|Hadiths which tell us not to despair|
Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah , say:
«وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَوْ أَخْطَأْتُمْ حَتْى تَمْلَأَ خَطَايَاكُمْ مَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ، ثُمَّ اسْتَغْفَرْتُمُ اللهَ تَعَالَى لَغَفَرَ لَكُمْ، وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍبِيَدِهِ لَوْ لَمْ تُخْطِئُوا لَجَاءَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بِقَوْمٍ يُخْطِئُونَ، ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ اللهَ فَيَغْفِرُ لَهُم»
(By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if you were to commit sin until your sins filled the space between heaven and earth, then you were to ask Allah for forgiveness, He would forgive you. By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, if you did not commit sin, Allah would bring other people who would commit sins and then ask Allah for forgiveness so that He could forgive them.)'' This was recorded only by Ahmad. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari, may Allah be pleased with him, said, as he was on his deathbed, "I have concealed something from you that I heard from the Messenger of Allah ; he said:
«لَوْلَا أَنَّكُمْ تُذْنِبُونَ لَخَلَقَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ قَوْمًا يُذْنِبُونَ، فَيَغْفِرُ لَهُم»
(If you did not commit sins, Allah would create people who would sin so that He could forgive them.)'' This was recorded by Imam Ahmad; it was also recorded by Muslim in his Sahih, and by At-Tirmidhi. Allah encourages His servants to hasten to repent, as He says:
﴿وَأَنِـيبُواْ إِلَى رَبِّكُمْ وَأَسْلِمُواْ لَهُ﴾
(And turn in repentance (and in obedience with true faith) to your Lord and submit to Him) meaning, turn back to Allah and submit yourselves to Him.
﴿مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ الْعَذَابُ ثُمَّ لاَ تُنصَرُونَ﴾
(before the torment comes upon you, (and) then you will not be helped.) means, hasten to repent and do righteous deeds before His wrath comes upon you.
﴿وَاتَّبِعُـواْ أَحْسَنَ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُـمْ﴾
(And follow the best of that which is sent down to you from your Lord,) means, the Qur'an.
﴿مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُـمُ الْعَذَابُ بَغْتَةً وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَشْعُرُونَ﴾
(before the torment comes on you suddenly while you perceive not!) means, without you realizing it.
﴿أَن تَقُولَ نَفْسٌ يحَسْرَتَى عَلَى مَا فَرَّطَتُ فِى جَنبِ اللَّهِ﴾
(Lest a person should say: "Alas, my grief that I was undutiful to Allah...'') means, on the Day of Resurrection, the sinner who neglected to repent and turn back to Allah will regret it, and will wish that he had been one of the righteous who obeyed Allah.
﴿وَإِن كُنتُ لَمِنَ السَّـخِرِينَ﴾
(and I was indeed among those who mocked.) means, `my actions in this world were those of one who ridicules and makes fun, not of one who has firm faith and is sincere.'
﴿أَوْ تَقُولَ لَوْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ هَدَانِى لَكُـنتُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ - أَوْ تَقُولَ حِينَ تَرَى الْعَذَابَ لَوْ أَنَّ لِى كَـرَّةً فَأَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴾
(Or (lest) he should say: "If only Allah had guided me, I should indeed have been among those who have Taqwa ''. Or he should say when he sees the torment: "If only I had another chance, then I should indeed be among the doers of good.'') means, he will wish that he could go back to this world, so that he could do righteous deeds. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "Allah tells us what His servants will say before they say it and what they will do before they do it. He says:
﴿وَلاَ يُنَبِّئُكَ مِثْلُ خَبِيرٍ﴾
(And none can inform you like Him Who is the All-Knower) (35:14).
﴿أَن تَقُولَ نَفْسٌ يحَسْرَتَى عَلَى مَا فَرَّطَتُ فِى جَنبِ اللَّهِ وَإِن كُنتُ لَمِنَ السَّـخِرِينَ - أَوْ تَقُولَ لَوْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ هَدَانِى لَكُـنتُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ - أَوْ تَقُولَ حِينَ تَرَى الْعَذَابَ لَوْ أَنَّ لِى كَـرَّةً فَأَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴾
(Lest a person should say: "Alas, my grief that I was undutiful to Allah, and I was indeed among those who mocked.'' Or he should say: "If only Allah had guided me, I should indeed have been among those who have Taqwa.'' Or he should say when he sees the torment: "If only I had another chance, then I should indeed be among the doers of good.''). Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
«كُلُّ أَهْلِ النَّارِ يَرَى مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَقُولُ: لَوْ أَنَّ اللهَ هَدَانِي فَتَكُونُ عَلَيْهِ حَسْرَةً، قال: وَكُلُّ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ يَرَى مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ فَيَقُولُ: لَوْلَا أَنَّ اللهَ هَدَانِي، قال: فَيَكُونُ لَهُ شُكْرًا»
(Each of the people of Hell will be shown his place in Paradise and he will say, "If only Allah had guided me!'' so it will be a source of regret for him. And each of the people of Paradise will be shown his place in Hell and he will say, "If it were not for the fact that Allah guided me,'' so it will be a cause of thanks.)'' It was also narrated by An-Nasa'i. When the sinners wish that they could return to this world so that they could believe the Ayat of Allah and follow His Messengers, Allah will say:
﴿بَلَى قَدْ جَآءَتْكَ ءَايَـتِى فَكَذَّبْتَ بِهَا وَاسْتَكْبَرْتَ وَكُنتَ مِنَ الْكَـفِرِينَ ﴾
(Yes! Verily, there came to you My Ayat and you denied them, and were proud and were among the disbelievers.) meaning, `O you who regret what you did, My Ayat did come to you in the world, and My proof was established against you, but you rejected it and were too arrogant to follow it, and you were among those who disbelieved in it.'
﴿وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ تَرَى الَّذِينَ كَذَبُواْ عَلَى اللَّهِ وُجُوهُهُم مُّسْوَدَّةٌ أَلَيْسَ فِى جَهَنَّمَ مَثْوًى لِّلْمُتَكَبِّرِينَ - وَيُنَجِّى اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْاْ بِمَفَازَتِهِمْ لاَ يَمَسُّهُمُ السُّوءُ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ﴾
(60. And on the Day of Resurrection you will see those who lied against Allah - their faces will be black. Is there not in Hell an abode for the arrogant) (61. And Allah will deliver those who have Taqwa to their places of success. Evil shall touch them not, nor shall they grieve.)
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