How to Repent to Allah?

the-prayer“And most surely I am most Forgiving to him who repents and believes and does good, then continues to follow the right direction.”  (Qur’an; 20:82)

The Messenger of Allah (swt) also says: “A repentant person is like one who has no sin.”

Once a man came to Imam Ali (as) to repent and when the Imam realized that the man was ignorant of the importance of repentance, he said to him, “Do you know the meaning of repentance? It has an exalted position. It has six conditions for its acceptance and the last two are the conditions of its completion.” Now let’s see what these six conditons are:

  1. Feeling ashamed and regretful for the past sins;

The first one is regretting what has passed. It means looking at the dark deed and being so sorry and ashamed of it that it makes your heart burn.

  1. Taking firm decision for avoidance of sins forever;

The second condition that forms the basis of reference is a decisive resolution not to repeat the foul deed again. Repentance does not depend on the enormity of sin. Every kind of sin, whether big or small, lends itself to repentance provided the Penitent is serious in his or her intention .

  1. Paying all the dues of the people so that when he meets God-Almighty on the Resurrection Day, he does not have any pending claim against him;

One of the two conditions for the acceptance of repentance is to return what belongs to others, whether it is something that is seized or a right that has been trampled on. It must either be returned itself or, at least, the rightful owner must be given satisfaction. If you have nothing left to give back and for example the rightful owner is no longer living, seek forgiveness from God. God willing, He will make that person satisfied.

  1. All the religious obligations (Wajibat) which have not been performed in the past should be discharged as makeup (Qadha) obligations;

Similarly, heavenly rights must also be restored. What are heavenly rights? If you have failed to observe the fast or perform your ritual prayer or failed to make your obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca in spite of being able to bear it physically and financially, you must make up for all these failuresbecause this is the second condition for the acceptance of your repentance.

  1. The person Should feel so sad about his past sins that all the bodily flesh formed as a result of eating forbidden (Haram) should be melted in a manner that skin touches the bare bones until the new flesh is reformed again;

The next point Imam Ali (peace be upon him) mentioned about the condition for the acceptance of repentance is to rid oneself of all the flesh that has grown on one by illegitimate means. This requires the mortification of the flesh, abstinence and self-discipline. It means benefitting from what is legitimate, honest and proper.

  1. The inconvenience and hardship of worshipping should be imposed upon the body as a compensation for the pleasures it fasted because of past sins.

The last condition is to let the body which has tasted the sweetness of sin, also taste the pain of deviation and worship. Fasting is not an easy matter especially if you spend the night in prayer.

What is the philosophy behind “Doa” or asking from Allah?

adult-and-child-making-duaOne of the things that are so much recommended in Islam is the matter of Doa or asking from Allah.

In the dictionaries, the word of “Doa” has been defined as calling or asking.

There are different motives for Doa, like gaining a benefit or being away from a harm in the material or spiritual matters or cursing or asking for forgiveness etc.

When the human knows that he/she is in a very deep and complete need of his/her Lord the All-Mighty Allah, and Allah is needless of everyone or everything and He is the most powerful and the most knowledgeable and the wisest and the most merciful one, and there is a constant and inherent need to such a being, it makes the human to ask from Allah because Allah is in charge of everything.

Asking from Allah is in the innate nature of human, the holy Quran has mentioned it in chapter Isra verse 67:

وَإِذَا مَسَّكُمُ الْضُّرُّ فِي الْبَحْرِ ضَلَّ مَن تَدْعُونَ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاكُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ أَعْرَضْتُمْ وَكَانَ الإِنْسَانُ كَفُورًا

“And when misfortune befalls you at sea, all except He of those to whom you supplicate forsake you; yet when He delivers you safely to the land, you turn away. The human is unthankful”.

we can understand from this verse that at the time of emergency and the time of getting disappointed from everything other than Allah, the human refuges to Allah, but at the other times, many humans forget their Lord and refuge to everyone other than Him.

Doa or asking from Allah, teaches us to remember that there is a lord that He is the only one who can really do everything even though the other people does not want that thing to happen, and this is called  in the theology “التوحید الافعالی” witch mean there is only one being who is independent in His actions and He needs nothing and no one for doing an action, of course this does not mean that we believe in predestination (which means that we are obliged to do anything which Allah wants and we have no will), but this means if Allah wants something to do, no one can overcome His will.

The other philosophy of Doa is that this action is a cause for Zikr or remembrance of Allah and Zikr is the means that gives us tranquility, Allah said in the holy Quran chapter Raad verse 28:

أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

“Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”

Another philosophy of Doa is that it is a way to talk to our beloved Lord, it is very obvious that the one who has fallen in love with someone, always wants to be with his/her beloved and wants to talk to him/her and he/she enjoys this talking so much.

We can ask Allah through Doa to fulfill for us the material wishes or to give us the hereafter bounties and help us to be on the straight path, the path that He is satisfied with us.

Another benefit of Doa is to remove the coming problems from us.

The other philosophy of Doa is that through it, we ask Allah to pay attention to us. Allah said in the holy Quran chapter Forghan verse 77:

قُلْ مَا يَعْبَأُ بِكُمْ رَبِّي لَوْلَا دُعَاؤُكُمْ

“Say: my lord would not concern Himself with you but for your prayer”.

it is good to mention that some people think that if we ask Allah for solving our problems, it means that it is against the system of cause and effect, the system that is prevalent in this world, but we say as the answer to that: let’s imagine an illness, it can be cured through two ways, the first, through using the medical treatments and the second, sometimes through asking from Allah to heal that, so it is not against that scientific system of the world i.e. cause and effect, because the cause can be several.

Imam Sadiq peace be upon him said:

“I advise you to do Doa, because you don’t get near (to Allah) through anything like Doa.”

Let me mention very important topic, and that is the common question, is there any condition for Doa to be fulfilled or let’s say in this way: why some of our Doas are not fulfilled?

For answering this question we must notice that sometimes some of our wishes are not suitable for us to be fulfilled, and because Allah is so much wise and merciful, He does not fulfill that, imagine when a child is ill and eating the cake is harmful for him/her, it might happen that this child asks the parents to give him/her that the cake and he/she may cry and insist on that, but the parents do not give him/her that, in your idea, is this reaction of the parents, a good reaction or not? Can anyone blame the parents because of that and call them stingy or unmerciful?

The same example is applied to our discussion, sometime it is not appropriate for us to have something and for this reason Allah does not fulfill our Doa. But we because of our incomplete and limited knowledge insist on it.

The next answer can be this: how much do we listen to the commands of Allah? I mean how much we obey Allah, that now we except Allah to fulfill our Doa as soon as we ask Him?

But we must not get disappointed from asking Allah, because Imam Ali peace be upon him narrated a Narration from the Prophet of Islam that he said:

“No believer asks Allah except it will be fulfilled, and that happens in different ways, either it is fulfilled in this world or in the hereafter (through changing to the bounties or elevating the position of that person etc.) or it is a cause for forgiving the sins of that person.”



What is the Viewpoints of Islam and Christianity Regarding Allah?

russia-christianity-islam-kurban-313.si_The distinguishing feature of Islam is its insistence on absolute monotheism and the forbidding of anything, at all, to be associated with God. This includes the refusal of the idea that Jesus (peace be upon him), the Messenger of God, was God. Allah says in the Qur’an:

Surely they have disbelieved who say that Allah is the Messiah [Jesus], the son of Mary. But the Messiah said, “O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Truly, whoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and Fire will be his abode. And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers. Surely, they have disbelieved who say, “Allah is the third of three,” for there is no God but Allah Who is one. And if they do not cease what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them…. The Messiah, the son of Mary, was nothing other than a messenger; many were the messengers who passed before him. His mother was a woman of truth…. (5:72-75)

Muslims believe that neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament had mentioned in any way that Jesus was the son of God. According to a contemporary American scholar, Barbara Brown:

The doctrine of divinity states that Jesus is the Son of God, the Word of God made flesh. Even though Jesus himself never claimed to be divine, Paul gave him this attribute for one reason – to gain converts among the Gentiles.

The Gentiles were pagans who were used to worshipping gods that had wonderful legends and myths behind them. Several of the pagan deities of the time such as Mithras, Adonis, Attis, and Osiris were all the offspring of a supreme ruling god, and each had died a violent death at a young age, coming back to life a short time later in order to save their people.

Paul took this into account, giving the pagans something similar in Christianity. He attributed divinity to Jesus, saying he was the Son of God, the Supreme, and that he too had died for their sins. In doing so, Paul compromised the teaching of Jesus with pagan beliefs in order to make Christianity more acceptable to the Gentiles.

The term “son of God” was not something new. However, it had been used in the Old Testament to refer to David (Saul 2:7) and his son Solomon (I Chronicles 22:100) and to refer to Adam (Luke 3:38) in the New Testament. In his famous Sermon on the Mount, detailed in Matthew 5, Jesus tells his listeners, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

In all cases, the term “son of God” was not meant to be applied literally but to signify love and affection from God to the righteous. “Son of God” means a special closeness to God, not to be of God. After all, people are sons of God, and Allah is the creator of all life.2

Christians who lived during the time of Jesus (peace be upon him) believed that he was the divine messenger to them, bringing them the words of God and guiding them. However, after the ascension of Jesus to heaven, Saint Paul, who was deeply influenced by Roman paganism, wanted his preaching of Christianity to be more appealing to the Gentiles, so he compromised the teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him) by adopting certain pagan ideas and interpolating them into Christianity. Thus, the idea of the trinity spread even though it was not part of the original teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him).

Why did Allah send Different Prophets and Different Religions?

-22930 (1)The way of Allah is one, and because the final messenger, Prophet Muhammad (S), has come, there should be no dispute as to what is the right way to follow. However, throughout history, different messengers with slightly different messages were sent to different peoples because the religious needs of humanity were growing and developing just as the human race was itself growing and developing, and also because different civilizations needed different types of guidance. Nevertheless, the source and basic message behind them was the same – namely, Allah the Exalted and Glorious.

Allah sent Moses (peace be upon him) with the Torah as a light and guidance for the Children of Israel (the Jews) along with many other prophets such as David, Solomon, and so on (peace be upon them). 1,500 years after Moses, Allah sent Jesus (peace be upon him), the son of Mary (peace be upon her), confirming the Torah and bringing the Gospel which has also been likened to guidance and light. Finally, 600 years after Jesus (peace be upon him), Allah sent Prophet Muhammad (S) with the Qur’an to confirm all the messages before him and to complete the revelation of religion to mankind.

Since all the Judeo-Christian-Islamic prophets were sent sequentially, the question arises as to why Judaism, Christianity, and Islam now exist as separate religions. The answer is that the followers of these religions, particularly Judaism and Christianity, corrupted the original teachings given to them and ended up making sects of their own rather than following the pure word of God. But as the Qur’an says:

For each of you, We have made a Law and a clear way. If Allah had willed, He would have made you one nation but that He may test you in what He has given you. So strive as a race in good deeds. Your return is to Allah; then He will inform you about that which you used to differ. (5:48)

What is the meaning of the word “Allah”?


The word “Allah” which is translated into God is a particular and the most comprehensive of God’s names. This name is used only for God because each name of the Lord, the Almighty, reflects a single attribute of God. It is the only name that combines and includes all the attributes of divine perfection. In other words, “Allah” incorporates all the features of glory and beauty.[1]
“Allah is derived from the root “valah” which means perplexity, because the mind is perplexed when it tries to understand the divine essence.
The Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) has been reported as having said:
“Allah means the worshipped one, by Whom people are bewildered, and to Whom they are submissive. Allah is the One veiled from the grasp of sights, and the One hidden from imagination and contemplation.”[2]
Some have said that “Allah” is derived from “Alah (worship) and it is from the root word “al-Ilah” which means the only (righteously) worshipped (deity). God’s other names are often used to refer to one of the attributes of Allah. For example, “Ghafoor” and “Rahim” refer to God’s compassion and mercy:
“فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِیمٌ”.
“Allah is surely Forgiving, Merciful.”[3]
The attribute “Sami'” refers to God’s knowledge of what is heard and “Alim” refers to His knowledge of everything:
“فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِیعٌ عَلِیمٌ”
“Allah is surely Hearing, Knowing.”[4]
“Basir” signifies His knowledge of those things that are seen.
“وَ اللَّهُ بَصِیرٌ بِما تَعْمَلُونَ”
“And Allah is Seer of what ye do.”[5]
“Razzaq” (Bestower of Sustenance) refers to God’s sustaining of all the creatures. “Zulquwah” refers to His power and “Matin” to His being strong:
“إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الرَّزَّاقُ ذُو الْقُوَّةِ الْمَتِینُ”
“Surely Allah is the Bestower of sustenance, the Lord of Power, the Strong.”[6]
Finally “Khaliq” (Creator) and “Bari'” (Evolver) refer to God’s creation and “Musawir” indicates His bestowing of “forms”:
“ُوَ اللَّهُ الْخالِقُ الْبارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ لَهُ الْأَسْماءُ الْحُسْنى”
“He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms (or Colours). To Him belongs the Most Beautiful Names.”[7]
In fact, it is only “Allah” which is God’s most comprehensive name. It is for the same reason that many attributes in a single verse qualifies the name “Allah”:
“ُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِی لا إِلهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْمَلِکُ الْقُدُّوسُ السَّلامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَیْمِنُ الْعَزِیزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَکَبِّر” سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا یُشْرِکُونَ.
“Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god;- the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection), the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme: Glory to Allah! (High is He) above the partners they attribute to Him.”[8]
One of the clear proofs showing the comprehensiveness of this name is that expressing faith and belief is possible only through the sentence “La ilaha illallah” (There is no deity but Allah). Therefore, sentences like “There is no deity but the Knowledgeable”, “but the Creator” or “but the Sustainer” and the likes cannot incorporate and corporate monotheism and Islam. It is for the same reason that when other religions speak of the “worshipped deity” of Muslims, they use the name “Allah” because describing God by “Allah” is particular to Muslims.


[1] – Tafsir Namunah, vol.1, pg. 21 and 22
[2] – Behar al-Answar
[3] – Al-Baqarah: 226
[4] – Al-Baqarah: 227
[5] – Hujurat: 18
[6] – Al-Dhariyat: 58
[7] – Al-Hashr:24
[8] – Al-Hashr: 23

Why does Allah (s.w.t.) test people?

The topic of Divine trial is an issue of great debate and discussion. The first question that comes to mind is: Are trials not for understanding matters which are obscure, hence eliminating our ignorance? If so, why does Allah (s.w.t.), Who possesses knowledge of the hidden and the manifest of everything within the heavens and the earth, have to examine and test (the people)? Does there exist something, which is concealed from Him and which may become manifest for Him by means of examination?The answer lies in the fact that the concept of examination with respect to Allah (s.w.t.) is vastly different from that, with respect to us.

Our examinations are that which has been stated above, i.e. for a better comprehension and for clearing away ambiguity and ignorance, whilst the Divine trials are, in reality, development and training.

In the Noble Qur’an there are more than twenty instances of examinations that have been attributed to Allah (s.w.t.). This is a general law (of conduct) of Allah (s.w.t.), implemented by Him for the development of man’s hidden abilities (and bringing them from potentiality into actuality), thereby enabling him to progress. Just as iron, for acquiring greater strength, is put into a furnace to make it tempered, similarly man is also nurtured within the furnace of adversities in order that he becomes steadfast.

In reality, the examination of Allah (s.w.t.) resembles the work of an experienced gardener, who sows the seeds in a fertile soil. These seeds, benefiting from the natural bounties, begin to grow gradually – combating adversities, battling unfavourable conditions and enduring violent storms – until they end up in the form of a spray or a copious gargantuan tree, capable of continuing their existence in the face of hardships.

For the purpose of making soldiers tough, militarily, they are made to participate in numerous different exercises and war games, wherein they are subjected to various hardships such as hunger, thirst, heat, chillness, adverse conditions and severe obstacles, in order that they develop into accomplished, conditioned and proficient soldiers.

And this is the secret of Divine examinations.

The Noble Qur’an has asserted this reality, when it says:

وَ لِيَبْـتَلِيَ اللٌّهُ مَا فِي صُدُورِكُمْ وَ لِيُمَحِّصَ مَا فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ وَ اللٌّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ

“And that Allah (s.w.t.) might test what was in your chests and that He might purge what was in your hearts; and Allah (s.w.t.) knows what is in the hearts.”1

The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), in a statement very profound in meaning regarding the philosophy of Divine trials, says:

وَ إِنْ كَانَ سُبْحَانَهُ أَعْلَمَ بِهِمْ مِنْ أَنْـفُسِهِمْ وَ لٌكِنْ لِتَظْهَرَ الأََفْعَالُ الَّتِي بِهَا يُسْتَحَقُّ الثَّوَابُ وَ الْعِقَابُ‏.

“Although Allah (s.w.t.) s more aware of their souls than they themselves are, He tries them so that their deeds, which necessitate reward and punishment, become manifest.”2

Accordingly, the internal attributes of man can only be a measure for reward or chastisement when they manifest themselves in man’s actions. Allah (s.w.t.) tries man to enable that which he possesses in the interior to become manifest in deed and, his talents and abilities emerge from potentiality into actuality.

In the absence of Divine examination, these talents and abilities would have never flourished, and consequently the fruits of deeds would have never manifested themselves upon the branches of the tree of human existence; and this is the philosophy of Divine trials from the Islamic perspective.3
1. Surat Ale ‘Imran (3), Verse 154
2. Nahjul Balagha, Short Saying 93
3. Tafsir-e-Namuna, vol. 1, pg. 526