In this holy month that is once again upon us, we have been blessed enough to be once more graced with the opportunity to be granted forgiveness for our sins. It is said that if your fasts and your prayers for the month are accepted, the sins you have committed knowing or unknowingly since the last Ramadan are forgiven.
"Do not despair of God's mercy; He will forgive you of all your sins" Qur'an (39:53). "And He wishes to forgive you" Qur'an (4:146).
This religion is one that fully understands the temptations and attractions the physical world presents us with everyday, some of which we might not yet be strong enough to resist. This is why repentance is greatly advised, as only through the remorse and guilt we may feel for what we have done may we gradually rise above the clutches of temptation and devote ourselves to what is truly right.
But how does one repent in a genuine manner? Stop whatever sin it is that is making your heart heavy with guilt and sorrow. Regret your act completely and truly. Understand and remember how committing the sin made you feel, how remorseful you felt. Ask Allah for forgiveness, strengthening your intention to never return to that sin again.
It takes great strength, faith, and will to repent in such a manner and change your ways. Do not let the weakness of this world fool you, however. Allah has blessed us with the strength to overcome every challenge and obstacle to come our way. We do not lack in it, we just need to find it.
It is noted in history that Abu Bakr Al Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: "I heard Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) saying: 'There isn't a man who, when he commits a sin, rises, makes ablution, and offers two rak'as of prayers, but Allah forgives his sins".
Written by Lubna Sohraab (Special to Times of Oman)