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A New Year…3 Ways Lead to Forgiveness

A new hijri year is here; it is a great chance to start afresh and to turn over a new leaf.

You may have missed some of the blessed seasons last year; perhaps you did not do well during the past Ramadan or Dhul-Hijjah 10 days.

Many of us certainly feel sad about that. It is painful, indeed, to feel that there is a possibility that you failed to win Allah’s forgiveness during the blessed month; that the opportunity has slipped through your fingers.

If you are shackled with your sins and haunted by your past, you do not need to wait whole months for the next Ramadan to get your record cleared. Allah’s mercy and generosity is limitless. Many ways are out there to rectify your past. Out of His grace, Allah offers us different kinds of ‘detergents’ that will surely clean your record no matter how dirty it was.

Act now! You have so many chances to erase all those sins and start afresh. No one is more kind and generous than Allah. He is waiting for you; all you need is to take the initiative and get back to Him. Make use of the following highly-effective cleaners:

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1. Repentance (Tawbah) : Start afresh

When talking about ways to seek Allah’s forgiveness, Tawbah comes at the top of the list. Those sincere moments when you confess your guilt before Allah and pledge to amend your ways are very dear to Allah. Try it and rest assured that Allah will never let you down.

There is always hope

Allah Almighty calls you:

{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.} (Az-Zumar 39:53-54)

Bad deeds converted into good ones (hasanat)

Allah promises:

{Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful} (Al-Furqan 25:70)

You are more than welcome

Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“Verily, Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His servant when he repents to Him than a person riding a camel in a desert and the camel manages to run away with all his provisions of food and water.

Having lost all hopes (to get the camel back), he goes to a tree and lies down in its shade with no hope of finding it; when all of a sudden he finds that camel standing before him. He takes hold of its reins and then out of extreme joy blurts out: ‘O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your Lord.’ He commits this mistake out of extreme joy.” (Hadith reported by Muslim)

2. Good deeds wipe out the bad ones

Like effective detergents, good deeds wash sins out. Think of it as a counter-attack against Satan whenever he succeeds in tempting you to fall in error.

An offer for all believers

Narrated Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him):

A man kissed a woman (unlawfully) and then went to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and informed him. So, Allah revealed:

{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.} (Hud 11:114).

The man asked Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), “Is it for me only?”

The Prophet replied, “It is for all the people of my Ummah.” (Al-Bukhari)

Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

Have taqwa (fear) of Allah wherever you may be, and follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will wipe it out, and behave well towards the people. (At-Tirmidhi and authenticated by Al-Albani)

Never overlook small deeds

Winning Allah’s forgiveness is easier than you imagine. Some of the Prophet’s hadiths recount stories of small deeds that qualified its doers to attain forgiveness. It is a call for doing good and being good every time to everyone.

Physical and spiritual clean

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet said:

A man never did a good deed but removed a thorny branch from the road; it was either in a tree and he cut and threw it away, or it was lying in it and he removed it. Allah appreciated this deed of his and, therefore, brought him into Paradise.” (Abu Dawud and authenticated by Al-Albani)

Mercy to Animals counts

Abu Hurairah reported that Allah’s Messenger said:

While a dog was moving around a well and was about to die of thirst, a prostitute from the children of Israel happened to see it, so, she removed her shoe, drew water in it and made the dog drink. She was forgiven (by Allah) because of this.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)