How do I ask forgiveness for my sins?
Question: I am a young man. I have been involved in a great sin. Feeling sin on the one hand and my weak determination before my lust on the other hand have made me desperate of the forgiveness of Allah, and I feel that I will definitely be in Hell. At the same time, I fear that I am not right in this opinion. Would you please guide me to the right solution?
The answer by Abdul Azeem al-Muhtadi al-Bahrani: Confess your sin before Allah and pray to Him to help you with a real repentance! You do not need to ask for forgiveness with a difficult language or eloquent words. Speak easily and spontaneously and say what is inside your heart in any way you can, for Allah knows what is in one’s heart even before it comes to his tongue.
Know well that despairing of the forgiveness of Allah is a sin even greater than the sin you were originally involved in, because despair opens the door wider before you to commit all sins and it is this that will get you into Hell and not your first sin! Therefore, Islam has considered despairing of Allah’s mercy as the greatest of sins. It is this that Satan, the first enemy of man, wants for you on the Day of Resurrection.
O young man, fill your heart with a big hope of getting the forgiveness of Allah and try determinedly not to commit the sin again! When you commit a sin, you should hasten immediately to Allah and ask Him to forgive you. You should never cut your relation with Allah in any case. If you go east or west, you shall not find a god like your Lord, Whom you disobey but He, although able to punish you at once, grants you a respite and says that He loves those who ask Him for forgiveness, loves the repentant, and loves those who purify themselves. Besides, He loves to reward you with His Paradise if you turn to Him sincerely.
O young man, whatever you may have done to disobey Allah, you are still not a polytheist. Allah has made incumbent on Himself to forgive everything other than polytheism. Let the Satan not delay you in seeking forgiveness and make you lose the opportunity, for you do not know when you shall die. You may die at the moment of your procrastination and then you will have wasted the opportunity and lost the eternal happiness.
When you decide to return to Allah, do not forget that the crux of repentance is feeling regretful for what you have committed, determining to give up that sin forever, giving the dues of people back to them, and offering the missed obligations as much as possible! Abide by this sincerely and you will find that the pleasure of lawful things is sweeter than the pleasure of unlawful things.