Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Speaking Tree

One very important divine principle stated in the Quran is that a bad deed, if temporary in its effects, can be forgiven by God. The best way to make amends is to do a good deed whenever you commit a bad deed. How to proceed is recorded in the chapter Hud (Hud):

Say your prayers morning and evening, and during parts of the night; surely good removes evil. This is a reminder for people who pay heed. (11:114)

It is has been rightly said that to err is human. Man, being no angel and being subject to numerous temptations, will quite naturally make mistakes—generally because of making wrong choices. Then, what to do?

The best course is to follow the advice given in the above verse of the Quran. Man should first of all accept his mistakes, then engage in introspection so that he may make amends for them. This will mean that he must try to do a good deed after every bad deed. This practice will save him from the consequences of his error and misdeeds.

For example, if you flew into a rage and, swayed by your anger, you abused someone, you would have to apologize to him publicly and pray for him. Or, if you harmed someone physically, you would have to try to compensate for the injury by the offer of monetary or other help.

There are different kinds of bad deeds but, no matter what kind of bad deed you have committed, after each one you should feel repentant and try to erase the effects of your bad deed by doing a good deed.

The fact is that every bad deed you commit can pollute your soul. Cleanse it then by your tears, or by some other kind of penitent behaviour. You must never fail to purify your mind and your heart when you find that they have been polluted by bad actions.

Doing good deeds after bad deeds, is a method of reconditioning one’s mind. This practice is not exactly easy. But it is an important psychological process. By engaging in it, one reprocesses one’s thinking. In physical terms, what would be a process of washing out is, in psychological terms, a correction of one’s way of thinking.

This process has a very important positive effect. It helps in the development of one’s mind. Thus your mistake can be turned into an act of intellectual development. Any mistake that leads to intellectual development can form the basis of a good and healthy practice.

If your mistake gives you a positive lesson, then it is an experience rather than a mistake. If your bad deed motivates you to do a good deed, then in terms of its result, it is a good rather than a bad occurrence.

Such a practice keeps your mind alive, in that it activates your thinking capacity. This practice awakens your mental faculties, making you like a traveler who has had some advantageous break in his journey, before finally reaching his destination.

If you commit an evil deed, do not fall into despair, but re-plan your life along better lines and surely you will be a success.

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