Short Answer: In order to be forgiven for sins which involve transgressions against the rights of other human beings, someone has to restore the tangible rights of the person whom they wronged, and also seek their pardon. As a victim you can choose to forgive the oppressor, pray against them, or beg Allah to recompense you in the hereafter. But rest assured: a vile transgressor who intentionally and knowingly oppresses or mistreats another Muslim, and dies in such a state that they are still unrepentant about it, will be dealt with harshly in the court of Allah.
Asalaamu alaykum, and thank you for sending in your question to our website.
I am sorry to hear about your situation, sister.
I ask Allah to grant you ease and relief from all distress and pain. Ameen.
Rest assured, my sister, that a vile transgressor who intentionally and knowingly oppresses or mistreats another Muslim, and dies in such a state that they are still unrepentant about it, will be dealt with harshly in the court of Allah.
Two Kinds of Sin, Two Paths to Forgiveness
The first category is that of sins that involve just the rights of Allah, such as not making up past missed Ramadan fasts due to lack of knowledge.
Such sins can be compensated for by sincere repentance, making them up, and giving the required expiation for them (if any is required under Islamic Law).
The second category of sins is the one which involves transgressions against the rights of other human beings.
In order to be forgiven for these sins by Allah, it is not sufficient for the transgressor to just repent to Allah in private.
Rather, in addition, they have to restore the tangible rights of the person whom they wronged, and also seek their pardon (if the wronged person is aware of the sin).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
Whoever has wronged his brother with regard to his blood, his wealth or his honor, let him come and set matters straight, before there comes a Day on which there will be no dirhams and no dinars, only good deeds and bad deeds, and if he has good deeds (they will be taken and given to the one whom he wronged), otherwise some of the bad deeds of the one whom he wronged will be taken and added to his burden, then he will be thrown into the Fire. [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
For the case in which the victim of the sin was well-aware of the injustice being done towards them by the transgressor, then the situation needs to be considered further.
The Three Alternatives
The options that you can consider are summed up for you as 3 points below:
1. The victim can choose to forgive the oppressor…
…and hope for a very high reward in the Hereafter for this lofty action.
Indeed, this is very difficult good deed to do, especially if the oppressed person’s life was destroyed, or they endured long-term suffering because of the sin committed against them by the oppressor.
Allah says in the Qur’an,
The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof; but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allah. Verily, He likes not the oppressors. [42:40]
2. The victim can pray against their oppressor…
If Allah grants them this dua, He will take their due right from the oppressor during the life of this world.
3. The victim can choose to take a middle path between the above two options.
This means that they will neither forgive their oppressor, nor make dua against them during the life of this world.
Rather, they will wait until the Day of Judgment, for their rights to be restored to them in the court of Allah.
This compensation will be in the form of their oppressor’s good deeds being given to them, or their own sins being added to the account of the latter, as compensation.
Allah, the most Just, will decide the matter with full fairness.
The life of this world is a test period and a place for action, for mankind.
The Day of Resurrection, on the other hand, is solely the time for recompense, compensation, reward, and punishments for all deeds done by mankind during the life of this world.
When Faith Wanes, What to do?
Sister, every adult and sane Muslim has to strive hard to protect and guard their faith from being lost.
It is true that, for some believers, the trials of faith can indeed be great. Heinous crimes committed by others can grossly undermine a believer’s faith.
In such a case, they should turn back to Allah and beg Him to keep them steadfast upon Islam. They should refuse to give up on Islam, and hang on to it with every ounce of willpower and patience they possess.
Daily reflection upon the meanings of the Qur’an, making earnest dua, praying extra prayers, and seeking counseling from righteous people, can greatly help achieve this.
Gaining knowledge of Islam and active community involvement are also effective weapons against the tactics of Shaitan, as they help one move on from past trauma.
Allah says in the Qur’an:
O you who have attained to faith! It is for your own selves that you are responsible. Those who go astray can do you no harm if you [yourselves] are on the right path. Unto God you all must return: and then He will make you understand all that you were doing. [5:105]
At the end of the day, even if a transgressor will bear the brunt of pushing someone away from Islam, the believer who leaves their faith will still be held accountable before Allah for their own actions.
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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