Can the person committing sins be saved from them if he asks Allah for His forgiveness?
Man has been created in a disposition inclined to do both evil and good deeds. For this reason, he may commit sins intentionally or unintentionally. Regarding the matter, Allah lets us know He can grant pardon for any fault with the statement in the Qur’an that “Allah forgiveth not (the sin of) joining other gods with Him; but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins than this” (Qur’an, Women (An-Nisa), 4: 116).
Our books also state that all remorse done from the bottom of one’s heart is going to be accepted. Thus, Allah Almighty decrees that all the repentances can be accepted by saying that “O ye who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance: in the hope that your Lord will remove from you your evil deeds and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow”. Qur’an, -Holding (Something) to be Forbidden (At-Tahrím), 66: 8)
The sincere repentance mentioned in the surah above is as follows :
1- Knowing that one committed a sin against Allah, and taking shelter in Allah and having repentance.
2- Feeling sad because of the wrongdoing he committed, having the sense of penitence since he committed such a sin against his Creator.
3-Having a great determination not to do such an evil deed again.
4- If it involves rightful due of a person, he needs to ask for forgiveness from that person.
In one of his hadiths, our Prophet said thesincere repentance is :
-Feeling remorse from the sins
-performing the fard worships
-Not oppressing and not doing hostility
-Reconciling with sullen and offended persons
-Vowing not to do that sin again.
We can hope that Allah will accept our repentance on condition that we act in accordance with those conditions.
However, man should always remain between hope and fear. We can neither be sure of ourselves and proud of our worships, and nor can we fall in despair because of our sins. It is wrong to consider “I am a very good slave of God and well accepted by Him; similarly, it is mistaken to think that “I am finished, I do not think Allah will accept me. Besides, realizing his own faults and then asking for God’s forgiveness and taking shelter in Allah is a very great worship. The cure for being cleansed of spiritual dirt: Repentance (Tawbah)
Tawbah, which means “turning towards Allah in the dictionary, is known as abandoning sins and turning to Allah as a religious term. 1
Scholars of Islam like Imam Ghazali, Ibn Arabi, Ibn Hajar defined repentance in different ways. 2
Trying to explain it with a lucid and understandable style, we can state that the following: repentance means being aware of the fact that the bad deed, fault and mistakes committed are all sins and thus giving all of them up and turning towards Allah, seeking His forgiveness for our sins, confessing that we feel regretful for what we did and beseeching Allah only.
1. The Importance of Tawbah (repentance): “All mankind is sinful, and the best amongst them is one who repents.” (Ibn Majah, Zuhd, 30). In another hadith our Prophet is reported to have said “if you did not commit any sins, Allah Almighty would destroy all of you and create a nation that would commit sins and then seek His forgiveness. (Muslim, Tawbah, 9, 10, 11)
As it is understood from the hadiths we have just mentioned above, man is created in a nature liable do both bad and good deeds. Committing sins is a feature that differentiates man from angels. Angels are known to have been created from light; they never disobey Allah and at no time do they commit sins.
Islam is the natural disposition for mankind. The truth that man may involve in wrongdoings is accepted by Islam and therefore he has been taught the paths to salvation. Repentance is the remedy to be relieved from our transgressions, sins, misconducts and it s a means of cleansing our spiritual dirt. Man is freed from all of his evil deeds and misdoings through repentance and becomes purified as if he never practiced that iniquity. Thus, regarding the issue, our Prophet said “those turning to Allah in repentance and asking for His forgiveness are purified as though they never did that evil deed.” (Ibn Majah, Zuhd 30)
The God Almighty calls man for repentance and decrees that “And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah in repentance, that ye may be successful.”( the Quran, an-Nur, 24: 31). In another verse, He orders His Messenger “Say: "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. .”( the Quran, The Groups (Az-Zumar), 39: 53).
In that verse, God Almighty commands his Messenger to conduct the message that iniquitous people should not despair their hopes from His mercy. It is because Allah the most Forgiving and Merciful may forgive all sins if He wishes. For this reason, the servants of Allah must turn to Him, submit to Him and give up polytheism and all sins before Allah chastises them.
According to a narration, some polytheists who had committed a lot of sins asked Hazrat Prophet whether their sins would be forgiven if they became Muslims; the verse above was sent down after their questions. That verse calls all people to repentance and to Islam, and it informs that Allah will forgive all of their sins if they become Muslims, opening the doors of hope for sinners.
If the slaves of Allah, no matter how many sins they may have committed, turn to Him in repentance without abandoning hope, He will pardon them. In addition to those verses, there are plenty of hadiths saving the slaves from despair and encouraging them to repent. (See: Bukhari, Anbiya 54; Muslim, Tawbah 46, 47)
Sin is the dirt of the spirit and repentance is the polish of it. Persistence in the sin spoils too much the soul of the slave. Therefore, Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi calls every person to the straight path from marshy ground of wrongdoings with the following utterances:
Come, come, whoever you are.
Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It does not matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow
A thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come.
Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are...
Why does a newborn baby cry? I have read a hadith that when a person is born, the Satan touches him/her and he/she cries. Could you please explain this subject?
The hadith in question is correct. Hz. Abu Hurairah narrated: I heard the Messenger of Allah saying:
No son of Adam shall be born unless that he should be afflicted (touched) by the Satan at the hour of birth, when he initiates his life crying out of the Satan's touch, except Maryam and her son.
While narrating this, Abu Hurairah, recited the following verse about the supplication made by Hazrat Mary’s mother for her child.
O my Lord!.. I commend her and her offspring to Thy protection from the Evil One, the Rejected. (Aal-e-Imran, 3/36) (Bukhari, Anbiya, 44).
Here the Satan’s touching and the child’s crying is interpreted differently. According to some scholars, the crying caused by the Satan’s touch actually originates from the child’s feeling the troubles he will face in the world life. For other scholars, the child cries because of the pain caused by the Satan’s touching.
The fact that the issue is taken into consideration together with Hz. Mary and her son Jesus shows that the touch by the Satan aims at pointing out the existence of satanic prompts, delusions that man faces during his life in the divine test.
The fact that a distinguished mother like Hz. Mary, who gave birth without marrying, and a prominent child like Hz. Jesus, who was born without a father due to a special status, was protected from the touch of the Satan is like a symbol for being away from the harm of evil and remaining pure along their lives.
There can be another evaluation of the subject as follows: According to the science of medicine, the crying of a child is a positive thing. It causes the expansion of lungs. One of the wisdom for children’s crying a lot may be a contribution to develop their reflexes in their new life.
Thus, the touching of the Satan can either be a symbol for the test of life or a symbolic truth expressed – that has not been fully discovered yet – by the science of medicine. So, we think that there is no supportive element for evaluating this crying as an indication for goodness or badness. It is also necessary to regard and evaluate this event as good which is related with children and hope goodness for their future lives.
When the Rizq (sustenance) is mentioned, bodily eating and drinking comes to our mind. I wonder whether there is spiritual Rizq or not?
The Rizq (sustenance) is all what Almighty God has granted for His living creatures to benefit from. Rizq is not composed of the things that are eaten or drunk only. Everything that is being benefited from is called Rizq.
Earthly Rizq includes all kinds of things such as food and drink, cloth and usable goods, money, jewelry, offspring, bodily power for work, knowledge, property and wealth.
Spiritual Rizq includes the things that are the substances of the spirit and the heart. Primarily the belief, all feelings that belong to man’s spiritual life and the needs of those feeling are all spiritual Rizq.
The Rizq of the spirits of man and Jinn is knowledge that leads them to bliss. The most glorious and basic spiritual Rizq is ma'rifat-ullah; that is to say, knowing of God (SWT). After this, other information regarding the basics of belief comes such as worship of Allah, respecting the rights of His slaves and information on knowing the high ethics. The fruit of all of those things is the happiness of eternal life.
Bread, cheese, clothes, shoes, wristwatches, computers, glasses and communication devices are material Rizq; the love of God, prophet and religion, belief and worshipping are spiritual Rizq. Doubtlessly, love of homeland and job are considered as spiritual Rizq, too.
Colors and good flavors are also in the category of spiritual Rizq. God wants us to realize these benefactions. For example, in the 12th verse of ar-Rahman, there is a description of corn with leaves and sweet-smelling plants; and in the 76th verse it is narrated that there are green cushions and marvelous carpets. Even if mountains, seas, sky, gardens on earth and the scenes of parks and forests do not belong to our personal property, they are the examples of Rizq that satisfy the emotional spirits.
So to speak, we can consider both man and the Qur’an as a synthesis. Even man’s slightest and insignificant demands are answered by the holy Qur’an. Many of our senses that even we are not aware of are being satisfied with Qur’an. The persistent call of the Qur’an for the recitation of itself and our prophet’s (PBUH) motivation for this cause emphasizes the importance of this.
Just as our stomach demands Rizq, so too do our eyes and ears demand Rizq. The things for eating, drinking, seeing or hearing were created in order to satisfy and answer them. For example, the spirit of man needs the pleasure giving sound of the recitation of the Qur’an. The mind of man needs the verses that are related to thinking and addressing the mind. The verses that are related with science satisfie the need of man’s hunger of knowledge and the verses that are related with human relations help shaping the social life. The heart, the spirit even the imagination are in need of Rizq and appropriate Rizq has been prepared for them.
How can we get rid of bad habits?
One of the greatest dangers that young people who are open to innovations and changes due to their nature face is bad habits. They can be easily trapped by bad habits due to their nature and their desires for different things.
As a matter of fact, many bad habits form during adolescence.
We can list many bad habits, primarily smoking, drinking alcohol, gambling, taking drugs. The Prophet (pbuh) warned us against bad habits and asked us to spend our time by doing good deeds.
The remedy for bad habits is to obtain good religious knowledge and to practice Islam because such bad habits originate when the mind, heart and spirit are left hungry. However, if we feed our spiritual feelings with belief and worship, if we spend our days by serving our religion and try to inform others about the beauty of our religion, we will not need any bad habits nor will we have time for them.
How can we get rid of a sin that has become a habit?
There is no sin that cannot be abandoned. Each sin can be abandoned through belief, time, place and environment.
The road map for us and for all humanity is the Quran and the Sunnah. We cannot advise anything else to you. That is, we should make the Quran and the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) our guide, arrange our deeds in accordance with them and read the issues of belief and religious books in meditation. That is, if you find books that are related to belief and the Quran or if you meet people who meditate and study those issues and spend some time with them by making use of them, it will be beneficial for you both in the world and the hereafter.
To perform prayers on time, to be careful about major sins and to glorify Allah after prayers will improve you.
To strengthen the will: My will is very weak; what should I do to strengthen my will?
Willmeans to prevent the animal desires and appetites from guiding one’s consciousness and life. The will that has been trained controls the feelings and inclinations first and the thoughts and behavior then; it applies the beneficial and ethical ones; it sends the inappropriate ones to subconscious and imprisons them.
The most legitimate and efficient resources that makes man’s will function and that gives it the power to attain achievements and happiness are true knowledge, sound belief, guileless worship and sincere prayers that come from the heart. Man does what he knows and act based on his belief and thoughts.
Expert psychiatrists say that the most important cause that leads to man to psychological crisis, frenzy, crime and even to suicide is loneliness. The main factor that leads modern man to loneliness is materialistic philosophy that takes man away from virtuous values like spirituality, love, goodness, tolerance and altruism, and makes him a selfish and rapacious creature, and the education systems that are based on it.
Technology, which developed in the last century, has enhanced societies but diminished the borders of the family and friendship, led man to loneliness and imprisoned him in his small ego. Thus, the solidarity in the family and among relatives has disappeared, friendship and sincerity have been lost, and the interests and competitions made people adverse to one another. False smiles, hypocritical words and shallow relationships have made man fall down to the degree of spiritless creatures. However, we should not be deceived by the fact that they have fun and drink together. They are acts that aim to make use of one another in order to get rid of the boredom in them; that is, they are acts that are based on personal interests.
Worship is an element that always strengthens man to resist his soul and a power that weakens the soul. Man who aims to strengthen his will should be careful about his worship, keep away from sins and should be busy with things that will be beneficial to him and the humanity.
Could first humans talk? If they could, what kind of language did they use?
Information in Islamic and Western sources argued that the language Hazrat Adam spoke served as a source for all languages until Doomsday. In the Qur’an Allah (SWT) says: “And He taught Adam the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels and said: "Tell Me the names of these if ye are right." (Al-Baqara 2/31).
Elmalılı M. Hamdi Yazır interpreted this verse as follows; all variations and development of languages by human race until today actually owe to the talent of teaching of the names that was given to Hazrat Adam… “The talent related with language, has a place in human soul peculiar to it.”1 This statement argues that the languages that will be used till Doomsday originate from the names that were taught to Hazrat Adam. According to a hadith reported by Abu Qatada, “Allah taught the name of everything to Adam and Adam described everything by their names.”
It is said that everything was offered to Hz. Adam all at once.”2 Badiuzzaman explains the word of all at once that can expound it in his work, the Twentieth Word, as follows: “It is Prophet Muhammad (BBUH) who manifested in detail with all their degrees all the Names which were taught in brief to Adam (PBH).”
After Hazrat Adam, mankind scattered around various places of the earth. Geographical characteristics, social conditions and the differences in human nature brought differentiation in the field of languages just like in all of the other fields. It can be said that the languages which are used on the earth at the moment came into existence from the names that were taught to Hazrat Adam.
A verse in the Old Testament caused many linguists from East and West to comment differently on the subject of the emergence of different languages.
On this subject, there is broad information in the book of Umberto Eco, “The Search for the Perfect Language in the European Culture”
No matter what the reason of multilingualism is the following is true: Today and throughout history, there have been different associations of the same words among people who use the same language in terms of feeling, thought and terms. The meaning of the talks is generally very different from the meaning of the individual words. As it is stated in the definition of the language, speech is only a means.
What he tries to say is the original source. “That is, the indicator of the language is not the words but the beings themselves.”3 Therefore, the meaning of the words in us is their associations in us. The meaning of the National Anthem is not in the words but in the world that is its counterpart. Mehmet Kaplan explains the issue as follows: Words are not the reality. With a strong reflex, we think that words exactly correspond to things and we are wrong. A person who believes the language is always deceived because the truth is not in the language but in the being that the language indicates.
1- M. H. Yazır, Hak Dini Kur'an Dili, Volume 1, p.267
2- Ibn Kathir, Hadislerle Kur'an Tefsiri, Volume 2, p.279
3- Umberto Eco, Avrupa Kültüründe Kusursuz Dil Arayışı, p.28
4- Mehmet Kaplan, Kültür ve Dil, p. 16
Why do people still not believe though they see realities?
“Many are the Jinns and men We have made for Hell: they have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle nay more misguided: for they are heedless (of warning).” (al-Araf 179) In the verse above, Allah (SWT) declares that He created many man and jinn for Hell. These are the ones that Allah knows they are going to be unbelievers.
Allah expresses that these people have hearts that do not perceive, eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear. Actually it does not mean that these people are unable to perceive, see or hear materially but they do not perceive, see and understand what if beneficial for them in the hereafter and in this world. These sense organs are means for perceiving material things truly; they are also a means for perceiving spiritual things and finding the true path. As it is clearly stated in the verse, those who use them just for material things are the ones who cannot reach the status of humanity and remain at the level of bestiality. Since they do not use their abilities properly, they are far below from animals which have no such abilities.
They are the epitome of inattentive ones. They can be really named as inattentive ones. They have brains and hearts; however, they have no consciousness. They had been the witnesses of their souls but they are unaware of their selves; they do not heed the covenant in their creation. They do not perceive it through their inner observation; they do not hear it through the witnessing of signs that they see or the witnessing of the word of Allah. They have bodies but they have no conscience. They regard the religion as delusion, the book as amusement and the divine word as music. They do not understand the nuances between the divine things and the worldly things; they do not know whose slaves they are; they do not know what or whom to worship. Their hearts pursue pointless desires; their eyes pursue figures and pictures; their ears pursue meaningless sounds. They associate partners with Allah, who created them and gave them hearts, eyes and ears, who made them accept the covenant in their creation, who is the Hearer of All (as-Sami’) and the All-Seeing (al-Basir); they do not mention or remember Allah due to their heedlessness; even if they do, they mention him with the names, attributes and properties that are not suitable for the majesty of Allah.
How should we understand the rule, ‘the beauty of a person’s soul is reflected on the outside’?
To regard those kinds of evaluations as a general rule might cause some misunderstanding. Some people whose physical appearances are not very pleasant might have very nice souls and high ethics. Conversely, some people whose physical appearances are very nice might be like monsters in their inner worlds. For instance, it is not possible not to be mistaken when we compare a black person with a clean soul to a white person who is as sly as a fox.
The following verse gives important clues regarding the issue: “When thou lookest at them, their exteriors please thee; and when they speak, thou listenest to their words. They are as (worthless as hollow) pieces of timber propped up, (unable to stand on their own). They think that every cry is against them. They are the enemies; so beware of them. The curse of Allah be on them! How are they deluded (away from the Truth)!”
However, it is possible to recognize many people whose beauty of souls is reflected on their faces. We can also see that people who utter nice words reflect their love and modesty on their faces and always smile have a nice soul.