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The Obligation of Repentance, Especially During Calamities and Afflictions – [By Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) [PDF 12 pages]

In The Name of Allaah The Most Merciful The Bestower of Mercy

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Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [rahimahullaah] said: Whoever exercises patience during times of affliction, thankful during times of ease, submissive to Allaah [Glorified be He] when calamities occur, expresses disappointment about himself to Allaah, due to his sins and shortcomings, and seeks Allaah’s Mercy and Forgiveness, then indeed he [or she] will succeed with all success and with a praiseworthy end.

Allaah [The Most High] said:

الم

أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ

وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۖ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ

Alif Lâm Mîm. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested.  And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allâh will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allâh knows all that before putting them to test). 29:1-3

The intent behind [the word] Fitnah in this Aayah is Trial and Test, so that the truthful one, the patient one and the thankful one is distinguished from the liar, as Allaah [The Most High] said:

وَجَعَلْنَا بَعْضَكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ فِتْنَةً أَتَصْبِرُونَ ۗ وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ بَصِيرًا

And We have made some of you as a trial for others: will you have patience? And your Lord is Ever All-Seer (of everything).  25:20

And He [The Most High] said:

وَنَبْلُوكُم بِالشَّرِّ وَالْخَيْرِ فِتْنَةً ۖ وَإِلَيْنَا تُرْجَعُونَ

And We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned.21:35

And Allaah (Glorified be He) said:

وَبَلَوْنَاهُمْ بِالْحَسَنَاتِ وَالسَّيِّئَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

And We tried them with good (blessings) and evil (calamities) in order that they might turn (to Allâh’s Obedience). 7:165

Al-Hasanaat in this ayah are the blessings of abundant provision, ease, good health and honour, as well as victory and support against the enemy etc. And As-Sayyi’aat in this ayah are the calamities, such as illnesses, overpowered by the enemy, earthquakes, winds, hurricanes, destructive torrential floods etc

Allaah [The Most High] said:

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

Evil (sins and disobedience of Allâh, etc.) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds, etc.), that Allâh may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allâh, and begging His Pardon). 30:41

And what this means is that Allaah decreed the Hasanaat and Sayyi’aat in order that the people may return to the truth, hasten to repent from what Allaah has made forbidden for them and rush towards obedience to Allaah and His Messenger. That is because disbelief and sins are the cause of every affliction and evil in this life and the next.

Disbelief and sins are the cause of every affliction and evil in this life and the next. As for Tawheed, belief in Allaah and His Messengers, obedience to Allaah and His Messengers, holding fast to Allaah’s Sharee’ah and calling to it, and rejecting what is in opposition to it, this is the cause of every good in this life and the hereafter.  And adhering firmly to it, enjoining it and co-operating upon it is the [real] source of honour in this life and the hereafter, safety from every hated thing and protection from every Fitnah, as Allaah [The Most High] said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَنصُرُوا اللَّهَ يَنصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ

O you who believe! If you help (in the cause of) Allah, He will help you, and make your foothold firm. 47:7

And Allaah [The Most High] said:

وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ

الَّذِينَ إِن مَّكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ

Verily, Allâh will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, Allâh is All-Strong, All-Mighty.  Those (Muslim rulers) who, if We give them power in the land, (they) order for Iqamat-as-Salât. [i.e. to perform the five compulsory congregational Salât (prayers) (the males in mosques)], to pay the Zakât and they enjoin Al-Ma’rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do), and forbid Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism and all that Islâm has forbidden) [i.e. they make the Qur’ân as the law of their country in all the spheres of life]. And with Allâh rests the end of (all) matters (of creatures). 22:40-41

And Allaah [Glorified be He] said:

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

Allâh has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their religion, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islâm). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieved after this, they are the Fâsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allâh). 24:55

And Allaah [Glorified be He] said:

وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَىٰ آمَنُوا وَاتَّقَوْا لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِم بَرَكَاتٍ مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَٰكِن كَذَّبُوا فَأَخَذْنَاهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ

And if the people of the towns had believed and had the Taqwâ (piety), certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they belied (the Messengers). So We took them (with punishment) for what they used to earn (polytheism and crimes, etc.). 7:96

Allaah [Glorified be He] has made known in many Aayaat that indeed the punishments that befell the previous nations, such as severe punishment by way of floods, winds, and by way of the Saihah (torment), drowning, swallowed by the earth and other than that- all of that was due to their unbelief and sins, as He [The Mighty and Majestic] said:

فَكُلًّا أَخَذْنَا بِذَنبِهِ ۖ فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِ حَاصِبًا وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَخَذَتْهُ الصَّيْحَةُ وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ خَسَفْنَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَغْرَقْنَا ۚ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيَظْلِمَهُمْ وَلَٰكِن كَانُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ

So We punished each (of them) for his sins, of them were some on whom We sent Hâsiban (a violent wind with shower of stones) [as the people of Lout (Lot)], and of them were some who were overtaken by As-Saihah [torment  awful cry, etc. (as Thamûd or Shu’aib’s people)], and of them were some whom We caused the earth to swallow [as Qârûn (Korah)], and of them were some whom We drowned [as the people of Nûh (Noah), or Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and his people]. It was not Allâh Who wronged them, but they wronged themselves. 29:40

Allaah [The Most High] said:

وَمَا أَصَابَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ

And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much. 42:30

And Allaah [Glorified be He] commanded His slaves to repent to Him and humble themselves to Him when calamities occur. He [Glorified be He] said:

[يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَّصُوحًا عَسَىٰ رَبُّكُمْ أَن يُكَفِّرَ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيُدْخِلَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ – O you who believe! Turn to Allâh with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will remit from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise) 66:8

Allaah [Glorified be He] said:

وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful. 24:31

And Allaah [Glorified be He] said:

وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَىٰ أُمَمٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَأَخَذْنَاهُم بِالْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَضَرَّعُونَ

فَلَوْلَا إِذْ جَاءَهُم بَأْسُنَا تَضَرَّعُوا وَلَٰكِن قَسَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you (O Muhammad) And We seized them with extreme poverty (or loss in wealth) and loss in health with calamities so that they might believe with humility.  When Our Torment reached them, why then did they not believe with humility? But their hearts became hardened, and Shaitân (Satan) made fair-seeming to them that which they used to do. 6:42-43

In this noble ayah, Allaah urges His slaves to have the desire to humble themselves to Him and show their need of Him.  And that they should ask Him for succour when visited with calamities such as illnesses, injuries, killing, earthquakes, hurricanes and other calamities.  This is the meaning of the ayah: [فَلَوْلَا إِذْ جَاءَهُم بَأْسُنَا تَضَرَّعُوا -When Our Torment reached them, why then did they not believe with humility], meaning: why did they not humble themselves when our torment came to them.

Then Allaah [Glorified be He] made known about the hardening of their hearts and shaytaan making fair-seeming to them their evil actions, and that all of this prevented them from repentance and humility, and from seeking Allaah’s forgiveness.   He [The Most High] said: [وَلَٰكِن قَسَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُون – But their hearts became hardened, and Shaitân (Satan) made fairseeming to them that which they used to do. 6:42-43]

And it has been reported about the Rightly Guided Khaleefah [The Chief of the Believers] Umar Bin Abdul Azeez [rahimahullaah], that when an earthquake occurred during his time, he wrote to his governors and commanded them to command the Muslims to repent to Allaah, humble themselves before Allaah and seek forgiveness for their sins.

O Muslims! You are aware of the various trials and calamities that have occurred in this era of ours- from them are the earthquakes in Yemen and in many other lands, the destructive floods, the hurricanes that destroyed a lot of wealth, trees, sea transportation, the various snow falls that brought about innumerable harm, and the starvation and drought in many lands. All this and the various punishments and calamities similar to them are as a result of disbelief, sins, deviation from obedience to Allaah, [sinful] engagement with the Dunyah and its fleeting lusts, turning away from the hereafter and not being prepared for it, except for the one upon whom Allaah bestows His Mercy amongst His slaves.

No doubt these calamities and other than them should make the slaves rush towards repentance to Allaah [Glorified be He] from all that Allaah has forbidden, and they should hasten towards obedience to Allaah and judge by His Sharee’ah. They should co-operate upon righteous and piety, and enjoin one another upon the truth whilst exercising patience upon that.

If the slaves repent to their Lord and humble themselves before Him, and hasten towards what pleases Him, co-operate upon righteousness and piety, enjoin good and forbid evil, Allaah will rectify their affairs and suffice them against the evil of their enemies.  He will establish them upon the earth (i.e. give them authority) and assist them against their enemies.  Allaah [Glorified be He] said:[وَكَانَ حَقًّا عَلَيْنَا نَصْرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ  -And (as for) the believers it was incumbent upon Us to help (them) 30:47  ]

And Allaah (The Most High) said:

ادْعُوا رَبَّكُمْ تَضَرُّعًا وَخُفْيَةً ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ

وَلَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلَاحِهَا وَادْعُوهُ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا ۚ إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret. He likes not the aggressors.  And do not do mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order, and invoke Him with fear and hope; Surely, Allâh’s Mercy is (ever) near unto the good doers.7:55-56

Allaah [The Most High] said:

وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُم مَّتَاعًا حَسَنًا إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ ۖ وَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ كَبِيرٍ

And (commanding you): “Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) 11:3

Allaah [The Most High] said:

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

Allâh has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their religion, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islâm). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear.24:55

Allaah (The Most High) said:

وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ اللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

The believers, men and women, are Auliyâ’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma’rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islâm has forbidden); they perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât) and give the Zakât, and obey Allâh and His Messenger. Allâh will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise?? 9:71

Therefore, Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] makes it clear in these Ayaat, that indeed His Mercy, the Goodness (He bestows), the Safety (that He bestows) and all the other types of His blessings are for the one who fears Him, believes in Him, obeys His Messengers, adheres steadfastly to His Sharee’ah and repents to Him.  As for the one who turns away from obedience to Allaah and refrains from fulfilling Allaah’s Rights due to pride, persists in disbelief and is disobedience to Allaah [The Most High], then Allaah has promised him various types of punishments in this life and the next.  And by way of what Allaah’s perfect wisdom necessitates, Allaah hastens that for him, so that he becomes a lesson and an admonition for other than him, as Allaah [The Most High] stated:

فَلَمَّا نَسُوا مَا ذُكِّرُوا بِهِ فَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَبْوَابَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا فَرِحُوا بِمَا أُوتُوا أَخَذْنَاهُم بَغْتَةً فَإِذَا هُم مُّبْلِسُونَ

فَقُطِعَ دَابِرُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا ۚ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened to them the gates of every (pleasant) thing, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them to punishment, and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows.  So the roots of the people who did wrong were cut off. And all the praises and thanks be to Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinns, and all that exists). 6:44-45

O Muslim Ummah! Call yourselves to account, repent to your Lord, ask for His Forgiveness, rush towards obedience to Him and guard yourselves against disobedience to Him.   Co-operate upon righteousness and piety, and do good, truly Allaah loves the good-doers.  Be just, truly Allaah loves those who are just. Perform numerous righteous deeds before death approaches.

Be merciful to your weak ones and be charitable to your poor ones.  Increase in the Remembrance of Allaah and in seeking His Forgiveness.  Enjoin good and forbid evil in order that you may be shown mercy. Take a lesson from the calamities that have afflicted others due to sins and disobedience.  Indeed, Allaah accepts the repentance of those who repent and shows Mercy to the good-doers.  Allaah [Glorified be He] will grant the good outcomes to the pious ones, as He [Glorified be He] stated:

فَاصْبِرْ ۖ إِنَّ الْعَاقِبَةَ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

So be patient. Surely, the (good) end is for the Muttaqûn. 11:49

Allaah [The Most High] said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوا وَّالَّذِينَ هُم مُّحْسِنُونَ

Truly, Allâh is with those who fear Him (keep their duty unto Him), and those who are Muhsinûn (good-doers) 16:128

And may peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions and those who follow them in goodness till the Day of Judgement.


[Source: Taken from a small risaalah of Imaam Bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) titled: ‘Obligation of repenting to Allaah’ Pages 1-8’ Abridged and slightly paraphrased]

 

 

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The Quran and Sunnah Upon The Understanding of The Salaf

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