Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Tawbah and Promises


Assalaam Aalaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakathu.

Dear Bro/Sis,

I have some confusion about tawbah and promises and I really want a good answer with references if possible.

First I want to ask about Tawbah. Below are some cases:

1. I committed a Sin and I know it is a sin and I made Tawbah for it (by asking forgiveness in my dua to Allah). I said something like, "Please forgive me for this sin. I will not do it again".

2. I did something that I think could have led to a sin and made Tawbah for it. I am supposed to make tawbah for this since it may not have been a sin but lead to a sin? Assuming I told the same words in my dua as point 1 but since the act was not a sin in itself and I do it again will it be accounted for?

3. I made Tawbah for an actual sin and I said the same words as in point 1 but I am not sure about if I will or will not do it again but I hope not to. Are my words "I will not do it again" taken as a promise to Allah swt?

4. I made Tawbah for something that I am not sure is a sin or not and I don't remember what I said I will do or give up so as to not lead to the sin. What can be done in such a case? Avoid everything I thought i must have said?

I recently started to believe that it is not necessary to give a word or promise to Allah swt that you will not do it again. That intention should be in your heart. Tawbah is to ask for forgiveness with sincere repentance. But sometimes unintentionally we do the same thing that we said we won't do. Does this mean we broke a promise?

When making Tawbah are the following steps ok?

1. Guilt and regret for the incident and sometimes tears

2. Asking Allah swt for forgiveness in dua

3. Intention in the heart to never do it again (and not saying "I will not do it again" explicitly or "I promise I will never do it again")

Once again I need to ask, if I said in my dua "I will not do it again" is it making a promise or does it just mean that I am saying I will try my best not to do it again?"

Secondly on promises...

1. What happens if I can't remember exactly what promise I made because I don't know if I said it in my thoughts or in actual to Allah swt?

2. If the time for fulfilling the promise did not pass, and I feel I won't be able to fulfil it can I take it back?

P.S: i would respect if i get answer only from a proper person rather than normal people whose comments sometimes increase the anxiety already built.

JazakAllah khair in advance.


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8 Responses »

  1. Assalaamualaikam

    The people who take time to contribute to this website aren't necessarily scholars or experts, so your request that only a proper person answer your question may limit the advice you receive. It might help if you tell us who you would consider to be a proper person - most of us are simply ordinary sisters and brothers in Islam, who want to help, inshaAllah.

    You might find it helpful to read the articles about tawbah and repentance which are published on this website, and to speak with a local imam if you want an expert assessment of your situation.

    Midnightmoon editor

  2. As-salamu alaykum sister,

    You are getting too caught up in words and technicalities. Islam is based on sincerity and intentions, and the same is true for tawbah. The Messenger of Allah (sws) said, "The deen is sincerity." And he said, "Actions are according to intentions, and everyone shall have what he intended."

    You ask if you say certain words, is it a promise? Yes of course it is. Tawbah is a promise to yourself and to Allah that you regret your sin and do not intend to do it again. This is true whether you say the words or not. It is a promise made in your heart.

    If you make a sincere tawbah and then you end up committing the sin again, make tawbah again. Allah is Forgiving and Merciful and will forgive again and again as long as you are sincere. Do not despair of His mercy.

    And yes, the steps you described for tawbah are exactly correct.

    Wael Editor

  3. Salaams,
    Is blasphemy forgivable in islam? Must the person hand themselves in to authorities to have the hadd punishment carried out in order to be forgiven, or is there room for repentance in this case? Please note that I'm talking about REALLY bad blasphemy. Is there a very small chance for Allah's pardon in the case of a muslim who does this sin? I have renewed my shahadah, done the islamic ritual bath for entering the religion anew, but I still have doubts. Can such a heinous sin be forgiven if the person truly and sincerely repents?

    Please help me.

    Jazaakumullahu khayran.

    • There is no need to turn yourself into any authorities, nor is there any hadd punishment for this. Stop trying to make things harder for yourself. Allah's ability and willingness to forgive is unlimited, so do not try to limit Him, subhanahu wa ta'ala.

      Please read our article on Tawbah in Islam.

      Wael Editor

      • Asalaamu alaikum brother,
        Thank you for replying. I read online that blasphemy is indeed punishable, and makes one an apostate. Do you agree to this fatwa?

        • It would depend on what the person said, and their intentions. However, if they make tawbah and return to Islam, Allah will forgive them. Islam teaches us that Allah forgives all sins - no matter what they are - if the person repents sincerely.

          IslamicAnswers.comn Editor

          • Thank you, I feel much more relaxed now. I will try my very best to stop sinning completely, although it's very hard. Inshallah Allah might help me.

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