Al-Fawzan on the Meaning of True Repentance

Shaykh Ṣāliḥ b. Fawzān was asked:

Tell us about tawbah (repentance), and what its requisites are, and also what is at-tawbatu an-naṣūḥah (sincere repentance)?

He replied:

Tawbah is to turn back from sin to the obedience [of Allāh]. And it is obligatory:

And repent to Allāh o believers, that you may be successful.

Meaning of Qurān 24:31

So it is the duty of a Muslim, if he commits a sin, to immediately repent to Allāh the Mighty and Sublime. And Allāh accepts the repentance of a person who repents and He forgives him.

I (Allāh) am Most Forgiving to he who repents, believes and works righteousness and then follows guidance.

Meaning of Qurān 20:82

This is from the grace of Allāh the Mighty and Sublime; He commanded [us] to repent and promised He will accept the repentance of anyone who repents and forgive his sin. However, tawbah is not something that is merely said. Repentance has requisites that must be fulfilled. These requisites are:

  1. To leave the sin and distance oneself from it. A person must not just say ‘I repent to Allāh’ without leaving the sin.
  2. To resolve never to return to the sin. If a person repents to Allāh but intends to return to that sin later on, then this is a temporary repentance which Allāh the Perfect and Exalted does not accept.
  3. To regret what has happened. To picture [the reality of] the sin and fear [its consequences], and not to just say ‘I have repented, its over’, rather one must fear the sin, and regret what he has done.

These are the requisites of tawbah. When they are fulfilled, Allāh the Perfect and Exalted accepts the repentance as He promised. 


Al-Fawzān, Ṣāliḥ b. Fawzān. The Meaning of Repentance and its Requisites. Official Website of His Eminence Shaykh Dr Ṣāliḥ b. Fawzān Al-Fawzān. [web] Accessed .