"On the day when thou (Muhammad) wilt see the believers, men and women, their light shining forth before them and on their right hands." — Holy Qur'an 57:12
True and Sincere Repentance :: Teaching of NOOR Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.)
Ya Ali Madad. Let us first reflect upon the concept of repentance and Allah's mercy from the following ayats of the Holy Qur'an (39:53-54):
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Surah Zumar Ayats 53-54
|Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim||In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful|
|Qul yaa - 'Ibaadiyallazinna 'asrafuu 'alaaa 'anfusihim laaa taqnatuu mir - Rahmatillaah: 'innallaaha yaqfiruz - zunuuba jamii - 'aa. 'Inahuu Huwal-Gafuurur-Rahiim. (39:53)||Say: O My servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the mercy of Allah; for Allah forgives all sins; for He is oft forgiving, most merciful. (39:53)|
|Wa 'aniibuuu 'ilaa Rabbi-kum wa 'aslimuu lahuu min-qabli 'any - ya -tiyakumul- 'Azaabu summa laa tunsaruun. (39:54)||Turn ye to the Lord (in repentance) and bow to His will before the penalty comes to you; after that ye shall not be helped. (39:54)|
Repentance is the mechanism to return to our Creator therefore it is appropriate to use the tasbi "Astaghafirullahi Rabbi Wa Atubu Ilayhi (Verily, I seek the forgiveness of Allah, who is my Lord and Sustainer, and I turn to Him in repentance)" to implement this Divine command.
In order to shed light on the preparation needed for the Astaghafirullahi tasbi, let us first learn about the 6 pillars (supports) for this tasbi from the following teaching of NOOR Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.)
"Somebody said before Amir al-mu'minin, peace be upon him: "Astaghfiru'llah" (I seek Allah's forgiveness), then Amir al-mu'minin, peace be upon him said:
Do you know what "istighfar" (asking Allah's forgiveness) is? "Istighfar" is meant for people in high position. It is a word that stands on six supports:
The first is to repent over the past;
The second is to make a firm determination never to revert to it;
The third is to discharge all the rights of people so that you may meet Allah quite clean with nothing to account for;
The fourth is to fulfill every obligation which you ignored in the past so that you may now do justice with it;
the fifth is to aim at the flesh grown as a result of unlawful earning, so that you may melt it by grief of repentance till the skin touches the bone and a new flesh grows between them; and
The sixth is to make the body taste the pain of obedience as you previously made it taste the sweetness of disobedience. On such an occasion you may say: "astaghfiru'llah"
Source: Peak of Eloquence NAHJUL BALAGHA—Sermons, Letters and Sayings of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib. Translated by Sayed Ali Reza. Published by Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an Inc., Elmhurst, New York. Sixth Edition 1996. Quotation number 426, pp. 664-5.
The above lesson teaches us to be obedient to the teachings of the faith and fully understand that saying "astaghfiru'llah" just with the tongue does not yield results unless the real purpose is properly understood. However, just as Cairo was not built in a day, the practice and awareness of the concept of repentance will lead to gradual purification and the fruition of NOOR Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah's blessing in which he said that a day will come when you will be able to abstain from committing sins. A person who reaches such a stage is the one who is a person of high position as described by NOOR Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.).
With this understanding, let us start to recite the Astaghafirullahi Rabbi Wa Atubu Ilayhi tasbi.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Astaghafirullahi Rabbi Wa Atubu Ilayhi
Verily, I seek the forgiveness of Allah, who is my Lord and Sustainer
and I turn to Him in repentance.
Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alamin.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!
May your noble intentions be fulfilled through the barakat and light of these prayers. Ameen.
Peace, light, barakat, tayid, Golden Jubilee and Golden Noorani Didars,
December 4, 2007