[The following post has been inspired by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed db’s CII Tazkya Talk – February 3rd, 2011]
In tonights tazkiya talk we learnt how to react properly once we have fallen into sin. We have heard our beloved Sheikh talk about staying pure and staying distant from sin, but tonight he taught us how to react to the state once we have fallen into sin.
Once we sin we tend to go deeper into it and the main reason is that we don’t react properly and we flounder into that sin. When a person succumbs to his nafs it takes a lot of effort to get out of that sinful state so much so that they become sad for days and in result feel further distant from Allah swt. What we need to do is rather than further going into depression and further repeating that sin we should follow that one single sin immediately with an act of ibadaah.
Shaytaan makes a person more sad when he is ‘more religious’ or ‘trying more to get closer to the True Beloved swt’. A Person’s nafs makes him commit sin whereas shaytan makes him stare at that sin. He wants him to be sad and depressed and go into despair rather than believing in the Mercy of Allah swt. Shaytaan wants the person to be just like him. Shaytan had years of record of ibadaah which we can quote n quote say ‘taqwa’ yet he did not have belief in the Mercy of Allah swt and chose not to do tawbah. So what hurts shaytan relatively the most is not the taqwa of a momin but the tawbah of a momin . That one time that shaytan committed sin, he himself did not do tawbah and thus he doesn’t want us to do tawbah as well so he puts us in despair.
- So every time we sin, and we fall in despair we should keep reading the following ayah:
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
39:53 Say: “O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah. for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Here Allah swt has addressed specifically that momin and ibaad who wants to become closer to Allah swt, who have cried infront of Allah swt to forgive him , who genuinely tries to leave sin but he falls in sin again. Allah swt tells him in this ayah oh MY servant…(the ya in ibadee shows Allah swt saying Meray banday, ya shows ‘MERAY’ in Arabic language), even if you have sinned you are still Mine, you are still My ibaad so don’t despair I am not that upset with you I will have Mercy upon you and I will forgive you.
This is such a beautiful ayah that gives a sinner hope in the Mercy of Allah swt. Whereas shaytan puts in our hearts once we sin ‘you have just sinned and now you want to turn to Allah..you are a munafiq’ and thus a person feels spiritually low and sad for days and goes further in sin and thus this is the victory of shaytan. In reality this is not munafaqat in the eyes of Allah, this is tawbah and we should not fall prey to shaytan.
how can we even let shaytan win when our Rabb-e-karim is calling us ‘Meray Banday’ even once we have sinned.
So the first thing that we should do once we fall in sin is keeping reciting this ayat, keep it in our wallet or anywhere near so we may read it over and over again and keep reminding ourself of Allah swt’s mercy till we do tawbah.
- The second thing we should do is do some form of ibadah immediately after we sin i.e. recite istighfar, 2 rakat nafl or simply recite the above ayah and make dua to Allah swt. We should view that sin as a moment of temporary insanity. It doesn’t mean we should belittle our sin. It means that we should go right back at being an ibaad, go right back into servanthood.
- We should also reprimand or punish our nafs in some form immediately after we commit sin just like when we are teaching someone we correct them the moment they make a mistake, similarly we should punish our nafs the moment it falls in sin.
In a hadith Qudsi Nabi Kareem saw says that Allah swt says ‘when a person comes to Me walking I’d come to them running’.
So this is what is meants here..i.e. when we turn to Allah swt in tawbah immediately after sin Allah swt will come to us flying and running.
For a young person who commits sin it is very difficult for him to go the the masjid and pray isha in the masjid.It’s the last thing he wants.But its not a question of worthiness to be able to pray and present ourselves infront of Allah swt. If it was a question of worthiness then even if we had never ever sinned we’d still not be worthy to pray.
- Another thing is that we should feel happy in our dua after sinning i.e. make dua in a state of hope by making dua to Allah that Ya Allah You have told me in the Quran not to despair, that you’d come running to me even if I crawl towards you by an inch, so please forgive me.
OUR REAL FAILURE IS NOT IN THE FAILURE TO DO TAQWAH . OUR REAL FAILURE IS IN THE FAILURE TO DO TAWBAH.
- Another thing that Shaykh taught us tonight was that we should not stay in the place of sin once we have sinned or the state i.e. ‘haal’ or kaifiyat’ in which we have sinned. We should immediately change our ‘haal’ or ‘maqam’ and do some transition be it getting out of the room where we have sinned or simply going out of the house for a walk. We should not prolong the kaifiyat of sin.
We have to fear Allah when we are alone by ‘feeling’ Allah when we are alone.
- Just like a coach is sitting in the corner and the boxer is fighting in the ring, when the boxer gets knocked down the coach doesn’t get upset on his falling but when he doesn’t get up.When the boxer gets knocked down and he gets up the coach doesn’t get upset on that. Infact if a boxer is knocked down and he knows that if he gets up he’ll get knocked down again, yet he gets up and fights the coach is proud of him and the audience calls in the ‘himmah’ of the boxer.
Similarly when a person sins , even if he knows that he will fall in sin again yet he should get up and make dua to Allah and fight shaytan as this attracts the Mercy of Allah swt.
There is a hadith which summarizes that On the Day of Judgment Allah swt would raise a person who spent his life in sin and tawbah rather than sin and taqwah. The Angels would bring him and say that look at him he never escaped sinning . But Allah swt will say that just like his nafs never stopped sinning he always kept making tawbah everytime he sinned, he kept turning to Me and today I have accepted not only his one tawbah but all of the tawbahs that he made to and I’ll enter him in Jannah.
That’s why the Mashaikh of tasawwuf always put emphasis on living by tawbah and dying in the state of tawbah. The term ‘tawwabeen’ refers to those who are perpetually in a state of tawbah. Indeed Allah swt love His sinning believers who keep making tawbah to him.
All in all, we should never make ourselves devoid of that one single amal that shaytan never had.