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Last Updated: 2009/10/22
Summary of question
What is the way to become free from fornication and how is one supposed to repent from it?
question
What is the way to become free from fornication and how is one supposed to repent from it?
Concise answer

The best way to be freed of sin is to get rid of ignorance and unawareness. If we continuously remember the greatness and magnanimousness of Allah (swt) and the never-ending blessings He has bestowed upon us and His other servants, we will try to show our gratitude and somewhat return Him the favor instead of disobeying and working against Him. Also, if we take into consideration His knowledge and wisdom when it comes to legislating Islamic law, we will be sure that whatever He has prohibited us from is to our harm and whatever He has made mandatory is to our benefit. This way, we will never work against ourselves by committing haram acts or not performing wajib ones.

At the same time, if one looks at his high status in comparison to all other creatures and that sin is harmful to this status, he will never be willing to lose such a value just for a few seconds of transient pleasure.

Repentance or “tawbah” essentially means for one to regret what he has done which calls for him to make a strong resolve not repeat it, and to make up for things that are capable of being made up for. The istighfar (saying astaghfirullah) reflects this meaning. Therefore, it can be said that the main elements of true repentance are five things: 1- To refrain from the sin 2- Regret and disappointment 3- Making a strong decision not to repeat it 4- Compensating for the past 5- Istighfar.[i]



[i] Tafsir Nemouneh, vol. 24, pg. 290.

Detailed Answer

The most important factor that contributes to one sinning, is his unawareness and ignorance. If Shaytan ever succeeds in distracting one from his true rank, the greatness, knowledge, wisdom and grace of Allah (swt), His never-ending blessings, the harms and disadvantages of sin, etc., that person will be vulnerable to sin and disobedience. Also, not being aware of the existential values of man, of the great outcomes of modesty and chastity, of the bad outcomes and disadvantages of sin and just plainly not knowing what Allah (swt) has commanded us to do and what to refrain from all lead to one sinning. [1]

The best way to be saved from sin is to get rid of unawareness and ignorance. If we continuously remember the greatness and magnanimousness of Allah (swt) and the never-ending blessings He has bestowed upon us and His other servants, we will try to show our gratitude and somewhat return Him the favor instead of disobeying and working against Him. Also, if we take into consideration His knowledge and wisdom when it comes to legislating Islamic law, we will be sure that whatever He has prohibited us from is to our harm and whatever He has made mandatory is to our benefit. This way, we will never work against ourselves by committing haram acts or not performing wajib ones.

At the same time, if one looks at his high status in comparison to all other creatures and that sin is harmful to this status, he will never be willing to lose such a value just for a few seconds of transient pleasure.

A practical way to save those who suffer from sinning:

The first thing that must be clarified is to identify what stage one who sins is at, so that the right decision can be made regarding changing him. If he is in the first stages, reminding him of general things like what we said above in a decent and sweet method and substituting halal pleasures instead of haram ones can be beneficial. But if he is past the first stages and sin has become part of him and his life, taking over his mind, the only thing that can be done is for a skillful individual to first become friends with him and then make him doubtful regarding his mindset by questioning it through different arguments, and finally to replace his false beliefs with true ones, saving him from the ‘swamp’ of sin and helping him to the ‘garden’ of obedience.

The Quran tells us that there are numerous ways of one’s sins being overlooked and forgiven.

a) One of the most important ones is repentance; a repentance that is accompanied by regret and disappointment of what has been done in the past, a strong decision not to repeat it and finally, compensating for the bad things that have been done through good deeds. There are many verses that express this fact, but to keep it short, we will only mention one:

هُوَ الَّذِی یَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبادِهِ وَ یَعْفُوا عَنِ السَّیِّئاتِ [2] (It is He who accepts the repentance of His servants, and excuses their misdeeds).

Repentance or “tawbah” essentially means for one to regret what he has done which calls for him to make a strong resolve not repeat it, and to make up for things that are capable of being made up for. The istighfar (saying astaghfirullah)reflects this meaning. Therefore, it can be said that the main elements of true repentance are five things: 1- To refrain from the sin 2- Regret and disappointment 3- Making a strong decision not to repeat it 4- Compensating for the past 5- Istighfar. [3]

b) Exceptional good deeds also bring forgiveness, as the Quran says: “ إِنَّ الْحَسَناتِ یُذْهِبْنَ السَّیِّئاتِ [4] (Indeed good deeds efface misdeeds).

c) Refraining from the “great sins” causes our “small sins” to be forgiven: “إِنْ تَجْتَنِبُوا کَبائِرَ ما تُنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُکَفِّرْ عَنْکُمْ سَیِّئاتِکُمْ وَ نُدْخِلْکُمْ مُدْخَلاً کَریماً [5] (If you avoid the major sins that you are forbidden, We will absolve you of your misdeeds, and admit you to a noble abode). [6]

d) Displaying forbearance during hardship and tragedies in this world lightens the burden of sin that may rest on our shoulders. Also, the hardship one may experience during the barzakh and after death before the Day of Judgment will also help in purifying him. [7]

Please refer to the following for more information:

1- Question 6148 (website: 6350) (Repenting from sin).

2- Question 4649 (website: ) (Repentance during the final seconds).

3- Question 3704 (website: 3955) (Repentance and becoming beloved by Allah (swt)).



[1] Abdullah Javadi Amoli, Tasnim, vol. 3, pg. 397; Naser Makarem Shirazi, Payame Quran, vol. 1, pg. 88.

[2] Shura:25.

[3] Tafsir Nemouneh, vol. 24, pg. 290.

[4] Hud:114.

[5] Nisa:31.

[6] Mohammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi, Amuzeshe Aqa’ed, pg. 477.

[7] Amuzeshe Aqa’ed, pg. 481.

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