Do Not Despair of Allah's Mercy

by Asma bint Shameem

It was Ramadaan. The Haram was absolutely jam packed… seemed almost like Hajj.
But that day I thought I could beat the crowds. I wanted to pray in the courtyard in front of the Kaa’ba. I thought if I could get there in the middle of the day, right after Dhuhr, I could probably go before every body else and find a good spot to pray.
So instead of praying in my usual spot, I decided to head for the courtyard.
However I had walked only a few feet when I realized my mistake. The courtyard was already full. Everyone had already taken their places for Salaah and there was no way I could even dream of finding a spot there.
So I decided to go back.

But that was also an utterly fruitless effort. People had already gathered behind me in a long line and there was no chance for me to go back. I looked hopelessly to my right and then to my left but, to my dismay, all I could see were rows and rows of men and there was absolutely no place to go.
I was stuck.

And then to my dismay they called the Adhaan. And it was then that I started to panic. All I wanted to do was to find a nice spot to pray, but here I was, stuck in the middle of the crowds with absolutely no place to even move an inch!
How could I pray at that spot in the middle of all the men?!! A feeling of urgent desperation overcame me…….Shaytaan started to play with my mind and I started to despair.

How unfortunate I was! Here I am….standing in the middle of the Haram…. in Ramadaan….. wanting to pray ….. and yet I can’t!

And it’s all because of my previous sins, I sadly thought to myself. All the mistakes of my flawed past came rushing to my mind…….I thought of the many times I had disobeyed Allaah, the way I had broken His Laws….the times I didn’t value His Limits…how I did not practice Islaam the way I was supposed to.
I felt that Allaah had rejected me and didn’t think of me as even worthy of praying 4 Rakaah in His Masjid. He has deprived me of the Taufeeq and the honor to pray at His House, the Kaa’ba.
I felt weak, miserable, hopeless and depressed.
And then, all of a sudden, I looked up…..and then I gasped. For, up on one of the pillars of the Masjid, an Ayah of the Qur’aan was inscribed….. the most beautiful Ayah that I had ever read in my entire life!
It was an Ayah that I felt was written there for ME…….it was meant to be read by ME.
My heart was absolutely overcome and I started to cry.
It was from Surah az-Zumar Ayah 53. It said:

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

“Say: ‘O My worshipers, who have sinned excessively against themselves, DESPAIR NOT of the Mercy of Allah! Verily, Allah forgives all sins. He is the Forgiver, the Most Merciful.”

Subhaan Allaah!
Can there be an Ayah more beautiful than this??!!

Seeing the Ayaah right there, just when I needed it the most was just too much for me. I cried and I cried.
I had the irresistible urge to prostrate to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala right then and there and beg Him to forgive me….beg Him to overlook my mistakes and shortcomings. How ungrateful I was!
For indeed it is His Mercy that encompasses all. And it is His Mercy that forgives all.
All it takes from us is one sincere repentance and He will forgive us.
After all, isn’t He ar-Rahmaan and ar-Raheem?

No matter how big the sin or sins that you have committed, no matter what your past has been like, if you come back to Him with one sincere, sincere Tauba, coming from the heart, He will forgive you.
Wallaahi, I swear by Allaah, He will.

The Prophet said:

“Allaah says, ‘O son of Adam, so long as you call on Me and put your hope in Me, I will forgive whatever you have done, and I will not mind. O son of Adam, even if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky, then you were to seek My forgiveness, I would forgive you and I will not mind. O son of Adam, if you were to come to me with an earthful of sins, and you were to meet Me not associating anything in worship with Me, I will come to you with an earthful of forgiveness.'” (Tirmidhi– hasan).

Allaahu Akbar! Surely, the Bounty of Allaah is immense and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. His Mercy is the greatest……greater than His Wrath and greater than the greatest of our sins.
Indeed He is more merciful to us than a mother towards her child. So never, ever despair or lose hope. If you repent sincerely, it will wipe out whatever came before it.

“O you who believe! Turn to Allaah with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will expiate from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow.” (Surah at-Tahreem:8)

And he said:

“Allaah spreads out His hand at night to accept the repentance of those who committed sins during the day, and He spreads out His hand during the day to accept the repentance of those who committed sins during the night. (He will continue to do this) until the sun rises from the West.” (Muslim).

In fact, Allaah rejoices over the repentance of His slaves even though He is in no need of their obedience. He tells us that He loves the one who repents.

“Truly, Allaah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves” (Surah al-Baqarah:222)

So repent sincerely, ask Allaah to forgive you, no matter how bad it was and do not repeat the sin. Have full hope in Allaah’s Mercy that Allaah will forgive you.

‘The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin.'” (Ibn Maajah– hasan by al-Albaani)

And if you are tested with any kind of sin, do not speak openly of it. That is because the Prophet said:

“The believer will be brought close to his Lord until He conceals him and makes him confess his sin. Allaah will say, ‘Do you remember such and such a sin?’ The man will say, ‘Yes, I admit it.’ The Lord will say, ‘I concealed it for you in the world and I forgive you for it today.’ ” (Bukhaari, Muslim).

Be aware of the Greatness of the One against Whom you are sinning, seek forgiveness for your sins, weep for the error of your past ways and adhere strictly to the path of Allaah. And do beware of despairing of the Mercy of Allaah. It is one of the traps of Shaytaan.

“And who despairs of the mercy of his Lord, but those who go astray?” (Surah al-Hijr:56)

If you adhere properly to the religion of Allaah, you will have glad tidings of goodness in this world and in the Hereafter.

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ وَأَنْتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ

“Rabbi’ghfir wa’rham wa anta khayru’l-raahimeen
(My Lord! Forgive and show mercy, for You are the Best of those who show mercy!)” (Surah al-Mu’minoon :118)