Repentance (tawbah) is the first station of pilgrims on the way to the Truth, just as purification (taharat) is the first step of those who desire to serve God. Allah subhanahu Wa Ta'ala says:--''O Believers, repent unto God with a sincere repentance''(Qur'an 66:8) And the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:--''There is nothing that God loves more than a youth who repents'', and he also said, ''He who repents of sin is even as one who has no sin'', then he added, ''When God loves a man, sin shall not harm him''--i.e he will not become an infidel on account of sin, and his faith will not be impaired.
Tawbah involves the turning back from what God has forbidden through fear of what He has Commanded. The Prophet, Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam, said:--''Penitence is the act of returning'' (al-Nadam al-Tawbah). This saying comprises 3 things involved in Tawbah, namely:--(1) Remose for disobedience (2) Immediate abandonment of sin (3) Determination not to sin again.
As repentance (tawbah) involves 3 conditions, so contrition (nadamat) may also be due to 3 causes:--Fear of Divine chastisement and sorrow for evil actions, Desire of Divine favor and certainty that it cannot be gained by evil conduct and disobedience, and shame before God Almighty.