Easy Guide to Taubah


Allah (swt) says:

 تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ


Allah (swt) uses the word “ila” which means towards, towards Allah. It means that taubah is a paradigm shift. Leave all the dictates of society, of fashion, trends, whatever you think makes you cool and hip, and turn towards Allah (swt), turn towards His deen.

If you take even one step towards Him, if you even come to Him one hand span, Allah (swt) says in Hadith Qudsi that He comes to you an arm’s length. And if you come walking to Him, He comes running to you. It means that our Lord Allah (swt) is the most merciful of beings. He just wants us to draw close to Him. May Allah (swt) give all of us the ability today to pledge to bring Allah back into our life, that we will turn to Him sincerely in repentance, that we too want to be the people who please Him and who feel Him.

Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an Al Kareem:

اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا يُخْرِجُهُمْ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ


“Allah (swt) is a protecting friend of the believers. He takes them out of the darkness of disbelief. He takes him out of the darkness and oppression of their sins. He takes him out of the darkness of his desires, and brings him into the life of belief, in a light of purity, in a light of His obedience.


It is true that man was created apt to fall prey to his nafs and Shaytaan.  But Allah swt is so merciful to us that He didn’t leave us without a way to still gain His love and forgiveness and a way to be guided and light shone upon. Allah swt as part of His infinite mercies  gave us the process of repentence, called Taubah.

Taubah means to turn to Allah swt. It means that we should turn away from sins and turn toward Allah swt.  We must allow our hearts to weep with remorse and leave all that tries to turn us towards Allah swt. We must allow the salts of our tears to melt away the impurities which have gathered on our hearts and strive towards leading a life of righteousness.

The very first thing we need to do and do on a regular basis is Taubah. Taubah is a formal process of repentance, unlike simple istaghfar, which we can do any time and in any shape by simply uttering istaghfar, I seek forgiveness.  Our mashayikh have outlined and described the proper steps to Taubah so that we can become aware of what Allah swt wishes from us in our journey back to Him, back to His deen, back to piety and righteousness, and having our taubah accepted.

4 Steps to Getting our Taubah Accepted: 

1. Extreme desire and promise to stop sinning. Make a sincere promise to never repeat that sin again. Sometimes despite our most sincere promise to not repeat that sin, we do. We return back to that sin, and so we once again must feel remorse and repeat the steps of Taubah. Allah swt will absolutely, on His promise, forgive any person who sins and properly repents.  We should never delay or refrain from making taubah. Just as we’d not stop washing clothes just because we know they will become dirty again, we must also keep cleansing our hearts and purifying it from sins.  Allah swt is the Most Merciful, the Most Forgiving.  Allah swt never tires of forgiving us.

2. We must forgive people if we want Allah swt to forgive us. If someone does something wrong to us, we should strive to forgive that person, even though it’s within our rights not to. We should never hold a grudge or malice for another person in our hearts.  It comes in a Hadith Mubaraka that a person’s duaa will not be accepted on Laylatul Qadr who doesn’t forgive others.  Allah swt has mercy on those who has mercy on others.  There are many rights of Allah swt and many rights of the people of Allah swt. If someone wrongs us in this world, we’ll have the right to collect recompense on the Day of Judgement, but if we forgive  that person who wrongs us, Allah swt will give many, many times more rewards if we forgive those wrongs instead. As well, in this world, we must ask people we wrong to forgive us for the wrongs we do against them and make our best efforts for their forgiveness because we cannot afford for our deeds to be taken on the Day of Judgement.  It’s also be told by our teachers that if a person is not physically able to ask a person for forgiveness, they should do some good deeds or give charity etc and do it with full intention that the reward of those deeds should go to the person whom we wronged.

3. Keep ourselves away from the people and things which brought us to that sin. We should change our environment that encourages us to sin and avoid the company of sinners.   A bad friend is worse than ShayTaan because ShayTaan only puts thought of sin in the mind, but the friend will take us by the hand, lead us to sin, and then keep pressuring us to sin.  He will not leave us alone until we do that sin. We trust our friends, and we fall prey to whom we call friends. So we have to make certain we do not have bad friends or keep bad company. If we don’t cut off bad company, it means we are not sincere in our taubah.

4. Increase in good deeds. We should never despair when we fall into sin. Of course we should feel bad when we sin, and we can feel the gap of distance between us and Allah swt, but we should not become depressed and stop doing good deeds. We should never approach the feeling where we don’t desire or feel like worshipping Allah swt.  The ones who do wrong themselves, who sin, break Allah’s rules, and break the Sunnah, should never despair the mercy of Allah swt. If we were to feel so much despair that we leave our worship, it is essentially as if we are saying that Allah swt is not Merciful enough to have mercy on us or that Allah swt is not Forgiving enough to forgive us – and we should never discount Allah swt and His dhaat and His qualities. We are still the servants of Allah swt not matter how bad our sins are.  Allah swt doesn’t disown us. We will always remain among the ranks of His servants despite our sinning.


The person who makes taubah will gain beautiful rewards:

1. Allah swt will erase the records of the sins of the person who does sincere taubah. He forgives him and cleans him as though he never sinned.  Every aspect of sin from his body will be forgiven as though it never existed.

2. Allah swt preserves the one who repents. He protects him from ShayTaan.  He tells ShayTaan that they will be protected from him. Allah swt will give the one who repents the strength, the taufeeq to avoid that sin.  When one repents, Allah swt becomes His friend who protects us from ShayTaan. Allah swt blesses him and gives him taufeeq from this sin and all other sins.

3. Allah swt will include the one who repents among the ones He loves, the Auliya, the friends of Allah swt. That person will become the beloved of Allah swt. It seems like sinners should be rejected, but Allah swt will love the sinners deeply if they repent.


To listen to talks by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed, please visit: http://www.islamicspirituality.org



This writing was inspired, not word for word, by the following talk by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed


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