There's the artificial kind of seeking forgiveness, which for some people is so artificial that it's like if you saw somebody doing it and said to them, "Your stepfather needs a stepfather," because that's just rolling off your tongue. There are some things that keep you and me from seeking Allah's forgiveness. 

Tawba and the Benevolence of ALLAH, for Major Sins, Islamic Teachings,

It has to do with expectations. Some people, deep in their minds, have internalized the idea that I have done way too much messed up stuff and Allah probably doesn't like me very much. Allah hates me. Allah doesn't like me. Allah is angry with me. I've done a lot of bad things. 

I knew Allah didn't want me to do it, but I did it anyway, and I did it over and over and over again, so my prayers don't mean anything, and when people internalize that, you know what they do, I'm a bad person. Could you make a dua for me because I'm already disqualified, so you need to make God for me because I'm hoping at least Allah will listen to me? 

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In other words, you don't get to write yourself off, and you don't get to say about yourself, "I'm too far gone to forgive, seeking forgiveness is not for you, maybe for someone else, but I'm a lost case." I'm a terminal case. this is where Shaytan comes in. Shaitaan uses that when he takes advantage of people's hopelessness, and that's one of the doors to shaking, you know, one of the doors to shipping.

Why? Because then religions come, false religions come that say " You are too messed up, let Jesus forgive you" You are good to Jesus. He'll take care of God for you. He'll be in between the saint and his grave. Go ask him to be good to him. Put some chocolate in front of his grave. He'll ask Allah to take care of your problems because you're too messed up to deal with him. He's too angry with you. He was in Allah's good book. 

In other words, the essence of our direct connection with Allah, which is what Iman is and what the essence of it is, is that you get to ask Allah directly for what you need, and I'm telling you, I'm reminding myself, the thing we need the most because it will take care of all of our needs is seeking forgiveness. 

There is a seeking of forgiveness by the tongue and a seeking of forgiveness by the heart. It's difficult to do because even when you look in the mirror, you tell yourself, "I'm not that bad, I have reasons for what I did, I've justified it, and I've been through a lot."

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But when you come before Allah, you have to forget about justifying because he already knows what you were going through, he knows this was overwhelming you, he knows this was overwhelming you, and you were under a lot of stress. Everybody sees you and thinks everything's okay, but the only one who gets to know nothing is okay is that there are a lot of problems. 

There's Allah, you have to open up to him completely before you can ask for forgiveness. Then you get to beg in sajdah and it turns into something else. It's not just the suffering of Allah, it's a real conversation with Allah, a real confession with Allah. That's how powerful it is. Try it for yourself. You have to find alone time alone for yourself. 

You have to make sure nobody else is listening. Hear yourself say it. It's one thing to just whisper it, and it's something else to memorize a bunch of duas in Arabic that you don't even know what they mean and just recite them in foreign languages, and when these tears fall, when this begins to open up, then the sky opens up.