There are Five Conditions for Repentance:
First: Sincerity towards Allaah, the Mighty and Sublime, such that what causes you to repent is not to show-off to people, to gain status with them, or the like among the worldly goals.
Second: Expressing remorse for the disobedience.
Third: Abstention from it (the sin). And part of abstention is that when the repentance has to do with the right of a human being, it is returned to the rightful owner.
Fourth: Determination not to returning to the sin in the future.
Fifth: That the repentance should be at the period when it is acceptable. The acceptance of repentance ceases, with regard to everybody, when the sun rises from where it sets. But with respect to individuals, it ceases by the coming if every individual’s moment of death.
Allaah, Exalted is He, says:
And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: “Now I repent. ” (An-Nisa 4:18)
It is authentic from the Prophet ﷺ that the period when repentance is accepted to cease when the sun rises from where it sets. At that time, people will believe; but:
No good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before, nor earned good through his faith. (Al-Anam 6:158)
If these five conditions are complete, then repentance is correct.
- But is it a condition for the validity of repentance that one repent from all sins (he committed)?!
There is a disagreement concerning this; but the correct view is that it is not a condition. Repentance from a sin is valid even while one still continues to commit others. But for such repenting person, it would not be correct to refer to him with the description of the “the repentant” in general, and so, it will be said that “he repented,” in a restricted Wat, not absolutely.
So if someone drinks wine and consumes Riba, then he repents from drinking wine: his repentance from the wine is correct, while his sin of consuming Riba remains. So he does not hold the rank of the repentance in the general sense, because he is persisting in some act of disobedience.
- A man in whose case the conditions of repentance are complete, but afterwards, he returned to the sin another time, this does not nullify his first act of repentance, because he had determined not to return to the sin, but his soul seduced him, and he returned to it again. It is only required that he repent the second time and like that, whenver he commits a sin, he should repent – and the favor of Allaah is extensive.
Reference: pg-34-36 of Volume 2 Commentary On Shaikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah’s Al- ‘Aqîdah AL-Wâsitiyyah by Shaikh Muhammad bin Sâlih Al- Uthaîmîn.