It is related by Abdullah bin Masood that the Apostle of God said:
“The tears that fall from the eyes of a truthful Believer, out of the fear of the Lord, and, then, roll down his face, however little they are, even of the size of a fly [i.e., just one drop], shall prevent the Fire of Hell from [touching] his face.”
It shows that the face that gets wet, at any time, with tears shed in response to the fear of the Lord will remain protected from the Fire of Hell.
As we have explained earlier, when the happy tidings of protection against the Fire of Hell are given in a Tradition, as a result of performing a virtuous deed, it, generally, means that it is the characteristic attribute of that deed, and God will keep him safe from the infernal Fire who will carry it out provided that he is not guilty of a mortal sin which calls for the punishment of Fire, or if he has ever committed a sin entailing damnation, he has offered sincere repentance for it and resolved not to do it again.
It must not be taken for an attempt at explaining away a difficulty but even in our common parlance such a condition is supposed to be implied with a promise or assurance of that kind.
Source: Al Islam
Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad gives some beautiful advice on the subject of sinning and repentance.
There are many great “returns” that people experience in their lives. The returning of a missing child, finding a very valuable lost item or a close family member returning home after spending many years overseas are some instances of a great return. These are moments of immense joy and happiness. The greatest “Return,” however, is when a sinful servant who had abandoned Allah Ta’ala and fallen into sin makes sincere taubah (which literally means “to return”) and returns to his Creator. There can never be a happier moment for such a person.
Retuning to Allah Ta’ala in sincere repentance brings down the showers of the Mercy of Allah Ta’ala. Due to his repentance, the one who was previously known in the court of Allah Ta’ala as a faasiq (sinner) earns the title of Habibullah (the beloved of Allah). His crying and sobbing while begging for forgiveness is more beloved to Allah Ta’ala than the recitation of tasbeeh of those who are busy glorifying Allah Ta’ala. Can there be a greater return?
Source: Al Haadi
In a hadeeth reported by Imam Bukhari, Rasūl Allāh صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
والله إنِّي لأَسْتَغْفِرُ الله وأَتُوبُ إِلَيْه في
اليَوْمِ أَكْثَرَ مِنْ سَبْعِينَ مَرَّةً
By Allah I seek forgiveness from Allah and repent to him more than seventy times in a day
A person cannot progress on the path of tazkiyah (spiritual purification) without sincere tawbah (repentance). Tawbah is to return to one’s original pure state. The Ulama (scholars) of tazkiyah say that a person should be repentant every moment of the day. Repentance is not only verbal, but more importantly, repentance should be in one’s state of heart and mind.
The proof of tawbah and it’s main component is remorse and one can never be remorseful without remembering one’s sins. A person’s character should be dripping with remorse and this inspires others to forgive. The true state of tawbah reveals itself in a person’s speech, gait and appearance.
Source: Content Soul
Allamah Isfaraini (Rahimahullah), the teacher of Imam Ghazali (Rahimahullah) supplicated for thirty years to Allah to make him sinless. He wanted to be completely free from all types of sin. This was a special status he sought. Only the one who does not want to displease Allah can make such a dua. One day he thought that although he had been supplicating for thirty years, Allah had not accepted his dua despite being Karim (generous in giving).
A voice emanated from the sky saying, “O Isfaraini, you want to become sinless when I have made two paths for becoming a wali. One is the path of piety and the other the path of repentance. Have you not recited the verse in the Quran wherein Allah says that He loves those who repent. When there are two windows, why are you specifying one? If due to human weakness, you commit a sin, come in close proximity to Me by repenting. Do not commit sins intentionally. When there is excessive mud, even an elephant can slip. Therefore, if you commit a sin, repent and become My beloved. Why do you only want to come via the route of piety when I have opened the door of repentance as well? When I have opened two doors, why are you appointing only one for yourself? Become My beloved via the path of repentance. Supplicate for protection from sin, not for becoming sinless.”
If you commit a sin, do not delay in repenting. Go all out in refraining from sin.
From the book A life of piety by Maulana Hakeem Akhtar (db)