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How Can I Forgive Myself After Sinning?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jul 09, 2018

Question

Salam.

A year ago, I was harassed by an older man online. One of his friends offered me help and stood up for me but didn’t break his contact with that friend. That older man in revenge started calling me a lesbian to cover his rejection but nobody believed him. I had people who protected me.

The thing is, this friend became my friend. He comforted me and gradually I felt comfortable enough to open up to him about almost anything. We had minor fights in between when his bad language and disregard for others would irritate me (He never used bad language towards me only against people and things he didn’t like). Then I would try to get him to change his ways, but we would end up arguing. I would end up apologizing and we would become friends again.

He was the exact opposite of me; an agnostic and bit of a misogynist, but he had a good heart and I became dependent on him for advice on any problem. I was emotionally attached. I would defend him in front of anyone. He said he would be there for me if any man ever tried taking advantage of me again.

One day we had a misunderstanding but this time he cut me off permanently. The problem is, I should have been ok with this sudden cut off, but I shamefully pleaded with him many times not just once many times to become friends again. I even asked our mutual friends to intercede. I degraded my self-respect so many times, yet I didn’t care. I felt he was the solution to every problem. My friends told me he was willing to believe negative false rumors about me as well and I don’t matter to him, but regretfully I still wanted him back.

It was only when I finally had some time to myself that I began to understand I was too dependent on a man instead of Allah. Now guilt and shame consume me all the time. How will Allah forgive me? I feel unworthy of Allah's love. I feel unworthy of having any self-respect since I degraded it too much. I am too afraid someday this man might tell everyone else how I pleaded with him. I am still stuck on thinking about what this man thinks of me.

I can’t forgive myself for this. I don’t have negative feelings for him since we can’t force people to be in our life, but I can’t forgive myself for becoming too attached to him. This isn’t me. I never intended for it to happen, but all this happened and I am responsible now the guilt is killing me.

Counselor

Answer


How Can I Forgive Myself After Sinning?

In this counseling answer:

“Allah SWT says that he loves those who seek forgiveness. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone undergoes hardships, failures, insults, setbacks, obstacles, etc. However, this does not make them a bad individual. These are tests of the life. As Muslims, we should embrace optimism and have trust in Allah’s ability to resolve all our matters and ease all our affairs.”


Assalamu Alaikum dear sister,

I thank you for placing your trust in our ability to propose a solution to your current situation.

Realizing your own mistake is the path to success

Although the guilt is weighing you down, it is this guilt that can change you forever for the best. It will ensure that you will never make the same mistakes that you have made in the past.

First and foremost, I am glad that you have realized your own mistakes and are seeking the right way of approaching situations. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. However, repenting and seeking Allah’s guidance and help is what Islam teaches.

In the Quran, Allah SWT tells us that,

“Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy: that any of you who does wrong out of ignorance and then repents after that and corrects himself – indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran 6:54)

This verse indicates that Allah forgives each and every sinner who repents and corrects themselves and makes their behavior in accordance with what Allah has ordained.

Allah SWT says in the Quran,

“Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.” (Quran 2: 222)

This verse indicates that Allah SWT is more aware of our faulty nature and temptation to sin than we ourselves do. Which is Allah SWT makes a point to say it Himself that He SWT loves those who repent and purify themselves?


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Keep your mind occupied

In my opinion, your thoughts about the past are a consequence of dwelling too much on the past and not considering Allah SWT to be Merciful enough to forgive you. Allah SWT is the “One Who forgives”. You need to distract your mind from others things/activities that you enjoy doing. If you do not keep yourself busy and your mind occupied, your thoughts will distract you, and make you feel restless and unsatisfied.

Do Dhikr Often

Allah SWT says in the Quran,

“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Quran 13:28)

I must tell you that a true believer should never feel sad, although it is human nature to despair at the past sins that we have committed once we realize the enormity of a negative action. The feeling of sadness will only manifest itself under our control. If we let sadness subside and bring out the positive side to an unhappy event, then we will surely not dwell in sadness.

Allah SWT says in the Quran,

“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (Quran 2:153)

Therefore, once you have supplicated and sincerely seek forgiveness, it is Allah Who is the Ultimate decider. Therefore, do not dwell on a forgiveness you have sought worrying over its acceptance but rather continuously seek forgiveness till your last breath.

Allah SWT says in the Quran,

“And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.” (Quran 65: 2-3)

Therefore, because you are God-fearing, Allah SWT will surely accept your repentance.

Be positive

You are not a bad person. In fact, Jannah is created for sinners who repent. Therefore, Allah SWT says that he loves those who seek forgiveness. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone undergoes hardships, failures, insults, setbacks, obstacles, etc. However, this does not make them a bad individual. These are tests of the life. As Muslims, we should embrace optimism and have trust in Allah’s ability to resolve all our matters and ease all our affairs.

Do good deeds to erase bad ones

In the Quran, Allah SWT says,

“Except for those who repent and correct themselves and make evident [what they concealed]. Those – I will accept their repentance, and I am the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.” (Quran 2:160)

The part of the above verse “correct themselves” is in another word meaning that the bad deeds should be forgotten and gone from an individual’s daily life and replaced with good ones.

The Prophet SAW said,

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “If any one of you improve (follows strictly) his Islamic religion then his good deeds will be rewarded ten times to seven hundred times for each good deed and a bad deed will be recorded as it is.” (Sahih Bukhari)

The Prophet SAW said,

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said,

“Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Best time to supplicate

In addition, if you want to ensure that your supplication is accepted, then you should supplicate at the prescribed times.

“The supplication made between the adhan and the iqamah is not rejected.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

In addition, supplication made at the time of Tahajjud (prayer before Fajr), during the time of rain, during fasting, and before sunset, are bound to be accepted. (Yasir Qadhi; Dua, the Weapon of a Believer)

You must take your time to heal from the pain. Perhaps spending time with friends and letting them know how you feel will help you relax as they are physically there to understand you and comfort you.

I pray that Allah SWT forgives us all of our own unintentional and intentional mistakes.

Amen,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

Your Guide to Allah’s Mercy and Forgiveness

10 Special Days of Forgiveness: When God Forgives All Sins

Forgiveness is Divine




About Madiha Sadaf

Madiha Sadaf in an undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa, enrolled in BSc. with Major in Biology and Psychology with Minor in Health Social Sciences.

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