Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said:
“And so sins decrease eemaan, therefore if the servant repents – Allaah then Loves him; and so his rank ascends due to repentance. Some of the Salaf said:
‘After repentance; Dawood would be better as compared to before the error.’
So whosoever has repentance pre-destined for him; then he is as was described by Sa’eed bin Al-Jubair:
‘Indeed the servant performs a good deed – and so enters The Fire by way of it, and indeed the servant commits a bad deed; and so enters Paradise by way of it. That is because he performs a good deed and so to it he directs his attention, and he is amazed by it; and (the other) commits a bad deed and so to it he directs his attention and so he seeks forgiveness from Allaah and repents to Him for having commit it.’
It is established in the Saheeh from the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) that he said:
((…and verily; deeds are [decided] by the final actions))
If the believer commits a bad deed, then its punishment can indeed be averted from him through ten aspects:
1. That he repents – and so Allaah accepts his repentance from him; for indeed the one that repents from a sin is like the one who has no sin.
2. Or that he seeks forgiveness – and so he is forgiven.
3. Or that he performs good deeds that wipe it (the bad deed) out, for indeed good deeds remove bad deeds.
4. Or that his believing brothers supplicate for him and so seek forgiveness for him – whether he is living or has passed away.
5. Or that they make an endowment unto him from the rewards of their own actions of a nature that Allaah allows him to benefit from.
6. Or that his Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) intercedes for him.
7. Or that Allaah The Most High tests him in the life of this world by way of tribulations through which they are expiated.
8. Or that he is put to trial in the Barzakh [the period in the grave] by way of the jolt; and so by way of it he is expiated.
9. Or that he is put to trial by way of the open plain of The Judgement and of its circumstances through which he is expiated.
10. Or that The Most Merciful of those that have mercy has Mercy upon him.
Therefore whosoever misses out on these ten; then he has no one to blame but himself.”
(Taken from: Majmu’ Fatawaa vol 10 p.45-46)