6 Practical Steps Toward Sincere Repentance

Most people are aware of the conditions people must fulfil before their repentance is accepted, namely giving up the sin, regretting the sin, and determining never to commit it again.
However, in this article we will highlight some practical steps people should follow in order to help achieve sincere repentance.
1⃣: Trying to count all the sins that you have committed since adulthood until the present time.
This is an introduction to repenting for all these sins, because when the soul considers all its sins, it will be humble and tend to repent as soon as possible. Here is a list of the categories of sins to help you remember your past sins:
– Sins of the body, such as the tongue (backbiting, tale-bearing, lying, and ridiculing others); the eyes (looking at what is prohibited), ears, hands, feet and private parts.
– Sins of the heart, such as arrogance, envy, aggression, self-conceit, and so on.
– Negligence in performing your duties towards one’s parents, relatives and negligence regarding the other duties such as enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, as well as Da’wah (calling to Islam).
– Negligence in the acts of worship like delaying the prayer after its due time.
2⃣: Try to count all the blessings of Allaah The Almighty upon you.
You should keep counting these blessings until you realize how negligent you are towards the rights of Allaah The Almighty and until you despair of counting. Allaah The Exalted Says (what means): {And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the favor of Allaah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, humankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful.} [Quran 14:34]
Then, you should make a comparison between the blessings that Allaah The Almighty sends down to you, and your misdeeds that are being sent to Him in return. In this case, you will not be able to resist your tears, your heart will be soft and you will say: “I acknowledge the favors that You have bestowed upon me, and I confess my sins. Pardon me, for none but You has the power to pardon.” [Al-Bukhaari]
When you shed tears and feel remorse, you should then move to the third step.
3⃣: Repentance Prayer
After deserting the sin, you should immediately implement the advice of the Prophet,(Peace be upon him) who said: “Whenever one commits a sin, and then performs ablution perfectly, and prays two Rak’ahs (units of prayer) after which he seeks the forgiveness of Allaah He will forgive him.” [Al-Albaani: Saheeh]
Then, you should determine that you would never return to sins. In this way, you will live the best day of your life since your birth.
4⃣: Keep away from bad friends and evil companions.
Sever your relationship with them, because they will prevent you from returning to your Lord. If you succeed in getting rid of them, then this is a great sign that Allaah The Almighty has accepted your repentance.
5⃣: You should have a daily program of acts of worship to perform.
This program aims at helping you make up for what you missed and compensate your negligence towards the rights of Allaah The Almighty. This program should include reading parts of the Quran, Dhikr (words of remembrance) reported from the Prophet, night prayer and fasting. However, the most important thing is that this program should be gradual and realistic.
6⃣: You should attend a religious lecture in a masjid once a week on a regular basis.
This step aims at strengthening your relationship with your Lord and the righteous people who are your companions on the road to faith. Accompany those righteous people and never keep away from them.

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