Two Essential Conditions of Repentance

Repentance is an integral component in the life and path of the believer, and is based upon the light and teachings of the Holy Qur’an as well as the noble example, way and sunnah of the beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. There are two essential conditions for repentance to be true, valid and effective, and by deepening our sincerity in repentance, we accelerate our spiritual development and progress towards the Divine Presence of our Lord and Creator, Allah Almighty.

Two Conditions of Repentance

The noble and blessed Messenger of God, the last and final prophet sent to humanity for guidance towards that which is excellent and beautiful, Sayyiduna Muhammad ﷺ stated that he seeks forgiveness from his Lord at least seventy (in other narrations one hundred) times each day.

As human beings and as creatures still bound by limited consciousness, we err continuously. Yet as we grow in awareness and in excellence, we increasingly immerse ourselves in repentance and the seeking of the pleasure of God Most High.

It is absolutely essential for a believer to be sincere in repentance, and in seeking the forgiveness and grace of God, there are two essential conditions for repentance.

Essential Conditions for Repentance: #1, Remorse

The first and foremost condition of repentance is remorse. If there is no remorse, there is no point to ask for forgiveness. Yet with remorse, we attract the healing mercy and grace of God, and His divine light to guide us beyond the very errors we have committed.

Because the human ego has reached a gross level of arrogance, pride and narcissism in the modern world, the conscious, intentional, sincere and humble seeking of forgiveness through daily repentance is more important than perhaps ever before.

The only path to God is through the humility and surrender that ultimately leads to selflessness, or the transcendence of the self and of ego-based consciousness, the primary veil between a creature and his or her Creator.

If by the mercy of God our sight and vision are opened to see the consequences of our sins, mistakes and transgressions, we will truly be remorseful and will immerse ourselves in repentance, thereby growing in love for God, His Messenger ﷺ, the believers and all that is good.

Yet if we persist in arrogance, self-righteousness and self-validation, our hearts will be veiled from Divine mercy and light, and we will be barred from the Divine Presence.

The way of the noble Messenger of God ﷺ is the way of humility. Towards increasingly developing the beauty of such prophetic character and thus the pleasure of God, let us make repentance a daily part of our lives. And for repentance to be valid and acceptable in the Presence of God, the first condition of repentance is remorse, sincerely feeling ashamed for our transgressions against His law and the Way of the Prophet ﷺ.

With remorse, Allah Almighty, the One who is Forgiving, Loving, Kind, Compassionate and Pardoning will erase our sins, heal us from the traumas they cause our own souls, and elevate us in His Divine Presence.

Who humbles him or herself will be raised by God in His Divine Presence, and who is arrogant or proud will be very far from the Presence of the Most Merciful.

Essential Conditions for Repentance: #2, Repentance

Once there is acknowledgement and remorse for the wrongdoing, the next step then is to actually apologize and ask for forgiveness. One can simply say astaghfirullah with consciousness and with intent, and it is a good practice to seek forgiveness continually.

By increasingly becoming aware of our sins and transgressions, we grow in awareness, consciousness and transcendence of self. It is but attachment to the self and identification with the ego and personality that veils us from Truth and Reality. The believer is one who does not seek to perpetually validate the self, but is rather he or she who seeks to transcend the self and thus rise to the Divine Presence of God, the ultimate pleasure, joy, happiness, success and freedom.

It is important to mention that if we have hurt another human being by our actions, it is very important to apologize and ask for their forgiveness as well, if at all possible. There is nothing more beautiful and endearing than a human being that admits their mistakes and apologizes for them. Thus the humble advance, improve and enjoy happiness and success. Such humility and excellence is most pleasing to and rewarded by God Almighty.

We must remember that the great sin of Iblis was rebellion against the order of the Most High as a result of arrogance and pride, and he continues in error by refusing to seek forgiveness for his mistake and transgression. Pride and arrogance in the heart are the source of all sin, yet through humility and surrender, we are purified, awakened and brought near unto the Divine Presence of our Lord, Allah Almighty.

Once one acknowledges their transgression against the way of excellence established by God and His Messenger ﷺ, the second essential condition for repentance is to actually repent by apologizing and asking for forgiveness.

The Conditions of Repentance and Ultimate Success

Allah Almighty is the Most Merciful and Forgiving, the Most Loving and Kind, the One Who Pardons and the One Who Heals. Yet there is a deeper secret in seeking forgiveness. When we sin, we transgress against and harm our own souls. By seeking repentance and asking for forgiveness, we actually heal ourselves and shift our own paradigms to one of mercy, light and love.

Often, we do not admit wrong and seek forgiveness because we are not ready to forgive ourselves. We subconsciously, or in the case of true arrogance, consciously resist repentance because we have not yet developed the necessary compassion towards our very selves that we are worthy of forgiveness and love.

By seeking forgiveness through repentance, we in fact affirm that our Lord is the Lord of Mercy and Compassion, and that we are through His light, love and grace worthy of forgiveness, pardon and healing.

Beloved brothers and sisters, honor these two fundamental and essential conditions of repentance, seek forgiveness constantly and daily as did our beloved Messenger ﷺ, and you will grow in both awareness, transcendence and most importantly the pleasure of the Most High Who will lift you towards His Divine Presence, the ultimate success.

To your divine, eternal and absolute success.

14 Comments on “Two Essential Conditions of Repentance”

  1. in the name of the divine ligth

    assalamo aleyka dear one

    thanks for your remenbers and very useful articles about some points of spirituality.
    maybe inshallah in future we can share wise articles.
    i follow the sufi path naqshbandi fro skhykh nazim,and also the school of filosofia perenes,like rene guenon,hossein nasr schuon,etc…
    well the best for you

    ya haqq

    1. Allahu Haq, may Allah Almighty bless and support your pursuit of knowledge, and lead to that which is most pleasing to He. Endless blessings upon our teachers and upon the Prophet ﷺ, may we be raised with them in Eternity. Allah Kareem.

  2. I saw a video in youtube “What is SUFISM? “. oh my goodness,your (ihsan Alexander) lecture is just outstanding and very fundamental topic of Islam .!!!!!. unbelievable man.. where from you learn this? your speech is very very true and hundred percent similar with my concept. Nowadays this kind of personnel ( who are Holdings Sufi aqeeda) are rarely seen. even some of muslims are not admit SUFISM…. Realy i m so much appreciate of your lecture…Can i chat or talk with you (Ihsan Alexander) .?.

    1. Alhamdulillah, all praise and light are with Allah Almighty. The best we can do is remove ourselves from the way and allow His light and will to shine through us. May He Almighty make us clean, pure and blessed servants. Allahumma Ameen.

      Please join us in either the Islamic Meditation Program or Awakenings Academy, in which you will find many like-minded souls on the path of knowledge, wisdom, self-development and personal excellence.

      To your divine success.

    1. Shukran brother Rashid, please keep us in your duas. May Allah Almighty bless and strengthen our Ummah in His light.

  3. Dear Ihsan, thank you very much for your message.
    As human being, we often need to be reminded so that we can always stay in a good path all the time.
    May Allah protect you. Salaam ??

    1. Allahumma Ameen, jazakullah khairun dear sister Widjorini. May God’s grace, guidance, protection and light be with you, your loved ones and community. Best of blessings always.

  4. So inspirational and touching. May Allah SWH continue to guide and bless you and the entire Islamic Ummah. Ameen

    1. Ameen to your blessed duas, brother Mamoudou, indeed may Allah Almighty bless our Ummah with light, love, excellence and beauty. To your divine and eternal success.

  5. Thank you brother. Your article has been timely. Through it, I was able to receive exactly what I required at this moment. This is Allah’s grace. God bless…

    I have often struggled with unnecessary guilt to such an extent that at one time I seemed to be wallowing in it. This stemmed from a lack of compassion for myself and an admonishing parental voice that I had internalized. I was stuck in the cycle of guilt and remorse and asking for forgiveness. I needed them to remind myself of Allah’s mercy. I surrendered fully to Allah and lay everything – all my travails – on his feet and this was liberating. This went on for a while. Gradually in the realization of Allah’s compassion, and internalization of that loving presence, I garnered some freedom from unnecessary guilt. By not identifying with a good ego or a bad ego, I melted into His loving presence.

    When we really have done something that we suspect may be against the law, the burden of that ‘me’ becomes heavy. We get so attached to this guilty lil me that we perpetuate it with the continuous self criticism in our head. Instead if we surrender to Allah and show our helplessness, we will be guided and comforted… Thank you once again…

    1. Blessed salaams of peace, light, love, compassion and grace. Indeed, the self-blaming self is just another side of the same coin that keeps us trapped in identification with the self, the “me,” the “I.” Yet beyond is the pure clear field of Allah Almighty’s divine mercy and light oceans. Insha’llah we reach there with excellence. To your divine and eternal success.

    1. Jazakullah khairun, may Allah Almighty reward and bless us all together brother Jibril, and guide us to that which leads to success and to His divine pleasure. Ameen.

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