Transcribed by: Umm Hasna Firdous Bint Jabir
“Say, O My Servant, those who have been excessive, those who have been extreme o*n their own soul, do not despair of the mercy of Allaah subhana wa ta’ala for surely Allaah forgives all sins. And surely Allaah, He is Al-Ghaffoor and Ar-Raheem. He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Merciful. He is extremely forgiving and extremely merciful.”
In this above Ayah, respected brothers and sisters in Islaam, Allaah among other things explains to us that He forgives our sins. He forgives all sins, whether they are Major or Minor. No matter what colour the sin may be, no matter what size the sin may be, how old or new it is, Allaah subhana is Al-Ghaffoor Ar-Raheem. And if the Muslim, the Abd (the Slave of Allaah subhana wa ta’ala) fulfills the conditions, Allaah will forgive. This type of forgiveness is a unique forgiveness. Allaah subhana wa ta’ala is unique as He says :
“Qul Huw-Allaahu Ahad” —
Say, He Allaah is unique.
For His forgiveness is not like any type of forgiveness and His Mercy is not like any type of Mercy.
“Wa laisa kamislihi shaiun wa huwas Sameeul Baseer”
There is nothing like Him and He is As-Sameeh and Al-Baseer , He is the Hearer and He is the Seer.
This Jumma’ah we would like to talk about the methodology or the road that we can use, the way, the method that we can utilize in gaining the atonement and forgiveness of our sins. How we can gain the atonement, the expiation, the effacing, the erasing of our sins. What is the methodology of erasing these sins? What can we do to remove these sins? Because all of us are sinners as Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said in an authentic Hadith :
“All of the children of Aadam are sinners and the best of sinners are those who repent.”
So we need to learn brothers and sisters in Islaam how we can efface, how we can remove, how we can make atonement for az-zunoob; How we can get rid of these sins. When we talk about the erasing and the atonement of sins according to the ahlul Ilm, according to the people of knowledge, there are two types (two ways to remove the sins) :
One as Allaah subhana wa ta’ala mentions :
Follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will wipe it out. It will erase it. This is the first type of removing (the erasing) of sins.
The second is the exchange of one thing for another. As Allaah subhana wa ta’ala says :
For them, those individuals who do these sins, Allaah will exchange for their bad deeds, good deeds. He will replace their bad deeds with good deeds and Allaah subhana wa ta’ala is Ghaffoorur Raheema. He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
There are many ways brothers and sisters and we can have many Khutba’as o*n this subject. But we would just like to site just a few of these ways that we can atone for and erase our sins. The first and foremost and Allaah subhana ‘alam, Allaah the Majestic, the Most High above all creation knows best is to accept Islaam. Alhamdulillaah, which we have all done. If a Kaafir from among the Kuffaar (no matter how good they may seem or how righteous they may seem in the eyes of the people), if they want to have their sins erased, (their tawbah is different from our tawbah) their tawbah is to accept Islaam. And there is no tawbah for them except this.
Allaah subhana wa ta’ala says :
Surely the Deen with Allaah is not Christianity, it is not Judaism, it is not Hinduism, it is Islaam.
And again Allaah subhana wa ta’ala says :
Whoever seeks a Deen other than Islaam, it will never ever be accepted from him. And in the Last Day they will be the losers.
So those individuals who are among the Kuffar of this life, in order for their actions to be accepted and in order for them to be forgiven, they have to accept Islaam. And Allaah subhana wa ta’ala says :
Say to the Kuffar if they seize (stop) what they did in the past, they will be forgiven.
What does that mean? It means that if they leave off their kufr, if they stop disbelieving, then Allaah will forgive them.
So, the person who wants to have the forgiveness of Allaah, that is still among the groups of the Ahlul Kitaab and the Mushrikoon, they have to accept Islaam. And Allaah subhana wa ta’ala will remove their sins and He will forgive them.
Those individuals whom Allaah subhana wa ta’ala had raised among the Sahaaba to accept Islaam when the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was alive, there is a clear, clear record of this.
On the authority of Ibn Shumaasa al Mahri that he said : We went to Amr Ibn Al-Aas (radiallaahu anhu), he was about to die, (he was o*n his death bed). He wept for a long time and turned his face towards the wall. (Not clear) The audience asked Amr : Didn’t the Messenger of Allaah not give you tidings of this?
He turned his face towards the audience and said : The best thing which we can count upon is the testimony that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allaah and Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)is the Messenger of Allaah. For surely I have passed through three stages and this is what Allaah subhana wa ta’ala says in His Glorious Book :
You shall certainly travel from stage to stage.
Within the first stage in which I found myself averse (disinclined) to none else more than I was averse to the Messenger of Allaah and there was no other desire stronger in my heart than the o*ne that I should over power him and kill him. Had I died in this stage, I would have been definitely been among the people of the Hell-Fire.
So he said if he had died in that state, he would have been one of the inhabitants of the Hell-Fire. When Allaah instilled the love of Islaam in my heart, I came to the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and I said : Stretch out your right hand O Messenger of Allaah so that I may make bai’aah (the pledge of allegiance) to you. He stretched out his right hand and I withdrew my hand. And he, the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said : What has happened to you O Amr?
I replied : I intend to lay down some conditions.
The Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) asked : What conditions do you intend to put forward?
I said : I should be granted forgiveness.
He the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)said : “Are you not aware of the fact that Islaam wipes out all previous sins? Verily Hijrah wipes out all previous sins. And truly Hajj wipes out all previous sins.”
And then he (radiallahu anhu) said : “No one was more dear to me than the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and none was more sublimer in my eyes than him. And I could never get up the courage to catch a full glimpse of his face due to its splendor. So if I am asked to describe the features of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), I am not able to do it because I have not looked at him fully. Had I died in this state, I have no reason to hope that I would ever be among the dwellers of the Paradise . I had every reason to hope that I would be among the people of Paradise.”
Another example of those things that will efface and atone for sins is following the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). And we all know brothers and sisters that following the Messenger of Allaah is an incumbent act upon every male and female Muslim. Allaah subhana wa ta’ala says :
And believe in Allaah and His Messenger, the unlettered on, who believes in Allaah and His word and follow him so that perhaps you will gain success.
We also know that upon us it is the duty to obey the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). And whoever obeys the Messenger has therefore obeyed Allaah. And it is incumbent upon every single Muslim to obey the Messenger of Allaah and obey those who are trusted in authority from the Messenger of Allaah among the Ulema.
“O You who believe obey Allaah and obey His Messenger and those trusted in authority from among you.”
With all of this and other ahyahs and hadiths, we gain the understanding that if we believe in Allaah subhana wa ta’ala and if we follow the Messenger of Allaah, Allaah subhana wa ta’ala will forgive us our sins simply for obeying and following the Prophet.
“Say, if you love Allaah, then follow me.” – Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) is saying this from the Book of Allaah. He is commanding to all of us sitting here and all the Muslims until the Day of Resurrection : “if you really love Allaah, then follow me. And Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins.”
At-Taubah is a means of erasing sins, brothers and sisters. When we commit any sin, Allaah subhana wa ta’ala has instructed us in the Qura’an :
“O You who believe return to Allaah with sincere, unadulterated repentance. Perhaps your Lord will atone for you, your evil deeds.”
And the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)in an authentic narration collected by Imaam Ibn Maajah and others on the authority of Abdullaah Ibn Al-Masood (radiallahu anhu):
“The person who repents from his sins is like the individual who didn’t have any sins at all.”
Also following up those evil things with good things. Allaah subhana wa ta’ala has mentioned in the Qura’an :
“Verily the good deeds remove the evil deeds. This is a reminder for those who remember.”
When we look at the tafseer of this particular ayah brothers and sisters, we find a very beautiful story. That a man came to the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) saying : “O Messenger of Allaah, I kissed a woman.”
“Truly the good deeds remove the evil deeds and this is a reminder for the mindful.”
Also spreading the salaam, saying : “Assalamu alaykum” is a means of forgiveness for sins. Just simply saying, “Assalamu alaykum” you could be removed of your sins. And good speech is a means of removal of sins. And there is a Hadith that was collected in the Musnaad of Shia’ab that says that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said :
“Truly some of the causes of forgiveness is the spreading of Salaams and good speech.”
“There are no two Muslims that meet each other, then they shake hands except that the both of them are forgiven of their sins before they leave each other.”
Simple !! Just shake your brother’s hand. And hold it and keep holding it so that sins can be removed. And the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) again said :
“Truly the believer when he meets the other believer and then he says, “Assalamu Alaikum” and then he takes his hand and shakes his hand, both of their sins fall off like leaves fall from trees.”
Allaahu Akbar !!!
As for the man who shakes the hand of a woman he should not be shaking, like his boss from a job or a woman that he grew up with or a sister shaking the hand of a man that is not her husband or her father, Ayesha (Radialllaahu anha) said as reported in Sahih Bukhari : That the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) never, ever, ever, touched the hand of a woman that he didn’t possess.” NEVER.
In another narration submitted by at-Tabarani, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
“It would be better for a man to be struck in his hand with an iron spike than to touch a woman that is not lawful for him.”
Alhamdulillaahi Rabbil Aalameen !!!
Another means brothers and sisters for the forgiveness of sins is the example that we have in the collection of al-Bukhari, Muslim and Abu-Dawuud i.e to be kind and gentle and generous to animals. Feeding the birds, feeding dogs, giving water to a dog, feeding Harry the cat that is outside. All of these things with good treatment to animals can be a means for the atonement of sins.
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)said: “While a man was walking on the road, he was overcome due to the extremity of the heat became extremely thirsty. Then he found a well. So he descended the well and drank from it. And as he was coming out, he saw a dog that was panting from the heat, eating the dirt from the ground because of extreme thirst. Then the man said, “the dog had come and was very thirsty and the thirst had reached a height greater than the thirst I had.” So he went back into the well and he filled his socks and he got hold of the mouth of the dog and he poured the water into the mouth of the dog. The dog’s thirst was quenched and Allaah subhana wa ta’ala after giving thanks to him forgave him of his sins.
Those individuals in this Masjid that are feeding Harry outside, Alhamdulillaah, may Allaah forgive you of your sins.
And as for those things among the taharah of the salaah, we know in conclusion brothers and sisters that al-wudhoo is a means of removal of sins. From Uthman Ibn Affan (Radiallaahu anhu)said that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said that : “whoever makes wudhoo and makes it well according to the Qura’an and the authenticated Sunnah, paying attention to all the spots on their body that they are supposed to wash, making sure that every spot is touched with water, not using very little and not using too much, (being moderate between the two), remembering Allaah subhana wa ta’ala while he is making the wudhoo, and then leaving that wudhoo, Allaah subhana wa ta’ala will remove his sins from his entire body so much so that the sins will be removed from even beneath your fingernails.”
And again, Abu Huraira (Radiallaahu anhu) said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said : “When a slave, a Mu’min or a Muslim washes his face in the course of ablution, every single sin that he contemplated with his eyes will be washed away from his face along with the water or with the last drop of water. When he washes his hands, every single sin that he committed with his hand will be erased from his hand with the water or with the last drop of water. And when he washes his feet, every sin towards with which his feet has walked will be washed away with the water or with the last drop of the water. The result is that he comes out pure, completely pure from every single sin.”
And this once again brothers and sisters in conclusion, is onLY for the person who performs the wudhoo correctly. Not for those individuals who splash water on themselves and who are unmindful of the rudiments or principles of wudhoo.
“Rabbana Aathinaa Fid-Dunya Hasanathan wafil Aakhirathi hasanathan Wakina Azaaban Naar.”
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