بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
From enough personal experience I have come to the conclusion that sins come in the way of opportunities beneficial for your Deen. Like we make a grocery list or any other list, I think it would be wise to make a list of things you know deep in your heart that you didn’t do right or fell short in fulfilling them especially if they were obligations. Then make sure that as you make du’aa for other things, you also make du’aa that Allah SWT relieves you from the burden of these sins so that when Allah SWT opens up doors of Hidaya for you, you’re actually able to walk to them and that you are not shackled by your previous sins. A lot of times we don’t understand why things happen to us and we don’t really need to because we trust Allah SWT and His Wisdom. However, even if we don’t understand the cause, we can safely reach ease and many solutions through Istighfaar. So it’s essentially like having a problem and not knowing anything about it, yet knowing the cure. How amazing is that mashaa’Allah. Doing sincere Istighfaar is miraculous because the One whom You seek from is Ar-Rahmaan, Always All-Merciful and how can the One who’s Merciful to the disobedient humans be not merciful to the slaves who seek to be obedient by asking for His Forgiveness? Surely the King who knows our histories, our shortcomings and struggles will respond. The Only One whom neither slumber nor sleep overcomes and He’s watchful of us all every nanosecond of our and everybody’s lives.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ
…Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.
[Surat’l Baqarah, 2: part of ayah 222]
The objective is that Allah SWT loves us and what a better opportunity to make Him love you except through Istighfaar (seeking protection from sins of past) and Taubah (seeking protection from sins in future)? Let’s aim to be loved by Allah SWT through inculcating the nature of doing Istighfaar immediately after we realize that we have sinned. Let’s not wait for Allah SWT to make us realize our mistakes by blocking opportunities of khayr for us…for really Hidaya only comes in smooth for Al-Muttaqeen…it is His Justice that He doesn’t cause us to die without giving us numerous chances to set our affairs right. Who is else to blame then except the human himself if he’s punished in His Akhirah after everything was made clear to Him? (O Allah protect us from such a wretched fate!Ameen.)
May Allah SWT change us this Ramadan into Muslims who are firm on Deen, who strive for His Pleasure as He has ordained and who neither do Dhulm on themselves nor on others in the journey back to Him. May Allah SWT prevent us from becoming liars and resurrect us among the Siddiqeen, Sawliheen, Shuhada and the noble Prophets. Ameen.
And Allah SWT knows best.
More on repentance here.