Stories of Repentance #16
There was a young man among the children of Israel who worshipped Allah for twenty years. He then disobeyed Allah for twenty years. Then, one day, looking in the mirror, he noticed the whiteness of his beard and was taken aback by what he saw. He said, "O my Lord, I had obeyed you for twenty years and I then disobeyed you for twenty years. Now if I return to You, will You accept me?"
He then heard a caller say, "You loved Us and We loved You. You left Us, and so We left you. You disobeyed Us, and so We gave you respite. And if you return to Us, We will accept you."
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."