As humans, we are bound to make mistakes or indulge in sins knowingly or unknowingly. However, a successful Muslim is he who learns from his mistakes, rises up to the challenges, regrets what he did and sincerely repents to Allah SWT, vowing not to commit the same mistake again.
There are several examples in the Quran and Sunnah that talk about repentance, forgiveness, and Allah’s mercy to help us overcome our shortcomings and become the best version of ourselves with Allah’s help.
The story of Adam (A.S)’s repentance
Let us take a look at the example of our father Adam (alayhi salam) and see what we can learn from his life, In Sha Allah.
Adam (alayhi salam) was the first person to be created by Allah swt. When he was created, Allah commanded all the angels to bow down to him. Iblees, who was not an angel but was known to be extremely pious and obedient, had been given the same status as that of an angel, and was living with other angels. Therefore, when Allah created Adam (alayhi salam) and asked all the angels to prostrate in front of Adam (alayhi salam), Iblees was asked to prostrate too.
All the angels obeyed the commandment of Allah and prostrated. Iblees, however, refused to do so. When Allah asked him why he didn’t follow what he was commanded to do, Iblees haughtily replied, “You made me from fire and Adam from clay.” He considered himself to be superior in creation to Adam and could not believe that he was being asked to prostrate in front of a human being. This refusal of his made Allah angry, and He therefore expelled Iblees from Jannah and gave him the news of severe punishment of hellfire. Even after hearing about his punishment, Iblees’s ego and superiority complex made him arrogant. He refused to seek forgiveness from Allah and challenged Allah, telling Him that he would lead many humans away from Islam.
When Adam (alayhi salam) and his wife Hawwa (alayhi salam) were given the honor of dwelling in Paradise, Allah commanded them to not go near a particular tree. They were given free access to everything else that was in Paradise. Ibless, however, had other plans. He slowly but relentlessly enticed them to go near the forbidden tree and consume its fruit. Adam (alayhi salam) and Hawwa (alayhi salam) fell for Ibless’s whisperings and finally ended up consuming the fruit. As soon as they did this, they realized their mistake. They remembered Allah’s command and knew that they had disobeyed Him. They immediately repented to Allah. Looking at their sincere repentance and remorse, Allah forgave them and accepted Adam’s (alayhi salam) Dua.
This story teaches us that:
- When we make a mistake, we must immediately repent.
- We need to look out for duas of repentance in the Quran, and use them in our day-to-day lives.
- Even the best of creation faltered, but they rose up by seeking Allah’s forgiveness, guidance, and mercy.
- We must learn to keep our ego in check and not let feelings of superiority or arrogance enter our hearts. These are characteristics of Iblees, and we must always be wary of them.
- When we see someone else committing a mistake, we must try to forgive them and remind them of Allah.
- Every time we repent and seek Allah’s forgiveness, we come one step closer to Him and His reward of Jannah, In Sha Allah