In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy
All praise is due to Allah the forgiver of the sins and the accepter of repentance and severe in punishment.
Dear brothers and sisters! Allah Almighty said:
“And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? – and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know.” [Qur’an, 3: 135]
Respected brothers and sisters! Indeed repentance cures hearts sickened by misdeeds. Repentance is the gate of hope. Repentance is an open door. Repentance is warm streaming tears. Allah Almighty says:
“[O Muhammad], inform My servants that it is I who am the Forgiving, the Merciful.” [Qur’an, 15: 49]
Glory be to Allah, The Forgiving, Especially Merciful. He is the most in giving yet His servants disobey Him. He watches over them, protects them and safeguards them as if they did not disobey Him.
Allah is the One who answers the supplication of the one supplicating. Allah answers the one asking. And Allah is the hope for the hopeful.
And Allah is the Most Generous and generosity is from Him. And from His generosity is that he forgives the disobedient. And He loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.
Dear Muslims! Repentance is when the sinner and those falling short, and all of us are sinners and fall short, turns to his Lord with a broken heart and humbled limbs. And his state and words express: Oh Lord, I do not have a lord other than You who accepts my repentance, none is able to forgive me if You do not forgive me, and none is able to have mercy on me if You do not have mercy on me, oh Lord of the worlds.
Great servants of Allah! Why do we repent? We repent because Allah commanded repentance. Allah Almighty said:
“And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.” [Qur’an, 24: 31]
We repent because Allah loves those who are constantly repentant, those returning to Him and those seeking forgiveness. We repent so that our Lord will rejoice over us. We repent because Allah Almighty says:
“And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” [Qur’an, 49: 11]
We repent because our scale is going to be displayed before our eyes on the Day of Resurrection. Our good deeds will be put on one side, and our bad ones will be put on the other side. And the good deeds will not tip the scale except by sincere repentance that erases bad deeds.
Listen and contemplate upon the narrative of this believing woman who, for a moment, neglected Allah’s watchfulness and fell into adultery. But the intensity of Iman (faith) and her fear of her Lord made her not able to sleep. Her mind did not calm down and her burden did not lighten, and the sin fueled a fire in her heart. And the ugliness of indecency burned within her chest. She said:
“Oh Messenger of Allah, I have committed adultery so purify me. And he turned her away, so the following day she said: Allah’s Messenger, Why do you turn me away? Perhaps, you turn me away as you turned away Ma’iz (the man that she had committed adultery with and he previously approached the Prophet but was turned back initially). By Allah, I have become pregnant. He said: if you insist, then go until you give birth. So when she gave birth, she came with the child wrapped in a cloth and said: Here he is, I have given birth. He said: Go nurse him until you wean him. When she weaned him, she came to him with the child who was holding a piece of bread in his hand. She said: Allah’s Messenger, here is, I have weaned him and he eats food. He entrusted the child to one of the Muslims and commanded for her to be brought. So she was buried up to her chest and he commanded the people and they stoned her. Khalid Bin Walid came forward with a stone and struck her head and blood spurted on the Khalid’s face so he swore at her. Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) heard him and said: Khalid, take it easy, by Him in Whose Hand is my soul, she has made such a repentance that even if an extorter were to repent, he would have been forgiven. Then he commanded for her to be brought, then he prayed over her and she was buried.” [Muslim]
And in another narration:
“Then he (the Prophet) prayed upon her, so Umar Bin Al-Khattab said you pray upon her and she has committed adultery. Then he (the Prophet) said: she has made such a repentance that if it were divided among the people of Madinah, it would have accommodated them.” [Muslim]
My Dear brothers and sisters! Now is it not the time to repent? Is it not the time to turn to Allah? Is it not the time to return to Allah? For Allah stretches out His hand at night so that the sinners of the day may repent. And stretches out His hand at day so that the sinners of the night may repent. And repentance is not only for those who commit immorality and indecency, but it is for every believer. Allah Almighty says:
“O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance. Perhaps your Lord will remove from you your misdeeds and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow.” [Qur’an, 66: 8]
And our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) used to repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness more than 70 times in one day and in another narration more than 100 times. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“O people, repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness, for I repent to Allah a hundred times a day.” [Muslim]
And Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) said:
“We counted the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) saying a hundred times during one single sitting: My Lord forgive me and pardon me. Indeed, You are the Oft-Repenting and Especially Merciful.” [Sunan Abu Dawud]
So leave the disobedience, leave the people of the disobedience, leave the place of the disobedience, and leave everything that reminds you of the disobedience, and plentifully recite:
“Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.” [Qur’an, 7: 23]
Oh you who accustomed your tongue to backbiting, gossip and false speech, repent to Allah!
O you who neglected your children and left them to associate with bad company, repent to Allah!
Oh you who has gotten used to delaying the prayers, repent to Allah!
Oh you who has gotten used to eating the unlawful (Haram), repent to Allah, and return to the lawful (Halal), before the Angel of Death comes to you. Hasten from now and repent to Allah!
Please do not delay your repentance. What would you do if death descends upon you and you have not repented? How extensive are Allah’s blessings upon us and how far we fall short in being grateful to Him. And with that, He does not withhold from us!
Think about the One with Whom you are dealing. The One Who offers repentance to the disbelievers. And opens the path of return for the wicked. The One that if He forgives all creation, it would not diminish His dominion at all. The One Whose mercy surpasses His wrath. The One Whose name is The Accepter of Repentance, the Oft-Forgiving.
“And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.” [Qur’an]
Respected servants of Allah! Let us pause and reflect upon a narrative of the repentant.
It was narrated that a man came to Ibrahim Bin Adham and said to him: O Abu Ishaq, I transgressed against myself in disobedience, so offer me something to deter me and save my heart. Abu Ishaq said: As for the first matter, if you want to disobey Allah Almighty, do not eat from His sustenance. He said: From where do I eat and all that is on the earth is from His sustenance? He said: Are you fine with eating his sustenance and disobeying him? He said no.
Tell me the second matter. He said, “If you want to disobey him, do not live in any of his land.” The man said, “This is greater than the first matter.” If the east and the west and what is between them belong to Him, then where do I live? He said, “Are you fine with eating from his sustenance, living in his land, and disobeying him?” he said no.
Tell me the third matter. He said: If you want to disobey him while you are under his sustenance and in his land, find a place where he does not see you, and disobey him in it. He said: O Ibrahim, how is this while he is aware of what is in hidden? He said: Are you fine to eat from his sustenance and live in his land, and disobey him while he sees you and sees what you do openly? he replied no.
Tell me the fourth matter. He said: If the angel of death comes to you to take your soul, then say to him: delay me until I repent sincerely, and do righteous deeds for the sake of Allah. He said: he would not accept that from me. He said: Then if you are not able to push away death so that you can repent and you know that if he comes to you there can be no delaying, then how do you hope for salvation?
He said: tell me the fifth matter. If the guards of Hell come to you on the Day of Resurrection to take you to the fire, then do not go with them. He said: They will not leave me and will not accept that from me. Then how do you expect salvation then? He said: Oh Ibrahim: Enough for me, enough for me, I seek Allah’s forgiveness and repent to Him.
Dear Muslims! Now renew your repentance every night before you go to sleep. And fulfill its conditions for it may be your last sleep. And restore the rights to their owners, for this is one of the conditions of repentance. And adhere to seeking forgiveness for whoever does so, Allah provides him relief from every worry and a way out from every difficulty and sustenance from where he does not expect. And perform good deeds after misdeeds to wipe them out. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. And accompany the repentant and the righteous. They will remind you of Allah and the person follows the religion of his friend.
Oh Allah make us among those who are constantly repentant and who purify themselves. Oh the Oft Forgiving cleanse us of our sins. Indeed Allah is all Hearing, Answering.
I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon our beloved Prophet as your Lord commanded:
“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” [Qur’an, 33: 56]
O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.
O Allah, We ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge. O Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good.
Servants of Allah! Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.
Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favours – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters. And, establish the prayer.
All praises and thanks are due to Allah alone, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Muharram 07, 1444 AH (August 05, 2022).