Iranians from all walks of life are seizing the opportunity of the Nature’s Day on Sunday to spend some quality time with their loved ones out in the wilderness across the country.
Despite the downpours and cold weather in some cities and towns, millions are spending the day out.
It is not just natural sites and the countryside to which Iranians venture on April 2 – or Farvardin 13, according to the Iranian calendar – every year in a long-running Persian tradition. More modest destinations, such as parks and recreational sites inside cities are also popular with some Iranians.
The day is popularly known in Farsi as “sizdah bedar,” which roughly translates as “outing the 13th [of Farvardin]”.
Whether in the cities or out in the countryside, outdoor barbeques and other portable cooking devices are a common sight. Relishing good food is, after all, an indispensable part of the event.
Civil services such as police and firefighting services are, nevertheless, on alert to make sure the people finish the day safe and sound.
It is therefore natural that Muslims become familiar with its meaning, understand this special phrase, and try to breed this quality within themselves to the best of their ability.
Unfortunately, alteration or tampering, which is a very common calamity especially for Islamic phrases, has not left this term untouched, and it could be said that up to a large extent its form, matter, and substance have been completely metamorphosed.
Common Understanding of Patience
Normally, patience is defined as tolerant of unpleasant circumstances. This definition, the way it is to a larger extent is intermingled with ambiguities, justifications, opposing statements, and conflicts. For an oppressed and vacuous society steeped in corruption and decadence, patience as defined above will become the biggest tool and pattern for oppressors and corrupters for maintaining the status quo, by keeping the society in a state of backwardness.
When poor and backward nations exposed to all kinds of problems and misery, or oppressed masses crushed under brute oppression, or societies faced with moral corruption, poverty and human suffering, or any individual or group trapped in a cesspool of misfortune and calamities, they are told to be patient, the first result will be the taking of that bitter and fatal dose, i.e. to suffer with, and not to overthrow the existing state of oppression.
Not only will they not mobilize themselves to overthrow the existing undesirable state of oppression, but on the contrary, keeping in mind the supposed rewards for remaining indifferent and naive they would feel happy and content to the extent that they would regard such behavior as tantamount to accomplishment of a grand victory. It is obvious that the prevalence of such a mentality in that society, up to a large extent, will be to the advantage of the class of exploiters and oppressors, and to the further detriment of the deprived and oppressed masses.
Unfortunately, this wrong interpretation together with its disastrous results presently constitutes the sorry state of affairs in some Islamic societies. Any other interpretation for free and unprejudiced minds is quite logical and acceptable. But for those accustomed to its false interpretation, even serious endeavors and fruitful results. When detailed studies of verses of the Holy Quran and narrations (hadith) about patience are conducted, grief and surprise for this deviation becomes relatively intense.
Overall Views about Patience
If the meanings of patience are interpreted in the light of the clear, explicit, and definite verses of the Holy Quran as well as in accordance with the authentic traditions reported from the infallible Imams (may peace be upon them), then the result derived would be completely opposite to the current common understanding of the term.
The above interpretation transforms patience into a lever capable of removing with ease, the heaviest obstacles and solving the biggest problems with one hundred percent positive results. Thus, for an unfortunate society, patience is the key to prosperity and blessings, while on the other hand it will be a strong obstacle to be reckoned with for troublemakers and mischief-mongers.
In order to appreciate exactly the true meanings of patience and its relevant fields, the best methodology is to resort to the Holy Quran and authentic traditions. A thorough investigation would enable us to reach a clear and decisive judgment. More than seventy verses of the Holy Quran, deal with patience, glorifying the term and praising those who possess this virtue. The Holy Quran describes in detail possessors of this virtue. The Holy Quran describes in detail the relevant results derived and the circumstances where one could count on this characteristic.
For the present discussion, we will not resort to the verses of the Holy Quran regarding patience, rather it will suffice our discussion to review the authentic traditions, and accordingly, derive inferences and conclusions because of the following reasons. Firstly, precise and detailed interpretation of the verses of the Holy Quran regarding patience would mean a wide discussion, which requires a lot of patience, energy and time. (Footnote: A point in contrast to those who have totally disregarded the Holy Quran for understanding the principles and branches of Islam, and depend upon traditions, however weak, as the only source of religion). Secondly, to try to compensate for the negligence shown towards the traditions which were narrated by the infallible Imams (may peace be upon them); our discussion will be based on traditions. The absence of the use of traditions is clearly felt in current Islamic research and currently published Islamic literature.
Summary of the Meanings of Patience
On the basis of traditions, patience is defined as the resistance shown by man on the road towards perfection against mischief, corruption and degradation. Which can be compared to the example of a mountaineer who, in order to reach the peak, has to face internal as well as external obstacles or barriers. The internal obstacles are within his inner self, while the external ones are outside beyond his control. Each of them in their own ways interfere with his climbing efforts. Internal obstacles such as the love for comfort, as well as fear, despair, and different types of similar passions, try to stop him while the feeling of indecisiveness in many forms tries to kill his determination for climbing. On the other hand, external barriers such as stones, rocks, wolves, thieves, and thorns etc. retard his progress.
Someone who is faced with these kinds of barriers will have the options to either drop his journey on this road which is full of dangers and hardships, or to go ahead by offering resistance against them and overcoming each barrier with his power of determination. The second case is defined as patience.
During his limited span of life in this world, the human being between his birth and death is a traveler on the road towards the final destination. He has been fundamentally created to endeavor as much as possible to bring himself close to the final destination. All the duties and responsibilities which have been assigned to man’s shoulders are the necessary means and ways to bring him closer to that target. The primary aim of the divine religions and the great prophets was to build an Islamic society providing a suitable field in which human beings could travel, ultimately reaching their desired goal.
In a nutshell, that aim could be defined as the striving for perfection and exaltation of human beings. In other words, it is the opening of the fountainheads of talents of his innerself. His acquiring of superior and noble characteristics overrides animalistic characteristics or lower qualities.
Of course, this path is a difficult one full of troubles and plenty of barriers. Each of these barriers alone is sufficient to deter the climber from continuing his journey towards the peak of perfection and exaltedness. The inner negative forces (inside the climber) of un-weighed evil passions, coupled with the external forces such as the troublesome state of affairs of the real world, produce a series of obstacles of thorns, rocks, etc., in his path.
Patience means to be able to stand up against all those obstacles and to conquer them with determination and enthusiasm. Therefore, as was mentioned earlier, all Islamic duties whether individual or collective (social) are means and steps needed to approach that goal of perfection.
For a person on a journey towards a distant city traveling through the deserts, the passing of each habitation that lies in his path means that his journey is progressing or, he is getting closer to his final destination. Of course these intermediate aims or targets themselves are preliminaries of the path towards reaching the real and final destination. Therefore each step taken, although a means for accomplishing the ultimate aim, is nevertheless in itself a multidimensional accomplishment and may be regarded as something closer to the final objective.
The summary of this discussion is that to reach each of these goals and destinations, the basic condition is the possession of patience and the ability to utilize this sharp and decisive weapon. Just as the road towards the accomplishment of the ultimate goal of perfection is full of obstacles, similarly the paths of Muslims fulfilling their Islamic duties and responsibilities are also full of these obstacles. These paths are a means for reaching the final destination. There are infinite internal and external obstacles scattered on these roads. On one hand, the depressing internal feelings of laziness, indifference, selfishness, self-praise, pride, greed, and improper sexual desires, as well as other various harmful desires of comfort, wealth, fame, etc., haunt the traveler. While on the other hand, unfavorable conditions, interruptions, and situations forced or superimposed onto people because of the social set up of ruling regimes confront him.
Each one of the above in a way, discourages him from carrying out his constructive duties, which either could be individual duties such as offering prayers, or other social obligations like his efforts for the proclamation of truth. The thing which would enable and guarantee the dischargement of each duty, the undertaking of each step, the proceeding on each road, and the accomplishing of each result, is the resistance offered by man against obstacles. Thus the power which enables him to proceed through these barriers, is defined as patience.
Since all the prophets called for monotheism and invited mankind to worship the Almighty God alone and liberate themselves from servitude to others, Islam is thus a general title for their calls.
In attempting to analyze this subject, one should refer to Quranic verses which deal with the concept of ‘Islam’. Among these numerous verses which discuss religion, servitude and submission to the Lord of the worlds, preached by the prophets and messengers from Noah (PBUH) to Mohammad (PBUH), one should also note when and how the term ‘Islam’ has been used. In this way, the clear meaning of ‘Islam’ and its relation with the calls of all the prophets becomes readily clear.
Total submission to the Lord of the worlds
The Quran uses this word repeatedly and in diverse forms to define true faith and complete submission to Allah’s commands. ‘Islam’ has been used in the form of commands, benedictions and other expressions by the prophets and their faithful followers, announcing their submission or response to its call.
Allah, the Exalted, proclaims through His servant Noah (PBUH) in Quran:
“But if you are averse I have asked of you no wage; my wage is only with Allah, and I am commanded to be of those who are Muslims (submit to Him).” (Quran, 10:72)
Also, Allah proclaims through Abraham (PBUH):
“When his Lord said to him; be a Muslim, he said: I submit to the Lord of the worlds. And the same did Abraham enjoin upon his sons, and (so did) Jacob, (saying): O my sons! Surely Allah has chosen for you this (We) faith, therefore die not unless you are Muslims.” (Quran, 2:131 – 132)
“….the faith of your father Abraham (is yours). He named you Muslims before (in previous scriptures)….” (Quran, 22:78)
Allah also relates Joseph’ prayer:
“My Lord! You have given me (something) of the kingdom and taught me (something) of the interpretation of events: Originator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Guardian in this world and the hereafter; make me die a Muslim and join me with the righteous.” (Quran, 12:101)
Allah the Exalted, relates Moses’ proclamation in the Quran:
“And Moses said: O my people! If you believe in Allah, then rely on Him (alone), if you have indeed become Muslims (those who submit to Him).” (Quran, 10:84)
Allah also says:
“Surely We revealed the Torah, in which Was guidance and light, by which the prophets who submitted themselves (to Allah) judged the Jews…” (Quran, 5:44)
“And when I inspired the disciples, (saying): Believe in Me and My Apostle (Jesus), they said: We believe and bear witness that we are Muslims (have submitted).” (Quran, 5:111)
Allah also commands Mohammad (PBUH) like all other prophets to say:
“I am commanded only to serve the Lord of this land (Mecca), Who has made it sacred, and His are all things: And I am commanded to be of those who are Muslims (submit to Him)” (Quran, 27:91)
Thus, all these divine invitations meet along the line of submission – Islam – to the Lord of the worlds in its true context; that is, servitude and true faith in Allah, the Exalted.
The explicit meaning becomes apparent in Abraham’s (PBUH) words: “I submit to the Lord of the worlds”; that is, he regards his submission as a religion for worship, as a trust he commits to his sons and his followers, as a slogan for the monotheists, and as a motto for the invitation to faith:
“….. the faith of your father Abraham (is yours); He named you Muslims before (in previous scriptures)…..” (Quran, 22:78)
Through these Quranic verses we understand that all the prophets followed this unified line of faith with a single aim: The implementation of servitude to Allah mankind’s submission to the Lord of the worlds liberating them from the worship of tyrants or their own inner desires.
Belief in Prophets – a major basis of a Muslim’s ideology
As such, the Quran regards belief in the prophets as a major basis of a Muslim’s ideology and as a historical and logical proof of the truthfulness of prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) message:
“Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and (in) that which has been revealed to us, and (in) that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and (in) that which was given to Moses and Jesus, and (in) that which was given to the prophets from their Lord, we make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we submit (become Muslims).” (Quran, 2:136)
“Say: I am not the first of the apostles, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you: I do not follow anything but that which is revealed to me, and I am (nothing) but a plain warner.” (Quran, 46:9)
Salvation for Humanity
All the prophets, as is understood from the above verses, offered to mankind the same religion and the same belief which Allah considered to be the base and the starting point for the reformation of man.
It would deliver him from the dark labyrinth of ignorance which has resulted from the ages of legends and myths fabricated by primitive peoples. Man has suffered from this ignorance as he has suffered from the oppression of tyrants, and from poverty, injustice and corruption.
He will continue to suffer unless he turns to the path of the prophets who all shared the same call. This call aimed at the salvation of humanity – generation after generation, nation after nation – from its sufferings and tragedies.
Islam prevails all other religions
Allah, the Exalted, willed that all His messengers should pour their offerings into the same stream, which their flames should unite into a single illumination. This was the call of Islam, the message of dear prophet Mohammad (PBUH), as the eternal religion, the final message, and the theme dominating and encompassing all other missions of the apostles.
“And We have revealed to you the Book (Quran) with the truth confirming whatever of the Book(s) was before it and a guardian over it, so judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their low desires (to turn away) from the truth which has come to you; for every one of you We have appointed a divine law and a (traced out) way…” (Quran, 5:48)
“He it is Who sent His Apostle with the guidance and the true religion; that He may make it overcome (other) religions, all of them, however much the polytheists may be averse.” (Quran, 61:9)
Islam overcame all other religions as it is characterized by equality, rationality, universality and eternity, enabling it to expand over vast periods of man’s history, encompassing all aspects of human growth and development.
“We have seized a sum of 22,500 kilograms of narcotics from drug traffickers in the past 21 days, including 15,252 kilograms of opium,” Deputy Head of Iran’s Anti-Drug Headquarters Assadollah Hadinejad said on Wednesday.
He noted that the Law Enforcement police also arrested 778 drug traffickers in the said period.
Iran lies on a transit corridor between opium producing Afghanistan and drug dealers in Europe.
The Iranian police officials maintain that drug production in Afghanistan has undergone a 40-fold increase since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.
While Afghanistan produced only 185 tons of opium per year under the Taliban, according to the UN statistics, since the US-led invasion, drug production has surged to 3,400 tons annually. In 2007, the opium trade reached an estimated all-time production high of 8,200 tons.
Afghan and western officials blame Washington and NATO for the change, saying that allies have “overlooked” the drug problem since invading the country 13 years ago.
“Netanyahu’s remarks were repeated lies; the (Zionist) regime’s hostilities towards the Iranian nation are obvious and the regime’s lies have been completely revealed on the international scene,” Afkham told reporters on Wednesday.
Stressing that the Zionist regime is isolated more than ever due to its repeated crimes against the Palestinians, promotion of state terrorism and violation of human rights, she said, “Such attempts that are made to make the world nations forget the crimes against the Palestinian people are wrong.”
“They (the Zionists) cannot make the world community to forget the crimes in Gaza through statements and trips,” Afkham said.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham
Afkham, meantime, downplayed Netanyahu’s remarks, and said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran participates in the negotiations based on the nation’s interests.”
“A good agreement (with the world powers) is an agreement which includes all the rights of the (Iranian) nation,” the foreign ministry presser underscored.
In relevant remarks in February, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underlined that Iran would never accept a bad agreement with the world powers, adding that the country is in favor of a single-phase comprehensive deal which would respect the Iranian nation’s inalienable rights and entail all details.
“I agree with an agreement if it can be struck, but I disagree with a bad agreement,” the Supreme Leader said in a meeting with the commanders and personnel of the Iranian Air Force and Air Defense in Tehran last month.
Netanyahu’s controversial speech started on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. (local time). He was invited by US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner hours after President Barack Obama threatened to veto any sanctions legislation against Iran during his State of the Union address on January 20.
More than 50 House Democrats boycotted the event. The Obama administration is both angry at Netanyahu’s accepting the Republican invitation to address Congress two weeks before the Israeli election without consulting the White House and excessive Israel Lobby interference in American foreign policy.
Shortly after the Israeli prime minister spoke against the ongoing Iran’s nuclear talks, US President Barack Obama told reporters that Netanyahu “did not offer any viable alternative.”
The US President said there was ‘nothing new’ in Netanyahu’s speech.
After Netanyahu’s speech on Tuesday night, Afkham strongly condemned his remarks, describing them as a propaganda effort to rally support in Israel’s upcoming parliamentary elections.
“Netanyahu’s speech was totally a deceitful show and part of an electoral campaign made by radicals in Tel Aviv,” Afkham said.
She underlined that the world public opinion gave no attention to the child-killer regime of Israel.
“Netanyahu’s speech indicated his weakness and extreme isolation of the radical groups even among their supporters,” Afkham added.
She noted that it was also an effort to impose their radical and irrational agenda on international policy, and said, “Constant lying of Netanyahu about goals and purposes of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program is very much boring and not new.”
“The Iranophobia scenario is facing serious problem now as the (nuclear) talks are continuing and Iran’s is seriously determined to settle this fake crisis,” Afkham said.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany) are negotiating to narrow their differences over Tehran’s nuclear energy program ahead of a July 1 deadline
Iran has unveiled a new indigenously designed and manufactured ‘flying robot’ which can be used for a number of civilian purposes.
Seyyed Amiduddin Mousavi, the head of the Zanjan branch of Sama Technical and Vocational Training College, said on Tuesday that the aircraft has been developed by seven Iranian researchers at the faculty, can fly up to 400 meters (1,312 feet) above the earth’s surface, weighs 1.3 kilograms, and is capable of carrying a three-kilogram payload.
He added that the radio-controlled aircraft can remain steady in flights, and can fly without an operator.
Mousavi further noted that the vehicle can be used to perform videography missions; transport freight and goods; monitor electricity and telephone lines; as well as identify, track, and chase people and objects.
On November 18, 2013, Iran unveiled its biggest indigenously developed drone, which can be used for reconnaissance and combat operations.
The remote-controlled aircraft, dubbed Fotros, has an operational radius of up to 2,000 kilometers, an operational altitude of 25,000 feet and flight endurance of up to 30 hours.
On September 28, 2013, the Iranian Army Ground Forces unveiled an indigenously designed and built combat drone, dubbed Yasir, in a ceremony attended by senior military officials.
Iran unveiled its first indigenously manufactured long-range combat drone, the Karrar (Striker), on August 23, 2010. It has an operational radius of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and can carry two 115-kilogram bombs or precision-guided munitions weighing 227 kilograms.
The first Iranian medium-altitude long-endurance UAV, the Shahed-129 (Witness-129), was unveiled in September 2012, which is capable of carrying out combat and reconnaissance missions for 24 hours.
‘Tawba’ or repentance is a part of the all compassing mercies of the Most Merciful Lord. It is one of the avenues of His unbounded indulgence that He has kept always open for His slaves. Had it been closed, no one would have ever attained salvation, such is human inclination towards evil.
The Kind and Wise Lord therefore ordained Tawba(repentance) to be a cure for diseases of the soul and a means of purifying indecent deeds, whereby Tawba can wash away man’s sins so that he can obtain eternal salvation.
Indeed, fortunate is one who appreciates the value of this gate of Divine Mercy, benefits from it and becomes Allah (S.w.T.)’s most beloved slave, and is thankful to Allah (S.w.T.) for His limitless bounties; and highly unfortunate is the one who remains deprived of Divine Mercy even though the paths leading to it are open to him.
On the Day of Judgement (Qiyāma) man will find excuses and say: O My Lord! I was unaware and ignorant; was chained by passions and desires and hence could not remain steadfast in the face of satanic instigations. In reply to these excuses he will be told: Did We not keep the doors of Tawba(repentance) always open for you? Were you entrusted highly difficult tasks and ordered to perform a duty beyond your power? Were the conditions of Tawba beyond your ability?
Reality of Tawba
The Holy Prophet (S) said,
“To be ashamed of one’s sins is Tawba.”
Imam Baqir (a.s.) says,
“Repenting on one’s deed is enough Tawba.” (al-Kāfi)
Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) said,
“There is no man who Allah did not forgive who had felt ashamed of his misdeed. Whenever a man feels ashamed of his fault and then begs pardon of Allah He forgives all of his sins.”
Repenting over ones sins with heartfelt remorse is Tawba. Man should understand that Allah (S.w.T.) will be displeased with him if he commits a sin and he should not forget that his Lord is able to see whatever he does. It is like a man who, despite being warned by friends, invests all of his wealth in a bargain and consequently loses everything and becomes bankrupt and then repents. It is also like a sick person who eats something that a doctor had prohibited and, as a result becomes serious. He then gets nothing but disgrace.
It is narrated that someone said: Astaghfirullah (I seek God’s forgiveness) before Imam ‘Ali (a). He said to him. “May your mother mourn for you! Do you know what istighfar is? Verily istighfar is a degree of the ‘illiyyun (people of high station) and it is a word that means six things.
First is remorse over the past.
Second, the resolution not to return to it ever.
Third, to return to creatures their (formerly usurped) rights so that you meet God Almighty in a state of purity in which no one has any claim against you.
Fourth, that you fulfil every duty that you neglected in order to satisfy your obligation in respect to it.
Fifth, that you attend to the flesh of your body that has grown on unlawful nourishment so that it melts away as a result of grief and mourning and your skin adheres to your bones, after which new flesh grows in its place.
Sixth, that you make your body taste the pain of obedience in the same way as it earlier tasted the pleasure of sins. When you have done these things then say Astaghfirullah!
All religious scholars have agreed that Tawba is obligatory for all sins. Muhaqqiq Tusi (r.a.) writes in his Tajrīd al-Kalām and Allamah Hilli (a.r.) writes in its commentary that Tawba is the means of making up for spiritual losses suffered, and wisdom therefore dictates that Tawba is compulsory.
Allah Almighty says in Surah Nūr’s verse 31:
“And turn to Allah all of you, O believers! so that you may be successful.”
He also says in Surah Tahrīm (Ayat:8):
“O you who believe! Turn to Allah a (Tawba of Nasūh) sincere turning; maybe your Lord will remove from you your evil and cause you to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow.”
What is Tawba of Nasūh?
Allamah Majlisi, in Sharhe Kāfi, quotes the commentators about meaning of Tawbatan Nasūh:
1. To repent purely and piously in the presence of the Lord. Repentance should not merely be due to a desire of Paradise and fear of Hell, it should be due to a feeling of shame and remorse for not obeying Allah’s commands. Tusi (r.a.) writes in Tajrīd al-Kalam. “It is not Tawba to worry about sins for fear of Hell.”
2. The Tawba should be such that it may serve as a lesson even to others. A person should repent with such sincerity and such persistence that by observing his repentance other sinners may also be inclined towards Tawba. In this way he also becomes a means of guidance for others.
3. Nasīhat (admonition) or advice is like sewing. So the clothing of religion which was torn into pieces because of sins can be stitched by the threads of Tawba. Such repentant people are also called Awliyaullah (Friends of Allah).
4. He should give Nasīhat (admonition) to himself so thoroughly and honestly and perform such a Tawba that all soot of sins may vanish from the walls of his heart. His worship should be so intense that the radiance of Faith removes the darkness of sins totally. He must be so involved in performing good deeds that his bad deeds are fully compensated for.
A great religious scholar says: It is not enough to doTawba, which would effect only a superficial cleansing of the soul. His worship to Allah (S.w.T.) should be to such an extent and his obedience to Allah (S.w.T.) is implicit, such that his sins are totally obliterated, and his heart and soul is purified with a thorough cleansing. The more his worship the purer will be his heart. A repentant must necessarily look at his past so that each and every sin can be repented for. For instance, if he had enjoyed nonsense songs and maddening music in a dance party he should now pay more and more attention to the recitation of Qur’an, Hadith, religious discourses, sermons etc.
Merit of Tawba
1. It makes man a beloved of God
2. Evils are turned into good deeds
3. Praiseworthy Prayer of Angels
4. The repentant will go to Paradise
5. Tawba gives happiness in life
6. Prayer are accepted by Tawba
7. Tawba Brings good tidings from God
8. Any number of sins will be pardoned through Tawba
9. Breakingof Tawba does not nullify repentance
10. The Door of Tawba is open forever
(Follow the source link at the end of the article for more information on each merit)
Repentance should be Instant
Shaykh Bahai writes in Arbaīn: There is no doubt aboutTawba being compulsory because, just as poison destroys man’s body so do sins (destroy his soul). After consuming poison it becomes essential for one to go immediately for treatment to save ones life. Likewise it is compulsory for a sinner to resort to Tawba immediately after sinning so that his Dīn (religion) may not be destroyed. The sinner who delays repentance takes a very big risk. The first risk is that if he continues to remain alive he may indulge in another sin (because a sincere Tawba implies that he has made a firm resolution not to commit that sin again). The second danger is that if death takes him suddenly he will die unrepentant.
Allah (S.w.T.) says:
What! do the people of the towns then feel secure from Our punishment coming to them by night while they sleep? What! do the people of the towns feel secure from Our punishment coming to them in the morning while they play? What! do they then feel secure from Allah’s plan? But none feels secure from Allah’s plan except the people who shall perish.
(Surah Al-A’raaf 7:97-99)
Elsewehere He says:
And spend out of what We have given you before death comes to one of you, so that he should say: My Lord! Why didst Thy not respite me to a near term, so that I should have given alms and been of the doors of good deeds. And Allah does not respite a soul when its appointed term has come, and Allah is Aware of what you do.
(Surah Munāfiqun 63:10-11)
In the explanation of this verse it is said that a man, at the time of his death, tells the angel of death: Please give me just one day’s respite so that I may repent for my sins and be prepared for the journey to the Hereafter. Izrāīl says: The days of your life are now over. The person says: Just give me only an hour’s respite. Comes the reply: Even the moments of your life are over. The door of Tawba is now closed for you.
When a person sins and does not do Tawba, his heart darkens (polluted) as he commits more and more sins the dirt accumulates on his heart. It then becomes a vicious circle, the darkening of the heart leads to further sins, and the sins lead to further darkening of the heart. A stage is finally reached when his heart is irreversibly polluted and cannot be cleansed. Such a heart is referred to in narrations as a black heart.
Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says,
For human hearts nothing is more harmful than a sin. When the mirror of heart becomes black because of sins the blackness covers the entire soul. Then man tumbles down from his original position and gets separated from truth.
According to another tradition he also said,
“Such a sinner will not be able to do any good.”
Such a man will not give up sins and hence the wisdom of doing good will be snatched away from him and he will not be able to perform Tawba till his last moment. If he will utterTawba from his mouth it will remain limited to his lips. His heart will not support his tongue. As it is not a true Tawba it will not prove effective.
An enlightening story: Wine changed into Vinegar
Sabzewari writes in his book Misbahul Qulūb that when the order prohibiting wine-drinking was revealed a caller was sent by the Messenger of Allah (S) who announced that henceforth no one shall consume liquor. By chance, one day the Holy Prophet (S) was passing through a bylane when a Muslim man also entered it carrying a bottle of wine in his hand. He was terrified on seeing the Holy Prophet (S) and he said ferverently to the Almighty Allah, “I repent for this and I shall never drink again. Please save me from disgrace.”
When the Messenger of Allah (S) came near he asked,“What is there in the bottle?”
“It contains Vinegar,” replied the man. The Holy Prophet (S) put forward his hand and asked the man to put a little bit on his palm. When the Prophet (S) examined it, it was indeed vinegar. The person was overwhelmed with emotions and he began to weep and say, “By Allah! It was wine!”
“But before this I had repented and begged Allah not to disgrace me,” He added.
The Messenger of Allah (S) said that it was true, “Allah changes the sins of repenters into good deeds. “They are the ones whose sins are changed into good deeds by Allah.”