Repenting from Bid’ah
Shaykh ‘Ubayd Al-Jaabiree
May Allaah reward you with good, our Shaykh. This is the 19th question from Morocco. The questioner says: Must the innovator, if he repents from his innovation, fulfill the conditions for Tawbah? And are the conditions for repentance from innovation similar to repenting from disobedience? Do we accept the repentance of the innovator without his fulfillment of any conditions? Particularly since we heard some of the students of knowledge, who have put themselves forward, saying that it is sufficient for him to repent without fulfilling the conditions; this is more applicable. Is this correct?
This application is incorrect. Repenting from innovation is just like repenting from disobedience. However, here I must mention that if the disobedience, whether it be innovation or other than it, is open then it is obligatory that he repent to Allaah openly and clarify that he was in error; if he called to this innovation, incited towards it, and enticed (the people) with it.
As I mentioned, the conditions for repentance from innovation are just as the conditions for repentance from disobedience. It is a must that there be (two matters):
- Rectification of one’s condition.
- Bayaan (clarification, making apparent); clarification of the truth which he had concealed or distorted.
“I am not on my Deen right now because I want to give Islam all of me, and right now I can’t do that.” – Shaykh Ahmad Umar Bazmool
Published on 6 Jun 2012 by SalafyInk
Post Courtesy for the Below: Abu Bilal Nahim @ KSA_dawah Google group
The following question has been extracted from a posting on www.salafyink.com may Allah reward our brother imensely for their efforts.
The links for the two part series of Q&A asked to Shaykh Ahmad Umar Bazmool can be found at the end of this post.
Second Question: Some Muslims who are not practicing say, “I am not on my Deen right now because I want to give Islam all of me, and right now I can’t do that.“ So they leave everything that Allaah made incumbent upon them due to this claim. (Meaning) they say: “I don’t want to practice just half way (one foot in and one foot out), I want to practice all the way. However because of the sins I’m committing right now, I don’t want to mix this with Islam.”
So what is your advice regarding this?
Shaykh: You mean that he is Muslim, but he is a sinner?
Questioner [Abu Yusuf Khaleefah]: Yes.
Answer: We say to him that there is nothing wrong that you remain upon your sins and you continue upon them up until Allaah blesses you to make a sincere tawbah – however with a condition, and it is that you are guaranteed that you will not die except after you make tawbah! Also that you are guaranteed that you will live until a time that these sins will not affect you and your heart.
This is because sins place a covering on the heart which can hinder one from making tawbah, may Allaah not decree this.
So a Muslim does not have a guarantee for himself that he won’t die right now while still upon sins. So what excuse does a person make? They say, “but Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Yes, but He is also Severe in punishment. So it is incumbent that the Muslim does not feel safe from the plotting of Allaah. And it is incumbent that he does (righteous) actions and repents to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. So I’m mentioning these things in the beginning of this answer – as it is said – to sort of relate to the questioner according to the level of his intellect.
However if you are a Muslim who really comprehends what you are saying here, then listen to the following points:
The first point: who said to you that Islam wants from you that you be a Muslim who does not commit any sin at all? The Prophet – salla Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – said: “All of the children of Adam makes many mistakes and the best of those who make mistakes are those who repent.” [Authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah (no.3428).]
So he – salla Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – clarified that the children of Adam (i.e. people) fall into mistakes and errors, excluding the Prophets and Messengers, and the best of these people are those who often repent. He didn’t say those who are persistent upon sins, then they make tawbah at the end. So this is the first thing.
Secondly: The Prophet – salla Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – said to his companions: “If it wasn’t that you all commit sins, Allaah would have brought a people who commit sins, and He would forgive them,” or close to this meaning said by the Prophet, ‘alayhis salaam.
So who said to you it is requested that you be a Muslim one hundred per cent never falling into error. No doubt that this affair is good but who can guarantee this? This is a high level. If we made it a condition for all of the Muslims, no one would ever repent.
The third matter: come with me and ponder over the statement of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic:
كَلَّا بَلْ رَانَ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِممَّا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ
Nay, but Rân has been placed over their hearts because of what they used to earn.”
(The word in the beginning of the ayah) Kalla, is a statement of rebukement. And as for Rân, it means that He placed a seal over the hearts of these people. As for His statement, “because of what they used to earn,” meaning the acts they used to commit. So what is the (general) meaning of the ayah? It means, due to their sins, a seal was placed over their hearts, so they could not make repentance nor can they ask for forgiveness.
That which supports this is the narration of the Prophet – salla Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – and this is the fourth matter: “If a person commits a sin, a black spot is placed over his heart. And if he repents and refrains, it will be wiped away. However if he sins and persists upon the sins, the spots will return up until the heart becomes totally black resembling an upside down mug. It will not recognize any good nor will it rebuke any evil.” [Declared 'hasan,' by al-Albaanee in Saheeh al-Jami' al-Saghir (1666)]
This is because of sins and not making tawbah and not returning to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. Also, shaytaan hopes that he can win over a person by this statement [in question]. Outwardly, this statement seems good but the reality is that it is evil. This is because this means, it is as if you deem Allah too great that you sin and repent, and you deem Allah too great to fall into opposition to His command, so (based on your understanding) you (will just) remain persistent upon your sins until you’re ready to repent (for good). However in reality this is an evil (thought). Also look at the advice of the Prophet – salla Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam – to Mu’adh, may Allaah be pleased with him – when he said: “O Mu’adh, fear Allaah wherever you may be.” Allaah is with you [by His knowledge] wherever you may be, He sees you, and He knows your condition and He’s with you with His Knowledge, the Mighty and Majestic.
… وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ …
“…And He is with you wherever you may be…”
(Hadeed: 57: 4)
”O Mu’adh fear Allaah wherever you may be and follow up a bad deed with a good deed, and it will erase it.”
These are priceless words of advice. If you fall into a sin, all of the children of Adam fall into many sins, repent to Allaah, seek Allaah’s forgiveness, pray two Rak’ahs for repentance to Allaah, give sadaqah, glorify Allaah, read the Qur`aan, do righteous deeds. Why all of this? So sins won’t cause a seal to be placed upon your heart.
And your statement “I don’t want to repent because I want to be a believer 100 per cent.” Does not the statement of the Prophet – salla Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – refute this? “And follow up a bad deed with a good deed.” Look: are you better or the Prophet – salla Allaahu alayhi wa sallam? Who is more knowledgeable concerning Allaah? The Messenger of Allaah – salla Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – is the most knowledgeable concerning Allaah, and he is the one who pointed us to that which earns the pleasure of Allaah and he pointed us to follow up a bad deed with a good deed. He didn’t say, sin, sin, sin, and then repent.
I end this answer with a (another) great hadeeth and it is a glad tidings for me and you and every sinner. The Prophet – salla Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – informed of this glad tiding. He said: “If a slave commits a sin, then seeks forgiveness, Allaah will say to the angels: My slave committed a sin and then he sought my forgiveness and I forgave him. Then he committed another sin, and Allaah will say: My slave committed a sin and sought my forgiveness and I forgave him. Then the slave will commit another sin (and repented). So Allaah will say: My slave committed a sin and sought my forgiveness, and I forgave him. I testify you O My angels that I have forgiven him.”
So look, (that one) makes tawbah, and then falls into a sin and then makes tawbah, and then falls into a sin. This is not from playing games and this is not from making mockery of Allaah or falling short. Rather this is the war between [us and] shaytaan who said:
قَالَ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ
[Iblîs (Satan)] said: “By Your Might (Oh my Lord) I will lead all of them astray”
(Sad: 38: 82)
And also it shows that the door of tawbah is always open, concerning which Allaah has said: “And by My Might I will indeed forgive them so long as they seek forgiveness from me.”
So this is the war and struggle between us and shaytaan, so beware, beware of this statement. Repent to Allaah, and seek His forgiveness every time you fall into a sin, and do not despair from the mercy of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. And Allaah said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَّصُوحًا
“Oh you who believe: turn in repentance to Allaah with a sincere repentance…”
‘Umar and other than him from the companions and the Salaf said: Sincere repentance is that after you fall into a sin, then repent from it and never return to it up until death. Yes, this is a very high level and – if you can do it – this is something good. However that you remain upon sins and you say, ‘I want to just make one tawbah for everything.’ …Just as I said to you in the beginning, who can guarantee for you that you will live to a time you can make tawbah, and who is it that can guarantee that you will have a heart that will incline to making tawbah after it was sealed due to constant sinning? So – by Allaah – be steadfast in turning (in repentance) to Allaah.
The complete series of questions and answers can be downloaded from the following links:
Question extracted from Part 1 in the series and slightly modified for presentation purposes:
أبو بلال نعيم بن عبد المجيد