Remember when Moses (peace be upon him) hit a man, and accidentally killed him? Or when Youssef’s brothers plotted against him and threw him in the hidden depths of a well? Remember when Adam (peace be upon him) committed the first sin of humanity and ate from the forbidden tree? And the man who killed a hundred souls and then died on his way to repentance?
Do you know what happened to them next?
Moses ran away from Egypt and headed to Madyan where he stayed there for ten years, and then on his way back home, he got spoken to by Allah SWT. Youssef’s brothers were admitted to Allah’s mercy and forgiveness and later became prophets. Adam descended to Earth and was honored as Allah’s most gracious creation and successor. As for the killer, he was sent to paradise, as Allah moved the land for him making the place of his death closer to the city of the pious people than the city of his last sin.
Can you see a pattern?
All of them sinned, and some of them even committed major sins. Nevertheless, they all got rewarded by Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and even grace. But how is that possible when sins are such a terrible thing?
The Wisdom of Sinning
Sins are a mercy in disguise decreed by Allah upon humans as a doorway to His presence. Although sins are shortcomings with negative implications, and in many cases are the reason why many people got punished, they are intended to bring us closer to Allah if only we comprehend its wisdom:
Perfecting Our Servitude to Allah
Allah SWT created us as incomplete human beings and preserved perfection for Him alone. Yet, we as human beings find it very hard to admit our incompleteness and in many cases, claim or aim for perfection. This pursuit of perfection stands in the way of our servitude to Allah because a servant is one who is always in need of his Lord. Yet, if this servant feels whole, he would seldom turn to his Lord and consequently would be deprived of a relationship of closeness with Him. That is one of the reasons why Allah decreed sinning upon us as a reminder of our need for Him and a way back to His presence. When we learn how to call upon Allah through a pressing need, we could experience a new level of closeness we never knew existed. All it takes is to seek His refuge.
Protecting Our Hearts from Pride
Another piece of wisdom is that sins protect our hearts from conceit and pride. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
He who has, in his heart, an ant’s weight of arrogance will not enter Jannah.”
Reported by Muslim
The Prophet also said, ” On the Day of Judgement, Allah, Most High, will descend to His slaves to judge between them, every nation shall be kneeling, the first of those who will be called before Him will be a man who memorized the Qur’an, and a man who was killed in the cause of Allah, and a wealthy man. Allah will say to the reciter: ‘Did I not teach you what I revealed to My Messenger?’ He says: ‘Of course O Lord!’ He says: ‘Then what did you do with what you learned?’ He said: ‘I would stand (in prayer reciting) with it during all hours of the night and all hours of the day.’ Then Allah would say to him: ‘You have lied.’ And the angels will say: ‘You have lied.’ Allah will say to him: ‘Rather, you wanted it to be said that so-and-so is a reciter. And that was said.’ The person with the wealth will be brought, and Allah will say to him: ‘Was I not so generous with you, such that I did not leave you having any need from anyone?’ He will say: ‘Of course O Lord!’ He says: ‘Then what did you do with what I gave to you?’ He says: ‘I would nurture the ties of kinship and give charity.’ Then Allah will say to him: ‘You have lied.’ And the angels will say to him: ‘You have lied.’ Allah, Most High, will say: ‘Rather, you wanted it to be said that so-and-so is so generous, and that was said.’ Then the one who was killed in Allah’s cause shall be brought, and Allah will say to him: ‘For what were you killed?’ So he says: ‘I was commanded to fight in Your cause, so I fought until I was killed.’ Allah [Most High] will say to him: ‘You have lied.’ And the angels will say to him: ‘You have lied.’ Allah [Most High] will say: ‘Rather, you wanted it to be said that so-and-so is brave, and that was said. These first three are the creatures of Allah with whom the fire will be inflamed on the Day of Judgement” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi).
Sometimes, when we do good deeds, we feel proud of ourselves, and hence such deeds are doubtfully sincere. That is why, on the other hand, when we commit mistakes we despair because in both cases we were dependant on our deeds and not on Allah’s acceptance or forgiveness. This is when sins can be an occasion for learning because they act as a reminder of our shortcomings and therefore leave us little or no room for bragging and self-satisfaction. So, on a closer look, they guard our hearts against pride and consequently from hellfire. Ibn Atta’ Allah al-Sakandari said: “A sin that produces humbleness and need is better than an act of worship that produces arrogance and prejudice.”
A Calling to Allah’s Forgiveness and Blessings
Allah SWT determined sinning on human beings for His wisdom to grant us a taste of forgiveness and mercy. Just like a drowning person who would forever be grateful to his savior, sinners would forever be grateful to Allah when forgiven and hence get closer to Him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
By the One in Whose Hand my soul is, were you not to commit sins, Allah would replace you with a people who would commit sins and then seek forgiveness from Allah; Allah would forgive them.”
Reported by Muslim
Allah created us as sinners, so leaving sins to deviate us from His path is an objective misunderstood. Only people in need would appreciate the help and so do sinners when they find the door to repentance and taste the blessing of Allah’s mercy.
A Shortcut to Mountains of Good Deeds
Allah SWT said: “Except for him who repents, and believes, and does righteous deeds, So those whom Allah would turn their sins into good deeds, He is most forgiving, most merciful” [Quran 25:70]. It was when Wahshi, the killer of Hamza (may Allah be pleased with him), wanted to repent and he asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) if there was a chance of forgiveness for him that this verse was revealed.
So, if the killer of a companion was blessed by Allah’s mercy and forgiveness and even got rewarded by turning his hideous deeds into good ones, then you too stand a chance.
Now is the Best Time
No matter how many sins you have committed or how far you have gone, now is the best time to go back to Him. Now is the best time for your sins to be forgiven. Now is the best time to establish a level of closeness you have never experienced before. Now is the best time to be showered by mercy and blessings. Not only that but also to turn your forgiven sins into mountains of good deeds.
Make use of this blessed and holy month of the year and turn back to him. He is waiting with forgiveness and mercy inshaAllah.