Repentance = التَوْبَةُ

There are a number of words in Arabic for “repentance“, the best known being التَوْبَةُ (al-tawbah). In addition, there is الإِنَابَةُ (al-inaabah) and الأَوْبَةُ (al-awbah). In Islamic spirituality, one explanation which has been offered by some scholars for the difference between the three, especially when used in contradistinction to one-another, is that التَوْبَةُ is repentance which has been brought about from a fear of God’s punishment, الإِنَابَةُ is repentance which has been brought about by a desire for some reward from God, and الأَوْبَةُ is repentance for which the motivation is purely to obey to God, as repentance is something which has been commanded at every stage of the Seeker’s journey to God, in recognition that he or she will always fall short in some way.