Is the statement ’Woe to him who repeats his sin’ a hadith?

The Details of the Question

- Is the state of a person who commits the same sin and repents like his state when he first repented?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Yes, there is a hadith narration in that sense:

“Show mercy to others so that you will be shown mercy. Forgive others so that you will be forgiven. Woe to those who do not listen to advice. Wo to those who insist on doing a bad thing though they know that it is bad.” (Musnad, 2/65, 219)

There is another well-known hadith regarding the issue:

“No big sin will remain as a big sin if one repents and asks for forgiveness. No small sin will remain as a small sin if one insists on doing it.” (Kanzul-Ummal; h. no: 10230)

The following verse informs us about the reward of not insisting on a sin and giving up one’s sin by realizing his mistake:

"And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah?- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done. For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath,- an eternal dwelling: How excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)!" (Aal-i Imran, 3/135-136)

It means there is no excuse for the acceptance of repentance and for a sin to be forgiven but it is necessary not to insist on that sin. What happens if a person continues committing a sin by using the excuse that he cannot overcome his soul and that he is afraid of the reaction of the people around him. A hadith regarding the issue is as follows:

"When the believer commits sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents and gives up that sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished. But if the sin increases, the black spot increases. That is “the sins covering the heart” that Allah mentions in His Book" (Ibn Majah, Zuhd, 29)

The statement "there is a way that goes to unbelief in each sin," expresses an important reality. A person who keeps committing sins gets used to that sin and cannot give it up. This habit leads him to bigger spiritual dangers day by day. He starts to believe that this sin will not have an otherworldly penalty and he even goes too far as to believe that Hell should not exist. That is, that seed of sin that settles in the heart can turn to a tree of oleander – God forbid. (Lem'alar, s. 7; Mesnevî-i Nuriye, s.115)

It is necessary for a person to abandon the sin that necessitates repentance and to pull himself together so as not to be exposed to such a danger and not to be deceived by the hatred of Satan.

However, we can still make mistakes. In that case, we should try to strengthen our contact with God Almighty by activating our mind and conscience and by saying, “I have fallen into this state by breaking my contact with Allah. Thus, I can be saved by establishing a contact with Him.”

Questions on Islam

Was this answer helpful?
In order to make a comment, please login or register