ABU DHABI // As Ramadan approaches, Muslims will be reminded of the importance of repenting and how much God loves those who repent.
"Allah ordered us to repent and go back to him after each mistake or sin, whether small or big. And now we are close to Ramadan, the month of forgiveness. So there is an invitation for every Muslim to aim for a fresh start," says the sermon.
"Those who repent from the sin are the winners, and those who insist on it will regret it," it adds.
Worshippers will be reminded of the rules to repent truthfully which include; regretting the sin, stop doing it and aiming not to commit it again. "And our right towards those who repent is to encourage and honour them, and not mention their previous sins, as when one repents their sins are washed away."
The sermon also reminds people how it is believed that God calls every day and night on people asking: "Is there anyone who wants to repent?".
Moreover, those who commit sins should not publicise them. As a hadith by the Prophet Mohammed says: "All of my ummah will be forgiven except those who publicise their sins. The companions said Oh Messenger of Allah, how does one publicise their sins? The Prophet responded, He is the one who does his sin at night and Allah covers him with the darkness of the night and then when the sun comes up he goes around telling the people, Yesterday I did this, yesterday I did that. This man has no regret for his sin."
People should also not get bored or hopeless of repenting. "We should not lose hope in Allah's forgiveness," adds the sermon.
Kareem Fawzy, a 31-year-old banker from Egypt, said he tries to go back to the right track every time he commits a mistake.
"Some people say we will just keep on sinning and then when we grow old we go to hajj and repent. But that doesn't work because you cannot guarantee how much you live and Allah knows our intentions we have to be honest with him," he said.
"I, for instance, repented against lying after I finished university. I used to lie big lies a lot, but then I heard a few religious shows and stories and decided to stop."
He said even when he slips and commits mistakes he tries to stand back on his feet and follow the right path. "But we should be careful not to take it for granted that our sins will be erased, because Allah also warns us of His severe punishments."