True Goodness

It is reported that ‘Alī b. Abī Ṭālib – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

Goodness is not in your wealth and offspring being plentiful; true goodness is when your [good] deeds are plenty and you have great understanding and forbearance, and when you compete to worship your Lord. If you do good you praise Allāh and thank Him, and if you sin you beg Allāh’s forgiveness. There is no good in this life except with two types of men: A man who sins but then corrects himself through repentance, and a man who strives and hastens to get [the good] of the hereafter.

Ibn ‘Asākir, Al-Tawbah article 13.

Repentance in Action

It is reported that ‘Alī b. Ḥusayn – Allāh have mercy on him – said, “Tawbah is only through action, and turning back from what has been done. Tawbah is not by mere speech.”

Ibn Abī Al-Dunyā, Al-Tawbah article 57.

The Successful Pilgrim

It was said to Al-Ḥasan Al-Baṣrī, “People say that the one who has been on Ḥajj is the one who is forgiven.” He said, “And the sign of this is that he leaves the evils he used to do.”

Ibn Abī Al-Dunyā, Al-Tawbah article 70.

We can only repent

It is reported that Ṭalq b. Ḥabīb – Allāh have mercy on him – said, “The right of Allāh is too great and heavy for the creation to fulfill and the blessings of Allāh are too many to enumerate, but you should remain repentant, morning and evening.”

Ibn Abī Al-Dunyā, Al-Tawbah article 62.

The signs of true Repentance

The great ascetic Shaqīq Al-Balakhī – Allāh have mercy on him – was once asked, “What is the mark of [true] repentance?” He replied, “Continued crying over past sins, deep fear of falling into them again, staying away from bad company, and keeping the company of good people.”

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-‘Ilm article 2645.