Step 3 towards preparing for Ramadaan
Can you really move forward when you haven’t gotten over your past?
Allah says in the Quran:
وَتُوبُوٓا۟ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
“And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful” [Quran Surah al-Noor 24: Ayah 31]
We all desperately need to seek repentance. Ask Allah to forgive your sins so that you start with a clean slate before Ramadaan.
If you and some close relative of yours had a dispute, or a quarrel, or an argument, or maybe even a fight and some nasty words were traded. The two of you didn’t patch up your differences or clear the air and now the other person has a function, perhaps a wedding, and because you family they are forced to invite you, and because you family you obliged to go. A whole week before the event and you already got butterflies, but still you don`t pluck up the courage and ask for forgiveness.
The day of the event arrives, you feeling so isolated, so alone! Everyone is laughing and talking but you feeling miserable and just want to rush home. The scrumptious meals are served yet you hardly have an appetite!
At the end of the function you pull-up the courage, you approach the person, you say your apologies and ask each other for `maaf`. Everything is now forgiven and the laughter and smiles have returned.
What you both have done is remarkable, you had a difference and sorted it out. But how much of the function didn`t you miss because you were carrying the burden of not asking for forgiveness with you? How much more wouldn`t you have enjoyed the function, had you asked for forgiveness before the function?
The exact same is our situation! Most certainly if you have to ask Allah the Almighty for forgiveness in the dying moments of Ramadaan, with a true and repentant heart, Allah, the Most Forgiving, will pardon you, but then how much of this beautiful month have you not lost?
Another point is many people think that repentance is not but for those who indulge themselves in disobedience, and that those who keep performing the obligatory orders and who avoid the prohibitions do not need to repent. This is conceit and bad thinking, as repentance is required from the slave even if he were the most devoted worshipper, the most ascetic, the most pious and informed of people. The more a person knows his creator, the more he is repentant and asking for forgiveness.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ (the most well-informed of his Lord and the most pious and fearful of Him, who is forgiven what has passed and what will be of his sins), Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (RA) says he heard the Prophet of Allah ﷺ saying:
قال: سمعت رسول الله ﷺ يقول: والله إني لأستغفر الله وأتوب إليه في اليوم أكثر من سبعين مرة
“By Allah, I ask Allah for forgiveness and repent to Him in the day more than seventy times.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (RA) has said: We counted that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ would say a hundred times during a meeting:
“My Lord, forgive me and pardon me; You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.” [Reported by Abu Dawood]