Assembly of Repentance

The assembly of repentance is a gathering of grievers; among the attendants you will find those who weep over the sins they committed, others who mourn their shortcomings, some who cry for not achieving their aims, and others who are in grief over not being accepted by their beloved Allah.

Do you know why they [who sit there repenting] mourned and wept? Do you know what evoked their feeling of grief? They remembered a vow they had made, and whose purity they had strived to maintain, but then the vow had gotten tainted, and so their state of heart had changed accordingly.

Whoever hears the cooing of doves may think that they sing because they possess beautiful voices; what they do not realise is that they sing because they remember life that has gone past. Indeed the sinner will cry out over the house he built up with piety only to be ruined by sins!

O you once who had a bond with his Lord which he himself undid, O you who became perplexed regarding what he was ordained to do and stopped counting his bad deeds: weep for the days in which you were in contact with your Lord, for such days indeed warrant being cried over. Indeed, the remnants of the beloved engender in the heart nothing but sorrowful memories and concern.

O sinner, time marches along quickly, therefore hasten your repentance. The One who calls people to return and rejoin ties with their Lord says, “And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous” (Al-Imran 3:133)

O you who has a heart, where has your heart gone? Will you ever recover?

If it seems as if your heart has gone missing, do not despair that it exists.

Walk in the valley of seeking your Lord, while requesting his aid with your tongue [in remembrance]. Bid farewell to your covetous nature, and prepare yourself for the journey of repentance. Bring along the divine legislation to be your companion, seek all means and press forward with haste so that you may catch up those ahead of you, prepare yourself to enter the state of Ihram before you stand on the mountain of Arafah, send the troops of yearning to Mina so that you may receive a letter of love from the Lord of the Kabbah, before reaching your destination. Indeed, the pious devotees yearn to meet their Lord, thus the answer comes to them declaring that Allah longs to meet them even more than they are longing to meet Him.

Seeds of Admonishment and Reform by Imam Ibn Jawzi Pages 160-162