Do Not Despair

DespairIt is made clear by studying the Qur’anic verses and the traditions of Ahlul Bayt (s) that the apparent and hidden sins are a psychological disease and this disease is curable by the forgiveness and mercy of Allah. Therefore, they must have hope and expect the forgiveness and mercy of Allah. They must rely on Allah and depend on this positive hope to reach the actual repentance and the true return. Then they must make peace with the Beloved. Finally, they must repair the damage that resulted from all previous sins and remove obstacles that stand in the way of repentance.

DespairIt is made clear by studying the Qur’anic verses and the traditions of Ahlul
Bayt (s) that the apparent and hidden sins are a psychological disease and this
disease is curable by the forgiveness and mercy of Allah. Sinful ones must try
to rescue themselves from this dangerous impasse and deadly hole; they must try
to cure this disease. Therefore, they must have hope and expect the forgiveness
and mercy of Allah. They must rely on Allah and depend on this positive hope to
reach the actual repentance and the true return. Then they must make peace with
the Beloved. Finally, they must repair the damage that resulted from all
previous sins and remove obstacles that stand in the way of repentance. Man is
able to do these things, and turning to Allah and repairing the previous sins
are legal obligations, whereas laziness, weak determination and keeping to the
satanic motto “all that has passed has passed, and all that will come will come”
is prohibited and equal to disbelief.

Allah says:

“…and despair not of Allah’s mercy; surely none despairs of Allah’s mercy except
the unbelieving people.” Qur’an 12:87

Of course, sinful ones, who want to get the forgiveness and mercy of Allah, have
to have hope and expectation. Hope is fostered by serious repentance, giving up
disobedience, repairing the previous sins, paying back to people what is owed to
them, offering missed obligations and reforming conduct, deeds and morals. Then
hope and expectation become possible. For example, the correct hope of a farmer
is to plough his fields in autumn to remove obstacles and dregs, and then he
sows seeds in the spring, waters the crop in the summer and hopes that his seeds
will grow, until, again in the autumn, a rich harvest is his reward.

If hope and expectation are not actively fostered, they will be just empty hope
and unfruitful expectation, like a farmer who expects to get a yield without
working his farm by plowing, seeding and watering. Such illusory and unfruitful
hope is talked about in a very important tradition. Someone said to Abu Abdullah
as-Sadiq (pbuh)*, “Some people commit sins and say ‘we expect (the mercy of
Allah)”. Abu Abdullah (pbuh) said:

“These people sway with wishes. They just tell lies. They do not hope. He who
hopes for something tries to get it, and he who fears something runs away from
it.”[1]

According to this tradition, expecting the mercy of Allah must be accompanied
with abstaining from sins, avoiding vices and doing good deeds so that one can
be fit to get the forgiveness and mercy of Allah. In order to be safe from the
torment of hell, you must first pluck out the causes for deserving torment that
lie deep within you.

Notes:

*. Peace be upon him
1. Al-Kafi, vol.2 p.68.

Source: A selected extract from ‘Repentance: A Cradle of Mercy’ by Husayn
Ansariyan

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