Humans are prone to sin. We cannot overcome sin altogether, no matter how hard we try. Even if we attain a high degree of piety and reach an esteemed level of character, we cannot rid ourselves from minor sins, whether caused by temptation, hastiness, forgetfulness, or any other factor.
For this reason, Allah reminds us in the Quran to continuously seek His pardon and invoke His mercy upon us. The more we repent, the greater we benefit and the more of our sins He forgives. On the other hand, regardless of how righteously we may have lived, we cannot attain salvation without His mercy and forgiveness.
There are many benefits of seeking Allah’s forgiveness through our supplications and prayers. In this article, we explore six rewards for those who ask Allah for forgiveness, as recounted in the Quran and Hadith.
1) Allah forgives their sins
The most obvious reward for seeking Allah’s forgiveness is that He forgives our sins and turns to us in mercy. There is no “unforgivable” sin as long as we repent from it. Allah informs us in the Quran: “Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’” (Al-Zumar 39:53)
We may think our sins are too many or too heinous to be forgiven. Yet, Allah’s forgiveness is never beyond our reach if we turn to Him in repentance. Consider the following hadith qudsi in which Allah addresses us with some of the most glorious expressions of His mercy:
‘O progeny of Adam! Verily, as long as you called upon Me and hoped in Me, I forgave you, despite whatever may have occurred from you, and I did not mind. O progeny of Adam! Were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky, then you sought forgiveness from Me, I would forgive you, and I would not mind. O progeny of Adam! If you came to me with sins nearly as great as the earth, and then you met Me not associating anything with Me, I would come to you with forgiveness nearly as great as that.’ (Tirmidhi – hasan)
2) They attain Allah’s good pleasure
Allah is pleased with those who turn to Him in repentance. According to the Prophet ﷺ, there is none who likes that people “repent to Him and beg His pardon” more than Allah, which is why He sent prophets to warn us and convey us glad tidings. (Bukhari)
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Moreover, Allah approves of the person who pleads His forgiveness after committing minor sins more than the person who neither sins nor invokes His mercy. Consider these beautiful words of the Prophet ﷺ in this regard: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if you did not commit sin, Allah would dispense with you and create people who would commit sins, then ask (Allah) for forgiveness, so He would forgive them.” (Muslim)
3) Allah does not punish them collectively
The Quran declares regarding the people at the time of the Prophet ﷺ: “…Allah would not punish them while they seek forgiveness.” (Al-Anfal 8:33) This principle may be assumed as universal: as long as people keep turning to Allah in repentance – both individually and collectively – He does not punish them the way some of the earlier nations were destroyed.
It is important to remember that Allah’s punishment does not just take the form of natural disasters; it can also come in the form of impoverishment, intellectual decline, and subservience to other nations. It is worth contemplating if the disappointing state of most Muslim nations today has something to do with us turning away from Allah and not sufficiently invoking His forgiveness.
4) They attain prosperity in this life
Allah’s blessings extend to all types of people in this world, regardless of their faith and deeds. However, He has promised to specifically grant prosperity to those who frequently implore His mercy: “And seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him, [and] He will let you enjoy a good provision for a specified term…” (Hud 11:3)
Also read: How to Make Du’a
A similar reward of worldly blessings and favors was promised by Prophet Hud to his people if they turned to Allah in repentance: “And, O my people, ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in showers and increase you in strength [added] to your strength.” (Hud 11:52)
Abundant rain allows many types of crops to flourish, increasing the food supply and commercial prospects of a community. “Strength” can be interpreted, in the modern context, as skilled manpower that increases the industrial and military capacity of a nation.
5) They are not regarded as persistent sinners
Those who repent often are not considered persistent sinners in the sight of Allah even if they end up erring frequently. This is because their seeking forgiveness wipes out some of their misdeeds and reduces the effect of many other sins. The Prophet ﷺ informed us, ‘He who seeks forgiveness has not been persistent in sin, even if he does it seventy times a day.’ (Tirmidhi – hasan)
As previously discussed, all humans are sinners to varying degrees. However, the successful ones among the sinners are those who constantly repent to Him. The following hadith clarifies this: “Every son of Adam commits sin, and the best of those who commit sin are those who repent.” (Ibn Majah – hasan)
6) They receive glad tidings of Paradise
The Prophet ﷺ declared, “Glad tidings be to those who find a lot of seeking forgiveness in the record of their deeds.” (Ibn Majah – hasan) These glad tidings convey the reward of Paradise in the hereafter as evidenced by the Quran: “Race toward forgiveness from your Lord and a garden whose width is like the width of the heavens and earth, prepared for those who believed in Allah and His messengers…” (Al-Hadid 57:21)
Those who are admitted to the Garden of Paradise shall live eternally in bliss and tranquility. There, they shall have all that they desire, and even attain the honor of beholding Allah with their very eyes.
Therefore, we should repent to Allah as often as we can, and not let our sins cause us to despair of His mercy. The Prophet ﷺ used to seek Allah’s forgiveness “a hundred times a day” (Abu Dawud – sahih). Let us also frequently implore Allah’s pardon and reap all benefits associated with it.