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How to Come Back After Sinning?

12 September, 2023
Q Usually when I commit a sin, it makes me feel extremely unmotivated and depressed. I might start neglecting the good things that I was doing, think I'm a hypocrite, feel disgusted by myself, think Allah will never take me seriously again …. What should I do?


Peace be upon you dear questioner,

Thank you so much for this question. It is truly a very important point to discuss.

We have to remember that Shaitan (the accursed devil) has two tricks in this regard. First, he tries to make the sin seem easy, appealing, approachable, and that it is not such a big deal.

Second, if one falls into Shaitan’s first trap by committing a sin, then Shaitan makes people despair so that they won’t repent and seek forgiveness. He keeps making people doubt the Mercy of Allah, that He will accept their repentance, or that they can be good again and rectify their affairs completely.

So what do we do about it?

Remember that the Prophet (PBUH) said :

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Allah, the Exalted, has said: ‘O son of Adam, I forgive you as long as you pray to Me and hope for My forgiveness, whatever sins you have committed. O son of Adam, I do not care if your sins reach the heights of the heaven, then you ask for my forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, if you come to Me with an earth load of sins, and meet Me associating none with Me, I would match it with an earth load of forgiveness. (At-Tirmidhi)

This is the hope that Allah Almighty gives us, so you should NEVER despair.

After you sin, the doors of mercy and repentance are wide open. So, take the following five steps to assure that you can and will get back on the right track:

1- Immediately seek forgiveness from Allah and repent

For repentance to be accepted, one has to 1- stop the sin immediately. 2- Regret it sincerely, and 3 – have sincere desire to not go back to the sin.

Remember that Allah will be happier about your repentance than you can possibly imagine. Anas ibn Malik (May Allah be pleased with him-RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him-PBUH) said:

Verily, Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than a person who has his camel in a waterless desert carrying his provision of food and drink and it is lost. He, having lost all hope, lies down in the shade and is disappointed about his camel; when all of a sudden he finds that camel standing before him. He takes hold of its reins and then out of boundless joy blurts out: ‘O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your Lord’. He commits this mistake out of extreme joy. (Sahih Muslim)

2- Make wudoo’ (ablution) and pray the prayer of repentance. 

It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:

There is no one who commits a sin, then purifies himself well (does wudoo/ablution), and stands and prays two rak’ahs (two units of prayer), then asks Allah for forgiveness, but Allah will forgive him.

Then he recited this verse: {And those who, when they have committed Faahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; — and none can forgive sins but Allah — and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know} (Quran 3:135) (Abi Dawood)

3- Make a lot of istighfar (repentance)

Abu Hurairah (RA) reported:

I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying: ‘By Allah, I seek Allah’s forgiveness and repent to Him more than seventy times a day.’ (Al-Bukhari).

4- Make a lot of dhikr (remembrance)

Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:

Whoever says a hundred times, ‘How perfect Allah is and I praise Him,’ (Subhan Allah wa bihamdihi) his sins will be forgiven though they may be as much as the foam of the sea.” (Agreed upon)

5- Do more good deeds and occupy your time with them.

If you committed a sin, you should immediately follow the sin with as many good deeds as you can.

Allah Almighty says:

{And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.} (Quran 11:14)

For example, you can help and serve your parents because they are your door to Jannah (paradise). Contact your relatives to check on them and increase family ties. Give in charity. Help someone in need, etc.

In short, strangle the sin with good deeds and do not let it strangle you!

Do not let it get you down. Get up and take the lead in your life. The doors of good deeds are wide open, the good deeds erase bad ones, and Allah’s Mercy is vast.

So, take advantage of that and never fall in despair or submit to Shaitan’s evil, depressing whispers. Allah tells us:

{Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him [Allah] and bounty. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.} (Quran 2:268)


{Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is The Forgiving, The Merciful.’ And return [in repentance] to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped.} (Quran 39:53-54)

Hope this helps answer your question. Please keep in touch.

Walikum Asalam.

(From Ask About Islam archive)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

6 Things Repentance Brings to You

The Door of Repentance Is Wide Open

Rewards for Sincere Repentance

A Sign of an Accepted Repentance

Repentance and Its Conditions