……It was by a chance encounter that my attention was drawn towards tawba (repentance). I was once honoured by the visit to the tomb of the author of the Masnavi Mawlana Jalauddin Rumi (RA). On the main entrance to the dergah I noticed a quatrain that says:

Return! Return! whoever you are return!

Whether you be an associator or disbeliever return!

Our hospice is not a hospice of despair

Even if you have broken a hundred vows return!

Each word of these verses entered my heart like an arrow to be lodged there permanently. I immediately realized the benefits, ease and greatness of tawba. The verse were an open invitation to me (and others like me) to return through the door of repentance and it seemed that there being placed in such a blessed place made their effect even more potent, rather like an invisible electric current sending beneficial shocks to our system.

Since that day I’ve been convinced that every muslim has the light of faith in his/her heart even though its effects may not be apparent. Rather like a beautiful person whose face is smeared with dust and his/her beauty is temporarily hidden. The moment they wash it clean the moon like radiance of their face will become apparent. Similarly the light of faith becomes smeared in some people through sin but the moment they repent that light will begin to shine again. If they fall into sin again and then return the soap of repentance will wash all sins away again; likewise time and time again for the mercy of the All-Merciful is vaster than the sins of human beings. However one should be aware that just as a garment that is sent to the washerman repeatedly loses some of its original lustre the human heart suffers a similar fate and it is important to to remain firm of resolve after repentance.

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