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Iman Does Not Go Away By Committing Sins

Hadrat [1] Imam-i Rabbani says in the 67th letter of the second volume of his Maktubat:

A Believer's iman (belief) does not go away no matter how grave a sin he commits. He does not become a disbeliever. I have heard that one day Imam-i a'zam and the great savants of Baghdad were sitting somewhere, when somebody came up and said, "If a Believer kills his father unjustly, breaks open his head, drinks wine from his skull and then, getting drunk, commits fornication with his mother, will his iman go away?"

All the savants who heard this became angry with that Believer. "It is unnecessary even to ask this," they said. Imam-i a'zam said, "That person is still a Believer. His iman does not go away by his committing sins. " The savants disliked this answer and castigated Imam-i a'zam. But when the Imam [2] proved his word true, they all had to admit it.

If a Believer with a lot of sins repents before his last breath comes up to his throat, he will most likely be saved. For Allahu ta'ala promised that He would accept the tawba (repentance). If he has not attained the honour of tawba, his state is up to Allah only. If He wishes, He will forgive all his sins and put him into Paradise, or He will torment him with the Hell-fire or through troubles as much as his sins. But at last he will be saved and enter Paradise again. For, it is only disbelievers who will not attain Allah's mercy in the next world.

He who has the tiniest iman will attain His compassion. If he cannot attain His compassion because of his sins, he will at last attain it through Allah's blessing and favour. O Allah! After giving us guidance to the right way and showing us the right way, protect us so that our hearts will not deviate onto the renegades' side! Have mercy upon us! Pity us poor creatures! Thou, alone, can protect us against the darkness of disbelief and apostasy!

Source:Turktakvim

[1] Hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like and Islamic scholars.
[2] imam: i) profound 'alim; founder of a madhhab; ii) leader in congregational salat; iii) caliph.