Shaykh Abdullāh Al-Bukhārī: May Allaah bless you. I say: a sincere tawbah (repentance) requires an effort. Now, there is no command or prohibition – as Imaam ibn al-Qayyim said – except that Shaytaan (the devil) has two incitements regarding it: either to extremism or to negligence. He (i.e. Shaytaan) doesn’t care by which of these two he becomes victorious [over the servant]! The important thing (to him) is that you leave the Straight Path. Also, from his ways is that he doesn’t want you to be steadfast upon tawbah. He doesn’t want this! Because if you – the one he (Shaytaan) led astray and made fall into sin – are steadfast upon sincere tawbah and you adhere to obedience, he (Shaytaan) loses! Right? And this makes him feel very outraged, because he swore by Allaah:
قَالَ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ َلأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ إِلاَّ عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ ٱلْمُخْلَصِينَ
(Iblees (Shaytaan)) said: “By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, except Your sincere slaves amongst them (faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism).” [38: 82-83]
May Allaah bless you. Shaytaan beautifies the sin, this is why it has been narrated in the two Saheehs:
الجَنَّة حُفَّت بِالمكارهِ والنَّارُ حُفَّت بالشَّهوَات
“Paradise is surrounded by things which are disliked and Hellfire is surrounded by desires (temptations).”
So this affair requires one to strive hard!
وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا
As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths. [29: 69]
So you must show Allaah that you are truthful!! And this is a kind of test: you repent sincerely, and then the soul which commands evil entices you. So then you are in a struggle between your soul which commands evil and your self-reproaching soul. This is a test to see if your repentance is truthful, if your intention is correct and if you are sincere to Allaah in leaving [this sin]. Just as it is obligatory upon you to be sincere to Allaah in [performing] that which is commanded, it is also obligatory upon you to be sincere to Allaah in leaving [the prohibitions]. It is obligatory that you are sincere to Allaah in leaving [sins]!
And beware, O beloved one! From the greatest means that lead to the servant being deprived of succes, is commiting sins.
نَحنُ ندعو الإله في كُلِّ كربٍ *** ثمّ ننْساهُ عِند كشفِ الكُروبِ
We supplicate to the One Who is worshipped (Allaah) during every distress, then we forget Him when the distresses are removed.
كيفَ نرجُو إجابةً لدُعاءٍ *** وقدْ سَدَدْنا طَريقَهَا بِالذُّنُوبِ
How can we hope for an answer to our supplications, while we closed its path with sins.
Ibn Mas’ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, said:
إنِّي لأحْسِبُ الرَّجُلَ ينْسَى العِلْمَ يَتعلَّمُه، بالذِّنبِ يَعملُه
“I consider a man to have forgotten the knowledge that he learned because of a sin he commits.” [Al-Hilyah by Abu Nu’aym]
So a person should beware! This is why the look is an arrow from the arrows of Iblees, so a person should not continue looking, [listening to] whisperings, [listening to] suggestions [of Shaytaan], listening or other than that. So the more a person continues, the more he increases, and it is feared for him that Raan will cover his heart, about which Allaah said:
كَلَّا بَلْ رَانَ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِم مَّا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ
Nay! But on their hearts is the Raan (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn. [83:14]
We seek refuge with Allaah! So beware! Sins are dangerous, by Allaah, O brothers! Dangerous and significant! And do not belittle [sins] by saying: “This is an insignificant sin,” “Is it from the minor or major sins?” Beware! In al-Bukhaaree on the authority of Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him:
إنَّكم لتعْمَلُون أعمالًا هِي فِي أعْيُنِكُم أدقُّ مِنَ الشَّعر ،كنَّا نعُدُّها فِي عهدِ رسُولِ الله صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم مِنَ المُوبِقَات
“You people do (bad) deeds (commit sins) which seem in your eyes tinier than hair, while we used to consider those (very deeds) during the life-time of the Prophet as destructive sins.”
Trust me completely: Whenever you are truthful to Allaah in seeking refuge with Him and throwing yourself with humility before Him with repentance and returning back, He will make you steadfast, He will help you, He will give you success and He will take away from you the most evil of evils, the plot of the sinners and the most evil calamities of the day and night. But whenever you continue [listening to] whisperings and suggestions [of Shaytaan], Shaytaan will cause you to backslide. So beware!
But, the fact that the servant always talks to himself (i.e. reviews himself), that he is aware that Allaah always watches over him in all of his deeds and movements and that he seeks nearness to Him by staying away from sins: this is a proof of his truthfulness, with the permission of Allaah. This heat that you feel because of this struggle in the inside, will result in coldness, certainty and security for you, if you are truthful to Allaah. This is why Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, says:
يَـۤأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَكُونُواْ مَعَ ٱلصَّادِقِينَ
O you who believe! Be afraid of Allaah, and be with those who are truthful (in words and deeds [9:119]
Being truthful in words and deeds is a must! In words and deeds! And from the greatest of this, is that we are truthful to Allaah when we seek His forgiveness and when we return back to Him, the Majestic and Mighty! Is this clear, O brothers? So beware of continuing! Strive against your soul!
Trust me completely: it is only a small amount of days. The Prophet – sallal-Laahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – said, as mentioned in as-Saheeh:
إنَّما النَّصرُ صبرُ ساعةٍ
“Victory is only an hour of patience.”
This Shaytaan requires struggle (Jihaad)! Right? He requires a great struggle! You have to struggle against him night and day! And the Prophet – sallal-Laahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – has informed us:
إِذا نام أحدُكُم عقدَ الشَّيطانُ على قَافِيَتهِ ثلاثَ عُقدٍ ويقولُ:نَمْ وراءَك ليلٌ طويلٌ
“When any one of you goes to sleep, Shaytaan ties three knots at the back of his neck, and says: “You have a long night, so sleep.””
So Shaytaan is with you! And he wages war against you from every place! It is not possible for you to be saved from him, except by seeking refuge with Allaah. This is why Allaah commanded you to seek help from Him and to seek refuge with Him:
قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ
Say: “I seek refuge with (Allaah) the Lord of the daybreak.” [113:1]
قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ
Say: “I seek refuge with (Allaah) the Lord of mankind.” [114:1]
And the noble, merciful Prophet – the one whom Allaah sent as a mercy to mankind – advised you, guided you, directed you and clarified to you the Path of salvation, which is adhering to the Sunnah: the adhkaar (supplications) for the morning and the evening , the adhkaar for entering and leaving the toilet, sleeping, eating, drinking, etc.
Review yourself! I say: review yourself and examine yourself: are you from those who are steadfast upon the Sunnah or negligent regarding it? How should you call yourself to account except in this way? And praise and thank Allaah that you are alive! Praise and thank Allaah that you are alive! And I have mentioned this to the students and brothers, here or in a previous lesson – I don’t know.
How should this (calling oneself to account) happen? You have a notebook and a pen with you, and you want to know? Call yourself to account before you are called to account! You have a notebook with you [and you write]: Bismillaahi ar-Rahmaani ar-Raheem. Today, saturday or sunday. We start from Fajr; did you wake up before Fajr or after Fajr? [Mention this] to yourself, not in the radio! Did I wake up in time? Did I catch the Sunnah of Fajr or not? Of course before this [you mention]: have I prayed witr or not? Yes/no. Did I pray Fajr in congregation? Yes. Did I catch Takbeeratul-Ihraam? Yes/no. Have I said the adhkaar after the prayer ? Yes/no. The adhkaar for the morning and the evening? Yes/no. Did I recite my (daily) part of the Qur’aan? Etc, etc etc. Did I backbite? Have I commited something prohibited? Write down! You will see in the end of the day that you have [written] pages! Yes, no, yes, no… Review [yourself]!Yes: I stay upon the truth. No: review it the next day; are you still upon this or have you left it?
O brothers, this affair is significant! It is not trivial!
فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ
..in a Day the measure whereof is fifty thousand years. [70:4]
Anyway, it is a must that we prepare an answer for this Day! We ask Allaah to be kind and gentle to us and you, to give us and you a good ending and to make us all steadfast upon Islaam and Sunnah. And may Allaah raise the rank of the Messenger of Allaah, his family and his Companions and grant them peace.
 Authentic adhkaar for the morning and the evening: http://ittibaa.com/uploads/2/8/2/1/2821629/morning_and_evening_supplication.pdf
 Authentic adhkaar to be said after the obligatory prayer: http://ittibaa.com/uploads/2/8/2/1/2821629/authentic_adhkaar_after_the_prayer.pdf
Translated by: Yâsîn Abû Ibrâhîm