Stories of Repentance to Heal Anxiety from Past Sins

repentance for anxiety from past sins

The Lingering Weight of Sinning

Who among us has not sinned? There would not be a soul who could claim it. To err is human. And so, it is okay to feel remorse and hold ourselves at fault. That acceptance is the door that opens up on the path to repentance. However, some give in to living a life of sin, thinking that they have sinned too much already. And then there are those who, even after repenting, feel that the weight of their past sins is crushing them. Today, we shall recount some  of the most amazing stories of repentance, so that every heart that suffers anxiety from past sins can know there is light.

An Endless Sea of Mercy

Do you feel as if you have sinned too much? O dear soul that despairs, what is too much for the All-Merciful, the Very-Merciful? He can forgive mountains and forests of sins if you just ask Him sincerely! By Allah, with every last breath that remains in your body and every heart beat it is yet to sustain, you are never too far gone.

Allah says in the Quran:

Say: “O ‘Ibadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (39:53)

“O Ibadi”! See the love with which Allah calls you to Him, it will fill you up!

How Allah is pleased with His slave’s repentance

Nothing, nothing at all makes Allah happier than when His slave repents. There is a hadith about it that will warm your heart and leave you smiling…

Anas b. Malik reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

Allah is more pleased with the repentance of a servant as he turns towards Him for repentance than this that one amongst you is upon the camel in a waterless desert, and there is upon (that camel) his provision of food and drink also and it is lost by him, and he having lost all hope (to get that) lies down in the shadow and is disappointed about his camel and there he finds that camel standing before him. He takes hold of his nose-string and then out of boundless joy says: “0 Allah, You are my servant and I am your Lord”. He commits this mistake out of extreme delight. (Sahih Muslim 2747 a)
What could compare to the happiness of losing all your provisions and then suddenly finding them in front of you! It is like tasting life after a breeze of death. In that state of joy, he meant to say “O Allah, I am your servant and You are my Rabb” but he is so beside himself with joy that he mixes up His words and says instead, “O Allah, You are my servant and I am your Rabb”! How endearing it is! And that is exactly how Allah loves it when His servant repents.
stories of repentance from sins
Now let me tell you three incredible stories of repentance that the Prophet told us, in hope that it will help heal your anxiety from sins:

1. On his way to repentance

You may have heard the story of the man who killed 100 people and still sought mercy. Both Sahih Bukhari and Muslim narrate this story.
Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Amongst the men of Bani Israel there was a man who had murdered ninety-nine persons. Then he set out asking (whether his repentance could be accepted or not). He came upon a monk and asked him if his repentance could be accepted. The monk replied in the negative and so the man killed him. He kept on asking till a man advised to go to such and such village. (So he left for it) but death overtook him on the way. While dying, he turned his chest towards that village (where he had hoped his repentance would be accepted), and so the angels of mercy and the angels of punishment quarrelled amongst themselves regarding him. Allah ordered the village (towards which he was going) to come closer to him, and ordered the village (whence he had come), to go far away, and then He ordered the angels to measure the distances between his body and the two villages. So he was found to be one span closer to the village (he was going to). So he was forgiven.”
(Sahih al-Bukhari 3470)
Subhan Allah! This is how much Allah wants to forgive His slave such that He interferes on behalf of him. The man was initially closer to the village he had come from, but Allah ordered the Earth to expand on the path he had already covered, while the land between him and his destination shrunk! Even nature altered itself by Allah’s command. The man indeed carried a heavy baggage of sins, but his repentance was so sincere that Allah forgave him.

2. A repentance that could suffice for the sins of 70 men

Once a woman from Juhaina came to the Prophet and confessed that she had committed adultery. Charging someone for adultery in Islam is a very difficult matter because one needs to bring four witnesses to prove it, unless someone confesses to it themselves. If one repents privately and there is no other proof, no one can carry out a punishment. Surely, Allah has the power to forgive all sins, big or small.

In another incident a man came and confessed his sin to the Prophet but the Prophet turned away from him. He kept turning his face away until the man said this four times. This was because he wished the man would go away and repent privately, and save himself from the punishment. But like this man, the woman from Juhaina was so God-fearing that she asked Allah’s messenger to carry out the punishment. After the stoning, the Prophet prayed for her. Umar RA was surprised at this and he said: “Allah’s Apostle, you offer prayer for her, whereas she committed adultery!”

Thereupon he said:

She has made such a repentance that if it were to be divided among seventy men of Medina, it would be enough. Have you found any repentance better than this that she sacrificed her life for Allah, the Majestic?

(Sahih Muslim 1696 a)

Her repentance was indeed a true repentance and the Messenger of Allah attested to it.

 

3. He feared Allah, so Allah forgave him

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “A man who never did any good deed, said that if he died, his family should burn him and throw half the ashes of his burnt body in the earth and the other half in the sea, for by Allah, if Allah should get hold of him, He would inflict such punishment on him as He would not inflict on anybody among the people. But Allah ordered the sea to collect what was in it (of his ashes) and similarly ordered the earth to collect what was in it (of his ashes). Then Allah said (to the recreated man ), ‘Why did you do so?’ The man replied, ‘For being afraid of You, and You know it (very well).’ So Allah forgave him.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 7506)

This was a man who never did a good deed, but at the time of his death he knew and feared that Allah’s punishment would be so severe that he could not bear to face it. He did not want to be resurrected in the Hereafter, so he ordered his family to burn his body and spread the ashes. Surely, Allah has power over all things and he recreated the man. When the man said he did so for fear of Him, Allah forgave him!

What incredible stories of forgiveness!

If Allah forgave these people, then we should not despair in His mercy either.  If your heart is weighed down by anxiety over your old sins, through these amazing stories remember that all it takes for forgiveness is a sincere repentance. So hasten to repent. Indeed, He is the All-Merciful, the Very Merciful.

 

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