We sin. We sin a lot. There’s no denying, no running away from this fact. It is wrong to sin. Each one of us is accountable for the sins we commit. Being accountable for our sins means we are responsible for what we do, our actions, speech and behavior, every good and bad deed. We are constantly reminded in the Quran and the hadith that Shaytan is our open enemy (ref: The Noble Qur’an 2:168, 6:142, 7:22), who provokes us to sin by whispering evil thoughts to us. We’ve been there, done that, we’ve been warned over and over again, yet we digress. How many times have we fallen into sin and regretted it? Yet, our Lord promises to forgive us if we repent (ref: The Noble Qur’an, 5:39). Just imagine the magnitude of the Mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala who, despite our disobedience, our persistent disobedience, gives us innumerable chances to improve ourselves.
~~ Don’t know why I’m in such a mess
I know the truth yet I digress. ~~
Do you know why Allah forgives us? It is because He is our Creator; He knows us better than we can ever know ourselves. He knows our weaknesses and our shortcomings. And most importantly he knows what is in our hearts. He forgives us because He is the Most Forgiving, the All-Forgiving. His Divine Love should make us want to turn to Him in repentance every day and every minute. And doing so shouldn’t be difficult for us. Then, what stops us? The Prophet sallaAllahu’ alaihi wa sallam used to say the istighfar hundred times a day (ref: Sahih Muslim Book 48, Hadith 53). I can’t help but question yet again, what stops us?
~~ Just happen to lose focus all the time
Why’s it so hard to stay within the line? ~~
It’s not that we don’t want to be forgiven. We can be a better person and do better deeds. But that’s not gonna happen unless we are ready to do just about anything for it (and that certainly does not include something haraam). We just have to put in a little more effort. Just a little bit. Okay, that might sound contradictory at first, but eventually it will all make sense. But how do we do this? Using my limited knowledge, I came up with the following.
First, it is important to keep our hearts pure because normally what is in our heart reflects in our actions; this may not always be true, but it matters nonetheless. If we sin, it does not mean that we are evil or that our hearts are impure, rather the doors to improvement are still open for us as they are for anybody else.
~~ I remember how innocent I was as a kid
My heart was as pure as it can get.
God, I miss those days ~~
Second, I don’t know if this makes sense, but I think that it is important for us to figure out why we sin as it could greatly help us in keeping away from that sin. There is no single definitive answer to this, it is obviously subjective. But the bottom line is that we must understand ourselves, our souls, what drives us and what we need in life. I’m no Psychology major but I do know some basics, and from what I know, we do certain things because of factors which psychologists call “drives” or “motivation”. There is a reason behind everything we do. We eat because we feel hungry. Here, hunger is the drive. So basically, there must be some factor that drives us to sin.
~~ I would go out of my way
So as to please my Rabb
To my heart it was never enough
In faith I wanted to go higher and higher up ~~
Third, once we’ve figured out the reasons for our wrongdoings we should decide how much they matter to us. Sometimes in order to fulfill a noble cause we resort to wrong means. In this case, though the end (the noble cause) is good, contrary to what’s usually believed, it certainly cannot be used to justify the means (the sin). So in situations like these we should seek permissible ways of reaching our goals. Doing so will prevent us from sinning without depriving us of the opportunity to achieve our goals. But when both the end and the means are wrong then there’s only one thing that can be done, which is to abandon both. It’s difficult but we don’t have a choice. (Technically we do as human beings but if we want to put an end to our sins then we must try to cleanse our souls of these imperfections as much as possible.)
~~ I don’t know when and how I fell
Why it didn’t hurt
Why I was content with the dirt
That had stained my heart ~~
Fourth, give ourselves the space to breathe and the time to get used to it. If breathing in and breathing out exercises help, we could try those out as well. Let me tell you why this is important. Sin suffocates our soul. Guilt, remorse, regret, anger don’t make the situation any better. What are we left with? A soul struggling for breath. Not literally, but it’s still essential. Point is, we all know how difficult it is to stop something all of a sudden. We won’t stop sinning overnight, especially if you’re used to doing something, say for example, listening to music. I’m not saying it’s impossible; people do in fact put an end to a bad habit immediately if they have the correct amount of willpower. So if you have the tough cookie sorta personality and are capable of doing so, then go ahead. But if not, don’t be harsh on yourself. What’s important is to keep your intention strong. Remember what was said in the first point, keep our hearts pure meaning we should have a sincere intention to stop a sin solely for the pleasure of our Creator. Once we understand this it’ll be easier to work towards our goal.
~~ All I need now is a chance
For a new beginning, a fresh start
So I can faithfully play my part
As a devoted slave of my Lord. ~~
Remember me in your du’as! ❤