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]."
Stories of Repentance #13
A tyrant ruler once left his castle to walk around the streets of his kingdom in order to enjoy himself. As he was walking, he came across a number of gardens and decided to enter one of them. After spending a short while looking at the garden's beautiful trees, he became thirsty, and so he asked the owner of the garden, who was sitting nearby, for a drink. The owner told him that though there was no water nearby, the ruler was free to take a pomegranate and quench his thirst with that. The ruler agreed, and when he took his first bite from the pomegranate that was given to him, he was amazed to see how wonderfully sweet it was. He said to himself, "This pomegranate is indeed wonderful."
He decided to evict the owner and take possession of the garden. But first, he wanted to make sure that all of the pomegranates of the garden were equally wonderful and sweet, and so he asked for another one. When he began to eat a second pomegranate, he was shocked to see that it was very bitter and foul tasting.
He asked the owner if it was from the same tree as the first pomegranate. "Yes," said the owner.
"Then how come it is not as sweet as the first?"
"O leader, perhaps you intended to do some evil, which caused its taste to change," said the righteous garden owner.
"By Allah, the man has spoken the truth," thought the ruler. He repented from his intention to usurp the garden, and decided he wanted to enjoy another pomegranate, and so he asked for one. When he tasted it, it was even sweeter than the first one he had eat. What is more, it was from the very same tree.
Stories of Repentance #12
Abdullah bin Marzuq رحمة لله علیھ was drunk one day and consequently missed Salaah. His female servant came to him with a piece of burning wood and placed it on his leg. He jumped up with an expression of pain on his face.
"If you cannot withstand the fire of the earth, then how will you withstand the Fire of the Hereafter [which is 70 times more intense than the fire of this world]?"
Having understood the point of the painful lesson, Abdullah bin Marzuq رحمة لله علیھ repented. Thereafter, he performed his Salaah on time and gave away a great deal in charity. After some time passed, Hazrat Fudayl ibn Iyaad رحمة لله علیھ and Hazrat Ibn Uyaynah رحمة لله علیھ visited him, and just by looking at him and the furniture of his home, they noticed a drastic change in his lifestyle. They asked, "No one forsakes something for Allah except that Allah compensates him with something equal or better, so what did Allah compensate you with for what you abandoned?"
"Contentment for the situation I find myself to be in," he replied.