My brothers: Conclude this month of Ramadhan with repentance to Allah from disobeying Him. And with returning to Him with what pleases Him. Indeed a person will never stop from committing sins, and being deficient. And all of the sons of Adam are sinners, and the best of sinners are those that repent. As Allah says, “(And to preach thus), ‘Seek ye the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance; that He may grant you enjoyment, good (and true), for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding grace on all who abound in merit! But if ye turn away, then I fear for you the penalty of a great day.” And, “Say: I am only a mortal like you; it is revealed to me that your Allah is one Allah, therefore follow the right way to Him and ask His forgiveness; and woe to the polytheists;” And, “; and turn to Allah all of you, O believers! so that you may be successful.” And, “O you who believe! turn to Allah a sincere turning; maybe your Lord will remove from you your evil and cause you to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, on the day on which Allah will not abase the Prophet and those who believe with him; their light shall run on before them and on their right hands; they shall say: Our Lord! make perfect for us our light, and grant us protection, surely Thou hast power over all things” And, “surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves.” And there are many verses that mention repentance.
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “Oh you who believe, repent to Allah, and seek his forgiveness, for indeed I seek repentance 100 a day.” (Muslim) and he said, “Indeed I repent to Allah in one day more than 70 times.” (Bukhari) and he 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 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 nosestring and then out of boundless joy says: O lord, You are my slave, and I am your Lord. He commits this mistake out of extreme delight.” (Muslim) he also said, “If the son of Adam had a mountain of gold, they would want to have two mountains, and they will not be pleased until their mouth is filled with dirt, and Allah forgives for whoever repents.” (Agreed upon)
So repentance is returning to Allah from disobedience to obedience, because He (subhanahu wa ‘taala) is the rightfully worshiped, and the rights of worship is that a person should be low and humble to the Lord with love, and if someone disobeys Allah, then their repentance is to return to Allah, and to stand at His door the standing of someone who is poor in fear, and humbleness.
And repentance is an obligation, and it is not permissible to delay it. Because Allah and His Messenger ordered us to make repentance, and nobody knows what will happen to them if they delay it. Continuing on the disobedience of Allah will make the heart hard, and will distance a person from Allah (subhanahu wa taala) and will decrease their faith. For indeed the faith increases with obedience and decreases with disobedience. Continuing to commit sins will lead to making it a habit which will make it even harder to stop, and this will open the door for Shaytan and will lead to more and bigger sins.
And repentance to Allah should be sincere, and it has five conditions.
First: It should be done sincerely for the sake of Allah, and with hope of being forgiven, and fear of being punished.
Second: They should feel regret and sadness over what they did, and they should wish that they never did that sin.
Third: They should desist from committing the sin, otherwise the tawba is not accepted. If someone stole money from someone, then their repentance is not accepted until it is returned to the person, if that person is dead, then it should be given to their inheritors. If that person doesn’t have inheritors then it is to be give to baytalmal. If they are unsure of who the money they stole belongs to, then they should give it in charity. If they spoke about someone behind their back, then they should apologize to the person.
Fourth: The person should resolve that they will not return to this sin, this is the fruits of the repentance as well as proof its sincerity.
Fifth: It cannot be made after two certain times. One time general for all people, and one time specific for each person. As for the general time for all people, then that is when the sun rises from the west. As Allah says, “On the day when some of the signs of your Lord shall come, its faith shall not profit a soul which did not believe before, or earn good through its faith.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam) said, “Whoever repents before the sun rises from the west, Allah will forgive them.” (Muslim)
As for the specific time, then it is the stages before a person’s soul leaves the body. As Allah says, “And repentance is not for those who go on doing evil deeds, until when death comes to one of them, he says: Surely now I repent; nor (for) those who die while they are unbelievers.”
Allah says, “Say: O my servants! who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah; surely Allah forgives the faults altogether; surely He is the Forgiving the Merciful.” And Allah says, “And whoever does evil or acts unjustly to his soul, then asks forgiveness of Allah, he shall find Allah Forgiving, Merciful.”