The repentance of Asiya bint Mazahim, wife of the Pharoah
Asiya was the wife of the Pharaoh. Even though she was the queen and had everything in the world, she chose to repent to Allah (swt). She chose the permanent afterlife over this temporary life. She knew well that turning towards Allah (swt) would make her lose everything; she might even lose her life. In spite of all that, she did not get attached to this world and believed in Allah (swt). She prepared herself to repent and do good deeds. The Pharaoh commanded her to leave Allah’s (swt) path but when she refused, he commanded his men to hang her with nails in her hands and legs. When this too did not work for the Pharaoh, he ordered his men to throw a big rock on her body. Asiya remained patient and steadfast, even she was sentenced to death. When she was going through all this torment, she knew that it was the best time to ask from her Lord (swt). Allah (swt) mentions her Dua in the Quran:
“And Allah presents an example of those who believed: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said: ‘My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Pharaoh and his work, and save me from the people, who are Zalimun.’” (At-Tahrim 66:11)
The love and trust she had for Allah (swt) is evident in her Dua. In the same manner, Allah (swt) accepted and loved her Dua and made it a part of the Quran so that it remains documented till the Day of Resurrection (Qiyamah) and becomes a lesson for the believers. She has a high position of greatness, honour, and dignity for her repentance, faith, and patience.
Ibn Abbas (rtam) reported that the Messenger of Allah (swt) drew four lines on the ground and asked: “Do you know what this is?” The companions answered: “Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) know best.” The Messenger of Allah (sa) explained: “The best women of Paradise are Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (rtaf), Fatimah bint Muhammad (rtaf), Asiyah bint Mazahim, wife of the Pharaoh, and Maryam bint Imran. May Allah (swt) be pleased with them.” (Ahmad)
Conditions of repentance
The three basic conditions of repentance are as follows:
- Abstain from committing sins.
- Regret committing sins.
- Resolve firmly to never sin again.
How to atone for wronging other people
If our sin involved wronging another person, there is an additional condition to redress that wrong. If it involved money, the money should be paid. If it involved false accusation, the falsehood should be cleared up. If redress is not possible, the person’s pardon should be sought.
Some sins exist on the level of society at large such as ignorance, backwardness, civil conflict, prejudice, and a culture of intolerance. These are some of the most serious sins, and we should certainly repent from them.
The Prophet’s (sa) repentance
Our beloved Prophet (sa) used to ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness seventy times a day. Even though he was purified of sins, this was his level of piety. Allah (swt) increases your level of faith and rewards when you do Istighfar (repent).
The Prophet (sa) said: “By Allah (swt), I seek Allah’s (swt) forgiveness, and I turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times each day.” (Bukhari)
The Prophet (sa) said: “Our Lord comes down to the lowest heaven when one-third of the night remains, and says: ‘Who will call upon Me so that I may answer him? Who will ask Me so that I may give to him? Who will seek My forgiveness so that I may forgive him?’” (Muslim)
Let’s sincerely repent for our past sins and ask Allah (swt) to forgive us all: “Astaghfirullaha Rabbi Min Kulli Dhanbin (Zambin) Wa Atubu Ilaihi (Ilaih)” (“I seek the protection of Allah (swt), my Lord, from all my sins, and I turn towards Him (in repentance)”).