‘How To Stay Away From Sins & Repent’
The danger of taking sin lightly
“O you who believe! Turn to Allaah with sincere repentance…” [al-Tahreem 66:8].
Allaah has given us time to repent before the honourable scribes (kiraaman kaatibeen – recording angels) record our deeds. The Prophet ﷺ said: “The (scribe) on the left hand raises his pen (i.e., delays writing) for six hours [this may refer to six hours of 60 minutes as measured by astronomers, or it may refer to short periods of time during the day or night – Lisaan al-‘Arab] before he records the sinful deed of a Muslim. If he regrets it and seeks Allaah’s forgiveness, the deed is not recorded, otherwise it is recorded as one deed.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer and al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Eemaan (The Branches of Faith); classed as hasan by al-Albaani). A further respite is granted after the deed has been recorded, up until the moment before death approaches.
The problem is that many people nowadays do not place their hope and fear in Allaah. They disobey Him by committing all manner of sins, day and night. There are those who are being tested by the idea of regarding sins as insignificant, so you may see one of them regarding certain “minor sins” (saghaa’ir) as inconsequential, so he might say, “What harm can it possibly do if I look at or shake hands with a (non-mahram) woman?” They think nothing of looking at women in magazines and on TV shows. Some of them, when they are told that this is haraam, may even facetiously ask, “So how bad can it be? Is it a major sin (kabeerah) or a minor sin (sagheerah)
Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:“You do things which in your eyes are less significant than a hair, but at the time of the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ, we used to count them as things that could destroy a man.”
Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:“The believer regards his sin as if he were sitting beneath a mountain which he fears may fall on him, whereas the sinner regards his sin as if a fly lands on his nose and he swipes it away.”
Will these people then understand the seriousness of the matter when they read the following hadeeth of the Prophet ﷺ ? “Beware of the minor sins which are often thought of as insignificant, for they are like a group of people who stopped in the bottom of a valley. One of them brought a stick, and another brought a stick, until they had gathered enough to cook their food. These minor sins, if a person is called to account for them, will destroy him.”According to another report, he said:“Beware of minor sins, for they will pile up until they destroy a person.” (Reported by Ahmad; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2686-2687).
The scholars said that when minor sins are accompanied by a lack of shame or remorse, and with no fear of Allaah, and are taken lightly, then there is the risk that they will be counted as major sins. Hence it is said that no minor sin is minor if you persist, and no major sin is major if you keep on seeking forgiveness.
So we say to the one who is in this situation: Do not think about whether the sin is major or minor; think about the One Whom you are disobeying.
In sha Allah, these words will benefit those who are sincere, and who are aware of their sins and shortcomings, and do not insist upon doing wrong and adhering to their faults.
These words are for those who believe in the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning): “Declare (O Muhammad) unto My slaves, that truly, I am the oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful.”[al-Hijr 15:49] and in His words “And that My Torment is indeed the most painful torment.” [al-Hijr 15:50].It is essential to keep this balanced view in mind.
KEEPING AWAY FROM SINS
Adhering to the Straight Path
Adhering to the Straight Path means adhering to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah in words and deeds is the greatest means of protection against Shaytan. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal recorded that Abdullah bin Mas’ood said, “The Messenger of Allah drew a line with his hand (in the sand) and said, ‘This is Allah’s Path, leading straight.’ He then drew lines to the right and left of that line and said, ‘These are the other paths, on each path there is a Shaytan who calls to it.’ He then recited, ‘And verily, this is My straight path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His path.’”[Soorah al-An’am(6): 153]
Have Taqwa of Allah
Taqwa means consciousness, awe or fear of Allah, which inspires a person to be on guard against wrong action and eager for actions which please Allah and stay away from those actions which displease and anger him.
the skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah.“ [39:23]
Seeking Refuge with Allah
Allah has instructed us to seek refuge with Allah from the Shaytan and his evils in the Qur’aan, “And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytan then seek refuge with Allah.” [Soorah al-A’raf (7): 200]“ And say, ‘My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions) ofthe Shayateen. And I seek refuge with You,My Lord! lest they may attend (or come near) me.” [Soorah al-Mu’minun (23): 97-98]
Imam Ibn Katheer writes, ‘Isti’adhah (seeking refuge) means, ‘I seek refuge with Allah from the cursed Shaytan so that he is prevented from affecting my religious or worldly affairs, or hindering me from adhering to what I was commanded, or luring me into what I was prohibited from.’
Indeed, only Allah is able to prevent the evil of Shaytan from touching the son of Adam. This is why Allah allowed us to be lenientand kind with the human devil (i.e., an evil doer) so that his soft nature might cause him to refrain from the evil he is indulging in.
However, Allah required us to seek refuge with Him from the evil of Shaytan because he neither accepts bribe nor does kindness affect him because he is pure evil. Thus, only He, Who created Shaytan, is able to stop his evil.”[See, Tafseer Ibn Katheer] Islam teaches us to seek refuge with Allah in certain situations, such as those mentioned in the following:
“None has the right to be worshiped except Allah alone. He has no partners. To Him belongs the Dominion, to Him belongs all praise and He is over all things Omnipotent.”
… will have a reward equivalent to that of freeing ten slaves, one hundred hasanahs (good deeds) will be recorded for him, and one hundred sayiahs (bad deeds) will be erased from his record, and it will be protection for him from the shaytan for that day, until evening comes. No one could achieve any better than him except the one who does more than he did.Whoever says Subhaan Allaah wa bi hamdih (Praise and glory be to Allaah) one hundred times, morning and evening, his sins will be erased even if they are like the foam of the sea.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari & Muslim)
Dispelling Shaytaan from the House
Abu Hurayrah reports that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “Do not turn your houses into graves. Indeed, Shaytan flees from a house in which Soorah al-Baqarah is recited.” [Saheeh Muslim]
Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard Messenger of Allah ﷺ saying, “If a person mentions the Name of Allah upon entering his house or eating, Satan says, addressing his followers: ‘You will find no where to spend the night and no dinner.’ But if he enters without mentioning the Name of Allah, Satan says (to his followers); ‘You have found (a place) to spend the night in, and if he does not mention the Name of Allah at the time of eating, Satan says: ‘You have found (a place) to spend the night in as well as food.“‘ [Muslim].
Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Lock your doors and mention the name of Allah, for the Shaytan cannot open a locked door. Seal your water skins and mention the name of Allah. Cover your vessels and mention the name of Allah, even if you lay something across the top of it, and extinguish your lamps.”[Saheeh Muslim (3/1594, no. 2012)]
Dispelling Shaytaan at the time of Anger
Sulayman ibn Sard said, “I was sitting with Allah’s Messenger and two men were abusing each other. The face of one of them became red (out of anger) and his veins had became inflated. Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “I know a word which, if he was to say, his anger would leave him. If he said (the below) his anger would leave him.” [Agreed upon]
أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم
AodhuBillahi Minash Sahitaan ar-rajeem
“I seek refuge in Allah from Shaytan – the Accursed,”
Dispelling Shaytaan before Food & Drink
One should drink whilst sitting because Shaytan drinks with a person, who drinks standing up. It is narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet ﷺ saw a man drinking standing up. He said to him, “Hah!” The man asked, “What’s the matter?” He said, “Would you like it if a cat drank with you?” He said, “No.” He said, “Someone worse than that was drinking with you, the Shaytan.” [As-Saheehah (1/175)]
“When you are about to eat, you should say (the below),
‘In the Name of Allah (I begin)’
…and if you forget to say it before starting, Then you should say when you remember should say…
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ فِي أَوَّلِهِ وَآخِرِهِ
Bismillahi Awwalahu Wa Aakhirahu
‘In the Name of Allah in it’s beginning and the end.’
Do not leave food for Shaytaan
Jabir said, “I heard the Prophet ﷺ say, “The Shaytan is present with one of you in everything that he does, even when he is eating. So if he drops a piece of food, let him remove any dirt that may be on it, then eat it, and not leave it for the Shaytan. And when he has finished eating, let him lick his fingers, for he does not know in which part of his food the blessing is.” [Saheeh Muslim]
Dispelling Shaytaan before going to Bed
The Prophet ﷺ said, “When you are about to sleep recite ayat alkursi (Soorah 2: 255) till the end of the verse for there will remain over you a protection from Allah and no Shaytan will draw near to you until morning.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee]
ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلۡحَىُّ ٱلۡقَيُّومُۚ لَا تَأۡخُذُهُ ۥ سِنَةٌ۬ وَلَا نَوۡمٌ۬ۚ لَّهُ ۥ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِۗ مَن ذَا ٱلَّذِى يَشۡفَعُ عِندَهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا بِإِذۡنِهِۦۚ يَعۡلَمُ مَا بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِيهِمۡ وَمَا خَلۡفَهُمۡۖ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَىۡءٍ۬ مِّنۡ عِلۡمِهِۦۤ إِلَّا بِمَا شَآءَۚ وَسِعَ كُرۡسِيُّهُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَۖ وَلَا يَـُٔودُهُ ۥ حِفۡظُهُمَاۚ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَلِىُّ ٱلۡعَظِيمُ ( ٢٥٥ )
Allâh! Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber, nor sleep overtake Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter . And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His Kursî extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great. [This Verse 2:255 is called Ayat-ul-Kursî.]— (255)
Dispelling Shaytaan upon having a Nightmare
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ informed us, “Dreams are of three kinds; glad tidings from the Most Merciful, those which come from ones own self, and frightening (dreams) from Shaytan.” [Saheeh ibn Majah (1/340, no.3154)]
So, “If anyone of you has a dream that he likes, then it is from Allah, so let him praise Allah for it and tell others about it. If he has something other than that, which he dislikes, that is from Shaytan, so let him seek refuge with Allah from its evil and not mention it to anyone, for it will not harm him.” [Bukhari]
Abu Salamah said, “I used to see in my dream which would make me concerned until I heard Abu Qatadah say, “I used to have dreams which would make me ill until I heard Allah’s Messenger ﷺ say, “The righteous dream is from Allah. If one of you sees what he loves then let him not inform anyone about it except one whom he loves.
And if he sees what he dislikes, let him not inform anyone about it. Let him spit (drily) on his left three times and let him seek refuge in Allah from Shaytan, the accursed from the evil of what he saw and it will not harm him.” [See, Saheeh Muslim (4/1772)]
Dispelling Shaytaan when approaching one’s wife
Ibn Abbas reports that the Prophet ﷺ said, “If one of you says, when approaching his wife (for intercourse), [the below dua)… then if it is decreed that they should have a child as a result of that, the Shaytan will never be able to harm it (i.e. the offspring).” [Agreed upon]
اللَّهُمَّ جَنِّبْنِي الشَّيْطَانَ، وَجَنِّبِ الشَّيْطَانَ مَا رَزَقْتَنَا
Bismillaah, Allaahumma jannibnaa al-shaytaan wa jannib al-shaytaan maa razqtanaa
“In the Name of Allah. O Allah! Make us distant from Shaytan and make Shaytan distant from what you bestow upon us.”
Dispelling Shaytaan before entering the washroom
Zayd ibn Arqam narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “These places are inhabited by devils, so when any one of you enters the washroom, let him say, (the below dua) [Saheeh Sunan Abu Dawood (1/4, no.4)]
أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنَ الْخُبُثِ وَالْخَبَائِثِ
‘A’oodhu Billaahi min al-khubthi wa’l-khabaa’ith
“O Allah I see refuge with you from the male and female devils.”
Dispelling Shaytaan before entering the Mosque
Abdullah ibn Umar said, “When the Prophet ﷺ used to enter the mosque he would say, (the below) He then said, “When (a man) says this, Shaytan says, ‘He has been protected from me for the whole day.’” [Saheeh Abu Dawood]
أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ الْعَظِيمِ وَبِوَجْهِهِ الْكَرِيمِ وَسُلْطَانِهِ الْقَدِيمِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ
A‘oodhu Billah il-‘Azeem wa bi wajhihi’l-kareem wa sultanihi’l-qadeem min al-shaytan il-rajeem
I seek refuge in Allah, the Mighty and His noble countenance and His eternal authority from the accursed Shaytan
Dispelling Shaytaan during Prayer
Uthman ibn Abil-Aas came to the Prophet ﷺ and said, “The Shaytan comes between me and my prayer and recitation of the Qur’aan, and he is confusing me.” The Messenger ﷺ said, “that is a devil called Khinzab. If you notice that, then seek refuge with Allah from him, and spit drily to your left three times.” (Uthman ibn abil-Aas) said, “I did that, and Allah took him away from me.” [Saheeh Muslim]
Straighten your rows and do not let the Shaytan come in the middle
Shaytan enters into the gaps in the rows and creates enmity between Muslims. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Stand close together, close the gaps and line up your shoulders, because, by Him who has my soul in His Hands, I see the Shaytan coming into the gaps between the rows, like a missile.” [Abu Dawood]
Know, that straightening of the rows in done by joining shoulder to shoulder and ankle to ankle as is known from Nu’man bin Basheer who said, “The Prophet turned around to the people and said, ‘Straighten you rows (3 times) and Allah will bring together your ranks or (else) Allah will put differences into your hearts.’ He said, ‘I then saw a man putting his shoulder next to the shoulder of his companion, his knee to the knee of his companion and his ankle to his ankle.” [Abu Dawood]
Dispelling Shaytaan before Reciting the Quran
So when you want to recite the Qur’aan, seek refuge with Allah from Shaytan, the outcast (the cursed one).” [Soorah an-Nahl (16): 98]
Imam Ibnul-Qayyim (rahimahullah) explained the reason for seeking refuge with Allah from Shaytan before recitation in Igaathat al-Lahfaan (1/109).
Among the reasons he mentioned are:
1. The Qur’aan is a healing for what is in the heart; it takes away the insinuating whispers, desires and corrupt wishes that the Shaytan instills in them.
It is the antidote to what Shaytan enjoins, therefore we are instructed to expel the cause of the disease from the heart and cleanse the heart of it so that the heart will be prepared to accept the remedy and thus the remedy will be more effective.
So this healing remedy comes to a heart which has been cleansed of the harmful things that were crowding it, and thus it is effective.
2. The Qur’aan is essential to the guidance, knowledge and goodness of the heart, just as water is essential to the growth of plants. The Shaytan is fire which burns the plants, one after another. The more he feels that the seeds of goodness are growing in the heart, the more he strives to corrupt it and burn it. So we are commanded to seek refuge with Allah from Shaytan lest he destroys that which has been achieved through reading the Qur’aan.
The difference between this reason and the previous one is that in the first case refuge is sought in order to gain the benefits of reading the Qur’aan and in the second case it is so that these benefits may be maintained and protected…”
Dispelling Shaytaan before leaving the House
Anas reports that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “Whoever says when he leaves his house (the below dua), It is said to him, “You have been sufficed, you have been protected and you have been guided.” Then one of the devils turns to another and says, “How can you get to a man who has been sufficed, protected and guided.” [Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhee (hasan saheeh)].
بسم الله توكلت على الله، ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله
Bismillaah, tawakkaltu ‘ala Allaah, wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah
“In the Name of Allah, I place my trust upon Allah, There is no power, nor movement except by Allah.”
Why doesn’t Shaytaan go away when one seek’s refuge with Allah?
Seeking refuge is like a sword in the hand of a warrior; if the hand is strong then the sword will be able to deal the fatal blow to the enemy, otherwise the sword will not harm the enemy at all, even if it is made of burnished iron.
Similarly, if seeking refuge is done by one who is pious and fears Allah then it is like fire, which burns the Shaytan, but if it is done by one who is confused and weak in faith then it will not have a strong impact on the enemy.
Abul-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi (rahimahullah) said, “Know that the likeness of Iblees with one who is pious is like a man who is sitting with food and meat in front of him, and a dog comes near him. He tells it, ‘Get away!’ and it goes.
Then it comes to another man who is weak in faith and every time he tries to shoo the dog away, it does not go. The former is like a pious man whom the Shaytan approaches, and his dhikr is enough to banish him; the latter is like the one who is weak in faith; the Shaytan does not leave him because of his weakness of faith. We seek refuge with Allah from the Shaytan.”[Talbees Iblees,p.48]
Thus, a Muslim who wants to save himself from the Shaytan and his tricks has to work on strengthening his faith and seek the protection of Allah, his Lord and turn to him, as there is no power and no strength except with Allah.”[See, Aalamal-Jinn wash-Shaytan]
Recite the Qur’an with its meanings
We should read the Qur’an with its meanings and try to understand what Allah is telling us in the Qur’an. Contemplate and ponder over the meanings of the verses of the Qur’an and act upon what you learn for learning something beneficial without acting upon it is of no use. We should read each verse of the Qur’an with humility and submissiveness.
Recite the Noble Qur’aan as much as we can for It will come as an intercessor for its reciter’ on the Day of Judgement [Muslim]
Many of the sahabah used to take a long time finishing reciting the Qur’an because they wanted to reflect, ponder, contemplate and act upon each verse of the Qur’an. We should also do the same so that we can gain maximum benefit from each verse of the Noble Qur’an.
Keeping busy with Dhikr
It is narrated in a hadeeth that Allah commanded Yahya to enjoin five things upon the Children of Israel, one of which was, ‘I command you to remember Allah, for this is like a man who is being pursued by the enemy, then he comes to a strong fortress and saves himself from them. Similarly, a man cannot save himself from his enemy except by means of dhikr.” [Narrated by al-Hafiz Abu Moosa al-Madani in al-Targheeb fi’l-Khisaal al-Hameedah wa’l-Tarheeb min al-Khilaal al-Murdiyyah. Ibnil Qayyim said: Shaikhul-Islam used to highly regard this hadeeth’ (al-Waabil alSayyib, 60)]
The Qareen of a believer, who keeps his tongue wet with the remembrance of Allah, is very lean, weak and hungry because the more the believer remembers his Lord, the more Shaytan suffers and is tormented.
Whereas the Shaytan accompanying an evil doer who does not remember his Lord, rests in peace and is therefore strong and powerful and thus more capable of overcoming Him.
Adhering to the Main Body of the Muslims (The Jama’ah)
Adhering to the main body of the Muslims (i.e., the Jama’ah) by living amongst believers and choosing righteous friends who will help him to do good. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever among you wants to attain the best part of Paradise, let him adhere to the main body of the Muslims, for the Shaytan is with the one who is alone but he is farther away from two.” [at-Tirmidhee (2254)]
It should be noted that the Jama’ah counts for nothing if it does not adhere to the truth, i.e., the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ is reported to have said, “The People of the Book who came before you split into seventy-two sects, and this nation will split into seventy-three sects, seventy two will be in Hell, and one will be in Paradise – that is the Jama’ah.” [Saheeh Sunan Abu Dawood (3/869,no.3842)]
Be with good company
This is very important because we are who our friends are. If we involve ourselves with the wrong crowd then whether we like it or not then their bad influence will rub off on us and we will end up thinking like them and doing the sins that they do.
Bad company is like poison so we MUST keep away from it. It is better to be alone than with bad company. we should avoid taking as friends those who speak too freely, who miss Salah, who do not dress modestly, who backbite, slander etc.
The company of such people is poison; just even sitting and talking with them will lead one to commit sins. Just as a person who sits for a long time with a perfume seller begins to smell nice, and a person who sits by a gutter cleaner begins to smell awful, similarly a person who spends time in the company of the wicked eventually gets affected badly by them.
Instead we should seek out pious friends who fear Allah taala and who have the qualities of humility, charity, compassion, modesty and knowledge. If we sit with them we will always benefit and they will be a means for us to get closer to Allah!
Remember: “All friends will be enemies of one another on that Day (Day of Judgment) except those of the virtuous.” (al-Qur’an 43:67)
Knowing the Tricks of Shytaan & The means of defeating him
This is to know the plots of Shaytan mentioned in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and Shaytan’s conspiracies against the believers
For example, how he tempts people into committing sins, distracts one in his prayer and from good deeds, how he tries to make one think that his Wudhu is invalidated and how he plants discord between husband and wife, and how he instills doubts in a man’s heart by whispering to him, “Who created such and such? Who created such and such?” until he says, “Who created your Lord?”
One, who recognizes these plots of Shaytan and their remedies, can effectively dismiss him and his whispers by implementing the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)
Try to acquire as much knowledge as is possible and act upon everything you learn for learning without acting upon that knowledge is of no use and we will be accountable for the knowledge we had that we never acted upon. Spend time with the learned and sit with them and take wisdom from them. Go to Islamic courses and involve yourself with learning about the deen as much as you can as we should continue to acquire knowledge of Islam until our very last breath.
A person without knowledge is like someone walking along a track in complete darkness. Most likely his steps will wander aside and he easily can be deceived by shaytaan. This shows that our greatest danger lies in our ignorance of Islamic teachings and in our unawareness of what the Qur’an teaches and what guidance has been given by the Prophet ﷺ. But if we are blessed with the light of knowledge we will be able to see plainly the clear path of Islam at every step of our lives. We shall also be able to identify and avoid the dangerous paths of Kufr, Shirk and immorality, which may cross it. And, whenever a false guide meets us on the way, a few words with him will quickly establish that he is not a guide who should be followed.
Every one of us, young or old, man or woman, should at least acquire sufficient knowledge to enable ourselves to understand the essence of the teachings of the Qur’an and the purpose for which it has been sent down. We should also be able to understand clearly the mission, which our beloved Prophet ﷺ came into this world to fulfil. We should also recognize the corrupt order and system, which he came to destroy. We should acquaint ourselves, too, with the way of life which Allah has ordained for us.
No great amount of time is required to acquire this simple knowledge. If we truly value Iman, it cannot be too difficult to find one hour every day to devote for our Iman.
Fasting trains the will to avoid desires and keep away from sin; it helps a person to overcome his own nature and to wean himself away from his habits.
It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said:“The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ was keen to fast on Mondays and Thursdays.”(al-Nasaa’i, 2320; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ al-Sagheer, 4827).
The Prophet ﷺ was asked about fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and he said:“Those are two days on which people’s deeds are shown to the Lord of the Worlds, and I want my deeds to be shown to Him when I am fasting.”(al-Nasaa’i, 2358; Ibn Maajah, 1740; Ahmad, 8161; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1583).He was asked about fasting on Mondays and he said,“On that day I was born and on that day revelation came to me.” (Muslim, 1162).
It is mustahabb to fast on three days of each month. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:“My close friend [i.e., the Prophet ﷺ] advised me to do three things which I will never give up until I die: fasting three days each month, praying Duha, and sleeping after praying Witr.”(al-Bukhaari, 1178; Muslim, 721).
It is mustahabb to observe this fast in the middle of the hijri month, on the days called Ayaam al-Beed. It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: “The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said to me,‘If you fast any part of the month then fast on the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.’”(al-Nasaa’i, 2424; Ibn Maajah, 1707; Ahmad, 210; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ al-Sagheer, 673).
Remember much the destroyer of pleasures: DEATH!
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ”Remember often the destroyer of pleasure.“ (Sunan al-Tirmidhi and Sunan al-Nasa’i)
Know that it can strike at ANY second and be aware that if it were to strike whilst you were committing a sin then how will you be raised in that state and what will be our state in the grave and on the day of judgement? What will you answer to Allah when you were fully aware of the implications and consquences of our actions? For man is heedless.
Therefore remember death much and make it a habit to visit the graveyard at least once a week so that you may be reminded of death and know that you may end up in the grave alongside the others at ANY second and the next grave dug could be yours or mine.
May Allah make us of the most fearful of him and of the pious and may he bring us closer to him and guide us to the straight path. May he save us from the torment of the grave and the fire of hell. Ameen
Other tips to attain Taqwa and stay away from Sins
When, “Shaytan said to the Lord of Glory, ‘By Your Glory, O Lord, I will keep trying to misguide Your slaves so long as their souls are in their bodies.’ The Lord said, ‘By My Glory and Majesty, I will continue to forgive them so long as they ask My forgiveness.’” [Saheeh al-Jamee (2/32)]
Thus, prompt repentance and turning to Allah whenever one falls into one of Shaytan’s enticements is sure to destroy the plan of Shaytan.
Adam disobeyed Allah and so did Iblees, but the former repented and sought Allah’s forgiveness and Allah pardoned him; while He cursed the latter and destined him to the eternal Fire. The difference between the two crimes is clearly apparent.
After violating the Command of Allah, the Exalted, Adam and Hawa did not insist on their sin. Rather, after realizing that they had committed a sin by eating from the forbidden tree in Paradise; Adam and Hawa admitted to their sin without delay. They sought forgiveness and Mercy of Allah saying, “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.” [Soorah al-A’raf (7): 23]
“Then Adam received from his Lord Words. And his Lord pardoned him accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance),the Most Merciful.” [Soorah al- Baqarah(2): 37]
Iblees, however, did not confess his sin; he insisted on it, protested and argued with Allah trying to justify his sinful act. This is the crux of the matter that when one transgresses a limit set by Allah, he should admit it to be a sin and wrongdoing on his part, and not try to justify his fault like for example those who deal in Riba. They use arguments like the world has changed, everybody deals with interest nowadays or fixed interest is a universal scheme these days and as such there is nothing wrong in dealing with Riba.
We say to them, “Do not be arrogant and try to justify your wrongdoing. Do not say Riba is not haraam (forbidden), but humble yourself to Allah and seek forgiveness for your sin and confess your weakness and negligence in complying with His Commands – For, this will keep you within the boundaries of Eeman but if you reject the Command of Allah and argue that Riba is not a crime…you may exit the pale of Islam and commit Kufr (disbelief). We seek Allah’s Protection from this.
Conditions for the acceptance of Repentance
Tawbah (“repentance”) conveys a profound meaning, one which carries great implications. It is not, as many people think, the matter of mere lip-service, after uttering which a person may then continue in his sin. If you ponder the meaning of the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “… Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance…” [Hood 11:3], you will see that repentance is something which is over and above seeking for forgiveness.
Such a great and important matter must necessarily have conditions attached to it. The scholars have described the conditions of repentance, based on the Qur’aan and Sunnah. They include:
Some scholars have also mentioned more details as conditions of sincere repentance, which we quote below with some examples:
The one who repents should feel that his sin is repulsive and harmful. This means that if a person repents sincerely, he cannot derive any feelings of pleasure or enjoyment when he remembers his past sins, or wish to repeat them in the future.
This description of the harmful consequences of sin would make anyone want to keep away from sin altogether, but some people no sooner give up one kind of sin but they fall prey to another kind, for numerous reasons, including the following:
O slave of Allaah, Allaah has opened the gate of repentance for you, so why not enter it? It was reported that repentance has a gate whose width is like the distance between East and West [according to another report: its width is like the distance travelled in seventy years]. It will not be closed until the sun rises from the West. (Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer; see Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2177)..
Listen to the call of Allaah: “O My slaves, you err night and day, but I forgive all sins, so ask Me for forgiveness and I will forgive you.”(Reported by Muslim).