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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Ali, The Father of Sufism

Repentance

The first stage in the path of Sufism is repentance. Repentance is described as the awakening of the soul from the slumber of heedlessness, so that the sinner becomes aware of his evil ways and feels contrition for past disobedience. Ali repeatedly prayed for the forgiveness of God. His typical prayer was: "O God, forgive me my sins of which you are more aware than me. And if I commit these sins again, even then forgive me. Whatever promises I had made with myself to follow Your commands have not been fulfilled. I seek Your forbearance if I have sought Your proximity with my tongue, but my heart did not keep pace with my tongue, overlook my lapse. O God, forgive me for my futile talk, vain desires and lapses of the tongue".

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