What is the Difference Between ”Tawbah”, ”Inabah”, and ”Awba”?
These are states of the people of repentance.
Imam Qushayri explains in his great Risala:
“The people of repentance (ta’ibin) have characteristics and states… this is pointed to by the words of the spiritual masters regarding the meaning of repentance (tawba).
I have heard the teacher Abu Ali al-Daqqaq say, “Repentance has three categories: its first is tawba [returning from sin to submission]; its middle is inaba [returning from heedlessness or lack of sincerity or lack of resolve to heedfulness, higher sincerity, and resolve]; and its last is awba [returning from other than Allah to complete turning to him alone]…”
By: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani