Advice to the one who delays repentance | The official website of Sheikh Muhammad Ali FERKUS
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Sunday 5 Shawwâl 1445 H - April 14, 2024 G

Fatwa n° 872

Category: Miscellaneous Fatwas – Softening The Hearts

Advice to the one who delays repentance


What is your advice to a young bachelor who teaches little boys, towards whom he has inclination to the point that he committed sins because he has friendly relations with them and he delays repentance? And may Allah reward you.


All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.

Know that the way to expiate sins is the way of repentance and asking pardon from Allah عزّ وجل. Allah عزّ وجل said:

﴿أَفَلَا يَتُوبُونَ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَيَسۡتَغۡفِرُونَهُۥ[المائدة: 74].

The meaning of the verse:

So will they not repent to Allah and seek his forgiveness?﴿ [Al-Mâ’ida: 74], and He said also:

﴿وَأَنِ ٱسۡتَغۡفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمۡ ثُمَّ تُوبُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهِ[هود: 3].

The meaning of the verse:

Seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him﴿ [Hûd: 3].

So the one who wants repentance from his sins has to leave them by heart and limbs, feel regret and decide to not return to such sins. Indeed, pardon necessitates leaving sins and reforming one’s self. Allah عزّ وجل said:

﴿فَمَن تَابَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ ظُلۡمِهِۦ وَأَصۡلَحَ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَتُوبُ عَلَيۡهِۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٞ رَّحِيمٌ ٣٩[المائدة: 39].

The meaning of the verse:

But whoever repents after his wrongdoing and reforms, indeed, Allah will turn to him in forgiveness. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful﴿ [Al-Mâ’ida: 39], and he has also to change the bad work into a good one to make his repentance true. Allah عزّ وجل said:

﴿إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلٗا صَٰلِحٗا فَأُوْلَٰٓئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ ٱللَّهُ سَيِّ‍َٔاتِهِمۡ حَسَنَٰتٖۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ غَفُورٗا رَّحِيمٗا ٧٠ وَمَن تَابَ وَعَمِلَ صَٰلِحٗا فَإِنَّهُۥ يَتُوبُ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ مَتَابٗا ٧١[الفرقان].

The meaning of the verse:

Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful﴿ [Al-Furqân: 70-71], and changing bad deeds is by avoiding sources of trials that lead you to desires and obscenity such as having relations with small children, beardless persons and women, and if he cannot avoid them only through leaving the profession of teaching, he has to leave it because: “The forbidden which cannot be left only by leaving the whole, leaving it becomes an obligation”.

Repentance is obligatory according to the sound meaning of verses and traditions, and there is no divergence about its obligation according to Allah saying:

﴿يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ تُوبُوٓاْ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ تَوۡبَةٗ نَّصُوحًا[التحريم: 8].

The meaning of the verse:

Ô you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance.﴿ [At-Tahrîm: 8], i.e. free of impurities, and it is obligatory immediately according to Allah saying:

﴿إِنَّمَا ٱلتَّوۡبَةُ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ لِلَّذِينَ يَعۡمَلُونَ ٱلسُّوٓءَ بِجَهَٰلَةٖ ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٖ فَأُوْلَٰٓئِكَ يَتُوبُ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡهِمۡۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمٗا ١٧[النساء: 17].

The meaning of the verse:

The repentance accepted by Allah is only for those who do wrong in ignorance (or carelessness) and then repent soon (after). It is those to whom Allah will turn in forgiveness, and Allah is ever Knowing and Wise﴿ [An-Nişâ’: 17], An-Nawawî said: “They agreed that repentance from all sins is obligatory, and it has not to be delayed, either it is a great or a small sin”(1). After that you have to know that sins lead to ruin and it is necessary to leave them, and the one who does not leave them loses the perfect meaning of faith, according to the hadith of the Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عليه وآله وسَلَّم: “The fornicator is not a believer at the moment when he is committing fornication(2). So, you have to follow the path of guidance, and to leave the path of misguidance, and to abide by religious integrity so as to achieve dignity. In addition, you may read the book entitled “Ad-Dâ’ Wa Ad-Dawâ”(3) written by Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyya, you will find in it what helps you to reform yourself, your behaviour and morals; so you will return to truthfulness and you will be aware from trials and desires after repentance, because returning to those sins makes one’s religion in danger. The same thing concerning the one who delays repentance, this one is between two great ruins: either darkness covers his heart until it will be fully dark and does not accept to be erased, or death comes quickly, therefore, he will not find time to do good deeds to erase sins and wrong deeds.

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ; and our last prayer is all the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers of Allah are to Muhammad and his Family, Companions and Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.

Algiers on: Rabî‘ Al-Awwal the 21st, 1429 H.
Corresponding to: March the 29th, 2008 G.

(1) See: “Sharh Muslim” by An-Nawawî (59/17).

(2) Reported by Al-Bukhârî (2475) and Muslim (57), from hadith of Abû Hurayra رضي الله عنه.

(3) See: the monthly word in the official Website, entitled: (The Ways of Salvation from Sins and the Expiation of Misdeeds).