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Repentance and Forgiveness

In the Name of Allah, the Most High.

As we all know, nobody is infallible (Masoom) except Hazrath Rasoolullah PBUH and his PBUH perfect follower as per his PBUH hadees that Mehdi is the caliph of Allah and will not err (khataa na karega).

As the saying goes, to err is human, to forgive is divine. When Adam AS erred and he and Bibi Hawwa repented and prayed to Allah for forgiveness, Allah forgave them and exalted their status.

As Allah says in Surah Baqarah “Then Adam received some words [of prayer] from his Lord and He accepted his repentance. He is the Forgiving One, the Merciful.” (2:37) Allah says in the Quran, Surah Baqarah, verse 222: “Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.” A Hadith as reported by Abu Bakr RZ: The Messenger of Allah PBUH said, “One is not a stubborn sinner if he sincerely seeks forgiveness from Allah, even if he were to do it seventy times in a day.” (Jami’ at-Tirmidhī 3559). We learn from these ayaths and the hadees that to err or to sin is human and to forgive the repentant is the attribute of Allah. At more than 100 places in the Qur’an, Allah described Himself as forgiving (Ghafoor) and merciful (Raheem), and in many verses He has stated His favor of accepting repentance on His servants. In the Quran Allah says, “Tell them, (O Prophet): “My servants who have transgressed against themselves, do not despair of Allah's Mercy. Surely Allah forgives all sins. He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. (39:53).

The transgressions and sins are of two kinds, one is towards Allah and the other is against His creatures, people in general. More precisely known as Huqooq Ullah (the rights of Allah).and Huqooq ul Ibaad (the rights of the people). The transgressions against Allah, one needs to repent and seek forgiveness from Allah, who is Ghafoor and Raheem, the forgiving and the merciful. But the transgressions against His creatures, forgiveness needs to be sought from those who have been wronged. Otherwise, the victims will have the right to claim recompense against the transgressors, on the day of Judgement. We all know the day of judgement is very tough and is the day of accountability for all the good and evil actions of each and every person, as has been described in the Surah Az-zalzalah. “So, whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it. And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it. (99: 7- 8).

It would not be out of place to mention the legend of the third Khalifa of Imamuna AS, Hazrath Bandagimian Shah Naimath RZ, whose Bahr e aam is on 21st Shaban and Urs is on 22nd Shaban. He was the son of a nobleman Shaikh Bade, who held an important position in the court of the king of Gujarat. When his father passed away, he had some disputes with the authorities, and during a quarrel he killed the son of another nobleman Abdullah Habshi, a courtier of the king of Gujarat. The king ordered his arrest and prosecution, so he fled with a few of his followers, with the soldiers in hot pursuit to arrest him and his companions.

While they were passing through the village of Santej, he heard the sound of the Azaan, the call to the prayer. This had such an effect on him that he immediately stopped to offer the prayer (namaz). His companions did not agree to stop because the soldiers were in hot pursuit and they wanted to escape. He dismounted the horse, did the ablution, offered his prayers. While he was offering the prayer, the soldiers arrived at that spot, but instead of a fugitive, they saw a person completely immersed in namaz, and they conferred among themselves and concluded that the person offering the namaz could not be the fugitive they were looking for, and moved on and continued their pursuit.

After offering the namaz, he enquired of the villagers as to who was calling the Azaan in that wilderness and was told that a group of ascetics (Fuqara) is staying in the area. Fortunately for him, out of curiosity, he decided to go and meet that group. When he arrived at the Daira, ImamunaAS welcomed him addressing him by his name saying, “come Mian Naimath, you are the Naimath of Allah (bounty of Allah- Naimath means bounty). The meeting had such an effect on him that he immediately made covenant with Imamuna AS, and told Imamuna AS his circumstances, about murder and other disputes, and expressed his repentance.

Imamuna AS advised him that Allah is Ghafur ur Raheem, forgiving and merciful and will accept his true heartfelt repentance (tauba) and will forgive him. But, for the transgressions towards the creatures, the people or particular person, forgiveness must be sought from the victims. Thus, Hazrath Bandagimian Shah Naimath RZ set out to seek forgiveness from his victims. When he arrived at the residence of Abdullah Habshi, with an unsheathed sword in his hand, Abdullah Habshi got scared, thinking that now it’s his turn to be killed. But looking at the bright face of Hazrath Bandagimian Shah Naimath RZ he realized that this is an entirely changed personality. He came down to meet and was asked for the forgiveness for the murder of his son. He was so impressed that he immediately forgave and asked about the reasons for this revolutionary change in his personality. Hazrath Bandagimiyan Shah Naimath RZ told him that it is the effect of the company and advice of Imamuna AS. On hearing this, he also accompanied him back to the daira of Imamuna AS.

About the concept of tauba or repentance Hazrath Bandagimian Shah Naimath RZ is narrated to have said that -"The condition of repentance (tauba) is like this: Milk comes out of a cow’s udder, but it does not go back into it despite every effort. One should repent like that (that is, one should not relapse into the sin)."

In the company (Sohbath) of Imamuna AS, he achieved great spiritual heights, such is his eminence that he is the third Khalifa of Imamuna AS. While his Daira was at Lohgarh in present day Maharashtra, he was martyred for his faith in Imamuna AS, along with the fuqara of the daira.

May Allah guide us to the right path. Aameen.


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