BISMILA-HIR RAHMA-NIR RAHIM
Dear friend of Allah! I invite you to view a subject which is seldom addressed. May the sweet peace of Allah and His Grace be with you. There is a promise in the Honored Qur’an, comes for those who repent . (A voice will say:) "This is what was promised for you,- for every one who turned (to Allah) in sincere repentance, who kept (His Law)” Sura 50:32 Qaf
What is sincere repentance? Who must repent? These are just some of the questions we wish to answer in this short study.
One type of repentance involves a sorrow for something which is done or said that has caused grief or pain to another person. It involves regret or affliction which a person senses on account of his past conduct. Often this repentance is as a result of fear of punishment which may come as a consequence of one’s actions. But this is not sincere repentance.
Sincere repentance is a deep sorrow or contrition for sin as an offense and dishonor to Allah and is seen as violation of His Divine Holy law the Ten Commandments. Through the power of Allah, through the Holy Spirit, repentance can lead to a change in life. Sincere repentance is a change of mind, or a conversion from sin to Allah.
Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice, from conviction that it has offended Allah, even though the deed may have been committed to a person, yet it is still viewed as an offense to Allah. Sincere repentance always has with it a desire to obey Allah’s Holy laws the Ten Commandments.
The Injeel tells us that “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
2 Corinthians 7:10
Sincere repentance is when a person through the power of the Holy Spirit or Ruh of Allah becomes convicted that he is thinking or acting according to that which is in violation of Allah’s Laws. Under deep conviction, he then makes a decision to follow Allah completely and decides to live his life completely for God. The sinner turns away from all known evil in heart and in life through strength given him by Allah. This is true repentance.
The prophet Isa al-Masih had much to say about repentance. Here in the Injeel it is written: “When Jesus heard, He said to them, They who are strong have no need of a physician, but the ones who have illness. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Injeel Mark 2:17 So clear it says that Isa al-Masih called sinners to repent. That includes all of us, for all men and women have need of repentance.
Sincere repentance involves reform!
The sincere repentance spoken of in the Honored Qur’an involves a turning around from a life of sin to a life of godliness. John or Yahya who was the forerunner of Isa al-Masih preached repentance from sin. “And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” Injeel Luke 3:3
Powerful indeed was John’s message… “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don't just say to each other, 'We're safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.' That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. “
Injeel Luke 3:8 Isa al-Masih again confirmed that He came to call sinners to repentance. “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:32
“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Injeel Luke 24:47
The message came to ancient Israel: "Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions, says the Sovereign LORD. Repent, and turn from your sins. Don't let them destroy you!” Taurat Ezekiel 18:30
Signs of sincere repentance!
In ancient times the Taurat speaks of the people of Nineveh who became very wicked. So far had they departed from the ways of Allah that He sent them a message through the prophet Jonah (Yunus). Their ways of wickedness had gone so deep that Allah caused a stirring message to be brought to them. “Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah… saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.“ Jonah 1:1-2
In the following account look for the specific signs which the people of Nineveh performed to show their sincere repentance.
“Jonah began by going a day's journey into the city, proclaiming, "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown." The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth [burlap]. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth [burlap] and sat down in the dust [ashes]. Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish." When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.” Jonah 3:4-10
The people of Nineveh showed true signs of repentance by their earnest change in life. Jonah’s message had caused them to earnestly seek God. From the mightiest ruler down to the humble beasts were dressed in burlap, proclaimed a fast, and sat in ashes as a sign of their humiliation before God. They were urged to leave off their wicked and evil ways and pray to Allah to spare them. Allah heard their prayers and saw their sincere repentance and history reveals that Nineveh that ancient city was averted their destruction by another 140 years. God in mercy will hear our prayers and see our repentance.
Allah promises a new heart
"So I will judge you people. I will judge each of you in keeping with what you have done," announces the LORD and King. "Turn away from your sins! Turn away from all of the evil things you have done. Then sin will not bring you down. Get rid of all of the evil things you have done. Let me give you a new heart and a new spirit. Then you will be faithful to me. Why should you die, people of Israel? When anyone dies, it does not give me any joy," announces the LORD and King. "So turn away from your sins. Then you will live!” Taurat Ezekiel 18:30-32 Allah’s call of repentance is to all people of every nation.
"'For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries…I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. “ Taurat Ezekiel 36:24-27
Now some may ask, how is it that a man will repent? Is it anything of himself? No; because the natural heart is at enmity with God. Then how can the natural heart stir itself up to repentance when it has no power to do so? What is it that brings man to repentance? It is Isa al-Masih. How does He bring man to repentance? There are a thousand ways that He may do this, we simply need to make the request.
Allah’s gift of Repentance!
“Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 2:25
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise…instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:9
“…God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance…” Romans 2:4
How true then, it is simply the abounding Grace of Allah which leads us to repentance. We as humans don’t even know how to repent on our own. We definitely sense the sorrow or guilt of sin but how to turn around, how to make that u-turn in life to turn away from sin in our hearts, that is only the work of Allah. Many by their outward conduct will shun evil and many sins, but if the heart were examined, it would be found that in heart they still desire the evil deed. In heart the sin has not been removed, it is still there and cherished. As long as a sin is cherished it is still holds us captive. Sin must be removed in heart before the soul is free.
We must ask for the gift of true repentance, and Allah will deliver. Remember when Isa came to earth, and not one soul was turned away from their request, but all were healed, so too, whatever our request in healing our sinful hearts. If we would but ask Allah in the privacy of our own lives, He who keeps the universe sustained and all galaxies in their orbit, also has both the time and takes interest in each of us today. Not one souls escapes His notice, not one is too small for Him to see and He is waiting to bestow His Grace on even the least. Dear friend of Allah, ask Him today for the gift of repentance, that our lives may be cleansed from the filth of sin through Isa.
“Turning to Allah in sincere repentance”
Sura 50:32 Qaf