Forgiveness in Islam is easier. The Holy Qur’an teaches us that Allah is a Judge and punishes, but He is not bound to punish.
According to Qur’an, the justice of Allah does not and will not inflict undue punishment on any believer, nor will He ignore the good deed of any person. But if He wishes to forgive any sinner, He has complete freedom to do that. His Mercy is unlimited, and His love is infinite.
مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ ٱلْعِزَّةَ فَلِلَّهِ ٱلْعِزَّةُ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِلَيْهِ يَصْعَدُ ٱلْكَلِمُ ٱلطَّيِّبُ وَٱلْعَمَلُ ٱلصَّٰلِحُ يَرْفَعُهُۥ ۚ وَٱلَّذِينَ يَمْكُرُونَ ٱلسَّيِّـَٔاتِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ ۖ وَمَكْرُ أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ هُوَ يَبُورُ
“Whoever desires honor [through power] – then to Allah belongs all honor. To Him ascends good speech, and righteous work raises it. But they who plot evil deeds will have a severe punishment, and the plotting of those – it will perish.”
Al-Ghafoor (The Forgiving):
Allah (SWT) calls Himself Al-Ghafoor (The Forgiving) on numerous occasions in the AlQuran. His Mercy overtakes His punishment and anger. He is more merciful to His creations than a mother can be to her infants.
قُلْ يَٰعِبَادِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا۟ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا۟ مِن رَّحْمَةِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلْغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
“Say: ‘O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of God: for Allah forgives all sins (except shirk): for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'” (39:53)
We sin openly and secretly, inwardly and outwardly, major and minor, to the Creator and the creation. And while we may consider some sins unavoidable, we must seek forgiveness from Allah daily.
A Muslim can make at least twenty duas of forgiveness in Islam every day. No one would seek forgiveness in Islam more than the blessed Messenger of Allah (PBUH) despite his sins being forgiven, so how about us? We steal, lie, cheat, scorn, and if we do not do this with others, we certainly do this with Allah.
Despite all of this, Allah is willing to forgive us.
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ٱدْعُونِىٓ أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِى سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ
And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible.
وَيَٰقَوْمِ ٱسْتَغْفِرُوا۟ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوٓا۟ إِلَيْهِ يُرْسِلِ ٱلسَّمَآءَ عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَارًا وَيَزِدْكُمْ قُوَّةً إِلَىٰ قُوَّتِكُمْ وَلَا تَتَوَلَّوْا۟ مُجْرِمِينَ
“And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah).”
Repentance from all sins is obligatory for every adult Muslim. This is emphasized in the Holy Qur’an.
وَتُوبُوٓا۟ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
“And turn to Allāh in repentance, all of you, O Believers, that you might succeed.”
Conditions of Forgiveness in Islam:
However, there are conditions for Taubah (seeking forgiveness in Islam). The believer must discontinue the sin as well as regret its occurrence. He must also vow never to return to that sin again and give back the right to whom it is due if it involves a man.
The Prophet saws have also informed us that repentance can be done anytime during the day or night. Abu Moosaa Al-Ash’aree narrated that the Prophet saws said:
“Allah holds out His Hand during the night to receive the repentance of the one who has committed wrong during the day and holds outs His Hand during the day to receive the repentance of the one who has committed wrong during the night.”
Indeed, Allah is pleased when any of His slaves repents. If he responds to the call of his Lord and repents, he will have a prosperous life in this world and good rewards in the Hereafter. If he does not repent, Allah will punish him for his sins, and He is not unjust to anyone.
Allah also stressed while inviting the unbelievers unto repentance:
ۦ ۚ فَإِن يَتُوبُوا۟ يَكُ خَيْرًا لَّهُمْ ۖ وَإِن يَتَوَلَّوْا۟ يُعَذِّبْهُمُ ٱللَّهُ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا فِى ٱلدُّنْيَاوَٱلْءَاخِرَةِ ۚ وَمَا لَهُمْ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ مِن وَلِىٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ
“If they then repent, it will be better for them, but if they turn away, Allah will punish them with a painful torment in this worldly life and the Hereafter. And there is none for them on earth as a Wali (supporter, protector) or a helper.”
The Prophet saws also said:
“Indeed, Allah accepts man’s repentance as long as he hasn’t started gargling (i.e., dying).”
Hasten to repentance and be consistent after every good deed and a bad one. Allah says:
وَأَنِيبُوٓا۟ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمْ وَأَسْلِمُوا۟ لَهُۥ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ ٱلْعَذَابُ ثُمَّ لَا تُنصَرُونَ
And return [in repentance] to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped.
وَٱتَّبِعُوٓا۟ أَحْسَنَ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُم مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ ٱلْعَذَابُ بَغْتَةً وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ
And follow the best of what was revealed to you from your Lord [i.e., the Qur’ān] before the punishment comes upon you suddenly while you do not perceive,
So Let’s hurry up in recognizing our sins and return to Allah (SWT) for repentance, as He is the Forgiver of all sins, and He Forgives whomever He wants.