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Does God Forgive Sins Against Other People?

28 November, 2019
Q Does God Forgive Sins Against Other People?

Answer

Short Answer: So when we talk about forgiveness of sins we’re talking about the flip side of that which is sincere repentance and sincere repentance according to Muslim scholars involves: 

1- The acknowledgment before God that what you’ve done is wrong before God, not confessing to other people necessarily.

2- Repairing the harm that you have done so that if you have done wrong to another person then you have to repair that wrong to the best of your ability.

3- Following it up with good deeds and probably I should have mentioned from the inception cessation of the wrong because it doesn’t make sense to continue doing it and you are still sincerely repenting.

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Asalamu Alaikum,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Dr. Shabir Ally addresses this question in the video below:

Transcript:

Safiyyah Ally: Here’s a question from a viewer. We know that God readily forgives sins committed against God but what about sins that are committed against another person. There might be a circumstance in which it is impossible or difficult to repair the harm done to another person. Can God forgive those sorts of sins too?

Shabir Ally: Okay so a part of what I wanted to say is already in the question but it’s good for me to say it so that all viewers understand the wholeconcept. So when we talk about forgiveness of sins we’re talking about the flip side of that which is sincere repentance and sincere repentance according to Muslim scholars involves: 

1- The acknowledgment before God that what you’ve done is wrong before God, not confessing to other people necessarily.

2- Repairing the harm that you have done so that if you have done wrong to another person then you have to repair that wrong to the best of your ability.

3- Following it up with good deeds and probably I should have mentioned from the inception cessation of the wrong because it doesn’t make sense to continue doing it and you are still sincerely repenting.

Safiyyah Ally: Of course you can, through human error, you can end up repeating it again.

Shabir Ally: You can end up repeating it again but you know at least for the moment you know it’s not like while you’re still doing it you are saying, God, forgive me but I’m still doing it, but God forgive me. I want to make an exception here for the case of you know some addictions. One who doesn’t have the addiction will not understand why somebody cannot stop. We can actually stop and ask God for forgiveness rather than continue with the sin.

But now that part about repairing the harm to the best of your ability so now comes the question well what if the person has passed away well you can’t really find that person if you had said a bad word to that person and now you want to go and say you’re sorry the person is no longer here so what if you have taken the person’s property, how do you return it to that person?

Well, you can return it to the person to the heirs of that person or you can give it away in charity in that person’s name and so too with other kinds of harms which are not repayable in monetary terms but if you’ve harmed another person you can do good to the heirs of that person or the ones who are close and who are loved and dear to that deceased individual.

And, of course, it’s not only a case where the person is deceased but the person may still be alive but you’re afraid that if you go to say that you’re sorry that could actually lead to a worse situation. Especially if it involves some kind of secret that now in order to go and say you’re sorry, that means you have to reveal the whole secret so that will not end up very well and so, in any case, the matter is to use your judgment and do whatever is reasonable in the situation to show your remorse for what you have done to repair to the best of your ability the wrong that you have done to that person.

Safiyyah Ally: Excellent answer to that question thank you, Doctor.

Shabir Ally: You’re welcome.


I hope this helps answer your question. Please keep in touch.

Walaikum Asalam.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Why Do Others Remind Me About My Past Sins After I’ve Repented?

Who and What Does Allah Love?

Does God Love Us All Unconditionally?