Tawba, Wara’ and taqwâ



This letter, written in Arabic to Khân-i Khânân ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’ the (time’s) governor of India, explains tawba inâbat, wara’ and taqwâ: I begin my letter with the Basmala. That is, to be able to write this letter, I trust myself to Allâhu ta’âlâ, who is so merciful and bounteous, and I rely on Him. Every hamd, every thanks, belongs to Him by right. I send my salâm to the good people whom He chooses and loves. Our valuable lives are passing in committing sins, making mistakes, and doing what is wrong. Therefore, it will be pleasant for us to converse on tawba, on hanging the head in shame towards Allâhu ta’âlâ, and to talk about wara’ and taqwâ.

Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the thirty-first âyat of Sûrat-un-Nûr: “O Believers! Make tawba and ask Allah’s pardon, you all! You can be saved only if you make tawba.” He declares in the eighth âyat of Sûrat-ut-Tahrîm, which is at the end of the twenty-eighth juz’ (section) of the Qur’ân: “O, you, chosen people who have îmân! Return to Allâhu ta’âlâ! Repent sincerely! That is, do not break your repentance! If you repent in this manner, maybe your Allah will forgive you and will put you into Paradise, where there are trees and villas beneath which water flows.” He declares in the hundred and twentieth âyat of Sûrat-ul-An’âm: “Avoid sins, whether they are evident or secret.” It is fard-i ’ayn[1] for everybody to repent for their sins. Nobody can escape tawba. How can anyone ever escape it, despite the fact that all Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu watteslîmât’ used to make tawba? Muhammad ‘’alaihi wa ’alaihimussalawât’, who was the final and the greatest of all, stated: “A curtain [that prevents divine lights from coming] gets drawn across my heart. Therefore, I say istighfâr[2] seventy times each day.”

If there are no human rights in the sin which is committed, if it is only between Allah and oneself, e.g. committing adultery, having alcoholic drinks, listening to musical instruments, looking at nâ-mahram women, holding the Qur’ân without having an ’abdast (ritual ablution), getting stuck in corrupt beliefs, such as Râfidî, Wahhabi, and others, one can make tawba by regretting [what one has done], by saying istighfâr, and by being ashamed, embarrassed towards Allâhu ta’âlâ and begging His pardon. If one has omitted one of the fards without an excuse, for making tawba, one has to perform that fard together with all of these. [It is said in the book Targhîbussalât: “In a hadîth-i sherîf it is stated: ‘If a person, without any excuse, performs a salât later than its prescribed time, he will be burned in Hell for as long as eighty huqbas. One huqba is eighty years. One year in the Hereafter is three hundred and sixty days. One day is as long as eighty years of this world.’ As the amount of time necessary for one to perform one’s omitted prayers of namâz elapses, the sin of that one namâz gets bigger and bigger. Then, if there are two or more omitted prayer of namâz, it will be all the more difficult. Omitted salâts, no matter what they cost, must be performed as soon as possible, and one must invoke and make tawba so much so that one will be forgiven.

He who does not perform namâz should tremble and melt before the greatness of Allâhu ta’âlâ.] Commandments of Allâhu ta’âlâ or called fard (or farz), and His interdictions are called harâm. It is worship to perform the fards and avoid (doing) the harâms. Allâhu ta’âlâ loves worshippers. He declares in the Qur’ân al-kerîm that in the Hereafter He will put them into Paradise and give them infinite blessings. The Qur’ân al-kerîm is the Word of Allah. It is not human word. A person who commits a harâm will burn in Hell. Harâms vary in degrees. There will be a severe punishment for a grave harâm. One of the grave harâms is not to perform the five daily prayers of namâz within their prescribed times. A person who denies the fact that namâz is a fard will become a kâfir (unbeliever). A kâfir is not a Muslim. He will burn eternally in Hell. A person who omits namâz because of laziness although he believes in it will not become a kâfir. He is called fâsiq. A person who is fâsiq is still a Muslim. Because he has sinned (by omitting namâz), he will burn in Hell for some time. If a person has not performed a certain prayer of namâz within its prescribed time, it is fard for him to make qadâ of it, (which means to perform a certain act of worship later, afterwards.) If he does not make qadâ, he will burn in Hell for eighty huqbas for each prayer of namâz. No other worship he performs and no other pious deed will save him from Hell.

The only thing that will save him from torment is his teaching a fard to a Muslim. That, however, is conditional both on his making tawba and on his not being notorious for committing harâms. For instance, it is harâm for a woman to go out without  properly covering her head, hair, arms, and legs. If a person dissuades her from committing that harâm act by counselling her or by giving her a correct book written by a scholar of Ahl assunnat, all his sins will be pardoned. But in that case he must not be committing a harâm or harâms. That person, alone, will be forgiven for his debts of qadâ and will be saved from Hell. All the books published by Hakîkat Kitâbevi (in Istanbul, Turkey,) are correct books.] If human rights are involved in a sin, for making tawba, one should pay back the wronged person’s rights immediately, ask for his forgiveness, do him favours and invoke blessings on him. If the person who has been deprived of his rights is dead, one should say prayers and istighfâr for him, pay his rights back to his inheritors, and do them favours. If his children or other inheritors are not known, one should distribute money equaling the property or indemnity (against loss of life) to the poor and to the miskins[3] as alms, and intending that its reward be given to the owner of the rights, who has been wronged.

Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ said: “Hadrat Abû Bekr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ always told the truth. I heard him say that Rasûlullah had stated: ‘If a person who has committed a sin repents and performs abdast and then performs namâz and then says istighfâr for that sin of his, Allâhu ta’âlâ will certainly forgive him; Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the hundred and ninth âyat of Sûrat-un-Nisâ: ‘If a person commits a sin or torments himself and then repents and says istighfâr, he will find Allâhu ta’âlâ very merciful and forgiving’.” Rasûlullah said in a hadîth: “If a person commits a sin and then makes tawba, this tawba of his becomes an atonement for his sin. That is, it causes him to be forgiven.” He stated in a hadîth: “If the sinful person says istighfâr and repents, then does that sin again, then says istighfâr and repents again, and then does it a third time and repents again, it will be written down as a grave sin when he commits it the fourth time.” He stated in a hadîth: “Musawwifs have perished.” That is, those who put off tawba by saying, “I will make tawba later on,” have suffered a loss. Loqman Hakîm ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was a Walî or a Prophet. He advised his son by saying: “Sonny, do not put off tawba until tomorrow. For, death catches one abruptly.” Imâm-i Mujâhid says: “The person who does not say tawba every morning and every evening torments himself.” ’Abdullah Ibni   Mubârak said: “To return one cent that has been obtained through means that is harâm to its owner is more blessed than giving a hundred cents as alms.” Our savants state: “To return one cent that has been taken unjustly to its owner is more blessed than six hundred times of supererogatory Hajj (pilgrimage) that have been accepted.” Yâ Rabbî! We have wronged ourselves. If you do not pity us, if you do not forgive us, we will fall into a very bad situation!

Our Prophet stated: “Allâhu ta’âlâ declares: ‘O My born slave! Do the fard that I command; you will be the most devoted of human beings. Avoid the harâm which I prohibit; you will be a man of wara’. Be contented with the sustenance that I give you; you will be the wealthiest of human beings; you will not need anybody.’ ” Our Prophet said to Abû Hurayra ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’: “Be a man of wara’ so that you may be the most ’âbid (devoted) of human beings.” Hadrat Hasan-i Basrî ‘rahmatullâhi ’alaih’ says: “Attaining wara’ as much as a mote is more useful than a thousand supererogatory fasts and prayers of namâz.” Abû Hurayra ‘radiy- Allâhu ’anh’ said: “On the Day of Rising, those who are valuable in the presence of Allâhu ta’âlâ are people of wara’ and zuhd.” Allâhu ta’âlâ said to Hadrat Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’: “Among those who become close to Me and who attain My love, there will not be anyone who approaches as close as people of wara’ do.” Some great savants said: “If a person does not know the following ten things as fard for himself, he will not be a man of perfect wara’: he should not backbite; he should not feel sû’i-zân for Muslims, which means to distrust them and to think of them as bad persons; he should not make fun of anybody; he should not look at women and girls (that are forbidden for him by Islam); he should tell the truth; he should think of the gifts and blessings which Allâhu ta’âlâ has bestowed upon him so that he will not be self-conceited; he should spend his property in manners and for things that are halâl; he should not spend them for harâms; he should desire positions and posts not for his nafs or for his comfort, but because he knows them as positions for serving Muslims; he should know it as his first duty to perform the five daily prayers of namâz within their prescribed times; he should learn very well îmân and the deeds taught by the Ahlas-sunnat savants and adapt himself to them.


Yâ Rabbî! Increase the light of the right way which you have bestowed upon us! Forgive us! You are the Almighty!” My dear, merciful, and kind-hearted sir! If one is granted the lot of making tawba for all of one’s sins and having wara’ and taqwâ [that is, avoiding all the harâms and the dubious], the great blessing, the grand fortune will have been obtained. If this cannot be obtained, it will be a blessing as well to make tawba for some sins and to avoid some of the harâms.

Maybe, the blessings and lights of some of them will suffuse all and will open the way to making tawba for all the sins and for being a man of perfect wara’. It was stated: “If something cannot be obtained as a whole, one should not lose it all.” Yâ Rabbî! Grant us the lot of doing the things which Thou like! As alms for Muhammad Mustafâ ‘’alaihi wa ’alaihim wa ’alâ âli kullin min-as-salawâti afdâluhâ wa min-atteslîmâti akmaluhâ’, who is the highest and master of Prophets, the head of the travellers along the way of greatness and honour, do not make us cease from being in Thine religion and from obeying Thee! [Billions of people have lived in this world. They have lived for a certain time period; afterwards, they have died. Some of them were rich, some were poor. Some of them were beautiful, some ugly. Some of them were cruel and some of them were kind.

All of their characteristics are now non-existent and forgotten. Some were Believers – Muslims. The remaining ones were disbelievers – kâfirs. All of them will either be non-existent eternally or after Doomsday those who do not believe will be tormented eternally. But there will be no torment for those who are Believers. Disbelievers will experience an everlasting and extremely severe punishment. Those who will pass away as Believers are now at ease, and they are experiencing inner happiness. As for disbelievers, they are in fear of the prospects of burning in fire eternally. O, man, think carefully! A few years from now, you will be one of them. At that time, all of your life, activities and painstaking efforts will be an image or dream, as is the case with the years that have passed. Therefore, which group do you want to belong in? You cannot say that you do not want to belong to either group, which is impossible. You will be among either one at any rate. Even if it is merely a probability, do you want to be burned eternally in a fire? Wisdom, knowledge, and science prevent the rejection of the existence of Allah and a belief regarding Paradise and Hell.

They cannot say that such things cannot happen. Those who do not believe are unable to show any documents or evidence supporting their rejection. However, the evidences that prove belief to be inevitable are innumerable. World libraries are full of books which spell out these proofs. Deceived by their nafs and pleasures, they reject. They think of nothing except their  pleasures. However, Islam does not prohibit pleasure itself. It prohibits the hazardous effects of certain pleasures. Therefore, a person who has wisdom will obtain his pleasure through the means shown by Allâhu ta’âlâ. He will be equipped with the superior morality of Islam.

He will be helpful to everyone. He will respond to malice with goodness. Should he fail to be good, he will be patient, in the least. He will not be destructive; he will be constructive. Thus, he will attain his pleasures, comfort and peace of mind. Besides, he will be spared the eternal torments of the next world. It is a proven fact that to be a Muslim and to have îmân are prerequisites for peace of mind and happiness. To have îmân is very easy. It is not necessary to give money to a certain place, to give goods, to do hard work, to receive permission from someone. Additionally, it is not necessary to declare it openly and to inform someone about your îmân. Îmân consists of learning six things and believing in them through the heart in a secret way. A person who has îmân will be submissive to Allâhu ta’âlâ’s commandments. In other words, he will willingly obey them without any compulsion. Thus, he will become a Muslim. In short, every Believer (Mu’min) is a Muslim. Every Muslim is a Believer.]

[1] Actions, words, and thoughts which Allâhu ta’âlâ clearly commands in the Qur’ân are called farz (or fard). Fard-i-’ayn means a fard which is obligatory for every Muslim. Every Muslims has to carry out the fard-i-’ayn.

[2] To ask Allah’s pardon. To entreat Him for His forgiveness.

[3] They are people who do not have more possessions than what they need for one day. It means ‘very poor.’


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