Prevention is the Best Remedy
Hazrat Hasan رحمة لله علیھ once said:
"O son of Adam, to abstain from a sin is easier for you than curing it later on through repentance. How can you be sure that you will not commit a deed so grave in its wickedness that the door of repentance will be closed before you?"
Stories of Repentance: Advice from Khidr عليه السلام
Imaam Ghazaali (r.a) reported that Moosa عليه السلام asked Hazrat Khidr عليه السلام to advise him. He said,
"Be someone who constantly smiles, and not someone who is constantly angry. Be someone who benefits others, and not someone who harms others. Refrain from argumentation. Do not walk around without purpose. Do not laugh without a reason. Do not disparage wrongdoers by mentioning their mistakes to them. And cry over your misdeeds, O son of 'Imraan."
The Hallmarks of a Sincere Repentance
Shaqiq رحمة لله علیھ said,
"Weeping over past misdeeds, being afraid of perpetrating a sin again, forsaking the company of evildoers, and adhering to the company of the righteous- these are the hallmarks of a sincere repentance."
Stories of Repentance #14
As two servants of the ruler, an-Naasir, were talking to one another, one of them said, "I wonder what the ruler is doing today?" The other said, "I never saw him more afraid and sincere than he is today. He is by himself, wearing course clothing and sitting down on dirt. He is crying out loud and acknowledging his sins. I heard him say, 'My Lord, here is my forelock in Your Hand, if You are to punish the people, and You are All-Wise and All-Just, then how will I, with all of my sins, escape your punishment?'"
At that moment, Mundhir bin Sa'eed رحمة لله علیھ was passing by, and he heard what the ruler's servant said. Mundhir رحمة لله علیھ looked at him and said, "O young servant, wear a raincoat back with you, for if the mighty one on earth becomes fearful of Allah's punishment, then the All-Mighty One in the heavens will have mercy on His slaves [and bless them with rain and sustenence]."