haq which was based upon these verses:
“And (Noah a.s) said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers. And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers. What is [the matter] with you that you do not attribute to Allah [due] grandeur.” (Surah Nuh :10-13)
Listening to the lecture, I got my concepts cleared that whatever evil comes our way is actually the result of our sins, and that asking for forgiveness is the way out. We like to blame our tough situations on others, when we ourselves are the ones to be blamed in reality. As I resolved to seek forgiveness from Allah sincerely, I remembered the Hadith:
“Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than anyone of you would be on losing his camel in the desert and then suddenly finding it in front of him.” (Bukhari:6309)
I planned to spend the night seeking forgiveness and nearness of Allah. I was about to perform ablution when I remembered that sleeping with my sister, I wouldn’t be able to keep the light on; so I went to grab the torch from my drawer to read Quran and duas (supplications) at night.
As soon as I opened the drawer of my side table, my eyes nearly popped out. I had looked for the wallet, like five times in this drawer during the day, and there it was now, lying in the drawer. I was stunned and mesmerized. I showed the wallet to my sister as tears fell from my eyes.
I told her how only on resolving in my heart to ask for forgiveness, I had gotten the wallet back. All she said to me was:
“Remorse is repentance.”
which is actually a Hadith. (Ibn Majah:4252)
I would also like to share another incident with the readers. I had been hearing since about four or five days that everywhere around our city, it had been raining and the weather was pleasant, but our city remained hot and dry. My sister reminded me of a sinner at the time of Prophet Moses (‘alaihis salam) whose entire city was deprived of rain; but as soon as he asked for forgiveness, the rain came pouring down.
I also asked for forgiveness and slept. That night, it rained heavily till the morning. My sister woke me up, ecstatic that it was finally raining. Subhan Allah, it is a maxim:
“And (Noah a.s) said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers” (Surah Nuh: 10-11)
Allah has taught us the way of asking forgiveness in Quran. He tells us how our parents (Adam and Eve ‘alaihimus salam) asked for forgiveness:
“They said: ‘Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If you do not forgive us and do not have mercy upon us, surely we are from the lost people.” (Surah al-‘Aaraaf: 23)
Prophet Muhammad (Sallalahu alaihi wasallam) taught us the best words for seeking forgiveness (Syed-ul-Istaghfar):
“O Allah! You are my Lord. There is no God but you. You created me and I am your slave, I keep your covenant and my pledge to you so far according to my ability. I seek refuge in you from the evil of creation. I recognize your blessings upon me and I recognize my misdeeds. Forgive me for surely, there is no one who may forgive sins but you.”
Whoever says it in the morning and dies before evening, he is in the people of Paradise; and whoever says it in the evening and dies before morning, he is in the people of Paradise. (Bukhari:6306)
There are 4 steps to seeking forgiveness:
1. Accepting your mistake and feeling remorseful.
3. Replacing the bad deed with a good one.
4. Making a sincere intention not to do it again Insha Allah.
Is this too much to ask for? Allah does not hold grudges and is ever ready to forgive. He knows every sinner (who repents) has a future, and He does not care if the pious person had a past.
In a nut shell:
“Glad tidings for one who finds abundance of seeking forgiveness in his Book of deeds.” (Ibn Majah: 3818)|