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In the Name of God بسم الله

How to return to God

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Salam, I have been struggling with many sins especially masturbation and pornography and every time I make an effort to stop I go back the most I have went abstaining was almost a month I broke it yesterday and I have tried and failed so much that I feel my will is broken and that there is no point in trying because I will just end up going back. I feel like God wants nothing to do with me anymore and that everything I do ends up in failure. I don’t even want to live anymore. I used to be so religious before 2 years ago but I have since fallen down a lot.

I feel like I have so much stress and responsibility around me and that I try getting some pleasure in this sin that I once used to look in disgust at. I feel like I’m nothing now.

Sorry if it sounds like I’m just complaining but I really have no one I can talk and complain to!

I just want to go back to God and have peace insider me again.


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I don’t mean to sound harsh but have you tried the advice we’ve given you before? There has been a lot of good advice shared on your previous posts. I think you should re read those posts. Try to implement some of the good things the people have mentioned. You could create a list of what they’ve said and try different things and see which works best for you. You’ve also mentioned that you’re quite unhappy with the way your life is going as well, please try to find someone you can talk to to take the frustrations out. It sounds like you may be using this act as an escape. If you go to uni they usually have counseling centers for free. Also in the US if you have insurance you can call them and ask them to help you find a therapist that is covered by them. 

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If you can push yourself enough, read "Sexual Issues in the Youth" by Sheikh Naser Makarem Shirazi (you can find it on al-Islam.org), it is directed to your problem exactly. It is relatively short, and would take less than an hour to read in one sitting (or a couple minutes a day for 1-2 weeks). It goes through the causes, some potential solutions, some potential results if you don't stop, and an instruction list explaining how to stop.

After you convince yourself to stop again, know that Allah allowed you to convince yourself, and he is guiding you, so everyday in every Salah in qunut, recite:

رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ


Translation (Sarwar): Lord, do not cause our hearts to deviate from your guidance, and grant us mercy. You are the Most Awarding One.

Transliteration: Rabbanā Lā Tuzigh Qulūbanā Ba\`da 'Idh Hadaytanā Wa Hab Lanā Min Ladunka Raĥmatan 'Innaka 'Anta Al-Wahhābu

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hear you are my answer: for myself, even many times, I became depressed and sad, but in the time of occultation, we have not any solution except resorting to Qur'an, supplications and narrations which make us hopeful for divine mercy and help us to continue to live.

people can everytime ask Allah's mercy and forgiveness,
the door of repentance and recieving divine mercy and forgiveness is always open for mankind during his life in the world.
Vastness of God’s Mercy and Pardon:
“Your Lord's mercy is completely overwhelming. (6:147)”
“Your Lord, certainly, has forgiveness for the injustice of the people. (13:6)”
the all-merciful Allah says in the holy Qur'an:
وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ إِنَّ رَبِّي رَحِيمٌ وَدُودٌ
“And ask forgiveness of your Lord, then turn to Him; surely my Lord is Merciful, Loving-kind.”
holy Qur'an: 11/90.
وَإِذَا جَاءَكَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِآيَاتِنَا فَقُلْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ كَتَبَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ أَنَّهُ مَنْ عَمِلَ مِنْكُمْ سُوءاً بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ تَابَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَنَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
“When the faithful come to you, say to them, "Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed for Himself to be All-merciful. Anyone of you who commits a sin out of ignorance, then repents, and reforms himself will find that Allah is All-forgiving and All- merciful." (6:54)”
surah alanaam: verse 54.
فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللّاهِ وَاعْتَصَمُوا بِهِ فَسَيُدْخِلُهُمْ فِي رَحْمَةٍ مِنْهُ.
"As for those who believe in Allah and hold fast by Him, He will cause them to enter into His Mercy." (4:175)
وَقُلْ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ وَأَنْتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ
"Say, ‘My Lord, forgive and have mercy, and You are the Best of those who are merciful.’" (23:118)
The Holy Qur’an declares to the sinners not to be desperate of Allah's Mercy, since Allah would forgive all the sins.
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ لا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللّاهِ إِنَّ اللّاهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعاً إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ.
“(Muhammad), tell my servants who have committed injustice to themselves, ‘Do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Allah certainly forgives all sins. He is All-forgiving and All-merciful.’ (39:53)”
“And do not despair of receiving comfort from Allah; only the unbelievers’ despair of receiving comfort from Him. (12:87)”
the all merciful God says in the holy Qur'an:
إِنَّ اللّاهَ كَانَ عَفُوّاً غَفُوراً.
"Surely Allah is Pardoning, Forgiving." (4:43)
The Qur’anic verses like the ones below indicate that the Almighty would pardon the wrongdoing of every sinner.
إِنَّ اللّاهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ.
"Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate." (2:173)
فَمَنْ تَابَ مِنْ بَعْدِ ظُلْمِهِ وَأَصْلَحَ فَإِنَّ اللّاهَ يَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللّاهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ.
"But whoever repents after his wickedness and reforms himself, then surely Allah will turn him mercifully; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." (5:39)
وَاتَّقُوا اللّاهَ إِنَّ اللّاهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ.
"Be careful of your duty to Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving Merciful." (8:69)
مَا يَفْعَلُ اللّاهُ بِعَذَابِكُمْ إِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ وَآمَنْتُمْ وَكَانَ اللّاهُ شَاكِراً عَلِيماً
"Why should Allah chastise you if you are grateful and believe? And Allah is the Multiplier of rewards, Knowing."
Qur'an: 4-147.
Imam ‘Ali (عليه السلام) said:
أَمْرُهُ قَضَاءٌ وَحِكْمَةٌ، وَرِضَاهُ أَمَانٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ، يَقْضِي بِعِلْمٍ وَيَعْفُو بِحِلْمٍ.
"Allah’s orders are obligatory and out of expedience and wisdom. His takes pleasure in Mercy and Forgiveness. He rules with knowledge and awareness and forgives patiently."
Nahj Al-Balagha: sermon 160.
Imam ‘Ali (عليه السلام) stated:
مَنْ تَنَزَّهَ عَنْ حُرُمَاتِ اللهِ سَارَعَ إلَيْهِ عَفْوُ اللهِ.
"Allah’s Forgiveness would rush to anyone who avoids what Allah has forbidden."
Bihar al-Anwar: 75/ 90, Bab 16, tradition 95.
Amirul-Mu'minin (a) said to the man who was prevailed by despair of God’s mercy out of his many sins: “You, to despair of the mercy of Allah is the greatest sin that you have ever committed.”
Quoted from Jami us-Sa’adat; part 1 page 246.
For obtaining Allah’s Mercy, one should certainly observe some matters. Imam al-Baqir (عليه السلام) said:
تَعَرَّضْ لِلرَّحْمَةِ وَعَفْوِ اللهِ بِحُسْنِ المُرَاجَعَةِ، وَاسْتَعِنْ عَلَى حُسْنِ المُرَاجَعَةِ بِخَالِصِ الدُّعَاءِ وَالمُنَاجَاةِ فِي الظُّلَمِ.
"Obtain Allah’s Mercy and Forgiveness by returning to Him, and for realizing your return get help from sincere praying in the middle of night."
Bihar al-Anwar: 75/ 162, Bab 22, tradition 1.
A Berduin told the Messenger of Allah: “O Prophet of Allah! Who would account for people’s deeds?” The Prophet (S) answered: “The Almighty would.” The Arab man said: “By the Lord of Kaaba then we would be saved.” The Prophet asked: “Why do you think so?” He replied:
لِأَنَّ الكَرِيمَ إِذَا قَدَرَ عَفا.
“The Generous would forgive if He gets Power.”
Wurram Collection: 1/ 9.
It is narrated from Imam al-Baqir (as):
لَا وَاللّاهِ، مَا أَرَادَ اللهُ مِنَ النَّاسِ إِلّا خِصْلَتَيْنِ: أَنْ يُقِرُّوا لَهُ بِالنِّعَمِ فَيَزِيدُهُمْ، وَبِالذُّنُوبِ فَيَغْفِرُهَا لَهُمْ.
“By Allah, He does not expect but two attributes from His servants; that they confess to His blessings so that He would increase them, and that they confess to their sins so that He would forgive them.”
Al-Kafi: 2/ 426, Bab Al-’I’tiraf bil Zunub, tradition 2; Mizan al-Hikmah: 2/ 642, Al-Tawba, tradition 2153.
Imam ‘Ali (عليه السلام) says:
مَا كَانَ اللهُ لِيَفْتَحَ عَلَى عَبْدٍ بَابَ الشُّكْرِ وَيُغْلِقُ عَنْهُ بَابَ الزِّيَادَةِ، ولاَ لِيَفْتَحَ عَلَى عَبْدٍ بَابَ الدُّعَاءِ وَيُغْلِقُ عَنْهُ بَابَ الإجَابَةِ، وَلاَ لِيَفْتَحَ لِعَبْدٍ بَابَ التَّوْبَةِ وَيُغْلِقُ عَنْهُ بَابَ المَغْفِرَةِ.
"Allah is not to open up the doors of gratitude to His servant but close the doors of increased blessings. He is not to allow him to supplicate, but limit fulfillment of his supplication. And He does not intend to open the doors of repentance, but close the doors of His forgiveness."
Nahj Al-Balagha: Hikmat 435.
The Messenger of Allah (S) lists the signs of a real repentant as follows:
أَمَّا عَلاَمَةُ التَّائِبِ فَأَرْبَعَةٌ: النَّصِيحَةُ للهِ فِي عَمَلِهِ، وَتَرْكُ البَاطِلِ، وَلُزُومُ الحَقِّ، وَالحِرْصُ عَلَى الخَيْرِ.
"A repentant servant of Allah has four signs; complete obedience of Allah in deeds and behaviors, leaving the untruth, sticking to the truth, and intense enthusiasm to do good."
Tuhaf Al-’Uqol: 18; Mizan al-Hikmah: 2/ 638, Al-Tawba, tradition 2126.
It is narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S) who said:
مَنْ تَابَ تَابَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأُمِرَتْ جَوَارِحُهُ أَنْ تَسْتُرَ عَلَيْهِ وَبِقَاعُ الأَرْضِ أَنْ تَكْتُمَ عَلَيْهِ وأُنْسِيَتِ الحَفَظَةُ مَا كَانَتْ تَكْتُبُ عَلَيْهِ.
"One who repents Allah would accept his repentance and order his organs to cover sins from his sight. He would order the Earth segments to make him neglect his sins, and makes the Writers forget what they have written in that servant's letter of deeds."
Bihar al-Anwar: 6/ 28, Bab 20, tradition 32.
Mu'awiyat Ibn Wahab quotes Imam Sadiq (عليه السلام) as saying:
إِذَا تَابَ العَبْدُ تَوبَةً نَصُوحاً أَحَبَّهُ اللهُ وَسَتَرَ عَلَيْهِ... يُنْسِي مَلَكَيْهِ مَا كَانَا يَكْتُبَانِ عَلَيْهِ، وَيُوحِي إلَى جَوارِحِهِ وَإلَى بِقَاعِ الأَرْضِ أَنْ اكْتُمِي عَلَيْهِ ذُنُوبَهُ؛ فَيَلْقَى اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ حِينَ يَلْقَاهُ وَلَيْسَ شَيْءٌ يَشْهَدُ عَلَيْهِ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الذُّنُوبِ.
‘If a servant repents sincerely, Allah would love him and cover his faults in the world and the Hereafter.’ I asked Imam Sadiq (as): ‘How will Allah cover them?’ Imam (عليه السلام) replied: ‘He will make the two angels, in charge of that servant, forget all about his sins they have recorded, and will reveal to his body organs to do so. So the servant would meet Allah while there is no record of his sins.’
Al-Kafi, 2/ 436, Bab Al-Towba, tradition 12.
In the Qur’anic exegesis book, Minhaj al-Sadiqin, we read:
On the Day of Resurrection, the servant is brought before the Almighty, Who orders to place him in a dome. Then Allah would address that servant: 'My Servant! You benefited from My blessings for committing sins, and as I increased My blessings for you, you increased your wrongdoing.' So the servant bends his head from shyness. He is then addressed: 'My servant! At the same time as you committed sin I forgave you and removed all your sins.'
Another servant is brought before Him afterwards and counted for his deeds until he becomes tearful. The Almighty says: 'My Servant! When you committed sins joyfully I did not embarrass you; how do I chastise you now that you are weeping? I forgive you and let you come into My Paradise!'
Nour Al-Thaqalayn: 4/33.
Amir al-Mu’minin (عليه السلام), in one part of dua kumayl tells Allah:
“it is very far from You to spoil the one who have accepted Your divinity and training, via Your spiritual blessings. It is very far from You to torture the one who You have have brought to Your nearness and mercy, or to drive away the one who You have given refuge, or chastise the one who You have spared.”
o my lord, You are so Merciful and so Generous that You have addressed the sinful human:
o my lord, You are so Merciful and so Generous that You have addressed the sinful human:
“You called me and I answered you, you asked Me and I granted you, you opposed Me but I respited, you left Me but I watched you, you disobeyed My orders but I concealed your sins; if you return to me I would accept you, and if you went away from Me, I wait for your return to Me. I am the most Generous of the generous, the most Forgiver of the forgivers, and the most Merciful of the merciful.”
Allah addressed Prophet David (as):
“Say to My servants: Why don’t you befriend Me, since I deserve friendship? I am a God of no miserliness, there’s no ignorance in My Omniscience, no incapacity in My Forbearance, and no alternation in My Attributes or My Speech. My Mercy and Forgiveness is unvarying and constant. I am the friend of him who befriends Me, and I accompany him who invokes on Me in his solitude. O David! He who seeks Me finds Me; and he who finds Me deserves not to lose Me. O David! Blessing is from Me but My servants thank others; I ward off calamity but they seek it from others. Their safe haven is My Presence, but they seek refuge from others, though finally they return to Me.”
Once Gabriel, the trustee angel, descended to the Prophet of Islam (S), smiling and with good tidings. He greeted the Prophet (S) who responded to his greeting. Then Gabriel said: “The Almighty has sent a gift for you.”
The Messenger of Allah asked: “What is that gift?”
He replied: “There are some words of the Empyrean’s treasures which Allah has endeared specially for the Empyrean.”
Prophet Muhammad (S) asked again: “What are those words?”
Gabriel then said:
يَا مَنْ أَظْهَرَ الْجَمِيلَ، وَسَتَرَ الْقَبِيحَ، يَا مَنْ لَمْ يُؤاخِذْ بِالْجَرِيرَةِ، وَلَمْ يَهْتِكِ السِّتْرَ، يَا عَظِيمَ الْعَفْوِ، يَا حَسَنَ التّجَاوُزِ، يَا وَاسِعَ الْمَغْفِرَةِ، يَا بَاسِطَ الْيَدَيْنِ بِالرّحْمَةِ، يَا صَاحِبَ كُلِّ نَجْوَى، يَا مُنْتَهَى كُلِّ شَكْوَى، يَا كَرِيمَ الصّفْحِ، يَا عَظِيمَ الرّجَاءِ، يَا مُبْتَدِئاً بِالنِّعَمِ قَبْلَ اسْتِحْقَاقِهَا، يَا رَبّنَا وَسَيِّدَنَا وَمَوْلانَا، يَا غَايَةَ رَغْبَتِنَا، أَسْأَلُكَ يَا اَللّاهُ أَنْ لَا تُشَوِّهَ خَلْقِي بِالنَّارِ.
“O the One who revealed the goodness and concealed the badness. O the One who reprimanded no one for wrongdoing and let no one’s face down. O the One whose forgiveness is great, whose pardon is good, and whose Mercy is extended. O the one who has applied his Power in Mercy. O the Owner of any secret and the ultimate source of any complaint. O the one whose forbearance is magnanimous and whose blessings are great. O the Bestower of blessings before the necessary deserve for them. O my Lord, my Protector, and the end of my tendency! O Allah! I ask You not to destroy my creation by the Fire.”
The Messenger of Allah asked Gabriel: “What is the recompense of these words?”
Gabriel said: “Beware that the whole knowledge is exclusive in these words. If all the angels of the seven Heavens and the seven earths attempted to describe this supplication until the Day of Resurrection, they will be able to describe but one part out of one thousand parts of it.”
When the servant says: “O the One who revealed the goodness and concealed the badness,” Allah would conceal his sins, have mercy on him in the world, maintain his well-being in the next world, and cover him with thousand veils in the two worlds.
And when the servant says: “O the One who reprimanded no one for wrongdoing and let no one’s face down,” the Almighty would not account for his deeds on the Day of Resurrection, and would not uncover his secrets on that day.
When the servant says: “O the One whose forgiveness is great,” Allah would forgive his sins, even if they are as many as the waves of the sea.
When he says: “O the One whose pardon is good,” Allah would even forgive his wine-drinking, theft, and other major sins.
When he says: “O the One whose Mercy is extended,” the Merciful Allah would open seventy doors of Mercy on him, so that he would be subjected to Allah’s Mercy until the last day of his life.
When the servant says: “O the one who has applied his Power in Mercy,” Allah would extend his Power to him out of Mercy.
When the servant says: “O the Owner of any secret and the ultimate source of any complaint,” Allah would grant him the recompense of the grief-stricken, poverty-stricken, patient or blind man until the Day of Resurrection.
If the servant says: “O the one whose forbearance is magnanimous and whose blessings are great,” the Almighty would fulfill all his wishes and the wishes of all other servants for him.
If the servant says: “O the Bestower of blessings before the necessary deserve for them,” Allah would recompense him as if he is grateful of His blessings.
If the servant says: “O my Lord,” his Lord would say: “My angels! Beware that I forgave him, and I granted him recompense equal to the number of all My creatures, either in the Paradise or the Hell, in the heavens or the Earth, the sun or the moon, the star and the raindrops, different kinds of beings in the mountains, on the soil, and on the Empyrean.”
And if he says: “O my Protector,” Allah would fill his heart with belief.
When the servant says: “O the end of my tendency!” the Almighty would grant him the wishes of all the other creatures.
And if the servant says: “O Allah! I ask You not to destroy my creation by the Fire,” Allah says: “My servant wants to become free from the Fire. O My angels! I delivered him, along with his parents, brothers, family, and neighbors from the Fire and accepted his intercession for a thousand of those who deserved to be put into Fire.”
So Gabriel said: “O Muhammad! Teach these words to the believers and not to the hypocrites. This supplication is accepted for the supplicant and for those present in Allah’s House, when it is circumambulated.”
Uddat Al-Da’I: 337.
It should be noted that this great recompense and wonderful reward is not rare of Allah’s extended Mercy, unlimited Beneficence, and infinite treasure of rewards.
In a divine saying, we read:
"If the people who have turned their back on Me knew how much I love them to come back they would have died out of joy."
Allah does not need anyone, but still, out of His mercy, He does not want even a single person to go astray.
In a beautiful supplication which is recommended to be recited after each daily prayer, we say:
اللّاهُمَّ إِنَّ مَغفِرَتَکَ اَرجي مِن عَمَلي
"O Allah! Your forgiveness gives me hope more than my actions."
وَ إِنَّ رَحمَتَکَ اَوسَعُ مِن ذَنبي
"O Allah! Indeed Your mercy is greater than my sins."
اللّاهُمَّ إِن لَم اَکُن اَهلاً اَن اَبلُغَ رَحمَتَکَ فَرَحمَتُکَ اَهلٌ اَن تَبلُغَني وَ تَسَعَني
"O Allah! If I am not qualified to reach your mercy, Your mercy is able to reach and embrace me."
لِاَنَّها وَسِعَت کُلَّ شَيءٍ
"Because Your mercy has embraced everything."
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will extend His mercy so vastly that even Eblis will expect himself to be included with that mercy.”
Quoted from Bihar ul-Anwar; 3/274 (as quoted from Sheikh as-Saduq’s al-Amali).
“On the Day of Resurrection, the guilty believers will be stopped before Allah Who will personally interrogate him. He will display before him his sins in details, and the believer will confess of them all. The Lord will then say: ‘In the worldly life, I covered these sins and, now, I will cover them for you.’ He then will order to change them into virtues. As the record of that believer will be shown to people, they will say, ‘How admirable this man is! He did not commit a single sin!’ This is the meaning of God’s saying:
“But only those who repent and believe and act righteously will have their sins replaced by virtue,” (25:70)”
Quoted from Bihar ul-Anwar; vol. 3 page 274 (as quoted from al-Barqi’s al-Mahasin).
Favorable Judgment about God:
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: “The last servant who will be sent to Hell will turn his face towards Allah. The Lord then will order the angels to bring him back. ‘Why did you turn your face, servant?’ the Lord will ask. ‘Lord,’ the servant will say, ‘I had another idea about you.’ ‘What did you think of Me, servant?’ the Lord will ask. The servant will answer, ‘I thought You would forgive me and allow me to live in Your Paradise.’ The Lord then will say, ‘My angels, I swear by My power, majesty, favors, tests, and exaltation, this servant had never thought good about Me for a single hour of his lifetime. Had he done so, I would not have sent him to Hell. Nevertheless, I will regard the lie that he has just told as true and allow him to be in Paradise.’ Allah will live up to the servant who thinks well of Him:
‘This was how you considered your Lord, but He knows you better than you know yourselves. Thus, you are now lost (41:23)5.’”
Quoted from Bihar ul-Anwar; 3/301 (as quoted from as- Saduq’s Thawab ul-Aamal).
the all merciful God says in verse 8 of sura tahrim:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللّاهِ تَوْبَةً نَصُوحاً عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَنْ يُكَفِّرَ عَنْكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيُدْخِلَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ يَوْمَ لَا يُخْزِي اللّاهُ النَّبِيَّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ نُورُهُمْ يَسْعَى بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَبِأَيْمَانِهِمْ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَتْمِمْ لَنَا نُورَنَا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا إِنَّكَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
"O you who believe! turn to Allah a sincere turning; maybe your Lord will remove from you your evil and cause you to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, on the day on which Allah will not abase the Prophet and those who believe with him; their light shall run on before them and on their right hands; they shall say: "Our Lord! make perfect for us our light, and grant us protection, surely Thou hast power over all things."
Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is most forgiving:
In addition to His generous rewards, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) deals with sins or people with mercy and kindness. He assures the sinners that if they sincerely regret and repent, He will forgive them.
When people go to the plane of ‘Arafat on the day of Arafah, all their sins will be forgiven, and by the time they leave ‘Arafat to go to Mash‘ar al-Haram they must not have any doubt about the forgiveness of their sins.
It has been narrated that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) frees one million people from the hellfire each and every day in the month of Ramadan at the time of breaking the fast. On the night and day of Friday, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) frees one million people during each hour. In the night and day at the end of the month, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) frees people equal to whatever He has given during the month.
Different types of forgiveness
Upon reflection on the Qur’anic verses on forgiveness of sins by God, divine forgiveness can be classified into four types:
1. Simple forgiveness - Verses that refer simply to divine forgiveness such as the following:
وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللّاهَ يَجِدِ اللّاهَ غَفُوراً رَحِيماً
"Whoever commits evil or wrongs himself and then pleads God for forgiveness, will find God all-forgiving, all-merciful." (4:110)
2. Covering the sin - Sometimes not only the sin is forgiven, but it is also covered by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Thus, on the Day of Judgment, no one would be able to find out the sin which this person had committed because it has been covered. This is preferable to people reading your record of the deeds and discovering your wrongdoings, even though they are forgiven. For example, the Qur’an says:
إِن تُبْدُوا الصَّدَقَاتِ فَنِعِمَّا هِيَ وَإِن تُخْفُوهَا وَتُؤْتُوهَا الْفُقَرَاءَ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ وَيُكَفِّرُ عَنكُم مِّن سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَاللّاهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ
"If you disclose your charities, that is well, but if you hide them and give them to the poor, that is better for you, and it will atone for some of your misdeeds, and God is well aware of what you do." (2:271)
3. Wiping out sins - According to Islamic sources, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) may wipe out the sins and bad actions of certain people. This seems to be a kind of forgiveness which is more than simple forgiveness or even forgiveness with covering and hiding the sins, because here the sins are totally wiped out with no trace of them remaining.
The advantage of the latter is that the corrected error would not be known by others and the one who has been forgiven would not be reminded of his sin. However, there is a worry that this cover may be removed and the sins under it might be disclosed.
Thus a more powerful form of forgiveness is to entirely wipe out the error. For example, Imam Sadiq (s) is quoted as saying:
"Friday has an obligatory right. Be careful not to miss it or to do little in worshipping Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and getting closer to Him through righteous deeds and refraining from all sins. Truly, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) multiplies good actions and wipes out the sins on this day, and ranks will be elevated. Its night is like its day. If you are able to revive it by supplicating and saying prayer, do so, because Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) multiplies in it good deeds and wipes out the bad deeds. Truly Allah is All-bounteous, Generous."
We also read in a hadith from Imam Baqir (a):
"The one who [sincerely] repents is like the one who has never done any sin."
4. Transformation of sins into good deeds - According to the Qur’an and hadith, not only does Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) forgives the sins of those who repent, but He may also transform their bad deeds into good ones:
إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلاً صَالِحاً فَأُولَٰئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللّاهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ اللّاهُ غَفُوراً رَحِيماً
"Excepting those who repent, attain faith, and act righteously. For such, God will replace their misdeeds with good deeds, and God is all-forgiving, all-merciful. (He wipes out the sins) and in each place writes down a good action." (25:70)
This is much more than forgiving sins and wiping them out. In this way, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) actually replaces their sins with good actions and rewards them for these good sins. Not only will they not be punished for their sins, but they will be able to recover at least part of their loss. Certainly everyone who does not harvest good in his life is in loss, even if he does not do anything sinful.
Interestingly, it can be understood from a saying of Imam Sajjad (a) that good deeds which are replaced with bad actions might still be multiplied like the good actions of the pious. Imam Sajjad (a) addresses Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) in one of his supplications:
"O He who changes evil deeds into manifold good deeds!"
Not only does He replace good actions with bad actions, but He changes bad actions into manifold good actions. For example, one who has spent one pound sinfully after repentance and receiving this type of treatment from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), he would receive rewards for spending several pounds in good purposes in the record of his deeds on the Day of Judgement.
Reflecting on 1) the types of people who would be forgiven, 2) the types of people who would have their sins covered, 3) those who have sins that have been wiped out, and 4) those who would see their sins changed into a manifold of good actions, it might be inferred that if someone who has committed sins regrets sincerely and decides not to repeat them, his sins will be forgiven.
As far as Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is concerned, there is no doubt about this. The repentant’s comprehension would increase resulting in the strength of his regret. He feels ashamed because although his sins are forgiven, he continues to ponder over his condition on the Day of Judgment, when he will stand in front of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and the witnesses as his sins are being read to him. Although they will finally be forgiven, he would worry about his honor and tell himself, “It is disgraceful and shameful to me that before God’s forgiveness is announced, my sins will be read in the presence of the Prophet, Imams, and the general public.” For such people, Allah hides or even erases their bad deeds.
As his understanding increases knowing that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has forgiven him and has promised to preserve his honour, what about the time and opportunities he wasted? He could have taken many provisions during those years for his eternal journey. For such people, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) transforms their bad actions to good ones to prevent them worrying too much about their provision.
But there is still a chance to develop their understanding and think that it is great that their bad actions have been changed into good actions, although we are still losing because those with good actions have been multiplied at least ten times, but our newly given good actions are not multiplied. It might be for such people that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) changes their bad deeds into multiplied good actions.
Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) does not punish anyone for another person’s bad action, but He may forgive a sinner for another person’s good action
Another aspect of divine mercy is that sometimes Allah (s) forgives someone for the sake of another person. For example, the Qur’an says:
وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَاتَّبَعَتْهُمْ ذُرِّيَّتُهُم بِإِيمَانٍ أَلْحَقْنَا بِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَمَا أَلَتْنَاهُم مِّنْ عَمَلِهِم مِّن شَيْءٍ كُلُّ امْرِئٍ بِمَا كَسَبَ رَهِينٌ
"The faithful and their descendants who followed them in faith —We will make their descendants join them, and We will not stint anything from [the reward of] their deeds. Every man is a hostage to what he has earned." (52:21)

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