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Dr. Shabir Ally addresses this question in the video below:
Aisha Khaja: So, Dr. Shabir, the question today is about guilt and what does one do when they have guilt over a major sin, and how do you deal with that?
Dr. Shabir Ally: I think the first thing is to be aware that God is forgiving and merciful. And one should not lose hope over the mercy of God.
If you have guilt over a major sin, you can feel overwhelmed and thinking God is not gonna forgive me. I’m doomed.
And our scholars describe this situation as one of the tricks of the devil. And the devil wants you to disappear so that you might conclude: ok, I’m going to hell anyway. So, I may as well enjoy the rest of my life by committing more sins.
So, do not despair. Know that God is ready to forgive. The Quran actually promises this and the Quran says: [Quoting in Arabic] do not despair over the mercy of God.
And again: [Quoting in Arabic] do not disappeared, a different way of saying the same thing, over the mercy of God. And the Quran promises: [Quoting in Arabic] God forgives all sins.
And God speaks, actually, in a kind way regarding this. It [the Quran] says: say to my servants who have wronged themselves that they should not despair over the mercy of God.
Aisha Khaja: So, how do you deal with the actual guilt? So, knowing that, yes, I shouldn’t despair, I shouldn’t lose hope.
But you just have so much guilt that for example, you know, when you’re praying or just seeking forgiveness, you just keep reminding yourself, unconsciously, right, that that’s—or consciously, rather— that you have the big burden.
How do you deal with that?
Dr. Shabir Ally: So, what we do is we ask God for forgiveness. You know, telling somebody about your sin can help you to get it off your chest. And this is perhaps why we have confessions in some other faiths. But in our faith, we don’t confess to anyone else.
We only confess to God. So, yeah, confess to God. Say, God, I’m really sorry. I messed up that time. Please, you know, helped me to overcome this. And I want to do what is good from now on.
So, you repent. You repair what is wrong. If you’ve harmed somebody, you repair that harm to the best of your ability. And you move on with it.
I hope this helps answer your question. Please keep in touch.
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