Conditions for the Acceptance of Repentance

Shaykh

Shaikh Rabīʿ ibn Hādī Al-Madkhalī, may Allāh protect him, said:

Tawbah [repentance] to Allāh is that you feel regret—the strongest of regrets—over what you’ve committed of a sin or sins. You suffer anguish, you regret, you fear Allāh’s punishment, Great is He and All-High. You realize the magnificence and greatness of Allāh, the One whom you’ve disobeyed, and then these feelings push you to leave off the sin.

The second condition is that you [indeed] abandon the sin; the third, that you intend to never go back or return to this sin. You resolve upon that with the most determined resolve—a definite resolve that you will not return to this sin.

So these are the conditions of tawbah: regret, then abandonment of the sin, then resolve to never return [to it]. If, [however], the sin were [against] someone in creation, then it is upon you, after [fulfilling] these three [conditions], to seek absolution for it: if you had, [for example], done [harm] to his honor, ask him to absolve you of it; if you had taken [something of] his wealth or property, return [that] to him or ask for his forgiveness.

Source: Majjālis Tadhkiriyyah fī Tafsīr Āyāt Qurʾāniyyah, pp. 73-4.