How Can You Deal With The Guilt Of Sin?

We should never lose hope in the Mercy of Allah. No matter how great our sin may be, we should never forget he is the Most Merciful and the Most Forgiving.

We should never lose hope in the Mercy of Allah. No matter how great our sin may be, we should never forget he is the Most Merciful and the Most Forgiving.

Among the creations of Allah (SWT), humans and the jinns are given the power of choice except for the angels (who are sinless). Because of this power of choice and free will, we make mistakes and often slip into committing a sin. This is a part of human nature.

No one is perfect. We all make mistakes, and sometimes we feel guilty about the things we have done wrong. And, if you are a Muslim, it can be especially difficult to deal with the guilt of sin. You may feel ashamed and unworthy of Allah’s mercy. But remember that Allah is always willing to forgive us if we repent sincerely. 

Here are some tips on how to deal with the guilt of sin: 

1) Acknowledge your mistake and repent honestly

Many people feel guilty after committing a sin. This feeling of guilt is what makes us among the people of Ihsan. Al-Ihsan is the third degree of the faith.

This guilt can manifest in different ways, such as feeling ashamed, we think we are not worthy of Allah’s forgiveness, or our sin is too great to be forgiven. But, these thoughts which are the whispers of the Shaytaan are more dangerous to our Imaan.

So the first thing to do to deal with the guilt of sin is to honestly, earnestly acknowledge it.

Acknowledging the fact that we have sinned and feeling a sense of guilt after sinning is a positive sign. In fact, that acknowledgment is a sign that we have Imaan (faith) in our hearts. On the other hand, if we do not accept that we did something wrong and do not feel bad about it is a problem. 

But, what should we do after acknowledging our sin? We make sincere taubah (repentance) hoping for Allah’s forgiveness. Indeed he is Ar-Rahman (The Most Beneficent) and Ar-Raheem (The Most Merciful). He forgives sincere repentance from a sincere heart. And Allah knows best.

“Every son of Adam is a sinner, but the best of sinners are those who repent often.” (At-Tirmidhi- Hasan)

The Art of Repentance

2) Don’t dwell on your guilt – focus on moving forward positively

Once you have acknowledged your mistake and repented, it is important not to dwell on your guilt. This only makes things worse.

Keep asking for Allah’s forgiveness (SWT) with a firm intention to change and kill that feeling of guilt. And, focus on moving forward positively. Make a plan to change your ways and avoid sin in the future.

Some people are habituated to certain sins like watching porn, drinking alcohol, or haram relationships. It can be really difficult to let go of these sins. To deal with such sins, try to realize the triggers that lead you to commit those sins. For example, when you are alone in your bedroom, you have a laptop, you watch a short clip that triggers you and that may end up in you watching far more filthy stuff. So, how do you avoid it?

If you have the urge to commit a sin when you are alone, try to be around someone. When you have the urge to drink, try engaging in other good deeds instead. If you kill the triggers, the chances of you going back to that sin are less. This will help you to avoid that sin and feel guilty later on.

Allah (SWT)  says: “Take one step toward me, I will take ten steps towards you. Walk towards me, I will run towards you.”

3) Seek out counseling or spiritual guidance if needed

If you are still struggling to deal with the guilt of sin, it is important to seek out counseling or spiritual guidance if needed.

There are many imams and counselors who can help you through such difficult times. Sometimes, all we need is someone to talk to who will understand our situation and help us find a way to move forward.

If you are feeling lost and confused, don’t hesitate to seek out help. It is nothing to be ashamed of. We all need help from time to time, and there is no shame in asking for it.

4) Don’t take advantage of Allah’s (SWT) mercy

Many people make the mistake of taking advantage of Allah’s mercy. They think that because Allah is merciful and forgiving, they can sin as much as they want and He will forgive them. But this is not the case. We must never take advantage of Allah’s mercy or think that He will always forgive us no matter what we do.

Allah (SWT) is AL-‘ALEEM and He knows the state of our hearts. If we continue to sin without feeling any remorse or guilt, then we are in danger of hardening our hearts. And if our hearts become hardened, it will be much harder for us to repent and turn back to Allah.

So, we must never take advantage of Allah’s mercy. We must always strive to do our best and avoid sinning. If we do sin, then we must immediately repent and turn back to Him.

The Prophet Muhammad (saw)  said: “Actions are according to intentions, and everyone will get what was intended.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Read these 8 beautiful hadiths on repentance 🙏🏼

5) Make dua

Make a lot of dua to Allah (SWT) to keep you on a straight path and fill your heart with Imaan.

It is said that ‘prevention is better than cure’. In this case, ‘Prevention is better than feeling guilty’. Make sincere dua and avoid the triggers of sins to prevent you from feeling that shame and gaining Allah’s (SWT) anger.

Ali (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah (SWT) said to me, 

Recite:  اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِني ، وسَدِّدْنِي

‘Allaahummah-dinee wa saddidnee’

(O Allah! Guide me and grant me success)  [Sahih Muslim 2725]

We should never lose hope in the Mercy of Allah. No matter how great our sin may be, we should never forget he is the Most Merciful and the Most Forgiving. If we repent sincerely, He will forgive us and help us to start anew. And Allah knows (SWT) best.

May Allah help us all to find forgiveness and to turn back to Him with sincere repentance. Ameen.