The name of Allah: AT-TAWWAAB

In this section we will study in depth the Name of Allah AT-TAWWAAB and all things related to TAWBAH. We will gather many verses and ahadeeth relating to the topic.



The name of Allah AT-TAWWAAB is commonly translated as the Oft Returner or the One Who Accepts Repentance. TAWBAH is an act where the slave repents unto Allah. As we shall soon see both words come from the verb TAA-BA which means ‘to RETURN back to’.

أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَأْخُذُ الصَّدَقَاتِ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

“Do they not know that it is Allah who accepts repentance from His servants and acknowledges their charities and (know) that it is Allah is AT-TAWWAAB (the Acceptor of repentance), AR-RAHEEM?” [TAWBAH:104]

The reality of Tawbah is to leave the path of those who have uncured Allah’s anger (the Jews; they knew the truth but didn’t follow it) and the path of those who went astray (the Christians; who where ignorant of the truth so didn’t follow it) and to come back to the straight path, the path of those whom Allah has favored.


The name AT-TAWWAAB has been mentioned in the Quran 11 times and it is derived from the verb TAA-BA. In Arabic we have many letters, that when connected to this BA give the meaning of returning back to (something). AA-BA, THA-BA TAA-BA all mean to return back to.

This is quite fascinating because the 1st two letters in the Arabic alphabet are ALIF and BAA. These two letters are the beginning (the origin) of the alphabet. Father in Arabic is ABB, your linage goes back (returns) to your father. So there is this concept of going back to an origin/beginning in this verb TAA-BA.

Now the interesting thing about this word TAA-BA is that it applies both to Allah and to the human. So both Allah and the human take part in TAA-BA (retuning to). From the perspective of the human the ‘returning/turning to’ is clear, its when the slave turns back to Allah (making repentance) and in relation to Allah it is Allah turning to His slave (in forgiveness).

The one who does the act of TAA-BA is called TAA-IB. So when ones repents, he is called TAA-IB but when Allah turns towards His slave He is NOT called TAA-IB, He has given Himself the name AT-TAWWAAB. Now TAWWAAB is exactly the same meaning of TAA-IB but it is in the intense form.

As we explained with the name of Allah AR-RAHMAAN

This in Arabic language RAH’MAAN is on the form of FA’AAL indicating something that is excessive and extremely in that particular action. Example If you say you are thirsty you are AA-TISH but if you say عطشان AT’SHAAN this means you are dieing of thirst, you couldn’t be any more thirsty. If you are angry you say you are غاضب GAA-DIB but if you are full of anger you say your are GAD’BAAN meanings you couldn’t be anymore angrier. ALLAH is AR-RAH’MAAN His mercy is at its peak, the unlimited form, it is extreme, beyond imagination. He is FULL of RAHMA.

So when Allah called Himself TAWWAAB (which is on the form of FA’AAL) this is to indicate His turning towards His slaves is extreme, beyond imagination. Consistently, continually without limit.

The question arises, Why is it more intense? Why is Allah not called AT-TAA-IB? i.e when we turn to Him, He turns to Us. This is to indicate that Allah turns towards His slaves more than the slaves turn to Him. Even though we are more in need of Him, than He is of us. How this is will be made clear when we understand the conditions of TAWBAH.



TAWBAH i.e the slave repenting for a sin, has 3 conditions.

1) The slave must realize and acknowledge he has committed a sin & this obviously necessitate the slaves STOPS the sin.

The Prophet (PBUH) said: “If the servant acknowledges his sin and repents, then Allah accepts his repentance.” (Reported by Muslim, End; Trans. vol. 4, no. 6673)

Many people sin and they don’t even know (acknowledge) that they are committing a sin. So they don’t pray, they curse, some even murder and they see no problem in that. Will such a person make TAWBAH? No. (This also explains why Shytaan loves BIDAH, for the one who does an act of BIDAH will not repent from this sin because he thinks he is doing something good). So the 1st stage of TAWBAH (you returning to Allah) is you acknowledging your sin/stop engaging in that sin.

Prior to you turning to Allah (acknowledging your sin), Who has turned to you? It is Allah. If Allah did not turn towards you 1st, you would never have turn towards him (i.e acknowledge your sin) It is Allah AT-TAWWAAB who has made you aware of your sin.

2) Having NADAM regret/remorse. Feeling ashamed of violating Allah’s commands. Probably the most important component to TAWBAH is having this remorse/regret for the sin you have committed. Having this remorse in your heart such that you rebuke yourself,  asking yourself, ‘Why did I do that sin? etc

It was narrated that Ibn Ma’qil said: “I entered with my father upon ‘Abdullah, and I heard him say: ‘The messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: النَّدَمُ تَوْبَةٌ “Regret is repentance.” My father said: ‘Did you hear the Prophet (ﷺ) say: “Regret is repentance?” He said: ‘Yes.’”Grade : Hasan (Darussalam)

This NADAM comes about from two avenues. 1)  For some, when they reflect over the ugliness of the sin they have committed, this is enough for them to feel this NADAM. They realize sins have wordy/hereafter consequences so they think, ‘I have committed a sin, I should anticipate something bad to happen to me in my life/Hereafter etc.

2) For others, just reflecting over the One whom they have disobeyed is enough for them to have this NADAM. When they reflect over the greatness of Allah, His generosity His mercy His Kindness etc this suffices them to turn back to Allah.

How much remorse should one have? An extreme example; think if you was driving your car and you accidentally killed someone. How guilty would you feel? You would not be able to sleep properly, you would not be able to eat properly, you would be thinking about his family constantly etc here you have abused/ taken the right of a creature of Allah. But when you sin (big or small) you have disobeyed intentionally (in most cases)/ taken the right of Allah the King of Kings. How much more should you grieve and have remorse over your sins?

This example truly reflects a sad reality and perhaps explains why we keep falling back into the same sins after we have just made TAWBAH. We have not really regretted (had remorse over) our sins as they deserve to be.

Going back to the point. Know! O slave of Allah! This feeling of remorse/regret it is something that Allah places in your heart. It is Allah who has turned to you again and because He has turned to you, you feel this sense of regret and remorse. For how many have no remorse for there sins. May Allah protect us and continue to turn to us.

So after the slave recognizes his sin and has remorse over it, he now turns to Allah by e.g raising his hand and asking Allah for forgiveness of that sin (even this is from the TAWFEEQ of Allah) and again Allah turns to him by forgiving him (accepts his TAWBAH).

SubhanAllah after guiding the slave to make TAWBAH He then accepts it from him. In this process Allah turns to him on 3 occasions whereas the slave turns to Allah once. It is Allah from the beginning and end. He makes you recognize your fault, then He puts in your heart the feeling of remorse, then He accepts your TAWBAH.

This is why Allah is AT-TAWWAAB. This name is only for Him. You cannot describe the human as AT-TAWWAAB because it is a very intense from of TAA-IB.

This points to something amazing. We sin day and night etc you would think it is us the ones who have sinned that would turn to Him more but its the other way round, it is Allah who turns to us more. AT-TAWWAAB

This should make us feel very humbled because even when we make TAWBAH, in essence it is Allah who has turned to us more than we have turned to Him, so you shouldn’t feel proud of yourself, ‘I have made TAWBAH’, such that you feel that you are above others etc.. Allah guided you to it, it was through His TAWFEEQ, rather be thankful.

3rd You have a firm resolve not to return to the sin.

Repentance is not accepted for a sin that a person persists on committing. The greatest condition for acceptance of repentance is the determination to abandon it:

{ وَمَنْ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلا اللَّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّوا عَلَى مَا فَعَلُوا وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ }
“And who can forgive sins except Allah? – And [who] do not persist in what

they have done while they know.” [Āl ʿImrān 3:135]

Now it could be your weak and you may go back to that sin that you are asking Allah to forgive you for but at least intend, say to yourself ‘I intend not to go back to the sin to the best of my capability’ don’t be like those who Shytaan has deceive them so they say, ‘I know I will go back to that sin so why bother make TAWBAH? No! Rather intend and try your best etc perhaps you have gone back to the sin 100 times but this time Allah will grant you TAWFEEQ etc for if you come to Allah with a sincere intention Allah will come to you with His assistance. As long as you try that sin is forgiven. Regardless of whether you return back to the sin or not. If you return back to the sin then upon you is to repeat the above 3 conditions again.

This is how many people fail. The problem with many of us when we try to abandon sins we rely on ourselves, this is a huge problem. ‘I will stop such and such sin this time…’ ‘I will stop that act’…etc  Yousf, the Prophet of Allah put his TAWAKUL upon Allah 1st and foremost. He didn’t think he could protect himself from the trail of the wife of the Azeez. The Quran states…

And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him (to do an evil act), she closed the doors and said: “Come on, O you.” He said: “I seek protection with Allah! [Yousf:23]

If this is the state of Yousf, than how can we be so sure of our self’s? Rather we should pour our hearts out to Allah, seeking Allah’s help and assistance and protection 1st and foremost.

4 If your sin is related to someone else’s right eg. if you stole someones money then here you must make TAWBAH and give their money back. It is not sufficient to steal someones money and then say ‘ I repent’ you must replay that dept as well. If the sin is that you hid the truth then you must repent and make clear what the truth is etc.

As for if you’ve backbited someone it is advised NOT to go to the person and inform them that you’ve done so. This is the view of Ibn Taymiyyah. Because if you tell someone you’ve backbitten them it could lead to a greater harm rather here it is better to make DUA for that person, speak good of that person in gatherings etc



When ever AT-TAWWAAB is mentioned in the Quran, Allah mention’s it (in most cases) with the name AR-RAHEEM. (AR-RAHEEM is a specific Name/Mercy for the believers). To stusy the name of Allah AR-RAHMAAN AND AR-RAHEEM click HERE.

This is to show us that when Allah turns to His slaves its though His RAHMA. Know that the slave doesn’t deserve this great blessing. The slave doesn’t deserve that Allah turns to him after he has disobeyed Him and transgress all bounds. But Allah out of His intense RAHMA turns to us. If Allah was not to be consistently bestowing upon us this specific mercy where would we be? This point deserves much contemplation.

This may also explain why the word AR-RAHEEM is mentioned more than AR-RAMHAAN in the Quran (RAHMAAN has been mentioned 57 times and RAHEEM 114 times [114 is double of 57]) If Allah did not shower us with His specific mercy the slaves of Allah would be ruined. It is indeed a scary thought.



Allah mentions TAWBAH in relation to the act of purification.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ

Allah loves At-Tawabeen (those who turn much (to Him), and He loves  Al-Mutatahhireen (those who purify themselves ). [Baqarah:222]

Here in the above verse Allah is speaking about two manifestations of purity, those who purify themselves inwardly and outwardly. Why does Allah love Tawbah? Because the act of TAWBAH is an act of purity and Allah loves purity and He loves goodness. The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم  said, “Verily Allah, the Exalted, is (Tyyib) pure and accepts only that which is pure (). [Muslim] & The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “Cleanliness is half the faith (Emaan).” [Muslim]



The ULAAMA have said TAWBAH is obligatory upon every Muslim.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَصُوحًا

O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance! [TAHRIM:8]

NASOOHA is translated as being ‘sincere’ but this simple translation does not really do justice to the word.

NASAHA means something that is pure/unadulterated. In Arabic a tailor is called a NAASIH because he brings together which was separated. So just as sins destroy and tear apart your religion TAWBAH sows it back together again. Tawbatun Nasooha is a TAWBAH that rectifies your religion it, brings your religion back together. If you don’t make TAWBAH to Allah your religion will be distorted.

In his Tafseer, Ibn Kathir says that “Tawbatun Nasooha means a true, firm repentance that erases the evil sins that preceded it and mend the shortcoming of the repenting person, encouraging and directing him to quit the evil that he used to do”.

so there is two tyoes of tawbah a pure one and a lesser one.

Pure from 3 angles 1) a repentace that includes ALL sins a complete and totla repence.

2) the repencace is so strong that there is no doubt that ull do that sin again (somtimes when we repent you may sin but fear/have some doupt that you will fall back into it) but nasuuha you are 3)that repencace comes at a time when there is no reason or motivation for you to have repented.

you repent and the soul motivation behind it for allah (for example you have a haram buissnes and then allah distroyes it so now you make tawba. This is not NASOOHA becuase now he has no chice but to turn to allah where as if he had repented when he still had the ablity to do those sins then this tawbah is of a greater digree)

This brings us to our next point, the one who does not make TAWBAH he is the looser/ destroyed. Allah says

وَمَنْ لَمْ يَتُبْ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

And those who do not make TAWBAH are indeed the dhaalimoon [49:11]

He has oppressed no one, he has not transgressed against no one BUT himself. In this verse something amazing happens. Allah divides the entire world into two groups. Those who make Tawbah and those who are oppressors. There is no 3rd group. the reason why they are dhaalimoon becuase they are ignorant, they think of themselves as rightious inderviduals they are ignorant of their sins and they are ingnorant of their lord the fact that he is Shadeeduleqaab.



Let’s remind ourselves that turning to Allah in repentance greatly pleases Him because it is o­ne of the most beloved acts of worship to Him. By joining the rank of  those who repent, we also earn Allah’s love. Allah says in the Quran:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ

Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves (Baqarah:222)

The Messenger of Allah [PBUH] narrates to us a most amazing hadith in which he states, “Verily, Allāh is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than a person who has his camel in a waterless desert carrying his provision of food and drink and it is lost. He, having lost all hopes (to get that back), lies down in shade and is disappointed about his camel; when all of a sudden he finds that camel standing before him. He takes hold of its reins and then out of boundless joy blurts out: ‘O Allāh, You are my slave and I am Your Rubb’.He commits this mistake out of extreme joy.” [Sahih Muslim, Vol. #4, #6618)

Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen said in his explanation of this ḥadīth:

From the Benefits of this ḥadīth: is evidence of Allāh‘s – azza wa jal – happiness with the repentance of His slave to Him, and that He – subḥānahu wa ta’āla – loves this deed greatly. But this is not due to His need for our deeds and repentance, for Allāh is Free of needs from us, rather this is due to Allāh‘s love for Generosity, for He, subhanahu wata’ala, loves to Pardon and Forgive. This is more beloved to Him than taking retribution and imposing blame. For this reason, Allāh loves the repentance of the slave. So in this ḥadīth, there is encouragement towards repentance, due to Allāh‘s love for it and the benefit it holds for the slave.


By choosing to stay the course prohibited by Allah, we consciously forego Allah’s mercy and the associated benefits and rewards, His protection and help. However, the moment we sincerely repent, we can be assured of Allah’s help in our lives that in turn is a precursor to success in this life and the hereafter.  Allah tells us in the Quran:

وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

“…And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might be successful. (Noor:31)

An interesting insight to this verse.  Allah revealed this verse in Medina after the sahaabah had made Hijrah after they had left all their belogins after they had fought and struggled agaist the disbelivers in jihad at that time Allah sent down this verse. So think about this who is Allah adressing in this verse 1st and formost? it is the likes of ab bakr umar uthman ali the best of the sahaabah and the rest of them … so if allah addresses the best of creation with perhaps … then how much more should we be maing tawbah to allah

Repentance, therefore, paves the way for Allah’s Grace in this life and the hereafter. Within this world, Allah promises us of wealth, children, and increased blessings. Consider the following verses from the Quran:

وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُمْ مَتَاعًا حَسَنًا إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ ۖ وَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ كَبِيرٍ

“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. But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day .” [Hood:3]



By His Mercy to this ummah, Allah has prescribed for us an act of worship which is one of the best acts of worship, by means of which the sinner can draw close to his Lord with the hope of his repentance being accepted. This is Salaat al-tawbah (the prayer of repentance).

Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (RA) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم say: “There is no one who commits a sin then purifies himself (wudu) well and stands and prays two rak’ahs, then asks Allah for forgiveness, but Allah will forgive him. Then he recited this verse:

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُوا اللَّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَنْ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلُوا وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

And those who, when they have committed Faahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; — and none can forgive sins but Allah — And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know. [Imraan:135].” Classed as sahaah by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: Prayers which are done for a reason, such as the prostration of recitation, greeting the mosque, the eclipse prayer, prayer immediately after purifying oneself… The same applies to the prayer of repentance. If a person commits a sin, then it is obligatory to repent straight away, and it is recommended for him to (make fresh wudu) pray two rak’ahs, then repent, as it says in the hadeeth of Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq



Allah has legislated many act of worship. Some are more difficult then others like Jihad, memorizing the Qur’an etc. it requires a lot of time and effort etc but Allah has made the act of TAWBAH so easy upon His slaves. Indeed when we reflect over the ease that is associated with this worship we come to realize we have taken this gift (ease) from Allah for granted.

One example, compare this to The Children of Israel, they kept rebelling against Musa etc they worshiped the calf after Allah had saved them etc their TAWBAH was very difficult. Their condition for TAWBAH was to kill one another.

وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ يَا قَوْمِ إِنَّكُمْ ظَلَمْتُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ بِاتِّخَاذِكُمُ الْعِجْلَ فَتُوبُوا إِلَىٰ بَارِئِكُمْ فَاقْتُلُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ ذَٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ عِنْدَ بَارِئِكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

And (remember) when Musa (Moses) said to his people: “O my people! Verily, you have wronged yourselves by worshiping the calf. So turn in repentance to your Creator and kill yourselves, that will be better for you with your Lord.” Then He accepted your repentance. Truly, He is the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful. [Baqarah:54]

Allah ordered those who worshiped the calf to sit down and those who did not worship the calf to stand holding knives in their hands. They started killing them, some say 70,000 people died. This is what they had to do for Allah to accept their TAWBAH.

But compare this to our method of TAWBAH Allahuakbar you recognize the sin, feel remorse in your heart and ask with your tongue and you are forgiven. Such again is from the Mercy of Allah. It has been made so easy we really have no accuse not to make TAWBAH.



وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَٰهًا آخَرَ وَلَا يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَلَا يَزْنُونَ ۚ وَمَنْ يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ يَلْقَ أَثَامًا يُضَاعَفْ لَهُ الْعَذَابُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَيَخْلُدْ فِيهِ مُهَانًا  إِلَّا مَنْ تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا فَأُولَٰئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا

And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace. 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. [FURQAN:68]

Such is the generosity and mercy of our RABB



One of the greatest obstacles on the path to TAWBAH is someone thinking their sins are to big. We have just mentioned the one who does shirk etc Allah can forgive him and that is easy for Him. But in case that is not enough to settle your heart (you think your sinning is to great to seek forgiveness for), let us see the sin of the companions of the ditch.

In surah Burooj Allah describes the companions of the ditch, they were torturing the believers in such a way that they would separate a child from its mother and would throw the child in the fire before her very eyes. They were sitting by the side of the ditch viewing and enjoying the torment of the believers. Moreover they tried to separate them from their religion. In spite of all these atrocities they had committed, Allah kept open for them the door of repentance. As Allah says

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَتَنُوا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَتُوبُوا فَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ الْحَرِيقِ

Indeed, those who have tortured the believing men and believing women and then have not repented will have the punishment of Hell, and they will have the punishment of the Burning Fire [BUROOJ:10]

(then do not turn in repentance) which is an indication that if they turn in repentance to Allah, Allah would have accepted their repentance. If this is the case for these criminals then what about me and you? How much more should we hope for His forgiveness.

And not to mention the famous story of the man who killed 100 men and Allah forgave him due to his sincere repentance. We really have no excuse. The story of the man that killed 100 men from its valuable lessons is that; we should also attempt to move away from situations and environments that encourage sinful behavior.



إِنَّمَا التَّوْبَةُ عَلَى اللَّهِ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِنْ قَرِيبٍ فَأُولَٰئِكَ يَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا

The repentance accepted by Allah is only for those who do wrong in ignorance and then repent soon after. It is those to whom Allah will turn in forgiveness, and Allah is ever Knowing and Wise. [NISA:17]

This verse has confused many because it states that TAWBAH is only accepted if you sin in ignorance i.e you was unaware, but in most cases we are aware of the HARAM and still do it. So how do we understand this verse? The answer is in what the righteous Salaf said.

Mujahid and others said, “Every person who disobeys Allah by mistake or intentionally is ignorant, until he refrains from the sin.” Qatadah said that, the Companions of the Messenger of Allah agreed that every sin that is committed by intention or otherwise, is committed in ignorance.” Mujahid said, Every person who disobeys Allah (even willfully), is ignorant while committing the act of disobedience.’ Abu Salih said that Ibn Abbas commented, “It is because of one’s ignorance that he commits the error.”

(and repent soon after), “Until just before he looks at the angel of death.” Ad-Dahhak said, “Every thing before death is soon after. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said it means, ‘Just before his last breath leaves his throat’. Ikrimah said, “All of this life is soon.


وَلَيْسَتِ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ إِنِّي تُبْتُ الْآنَ وَلَا الَّذِينَ يَمُوتُونَ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ أَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا

And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: “Now I repent;” nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful punishment. [NISA:18]

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger said,

 إِنَّ اللهَ يَقْبَلُ تَوْبَةَ الْعَبْدِمَالَمْ يُغَرْغِر

Allah accepts the repentance of the slave as long as the soul does not reach the throat. 


The question we ought to ask ourselves is that if we know we are engaged in certain sinful behavior, why wouldn’t we then stop and ask Allah’s forgiveness? As Allah says in the Quran:

أَفَلَا يَتُوبُونَ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَهُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

 Will they not repent/turn to Allah and seek His Forgiveness? For Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful. Quran (Maeda:74)












A Shaikh once said; he was wondering if Allah loves him? So he checked the Qur’an to see what are the characteristics of the people that Allah has mentioned He loves them for.

So he found that Allah loves Al-Muttaqeen (the pious), he says “I wouldn’t dare consider myself one of them”. Then he found that Allah loves As-Sabireen (the patient). So he remembered; “How impatient I am.” He found that Allah loves Al-Mujahedeen (those who strive in HIS path), so he remembered how lazy and powerless he was. Then he found He loves Al-Muhsineen (those who do good deeds). So he remembered how far he is from that.

He says: “So I stopped searching to avoid more disappointment. I reflected on my good deeds, I found most of them are mixed with laziness, coldness, flaws and sins.

Then it came to my mind that Allah loves the at-Tawwabeen (those who repent). I just figured out it is the one for me and for others like me. So I started saying “Astaghfirullah Wa Atoubu Elaih” in abundance so I could be one of the ones Allah loves.”


Ibnul Qayyim al-Jawziyyah said: “The heart becomes sick, as the body becomes sick, and its remedy is al-Tawbah and protection [from transgression]. It becomes rusty as a mirror becomes rusty, and its clarity is obtained by remembrance. It becomes naked as the body becomes naked, and its beautification is at-Taqwa. It becomes hungry and thirsty as the body becomes hungry and thirsty, and its food and drink are knowledge, love, dependence, repentance and servitude.” [Al Fawaa’id pg.111-112]


Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)  reported: The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “Allāh, the Exalted, will continue to stretch out His Hand in the night so that the sinners of the day may repent, and continue to stretch His Hand in the daytime so that the sinners of the night may repent, until the sun rises from the west”.  [Muslim].

Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) says in his explanation of these ahadith: As for the hadith of Abu Musa, it is from Allāh‘s generosity, glorified and exalted be He, that He accepts (one’s) repentance even if it is late. So if the person commits a sin during the day, then Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accepts his repentance even if he repents at night. And similarly, if the person sins at night and then repents during the day, then Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accepts his repentance, and furthermore, He stretches His hand to receive this repentance from His believing servant.



Anas (RAA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

كُلُّ بَنِي آدَمَ خَطَّاءٌ, وَخَيْرُ اَلْخَطَّائِينَ اَلتَّوَّابُونَ

All the sons of Adam are sinners, but the best of sinners are those who repent often.” [At·Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]

Abu Hurairah (RA) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “By the One in Whose Hand my soul is! If you do not commit sins, Allah would replace you with a people who would commit sins and seek forgiveness from Allah; and Allah will certainly forgive them.” [Muslim].

This my brothers and sisters is our state. Know if you cannot acknowledge you are a sinner then know you have been deprived from a lot of goodness.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, “I swear by Allah that I seek Allah’s Pardon and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.” [Al-Bukhari].

So if this is the case for the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) [the best of mankind]. What about you and I. This indeed required deep reflection.

Ibn ‘Umar said: We counted Messenger’s saying a hundred times during one single sitting: رب اغفر لي، وتب على إنك أنت التواب الرحيم Rabb- ighfir li, wa tubb ‘alayya, innaka Antat-Tawwabur-Rahim. (My Rubb! Forgive me and pardon me. Indeed, You are the Oft-Returning with compassion and Ever Merciful). [Abu Dawud and At- Tirmidhi].

There is no point/benefit in making this TAWBAH/ASTAGFIRULLAH  if you cant acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you have many shortcomings. So the more you can realize this, the grater the tawfeeq you will have from Allah in turning to Him.

The righteous salaf viewed themselves as sinners. And here we are not talking about fake humility i.e they where showing to the people ‘I am a sinner etc like this and that’ but actually deep down they thought to themselves  ‘I am this righteous person’

NO! They sincerely thought of themselves as sinners, people who are in error and in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness.



Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “He who says: أستغفر الله الذي لا إله إلا هو الحي القيوم وأتوب إليه ‘Astaghfir ullah-alladhi la ilaha illa Huwal-Haiyul-Qayyumu, wa atubu ilaihi (I seek the forgiveness of Allah, there is no true god except Allah, the Ever-Living, the Self- Subsisting, and I turn to Him in repentance),’ his sins will be forgiven even if he should have run away from the battlefield (while he was engaged in fighting for the Cause of Allah).” [Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim (on conditions of Al-Bukhari and Muslim for accepting Hadith)].


‘Umar was heard to say,

لاَ يُرْحَمُ مَنْ لاَ يَرْحَمُ، وَلاَ يُغْفَرُ لِمَنْ لاَ يَغْفِرُ، وَلاَ يُتَابُ عَلَى مَنْ لاَ يَتُوبُ، وَلاَ يُوقَّ مَنْ لا يُتَوَقَّ

“Anyone who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy. Anyone who does not forgive will not be forgiven. Anyone who does not turn in repentance will not be turned to nor will he be protected or guarded.” Hasan (albani)


Yahya related to me from Malik from Muslim ibn Abi Maryam from Abu Salih as-Samman that Abu Hurayra said, “The actions of people are presented twice each week, on Monday and Thursday. Every trusting slave is forgiven except for a slave who has enmity between him and his brother. It is said, ‘Leave these two until they turn in Tawba. Leave these two until they turn in Tawba.’ ” MUWATTA MALIK


Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi from Abdullah ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said “Whoever drinks wine in this world and does not turn from it in tawba, it is haram for him in the Next World.” MUWATTA MALIK


Ar-Rabi bin Al-Bara bin Azib reported from, his father,: That whenever the Prophet would return from a trip, he would say: آيِبُونَ تَائِبُونَ عَابِدُونَ لِرَبِّنَا حَامِدُونَ “(We are) Returning, repenting, worshipping, and to our Lord directing the praise (Aibuna Ta’buna Abiduna Lirabbina Hamidun).” Grade : Sahih (Darussalam)


Hudhayfah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu reports: “I once met Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam on one of the roads of Madinah. He said,

أَنَا مُحَمَّدٌ، وَأَنَا أَحْمَدُ، وَأَنَا نَبِيُّ الرَّحْمَةِ، وَنَبِيُّ التَّوْبَةِ، وَأَنَا الْمُقَفَّى، وَأَنَا الْحَاشِرُ، وَنَبِيُّ الْمَلاحِمِ

I am Muhammad, and I am Ahmad, and I am the Nabi of Mercy, the Nabi of Repentance, I am Muqaffaa, I am Haashir, and Nabiyyul Malaahim”.

Shama’il Muhammadiyah » The Names Of Sayyidina Rasoolullah


Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah said: “The state of repentance, tawbah, is at the beginning, the middle and the end of all states of submission to the will of Allah (SWT). The servant who seeks the pleasure of Allah never abandons tawbah. He remains in the state of tawbah until his death. Whatever his state of belief, the servant makes tawbah his constant companion. Thus, tawbah is at the beginning and at the end of his servitude to his Creator. His need for tawbah at the end, just as at the beginning, overrides, and supersedes all other needs. Allah (SWT) says: ‘And turn to Allah altogether (make tawbah), O you who believe so that you may succeed.'” (:24:31 )

[Madaarij as-Saalikeen]




The feeling of the one sins how should he feel about his sin

1. he should reflect that he has either forsaken a command or he has done an act that allah has forbidden him from.

2. Then he should realizes that not only did he miss out on the reward from Allah (for not obeying Allah) but now he has opened himself up to receive Allah’s punishment.

3. he must look at and reflect upon Allah’s mercy with him, that Allah did not smite him down/punish him the moment he fell into sin but gave him an opportunity to repent. So he should hake that opportunity to return back to Allah and to not take this as a sign to delay his repentance.

Delaying Repentance

This is something that we sadly may fall into or hear of. ‘O, ill make Tawbah when I get old’ or ‘I sinned in the morning, ill repent in the evening’. This in and of itself is a sin. One must repent from his sin immediately, the longer he delays his repentance the more sinful he becomes (for the delay). Allah say/commands TUBOO.. MAKE TAWBAH! Its a command and must be done immediately and cannot be delayed.

The difference between Tawbah and istigfaar?

  shuaaaib… rahim alwadud.

As we have mentioned Tawbah and Istigfar are the SAME thing in there sense they forfill the same purpose (for the sin to be forgiven). But when they are mentioned in the same sentence in the Quran or Hadith. Then here they will mean something different.

Istigfar here means that you are asking Allah to 1) removes that sin and 2) that He protects you from any evil effects that come about as a result of that sin. The evil effects are of two types 1) you do another sin or you are punished for that sin

When a person does a sin Allah can punish him in two ways or both. 1 way of punishing his is that allah allows him to do more sins/Allah removes His protection from that person. So therefor his sins give birth to greater sins etc Or Allah can punish him in this world (so he becomes ill or that some good that was going to come to him is removed etc) or he could be punished in the hereafter (in the grave, resurrection or Hell etc). So in summery we are asking for the sin and its evil effects to me removed.

So what does Tawbah here mean? Tawbah here means you are asking Allah to protect you from falling into future sins.

so when they are mentioned together in the same sentence they mean different things but when they are mentioned separately they can be used interchangeably for one another.


so whn you call upon ghafoor it means o allah i have sinned so do not let this sin of mine lead to other sins and do not punish me for this sin (wipe away the sin and the evil effect of the sin)


Sins are of two types major and lessor sins if you stay from the big sin Allah will forgive your minor

A major sin is any sin that has a HADD (prescribed legal punishment) attached to it or a sin that is mentioned along side His curse or any sin that earns Allah anger or a punishment.

Ibn Abbas said, ‘The major sins are closer to 700 then 7.’



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