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Lesson Forty - one: Obstacles to Obedience ( Part III )
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Obstacles to Obedience
Forgiveness and Obedience

One may ask – “What if I truly want to obey Allah (S.W.A) now, but my life has been carefree about his commands. What do I do, or where do I start?”
This concern is directly answered by these two verses:

“And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins – who can forgive sins except Allah? – and are never obstinate in persisting (knowingly) in the wrong they have done (3:135)

For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and gardens with rivers flowing underneath – an eternal home : how excellent a reward for those who work and strive (3:136)”

Do exactly what (3:135) says and your past disobedience to Allah (S.W.A) is forgiven and forgotten.
Yet another person may ask – “Can I start to obey Allah (S.W.A) when right now I am submerged in an ocean of disobedience to him?” Certainly! It is never too late to repent.  Here is what Allah (S.W.A.) says about it.

“Say: ‘Oh my servants who have transgressed against their own souls, despair not of the mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins for he is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful (39:53)

Turn you to your Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (Will) before the penalty comes on you: after that you shall not be helped (39:54).

And follow the best of courses revealed from your Lord, before the penalty comes on you – of a sudden, while you perceive not (39:55)!

-Lest the soul should say: ‘Ah! Woe is me! In that I neglected (my duty) towards Allah and was but among those who mocked!’ (39:56)

Or lest it should say: ‘If only Allah had guided me, I should surely have been among the righteous!’ (39:57)

Or lest it should say when it sees the penalty: ‘If only I had another chance, I should certainly be among those who do good!’ (39:58)

The reply will be: ‘Nay! But there came to you my signs, and you did reject them: you were haughty and became one of those who reject faith.’ (39:59).”

Though Allah (S.W.A) is willing to forgive us our past disobediences any time, we should never wait to seek forgiveness until our deathbeds. Then, our repentance may get rejected. At least we know one person who did just that and his repentance was not accepted. Allah (S.W.A) speaks:

We took the children of Israel across the sea: Pharaoh and his hosts followed them in insolence and spite. At length, when overwhelmed with the flood, he said: ‘I believe there is no god except Him whom the children of Israel believe in: I am of those who submit (to Allah in Islam) (10:90)

(It was said to him): ‘Ah now! But a little while before were you in rebellion! – And you did mischief (and violence)! (10:91)

This day shall we save you in your body that you may be a sign to those who come after you! But verily many among mankind are heedless of our signs!’

We must not procrastinate our obedience to Allah (S.W.A): we do not want to meet Mr. Death in rebellion to our master and creator. Death makes no appointments. On the other hand, Allah (S.W.A) warns us sternly not to die except in a state of obedience to him. He speaks:

Oh you who believe! Fear Allah as he should be feared and die not except in state of submission (Islam) (3:102).”
This simply means that we must strive to be in a state of obedience to Allah (S.W.A) at all times.
To Be Continued