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Last Updated: 2011/05/08
Summary of question
One who has repeatedly repented and broken his repentance and now doubts frequently about Allah and the imams, has Allah forsaken such a person? What is the way to gain proximity to Allah?
question
I fell in love with a boy at the age of 16 but wasn’t aware of his intentions and unintentionally and out of forgetfulness of Allah and because of my affection for him, committed a great sin with him, but after a while, he got married and left me with my problems. From that day forward, I took refuge in Allah and my faith in Him grew day by day, but I would sometimes remember the sin I had committed and would masturbate, but my fear of Allah would cause me to repent. I have violated my repentance many times. Recently, I have faced a certain problem; whenever I am busy in worship, Shaytan comes to me and causes me to doubt in everything (God’s existence, the Quran’s truthfulness, the imams) although I know such doubts are false. Can it be that Allah has forsaken me? I love Allah.
Concise answer

Sin and disobedience brings about one’s destruction, while repentance and a resolution to refrain from sin is movement towards salvation. Shaytan is man's enemy and all of his efforts go into creating temptations and suggestions in human beings, and creating a distance between them and God, who is most merciful and kind. He attempts to create this distance by pushing them to drown in a sea of sins and crimes against God, which causes their separation. This is while God loves all of his servants, including those who are sinners and oppressors; in addition, he wishes that they reach felicity and happiness. Also, since in private you feel ashamed and embarrassed in front of God from your sins, this shows that you have a pure nature and that God has favored you with his grace. Since you are after a way for making up for your sins and past mistakes, this is an indication that God has entered these thoughts into your mind, so that you will, through these means, save yourself (with the aid of God) from these evils and sicknesses. Therefore, keep in mind this great blessing of God, and before losing the opportunity, purify yourself of these sins and the consequences of these sins by truly repenting to God. Know that God is your helper and friend in this matter and is always with you; in addition, he will never leave you alone.

Detailed Answer

Sins are much akin to a dirty swamp; the more an individual immerses themselves in it, the more polluted they become and the closer they get to destruction and annihilation. On the other hand, repentance and making a serious decision to abstain from sins is itself salvation and a great victory, which opens the doors to the mercy of God. An individual who reaches this stage (of repentance) has gained a great victory and he must do his utmost to strengthen further his intentions and inclinations towards fighting against sins. In addition, he must attempt to keep himself in this state perpetually.

One point of dire importance, is the special favor and grace which God bestows upon someone who repents; repentance destroys and effaces all of the sins and negative consequences of sins before God. God has mentioned in the Holy Quran that: (قُلْ یَـٰعِبَادِىَ ٱلَّذِینَ أَسْرَفُوا۟ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا۟ مِن رَّحْمَةِ ٱللَّهِ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ یَغْفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ جَمِیعًا إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلْغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِیمُ), which means ‘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. [1]   [2]

Know that the doubts coming into your heart are, without a doubt, from Shaytan who is seriously after separating you from the all-kind Allah. In order to be able to stand up to his suggestions, you need to remember that he is an evil being who is man’s enemy and has sworn to misguide and deviate Allah’s servants. [3] All of his efforts go into creating temptations and suggestions in human beings, and creating a distance between them and God, who is most merciful and kind. He attempts to create this distance by pushing them to drown in a sea of sins and crimes against God, which causes their separation. This is while God loves all of his servants, including those who are sinners and oppressors; in addition, he wishes that they reach felicity and happiness. At the same time he is averse to their unworthy actions, and it is for this very reason that he has sent his most favored servants, who are the Prophets (a), to guide and assist the people of this earth. He has also kept Imam Mahdi (a) alive and hidden throughout all these years for this very purpose, in order that he may guide the select amongst humanity. No one is therefore allowed to become hopeless of the mercy of God, as He Himself says: “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” [4] . [5] This is because despairing of God’s mercy is considered thinking badly of God and this is counted as one of the greatest of sins.

Therefore, since in private you feel ashamed and embarrassed in front of God from your sins, this shows that you have a pure nature and that God has favored you with his grace. Since you are after a way for making up for your sins and past mistakes, this is an indication that God has entered these thoughts into your mind, so that you will, through these means, save yourself (with the aid of God) from these evils and sicknesses. Therefore, keep in mind this great blessing of God, and before losing the opportunity, purify yourself of these sins and the consequences of these sins by truly repenting to God. Know that God is your helper and friend in this matter and is always with you; in addition, he will never leave you alone.

Having hope in Allah’s mercy and regretting past sins and eventually, true and sincere repentance are an important step towards being loved by Allah and is a smooth road towards guidance and salvation, something that worries Shaytan.

For further information, see:

1- Ways of being purified of sin, Question 11511 (website: 11345).

2- The intensification of punishment for insisting on sin, Question 1612 (website: 1613).

3- Forgiveness of Great Sins, Question 11512 (website: 11351).

4- How long to refrain from sin for immunity, Question 1018 (website: 1076).

5- Ways of gaining God’s affection, Question 5578 (website: 5856).

6- Repentance from Masturbation, Question 2144 (website: 2268).



[1] Zumar:53

[2] Adopted from Question 3192 (website: 3444), Repentance from Sin.

[3] Saad:82 “قالَ فَبِعِزَّتِکَ لَأُغْوِیَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعینَ”.

[4] Zumar:53 “قُلْ یا عِبادِیَ الَّذینَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلى‏ أَنْفُسِهِمْ لا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ یَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمیعاً إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحیمُ”.

[5] Adopted from Question 2144 (website: 2268), Repentance from Masturbation.

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