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Sinning Repeatedly and Asking Allah for His Forgiveness

Have you ever wondered what happens when you sin, then ask for Allah’s forgiveness but then commit the same sin again? Should we still ask for Allah’s forgiveness again? Does Allah forgive a person who sins repeatedly and asks Allah for forgiveness?

Consider this hadith Qudsi from the prophet where he said that Allah said:

“My slave commits sin, then he says, ‘O Allah, forgive me my sin.’ Then Allah says, ‘My slave has committed a sin, but he knows that he has a Lord Who forgives sin and takes away sin. So I forgive My slave.’ Then he commits sin again, and says, ‘O Allah, forgive me my sin.’ Then Allah says, ‘My slave has committed a sin, but he knows that he has a Lord Who forgives sin and takes away sin. So I forgive My slave.’ Then he commits sin again, and says, ‘O Allah, forgive me my sin.’ Then Allah says, ‘My slave has committed a sin, but he knows that he has a Lord Who forgives sin and takes away sin. So I forgive My slave.’ …”

Source: Bukhari (7507) / Muslim (2758)

‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez said in his sermon once: “O people, whoever commits sin, let him seek the forgiveness of Allah and repent. If he does it again, let him seek the forgiveness of Allah and repent, and if he does it again, let him seek the forgiveness of Allah and repent. For it is sin which hangs around a person’s neck, and doom comes from persisting in sin.”

We should remember that we should not wait to ask for Allah’s forgiveness whenever we sin. Asking for Allah’s forgiveness sincerely is much better than not asking for it even though we have been persistent in those sins. It was said to al-Hasan: “Shouldn’t one of us feel too shy to ask his Lord to forgive his sin, then do it again, then ask for forgiveness, then do it again? He said: The Shaytaan wishes that you would have this attitude, so do not tire of asking for forgiveness.

Sooner or later, those of us who sin repeatedly and ask Allah for His forgiveness will feel guilty and ashamed of their behaviors and will cease permanently in committing those sins.

References: Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hakam, 1/164-165.

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