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Everybody sins from time to time, either intentionally or unintentionally. When we discover that we have sinned, is there any way to make up for having committed that sin? If so, how do we do that?

What is the final result from this repentence? Is it as if the sin never occurred? Is it turned into a good thing? Is it simply that we are forgiven?

  • got some to do with whether it harms others I think. God is very merciful. but if you're owing to others out of it, there's some more there. – ashley Jun 18 '13 at 0:03
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We know that all people will make mistakes now and then, and commit sins here and there. We are to repent to Allah and ask for forgiveness, feel regret and to resolve within our selves to not go back to the sin. We believe that God will forgive all sins, except for committing shirk.

Is it as if the sin never occurred?

We believe that Allah is very merciful, so that He has our bad deeds written as one, and those good deeds, ten times the value of one and more. If we sin, we know that if we realize and repent and ask forgiveness within six hours of committing that sin, our sin will not be written down (Now that doesn't mean if we realize it after six hours that we can't repent, just we don't have the privilege of it not being written down and God does accept repentance and does forgive those who ask).

إن صاحب الشمال ليرفع القلم ست ساعات عن العبد المسلم المخطيء أو المسيء فإن ندم واستغفر الله منها ألقاها وإلا كتب واحدة

The angel of the left has his pen raised for six hours from a the sinning Muslim servant (of God), and if he/she regrets and asks for forgiveness from God it would not be written down, and if not it is written as one sin

Assilsilah Assaheeha Hadith 1209

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Is it turned into a good thing?

We are given things which help to expiate sins. For instance we are encouraged to do good deeds. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

Shall I not tell you of something by means of which Allah expiates for sins and increases good deeds?" They said: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah." He said: "Perform ablution properly despite difficulties, increasing the number of steps one takes towards the mosque and waiting for the next prayer after prayer

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Everybody sins from time to time

Yes. to some extent at least. OK. Let's assume so. (Note: Shia's consider the infallible people whom they consider so are free from sin, so let's talk about people who are not those).

When we discover that we have sinned

Yeah, you mean realize that you did something wrong, yes then,

is there any way to make up for having committed that sin?

Of Course Yes. Verily, God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Islam is nothing but submitting to God/ way of God. It is the basic definition. All you need to do is just follow that perfectly and probably better than before.

how do we make up for having committed that sin?

OK. I would love to elaborate more about the definition.

  1. Submitting to God, means remember him as much as you can in the best way you can, in the best way which the Prophet (pbuh) recommended one can.

  2. Submitting oneself in the way of God, is nothing but doing good deeds. By good deeds, I mean, love your brother as your own. If you're behaving with a person in some way, just imagine yourself in that place. Would it be right the way you're behaving with that person if that person were you? If yes, then it is a good deed. Otherwise, it is a bad deed. Simple. Well.... we can't trust ourselves always in deciding right, so it is better/recommended that we refer the manual as prescribed by God and the Prophet (pbuh).

The above are basic things repeated in the entire Qur'an so many times.

Verily, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, they are the best of creatures. (Qur'an 98:7)

So, your motto should be to try to become one of the best of the creatures in front of God.

What is the final result from this repentence?

Hmmm.... This thing, I can only answer in maybes... There are different ways within those above 2 general rules and methods which are highly preferred (which are preferentially prescribed by God and Prophet (pbuh) e.g Like the one others have pointed). But remember, what ever you do, if you want to expect forgiveness from God, conditions are that you strictly try to become one of the best creatures, and by that I mean, do not repeat or perform any of the deeds that could make you a bad creature.

Is it as if the sin never occurred?

No, I think our records will be preserved perfectly, unbiased.

Is it turned into a good thing?

Maybe Yes. But *conditions apply.

Is it simply that we are forgiven?

Yes, but according to God's wish.

May the creator guide us all.


In case if you want to read more in detail about what is the stance of repentance in Islam, you can do so here.

  • In case, if you want further clarification regarding the linked verses, then plz feel free to ask below here. – servant-of-Wiser May 21 '15 at 21:05
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The YouTube video You're Forgiven, Move On! - That's Messed Up! - Nouman Ali Khan describes the story of Prophet Musa who, before his prophethood, killed a man, yet succeeded in gaining Allah's forgiveness. The whole purpose of this YouTube video is to convey the message that it's easy for a believer who truly repents to get Allah's forgiveness. Nouman Ali Khan says:

...he turned to Allah and said, "Master, I have wronged myself". He admitted that he did something wrong, "forgive me", "forgive me" OK. Does Allah talk to him? No, because he's not a Prophet yet. But the ayah of the Qur'an says "Therefore, He forgave him" the ayah says "Therefore, He forgave him", so "forgive me!" "Therefore He forgave him." And the letter "Faa" in Arabic is for: "Therefore". Sababyiah. It's also for immediacy. So therefore he forgave him. Immediately.

He's referencing Qur'an 28:16 which says:

He said, "My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, so forgive me," and He forgave him. Indeed, He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.

and Khan's description of "immediacy" seems to match. Nouman Ali Khan continues:

How does he even know about the forgiveness? Allah does not talk to him, you know what we're learning here? If you're a sincere believer in Allah you don't need revelation from Allah, like an angel coming and telling you you are forgiven. When you sincerely ask for forgiveness, you should actually have no doubt whatsoever that forgiveness came, it's a matter of fact. It is not a matter of assumption.

In addition, we can:

  • Do good deeds to cancel out bad deeds (although Muslims are instructed to do good deeds regardless).

    ...follow up a bad deed with a good deed which will wipe it out... -- 40 Hadith Nawawi 18 [grade: hasan] (sunnah.com)

  • Do namaz-e-tawbah, the prayer of repentance.

  • Make dua for seeking forgiveness (see e.g. Seeking Forgiveness /Repentance / Isteghfar).

  • Manage the worldly consequences of the sin. The approach will need to be individualized to match the sin.

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