He Killed 99 People and Was Still Forgiven!

17 October, 2019
Q As-Salamalaikum, I had a question which is about the man who was a mass-murderer but was forgiven. 1. If you commit sin openly the prohet said Allah won't forgive you (is it if you don't repent?) 2. Killing someone would involve the right of people to forgive the murder (won't it?), so will Allah's mercy involve forgiving the killer and rewarding the people affected? 3. Is this man of those who caused corruption on the earth, but repented from it? The reason for me asking this question Sheikh is because I want to know more about the rights of people, and about the fact of sinning intentionally, but more, OPENLY. If you sins openly would it be that you would do the act if front of people, tell people about your sins etc. ? I am a Muslim brother, and we must, or might have at least commited 1 sin openly in front of people right? So would we forgiven for commiting sin openly WITH Intention or not? I also want to include the case of Prophet Yusuf's brother who planned to kill Yusuf (a.s.) and then repent. A MAJORITY of people know about there sins now, and I heard that the prophet said something like don't worry because Allah will forgive you. Sheikh. Please let not just me, but everyone know if we would be forgiven for Open sins: Whether Major, whether Minor. Whether many, whether little. I don't know too much, but maybe when the prophet said that the ones who commit sins openly wouldn't be excused. Is this because they didn't repent, or is it that repentance won't be accepted from those who commit sin out in the open. Or is this because they died at a state without feeling bad about the sins which they have done in the open. I hope to hear from you soon with a reply please to remove confusion from our minds...

Answer

Short Answer: When a sin is committed Allah may cover the sin, but if the person talks about it, he has uncovered what Allah covered. This is directly opposing Allah. The reason for covering the sin is to minimise its impact on society and to give the sinner a chance to repent. Uncovering the sin creates a greater awareness of the sin and may actually encourage such sin in society. Killing someone falls into the category of committing a crime against society and against Allah. Justice has to be done. The debt to society must be paid and repentance and forgiveness can be sought from Allah, by sincere tawbahIt must be noted, any request for repentance must take place in this life. Once we die, it is too late to repent.

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Thank you for your question. It is a very important topic in Islam involving actions and intentions.

Allah tells us:

And establish the Prayer at the two ends of the day and in the first hours of the night (five times daily prayers). Indeed the good deeds drive away the evil deeds. This is a reminder to those who are mindful of Allah.” [Quran 11:114

All actions are according to intentions

All actions are according to intentions. So, if a person commits sins openly and talks or boasts about them, not only are his actions wrong, but he is compounding the sin by showing he doesn’t care for the consequences. Obviously, if one cared about the consequences they would try to cover or hide the sin, and then, ask Allah for forgiveness and repent, that is, perform tawbah.

Talking or boasting about a sin is to show disregard to Allah and suggests arrogance; actions unbecoming to a Muslim. It gives the impression the action was intended. That it was not an act of forgetfulness. 

Covering versus uncovering sins

When the sin is committed Allah may cover the sin, but if the person talks about it, he has uncovered what Allah covered. This is directly opposing Allah. The reason for covering the sin is to minimise its impact on society and to give the sinner a chance to repent. Uncovering the sin creates a greater awareness of the sin and may actually encourage such sin in society.

Allah tells us in the Quran:

Say: (O Prophet) My servants who have committed excesses against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, surely, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” [Quran 39:53].

Repentance (Tawbah)

This shows if we repent and perform tawbah sincerely even our major sins can be forgiven.

The one sin Allah will not forgive is shirk that is, the association of someone or something with Allah.

It was reported from Abu Musa that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Allah spreads out His hand at night to accept the repentance of those who committed sins during the day, and He spreads out His hand during the day to accept the repentance of those who committed sins during the night. (He will continue to do this) until the sun rises from the West.” [Muslim]

The Sin of Killing

Killing someone falls into the category of committing a crime against society and against Allah. Justice has to be done. The debt to society must be paid and repentance and forgiveness can be sought from Allah, by sincere tawbah.

I’m not sure I can agree with “rewarding the people affected”. Rather I would suggest compensating the affected people, and Allah knows best.

I’m not sure who you are referring to with your comment “Is this man of those who cause corruption on the earth and repented,” whether this applies to the example you gave or whether it is meant in general terms? Let me quote the following as an example:

He Killed 99 People and Was Still Forgiven!

It was reported from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Among the Children of Israel there was a man who killed ninety-nine people. Then he went out and came to a monk and asked him, ‘Can I repent?’ He said, ‘No,’ so he killed him. Then he (again) started asking, and a man said to him, ‘Go to such and such a town (because the town you live in is very bad, so go to a town with good people). But death caught up with him (before he reached his destination), so he inclined his chest towards (that town, as he was dying). The angels of mercy and the angels of punishment disputed concerning him. Allah inspired (the good town) to come closer to him, and (the evil town to move away from him). Then He said, Measure the distance between them. They found that he was closer (to the good town) by a hand-span, so he was forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

There is more than one version of this story, but it does emphasise the Mercy of Allah.

Summary

While sins are major and minor, there are sins against individuals/society and sins against Allah. For sins against society, the debt to society has to be paid (in the form of punishment).

Repentance is the most loved form of obedience for a believer, in the eyes of Allah. He loves those who repent. Repentance has a status that no other form of worship has. This is why Allah is extremely happy when a servant repents just as a desert traveler may be happy when he finds his lost camel.

“Except those who repent, have faith and do good deeds, for such people Allah will change their sins for good deeds. Certainly Allah is most forgiving and merciful.” [Quran 25:70] 

Repentance must take place in this life

It must be noted, any request for repentance must take place in this life. Once we die, it is too late to repent.

Also, Allah tells us in a divine hadith, hadith Qudsi:

My Mercy precedes My Wrath.

Repentance and asking forgiveness is what gives the believer hope, that s/he can be forgiven – trusting in the Mercy of Allah..

May Allah grant us the strength and means to perform all our obligatory actions, so that we may strive to be good Muslims and benefit from Allah’s protection? If we make a mistake may He help us to be quick in sincere repentance, Ameen.

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

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

What Are The 7 Destructive Sins?

Will I Be Forgiven? 6 Practical Tips to Repent

Why Try to Follow Islam at All, If I Can’t Follow it Completely?

 

 

 

About Daud Matthews
Daud Matthews was born in 1938, he embraced Islam in 1970, and got married in Pakistan in 1973.
Matthews studied physics and subsequently achieved Chartered Engineer, Fellow of both the British Computer Society and the Institute of Management.He was working initially in physics research labs, he then moved to computer management in 1971. He lived and worked in Saudi Arabia from 1974 to 1997 first with the University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran,and then with King Saud University in Riyadh. He's been involved in da'wah since 1986.