Question- How to do tauba, do you need a cleric to do tauba or do tauba yourself? Are all the rules of tauba the same?
All praise be to Allah. Blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). We begin in the name of Allah, the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful.
A few conditions must be met for repentance, then Allah Ta’ala will accept that repentance Inshah’Allah:
1. Sin must be stopped now.
(If now one only repent verbally and after a few days he will give up the sin – then there will be no repentance.)
2. All past sins and wrongdoings should be confessed to Allah and repented and be ashamed infront of Him.
3. One should vow not to return to those deeds with hatred in the heart.
4. Be ashamed and repent and ask Allah for “Istighfar” (ask for forgiveness) + “Tauba” (stop sinning and return to Allah).
5. If one has violated someone’s rights, he must restore his rights, or at any rate, if he is unable to do so, he must seek forgiveness from Him by asking for forgiveness.
Note that Allah forgives all sins if one repents, even if one’s sins reach the sky, Allah will forgive him. But if the slave does not forgive the right of the slave, He will not forgive it.
6. One have to hope in his heart that he is a sinner but Allah is Gafurur Raheem – Most Forgiving and Merciful. So He will accept my repentance.
7. After repenting, one should try hard to stay away from sinful acts, and try to do as many good deeds as possible.
8. Repentance from the sin committed (repentance is obligatory for all sins), if one commits the sin due to a mistake or malice, one must immediately repent and turn back from it.
Thus whenever a sin is committed one must repent immediately, even unto death.
How do you know if someone’s repentance has been accepted?
Many scholars say about this:
If someone’s life after repentance is better than the previous life, i.e. sins are reduced and good deeds are increased, then it can be expected that his repentance has been accepted by Allah.
But if someone is not like that, i.e., there is no difference in the life before and after repentance, then one must understand that there is a defect in his repentance.
He should not despair – rather he should repeatedly sincerely repent for Khalees, seeking help from Allah.
The dua that the Prophet (PBUH) used to recite for repentance and the dua that he instructed us to recite is–
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيْمَ الَّذِىْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّوْمُ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ
—“Astaghfirullah al-’Adheemal-ladhi la ilaha illa Huwal-Hayyul-Qayyum wa atubu ilaih.”
(I seek the forgiveness of Allah the Mighty, Whom there is none worthy of worship except Him, The Living, The Eternal, and I repent unto Him)
“Whoever recites this dua, Allah will forgive him, even if he is a fugitive from the field of Jihad.” (That is, even if he is a great sinner, Allah will forgive him Inshah’Allah.)
[Abu Dawud 2:85, Tirmidhi 5:569, Mishkat 2353]
May Allah grant us all the grace to repent sincerely. Amen.