When asked about repentance al-Ḥusayn al-Maghāzilī said, “Are you asking me about turning to God in repentance or turning to Him in deference?”
The questioner replied, “what is turning to Him in repentance?” and he said, “That you fear His power over you.”
The questioner asked, “Then what is turn-
ing to Him in deference?” and he said, “That you are ashamed before God the Exalted because of His nearness to you.”
This second turning is higher than the first since renouncing sin out of fear of retribution is merely seeking good fortune and only done for one’s self. However, renouncing sin out of shame before one’s exalted Lord to glorify His lordship, is higher and nobler since turning in shame proves true the servitude by which one exalts Him.
The Principles of Tasawwuf, p 13