How Can I Repent From Harming Someone With My Words?

27 August, 2019
Q When I was young, I think when I had like 8 years old, I was kinda mean to a friend, I didn't of course harm her or abuse her physically or mentally, but I feel like I have mistreated her (not severely), just like saying a few mean things here and there, and that may have hurt her. Back in the days I had no idea about Islamic rules or anything, but now that I grew up, and of course after knowing a lot about Islam and its' rules, I feel like I'm treating people good and I have no bad relationship with anyone. But, past actions occurred in my mind again, I sincerely want to apologize but I have lost all contact of that person and there's zero chance (for now) that I might meet her, so I'm kinda troubled, I want to clear any bad relationship I have with anyone in this life, is repentance enough in this case? I don't know what to do?

Answer

Short Answer: Firstly, there is always a chance to repent in this life. Allah keeps the doors ajar, so that we may repent at anytime in our lives. Allah is the most forgiving and He hears all of our dua (supplication or invocation). What if you may never see her again? Then the best tool you have is dua. Try to make dua for her daily without skipping a day, and it will connect you to her in a beautiful, spiritual way. Allah will bless both of you, and you never know, what the power of dua will bring your way!

………….

There is an old saying which goes, “stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” However, in reality wounds on the body heal much faster than wounds inflicted by words. Words can be very hurtful and very hard to forget. As once the words escape the lips you cannot take them back.

Assalam Alaikum. May peace be with you.

Thank you for approaching us with your question.

Is There Any Room for Repentance?

Firstly, there is always a chance to repent in this life. Allah keeps the doors ajar, so that we may repent at anytime in our lives. Allah is the most forgiving and He hears all of our dua (supplication or invocation). According to a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad:

Your Rabb is modest and kind. A person raises his hands in His court and He feels shy in turning his slave away empty handed” (Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi)

How Should I Repent?

Secondly, as you had mentioned, you committed those sins in the past while you were unaware of it actually being a sin. If you have done this out of being oblivious to the fact that it is a sin, then Inshallah, Allah will pardon you. The fact that you have changed and are attempting to fix things which you had done in the past shows that Allah has blessed you with goodness of character.

Which Actions Can I Take?

There are several things that you can do to rectify the situation you are in and you will have to try your best, as Allah forgives any sin committed against Him (except shirk). However, when it comes to His servants, Allah does not forgive you until the person whom you have wronged forgives you. If you have spoken wrong about her in front of her then you should ask her to forgive you. As asking her directly for forgiveness is the best route to take in this situation.

On the other hand, if you had done this action amongst others without her knowing then speak good about her in front of the same group of people. They may ask you and wonder why you’re saying good things about her when you were the one against her in the past. Stay firm and let them know that you only know good of her and defend her character as well.

Now, here is the tricky part, what if you are unable to do either of these and chances are you may never see her again? Then the best tool you have is dua. Try to make dua for her daily without skipping a day and it will connect you to her in a beautiful, spiritual way. Allah will bless both of you, and you never know, what the power of dua will bring your way!

Is Repentance Enough?

Lastly, yes you should ask Allah for forgiveness as he is Al-Ghafur (Most Forgiving). Prophet Yunus was going through trials of life, and he ended up in the belly of the whale covered in darkness where no one could see him or hear him. He used the power of dua, he said:

There is no deity except you, exalted are you, indeed I have been among the wrong doers.” (Quran 21: 87)

Allah heard his supplication, facilitated a way out for him, and forgave him. So keep yourself connected to Allah through dua and seek His forgiveness. Allah will definitely make a way out for you and send opportunities your way!

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

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

Repentance is Not Seeking Forgiveness – How?

Steps to Repentance That Will Grant You Forgiveness

The Road to Salvation: Repentance is the Key