April 2010: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 2

Dealing with Remorse or Regret

Cont’d from page 1

Trial and error, to me, is synonymous to a very short-lived and positive form of regretful energy.

Both positive and negative regrets give the same outcomes. The difference is how one responds to the consequence: For example, if I place my hand on a stove and immediately remove it because the stove is hot, I have two choices: I can sit there, regret and grieve as to why I placed my hand on that hot stove. Or learn that I should be more cautious the next time, put some ice on my hand, and simply move on. In both situations I burned my hand, but my response to the situation is what truly matters.

The Almighty Creator tells us to always remember Him, to say “God Willing”—and we must mean it!—when we plan to do anything. Why is that? It’s because He wants us to acknowledge His Existence and not to harbor the feelings of regret if something doesn’t go the way we expect!

[18:23-4]  You shall not say that you will do anything in the future,  without saying, “GOD willing.” If you forget to do this, you must immediately remember your Lord and say, “May my Lord guide me to do better next time.”

The Quran shows that upholding righteousness prevents us from having either form of regrets. A good example is in 49:6, where God tells us to properly investigate rumors, otherwise we might regret blaming someone for something they hadn’t done.

[49:6]  O you who believe, if a wicked person brings any news to you, you shall first investigate, lest you commit injustice towards some people, out of ignorance, then become sorry and remorseful for what you have done.

Whenever we feel regretful, however, we should turn it into a positive feeling that teaches us the valuable lessons we need to learn at that time,

and  it should be short-lived. There is no point of fretting over the sin and letting the feeling of negative-regrets linger for a long time. This is why God teaches us that when a believer wrongs his/her soul, it is important to acknowledge the mistake, ask God for forgiveness, pray to do better next time, and then move on. Just be with God in the present moment:

[39:53]  Proclaim: “O My servants who exceeded the limits, never despair of GOD’s mercy. For GOD forgives all sins. He is the Forgiver, Most Merciful.”

[3:135]  If they fall in sin or wrong their souls, they remember GOD and ask forgiveness for their sins - and who forgives the sins except GOD - and they do not persist in sins, knowingly.

[2:160]  As for those who repent, reform, and proclaim, I redeem them. I am the Redeemer, Most Merciful.

When Moses punched and killed a man, He asked God to forgive him, and God forgave him! The Quran doesn’t show that Moses held onto a self-grudge (regret) for killing the man after God had forgiven him. This is evident in 28:17:

[28:15]  Once he entered the city unexpectedly, without being recognized by the people. He found two men fighting; one was (a Hebrew) from his people, and the other was (an Egyptian) from his enemies. The one from his people called on him for help against his enemy. Moses punched him, killing him. He said, “This is the work of the devil; he is a real enemy, and a profound misleader.”

[28:16]  He said, “My Lord, I have wronged my soul. Please forgive me,” and He forgave him. He is the Forgiver, Most Merciful.

[28:17]  He said, “My Lord, in return for Your blessings upon me, I will never be a supporter of the guilty ones.”

We should do the same as Moses; when we ask God to forgive us for our sins,

we need to truly believe that God forgives us! We can then let go of that regretful feeling and move on. If God forgives us, then we should also forgive our own behaviors:

[39:53]  Proclaim: “O My servants who exceeded the limits, never despair of GOD’s mercy. For GOD forgives all sins. He is the Forgiver, Most Merciful.”

We also learn from the Quran that negative-regrets happen only to those who are outside the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God belongs to those who submit to His will and surrender to His perfect system. When Jonah decided that he was in control of things, and not God, he stepped out of God’s kingdom and experienced total negative-regrets!

[21:87]  And Zan-Noon (Jonah, “the one with an `N’ in his name”), abandoned his mission in protest, thinking that we could not control him. He ended up imploring from the darkness (of the big fish’s belly): “There is no god other than You. Be You glorified. I have committed a gross sin.”

We can also see negative regrets coming from the souls that failed to nourish themselves during their earthly stay. Thus, the hell-bound souls experience a constant form of negative-regrets!

[25:13-4]  And when they are thrown into it, through a narrow place, all shackled, they will declare their remorse. You will not declare just a single remorse, on that day; you will suffer through a great number of remorses.

It is important to strive to completely surrender to God’s absolute system. Once we surrender, the regrets we experience will only be in a positive form that teach us valuable lessons. Please reflect on the following verses:

Cont’d on page 3