REPENT, FOR ALLAH IS MERCIFULby
Dr. Ahmad Shafaat (1985)
This article is for you even if you do not consider yourself a "good" Muslim, even if you commit some of the major sins such as adultery. Indeed, this article is for you even if after coming to North America you have become a Hindu, Christian, communist or an atheist or you are married to one of these and you are letting your spouse raise your children as kafirs (non-believers, who are bent on rejecting God).
Whatever kind of person you have become after coming here, receive from God and His Messenger the good news: God is most merciful and most forgiving and as more than willing to receive you back in His mercy. He says in His book:
The relationship between you and your Creator is not such that once spoiled it has to stay spoiled. At any time we can turn to Him in repentance and make peace with Him. With repentance God washes our slates completely clean as if there was never any spot of sin on them.
If you take one step towards God, he will take two towards you. If you come to Him walking, He will come to you running.
Even though it would not harm God in the least if the whole of mankind abandoned faith and goodness, God is overjoyed when one of His servants, lost in faithlessness and sin, comes back to Him. Imagine a mother who has lost her baby in a crowd and is nervously searching for it. Imagine now her joy when she finds her lost baby. When a servant of God returns to Him after being lost in faithlessness and sin, the joy of God is more than seventy times greater than the joy of such a mother.
Now imagine a man traveling alone in a desert on a camel. He goes to sleep for the night and when he wakes up he finds his camel missing. He searches for his beast on foot for hours, during which time the sun warms up the desert, and thirst and hunger bring the man close to extinction. Just then he sees the camel walking towards him with water, food and other provisions. The happiness of God when a sinner returns to Him is like the happiness of this traveler at the moment he sees his lost camel.
Repent, therefore, to this loving and merciful God. But if you keep rejecting God's offer of mercy and forgiveness, then know that the judgment of God can come anytime. The same God that can be more loving than the most loving mother, also can at times be stricter than the most strict father.
Repentance does not mean being perfect. We can never be perfect since even prophets have at times made mistakes. Repentance means to abandon one's rebelliousness and arrogance before God and to stop deliberately disregarding His commandments without feeling any shame. Repentance means to humbly hope for the mercy of God and to fear His judgment while doing the best one can to fulfill divine wishes within the limits of one's human weaknesses.
First published in Al-Ummah, Montreal, Canada in 1985. Copyright © Dr. Ahmad Shafaat. The article may be reproduced for Da'wah purpose with proper references.