Shaykh Rabī’ b. Hādī al-Madkhalī (حفظه الله)
Shaykh Rabī’ b. Hādī al-Madkhalī (حفظه الله), said:
…There is not a sin except that it is obligatory for the slave [of Allāh] to repent from it; “O you who have believed, repent to Allāh with sincere repentance.” [Surah at-Taḥrīm (66):8], and the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “O people, repent to Allāh. Indeed, I repent 100 times a day, “¹ and in another narration: “more than 70 times a day.”²
So, due to this verse and this Ḥadīth, it obligatory for a Muslim, when he falls into a sin, to hasten to repentance from this sin. “O you who have believed, repent to Allāh with sincere repentance.” [Sūrah at-Taḥrīm (66):8].
Any sin you fall into, it is obligatory for you to genuinely repent to Allāh from it, and it is impermissible for you to persist in that sin, and if it is a minor sin, and you persist in it, it becomes a major sin. For this reason, Allāh said about the reality of the pious, those for whom He prepared Paradise: “and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know.”[Sūrah Āli ’Imrān (3):135]
So, from the characteristics of those whom Allāh has prepared Paradise is that they do not persist in disobedience; rather, they rush and hasten to repent to Allāh (جل وعلا). Repentance is obligatory, and it has conditions:
1. To cease [committing] the sin,
2. Remorse for negligence,
3. Firm resolve not to return [to that sin].
This is the sincere repentance that Allāh (تبارك وتعالى) commanded us with: “O you who have believed, repent to Allāh with sincere repentance.” [Sūrah at-Taḥrīm (66):8].
So, his (i.e. al-Barbahārī’s) (رحمه الله) statement: ‘There is no sin except that a slave of Allāh can repent from it’ means that he must repent, not that he can. It is obligatory for him to repent; “Indeed, Allāh loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.” [Sūrah al-Baqarah (2):222]
In other words: If a person repents sincerely from a sin, and he was truthful in his repentance, then he commits that sin again, his first repentance is accepted, and he must renew his repentance. What is important is that he does not persist; meaning: even if repentance is much, i.e., he makes a mistake and repents, then he makes a mistake and repents; Allāh (تبارك وتعالى) will accept his repentance: “Indeed, Allāh loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.” [Sūrah al-Baqarah (2):222]³
Abū Ādam Jamīl Finch
29th of Muḥarram, 1435AH