No one would want to make a mistake. However it is an important element of the test in the life of this world. A person is trained by making mistakes in various matters and, most of time, this is the only way he can decide not to repeat these mistakes.
Since making mistakes is a part of being human, one should think about this point more comprehensively and prepare himself for this: "How should one put a stop to his mistake when he makes one?", "How can a man take refuge in Allah from a mistake he made and ask for forgiveness from Allah?", "What is the extent of feeling remorse after a mistake according to the Qur'an?", "Is there a reason for a man making a mistake to feel guilty?", "Should a man forget his mistake after correcting it, or should he be feeling lowly for it continuously?", "How should a man take precautions in order to avoid the repetition of a mistake?", "How should the amends of a mistake be?"
Allah had provided people the absolute responses to all these questions in the Qur'an. Consequently when one makes a mistake, he should define the way to evaluate that matter for the rest of his life, according to the Qur'an.
‘How should one put a stop to his mistake when he makes one?
A person who fears Allah, would change his manners the minute he is reminded with the correction of a mistake he made, without taking it as a matter of pride. This is one of the most important signs of a Muslim. If he pleads ignorance even though he understands, if he procrastinates the correction of that mistake knowingly, this would make him look like a doubtable person. That is because the fear of Allah would not let a person continue a misdeed knowingly. Such a person would not get into calculations regarding other people by asking "what would people think?", " would I be humiliated?", "would I be acknowledging my mistake if I change my attitude instantly?", "willI this harm my dignity towards other people?", "would it harm my pride if I do that". He only considers his position in the Sight of Allah. He quits his mistake happily knowing that he is behaving in a manner Allah would approve.
That is all that putting a stop to a mistake consists of. There is nothing complex about it. There is no need to extend it to long days, weeks. No matter how big a mistake can be, with that person deciding to quit it, with him starting to act the way Allah would approve -by the leave of Allah- that mistake would disappear.
Those who, when they act indecently or wrong themselves, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their bad actions (and who can forgive bad actions except Allah?) and do not knowingly persist in what they were doing. (Surat Al'Imran: 135)
"How can a man take refuge in Allah from a mistake he made and ask for forgiveness from Allah?"
Allah reveals in the Qur'an that His sincere servants would attain salvation (Surat al-Hijr: 40) For that reason when one makes a mistake, the only thing that would draw him close to Allah would be sincerity. He would understand the mistake he made and feel the profound remorse to the extent he turns towards Allah with a pure, sincere and honest heart. If that mistake he made was instrumental in him getting a better grasp on his weakness in the Presence of Allah and his neediness towards Allah, that would also be an indication to that person's sincerity. If he is feeling a respectful fear towards Allah because of the mistake he made, if he is afraid of being held responsible from that manner in the Day of Judgment, if he humbly takes refuge in the Grace and Forgiveness of Allah, that means that person's morality is–by the leave of Allah- in compliance with the morality of the Qur'an. Such a person would beg Allah with all his heart and soul to accept his repentance and to forgive him. He would give a very sincere promise to Allah not to repeat the same mistake ever again.
But if anyone makes tawba after his wrongdoing and puts things right, Allah will turn towards him. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat Al-Ma'ida:39)
Except for those who make tawba and put things right and make things clear. I turn towards them. I am the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful. (Surat Al-Baqara:160)
But as for those who do evil actions and then subsequently make tawba and have iman, in that case your Lord is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat Al-A'raf: 153)
"What is the extent of feeling remorse after a mistake according to the Qur'an?"
"Is there a reason for a man making a mistake to feel guilty?"
"Should a man forget his mistake after correcting it, or should he be feeling lowly for it continuously?"
The disturbance people who do not believe feel and the disturbance Muslims fearing Allah feel in the face of a mistake made, are very different. When some people who do not believe make a mistake they continue their lives in indifference without even thinking a second on it. They neither have the need to feel regret towards Allah, nor a desire to make amends, nor do they wish to quit that mistake, nor feel the need to take precautions to avoid repetition.
Muslims on the other hand posses a very sensitive conscience. Even the smallest act that does not comply with their conscience would cause them to feel an immense spiritual disturbance about this situation. Because they respectfully fear Allah, they feel severely worried about the possibility of doing something Allah would not approve. However they leave this disturbance and worry behind again by taking shelter in Allah and by acting by the morality of the Qur'an. They do not get into a psychological depression because of their worries like the people of ignorance. They do not get absorbed in sorrow, sadness or despair by evaluating their mistakes with an emotional point of view. Their worries only form a very profound and strong remorse in them. However this is not an "evil", but a "virtuous remorse".
Some people from the society of ignorance think that "remorse" means "a person turning in upon himself, withdrawing from people around him, experiencing an endless feeling of guilt, getting in depression and feeling the pain of this mistake continuously for the rest of his life". That is how "evil remorse" would be. And what is more the mentioned mistake would not be changed following that remorse. Such people only suffer the angst of remorse based on ascribing partners to Allah.
Muslims on the other hand, attain a very superior sincerity- by the leave of Allah- along with that profound remorse they feel and get even closer to Allah, they pray to Allah more profoundly. Their fervor of faith, their determination in living by the morality of Qur'an, their devotion to Allah, their belief in the Hereafter, their fear from Allah increase even more. They make sincere decisions to become much better in every point and thus gain fervor and energy to endeavor much more.
Since the people of ignorance do not think that everything is created by Allah and since they do not have faith in destiny, they cannot free themselves from the feeling of regret and guilt until the end of their lives. Dwelling on assumptions like "Had I not done this, these would not be happening today", "Had that person not done that to me, I would have been in a very different situation right now", which would do no good for their current situation, they continuously feel sad.
Muslims take a lesson from all their mistakes. They as well think that "they would never have thought the way they did, or act the way they did if they had the wisdom they have now," but they never forget the fact that all those incidents have happened because Allah wished for them to happen and because it was determined to be so in their destiny. They are well aware of the fact that even if they had turned back to that date, time and time again, everything would have happened the very same way every time.
Consequently there is no "ascribing partners to Allah" in the way Muslims feel remorse. They never forget that everything have happened the way they did because it was all in destiny while they see and admit their mistakes. For that reason they do not live all their lives "feeling a guilt that they can't free themselves from" like the people of ignorance. The remorse they feel is not based on logics like "How did I do that?", "I wish I hadn't done that" which do not stem from the Qur'an. They are aware that everything have happened they way they did because Allah willed so. Even if they have made the biggest mistakes, even if they have caused the biggest damage, they know that all those have been created by Allah and were all in destiny and that there is good and wisdom in every one of them. For that reason they do not spend their remaining lives feeling guilty and low after that mistake. Knowing that they are sincere about their feelings, they endeavor continuously to do the best that they can do, by fearing Allah and hoping for His Mercy.
Of course they do not forget the mistakes they have made. But this does not stem from their not being able to forget. As the requisite of their faith and fear of Allah, their mistakes are instrumental for Muslims to become much better. That is the reason why Muslims do not forget their mistakes. May be they will make another mistake about the same matter once more but they will avoid acting in a similar manner by keeping that mistake in their minds until the end of their lives and making use of the lesson they have taken from that incident.
Since the people of ignorance cannot feel resigned, since they do not believe in destiny and in Allah creating everything auspiciously, even if they wanted to forget their mistakes they can't. Under the influence of that mistake they always feel that guilt and frustration until the end of their lives.
He who has purified himself will have success (Surat Al-A’la Suresi: 14)
and also towards the three who were left behind, so that when the earth became narrow for them, for all its great breadth, and their own selves became constricted for them and they realised that there was no refuge from Allah except in Him, He turned to them so that they might turn to Him. Allah is the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful. (Surat At-Tawba: 118)
"How should a man take precautions in order to avoid the repetition of a mistake?"
Allah had given man intellect, conscience, will and judgment power. The doors to such attributes are opened completely to every sincere person. A person who believes sincerely, who respectfully fears Allah, after a mistake he made, sees and perceives his inadequate and flawed attitudes through his wisdom and conscience. He shows an immense meticulousness about this subject with his will and strength stemming from his fear from Allah. He tries to do the best in can in every incident that he lives through and tries to live by the morality most compliant with the Qur'an. He becomes very determined to avoid an attitude that Allah would not approve. He instantly listens to the warnings of his conscience. He takes refuge in Allah and avoid acting in a manner that he knows would not comply with the Qur'an.
Such a person would not only take a lesson from mistakes he has done in the past, but he also uses his intellect and conscience and thinks about the possible mistakes he might make and makes prior evaluations. He reviews his lower self in that respect; determines the points that he falls short of and tries to train himself beforehand about such matters. He draws lessons from the experiences, mistakes, warnings of people around him. He makes good analysis about people's good, bad, nice and flawed sides and checks himself for those mistakes he notices before he falls into that mistakes and corrects them. He learns about the flaws that exist in everyone's lower self as revealed in the verses of the Qur'an. He determines the solutions to such mistakes from the Qur'an and trains himself accordingly.
Especially if he determines a problem in his lower self on a specific matter; for instance if he feels that his lower self is undisciplined about a certain point, then he conducts an "expert study" on it. For instance if the incompetence he determines in his lower self is about pride, he behaves in a manner to deflate his pride until he becomes sincerely convinced that he had trained his lower self sufficiently. If he feels that he has a tendency towards anger, he tries continuously to assume a humble, tolerant, moderate and forgiving attitude. If he thinks he is prone to jealousy, he would always assume an attitude that would give the priority to others, honor others and give them prominence.
If a person is striving to train himself with such a sincere effort, by the leave of Allah, our Lord will give him the reward of this sincerity both in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah would help that person against his lower self and He would, hopefully, forgive the mistakes he had done with sincerity insha'Allah.
Allah does not impose on any self any more than it can stand. For it is what it has earned; against it, what it has merited. Our Lord, do not take us to task if we forget or make a mistake! Our Lord, do not place on us a load like the one You placed on those before us! Our Lord, do not place on us a load we have not the strength to bear! And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy on us. You are our Master , so help us against the people of the kafirun. (Surat al Baqara: 286)
"How should the amends of a mistake be?"
The best way to amend a mistake is again through "sincerity towards Allah". A person who is sincere towards Allah, by the leave and help of Allah, will be able to amend his manners towards the people around him in the best possible manner as well. This is because Allah would bestow the best means and opportunities for a person who fears Allah, to amend his mistake. His fear of Allah would be evident with a profound light and sincerity in his face. That sincere expression on the face of a Muslim who fears Allah, is enough for the people around him to feel trust and to create love and respect in their hearts towards that person. Consequently the most effective way to amend a mistake is the one a Muslim would attain through his sincerity towards Allah.
Of course a Muslim should continuously nourish this trust, respect and love through good words and attitudes he would adopt and through assuming opposite manners of the mistake he made. He should show the other Muslims that he feels a genuine remorse and that he fears from Allah through manners in compliance with the morality of the Quran.
Those who do good will have the best and more.. (Surah Yunus:26)
Except for those who make tawba and have iman and act rightly: Allah will transform the wrong actions of such people into good – Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful (Surat Al-Furqan:70)
Those are people whose best deeds will be accepted and whose wrong deeds will be overlooked. They are among the Companions of the Garden, in fulfilment of the true promise made to them. (Surat Al-Ahqaf:16)
... Good actions eradicate bad actions. This is a reminder for people who pay heed. (Surah Hud, 114)