The Foundations And Concepts of Islam
The Messenger of Allaah said, "All children of Adam do commit sins and the best of the sinners are those who repent."
Man by nature is weak; he is weak in his aim and resolution and is unable to bear the consequences of his sins and misdeeds. So Allaah out of kindness, makes matters easy for man and He prescribed for him repentance.
The essence of repentance is to abandon the sin because of its ugliness – out of fear for Allaah– and out of desire for His Mercy; to regret over what one has done, to determine not to go back to the sin again and to spend whatever is left of one's life in good deeds. As you can see, repentance is a deed of the heart that is pure between the slave and his Lord. It is neither a hard nor difficult job for him; it is just a deed of the heart, to abandon the sin, and not to go back to it. There are, in abstention from all that Allaah forbid, well-being and peace of mind.
You do not need to repent at the hand of a man who will reveal your secret and manipulate your weakness. It is only a communication between you and your Lord; you seek His forgiveness and guidance and He forgives you. There is nothing like inherited sin in Islaam, nor is there anything like an expected mankind saviour. Islaam, is as discovered by the Austrian Jewish revert to Islaam, Muhammad Asad who said, "I could not find it anywhere in the Qur'aan any mention of man's need for salvation. In Islaam, there is no concept of the first inherited sin that stand between man and his fate, because 'Man can have nothing but what he does (good or bad).' Islaam does not require from man to present a sacrifice or kill himself in order to have the door of repentance opened for him and to be saved from sins." Allaah says,
"No burdened person (with sins) shall bear the burden (sins) of another."
Repentance has great benefits and impacts, some of which are:
1. It makes man know expansiveness of Allaah's forbearance, and magnanimity in concealing his misdeeds. Had He willed, He would have hastened to punish him and disgraced him in front of people so that he would not be able to live comfortably with them. But Allaah honoured him by concealing for him his sins, covered him by His forbearance and endowed him with energy, provision and sustenance.
2. It lets him know his real self, that it is inclined to evil and that whatever comes from it of sins, misdeeds or negligence is an indication from forbidden desires, and that, it cannot dispense of Allaah – for even a twinkle of an eye – for its purification and guidance.
3. Allaah prescribes repentance in order to seek with it the greatest causes of happiness for man, which is creating refuge with Allaah and seeking His assistance; and also to bring about different kinds of supplication; showing one's submission, helplessness to Allaah, showing one's love to Allaah, one's fear of and hope in Him; then the soul moves closer to its Creator in a special way which will not occur to it without repentance and escaping to Allaah.
4. It makes Allaah forgive him his past sins. Allaah says,