Question and answer details
|Assalamo Alaikom, I want to ask does Allah forgive us after repeated sins? If a person commits a sin and after that asks Allah for His forgiveness and then again commits the same sin and again asks for His forgiveness, does Allah forgive that person every time?|
|AAI Editorial Staff|
This answer was kindly provided by Brother Maan Khalife, a member of Ask About Islam Editorial Staff.
Salam dear sister,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
May Allah guide all of us to minimize our sins and remain steadfast on the right path inshaAllah.
To begin with, I will start with the following hadiths:
Narrated Abu Dharr: The Prophet said, Gabriel came to me and gave me the glad tidings that anyone who died without worshiping anything besides Allah would enter Paradise. I asked (Gabriel), 'Even if he committed theft, and even if he committed illegal sexual intercourse?' He said, '(Yes), even if he committed theft and even if he committed illegal sexual intercourse." (Bukhari, Book 93, Hadith 579)
Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard the Prophet saying, "If somebody commits a sin and then says, 'O my Lord! I have sinned, please forgive me!' and his Lord says, 'My slave has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for it, I therefore have forgiven my slave (his sins).' Then he remains without committing any sin for a while and then again commits another sin and says, 'O my Lord, I have committed another sin, please forgive me,' and Allah says, 'My slave has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for it, I therefore have forgiven my slave (his sin).
Then he remains without committing any other sin for a while and then commits another sin (for the third time) and says, 'O my Lord, I have committed another sin, please forgive me,' and Allah says, 'My slave has known that he has a Lord Who forgives sins and punishes for it I therefore have forgiven My slave (his sin), he can do whatever he likes." (Bukhari, Book 93, Hadith 598)
This is in no way encouraging us to commit sins; it is only showing us Allah's mercy and forgiveness. There are also many Quranic verses and hadiths related to the topic, that you may find useful at the referenced links at the end.
So if you ask Allah to forgive you, He will surely do so; you just have to take the proper initiative which is to repent.
To prevent such a situation, remember Allah constantly but do not expect to become sinless. When we make a mistake, we turn to Allah and Allah is the only One who forgives our sins, while no one else can, unless we have taken someone's right. In this case, we must return what is for that person and ask his or her forgiveness.
So a repeated sin is forgiven if it is followed by repentance. However, repeating minor sins consistently might eventually lead us to committing major sins; and we must be very careful with repeated major sins since those could lead us to committing other major sins until we are no longer Muslims; it is a steady trap of Satan. There is a consequence in life for repeating bad deeds and we do not want to reach to that extreme.
Finally, all we are asked to do is to step towards Allah and Allah will come to us running. Narrated Abu Huraira that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Allah says: 'I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.'" (Bukhari, Book 93, Hadith 502)
To take that step towards Allah and become closer to Him, we must fulfill our duties towards Him by establishing our five daily prayers, supplicating and remembering Allah as much as possible; giving charity and performing acts of kindness whenever we can. This should, God willing (insha'Allah), minimize our sins.
I hope this helps answer your question.
Salam and please keep in touch.