Does Allah forgive murder of a believer?

Q:

Asalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu, dear respected scholar. Does Allah forgive

intentional murder of a believer? Because I have read that Ibn Abbas(ra) had said that 4:93 in the Quran abrogates the verse in surah furqan (you can find this hadith in Sahih Bukhari on his book of

Prophetic tafsir of the Quran). But on the contrary, Ibn Abbas’s student Mujahid Ibn Jabr had said that Allah can forgive intentional murder if the murderer repents.  But however Ibn Abbas himself had

said that “There is no forgiveness for the murderer, unless he asks Allah for forgiveness.” (Al-Tabari 9/67)

Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “This was narrated by Ibn Jareer with a jayyid isnaad(hasan isnad or good chain of transmission). Perhaps he meant that he will not be forgiven, according to his first view, then he corrected himself and said: unless he asks Allah to forgive him.”

Ibn Kathir said “The view of the majority of the earlier and later generations of the ummah is that the killer may repent to his Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, and if he repents, turns to Allah, humbles himself before Him and does righteous deeds, Allah will turn his evil deeds into good deeds, and He will compensate the victim for the wrong that was done to him, and He will give him enough so that he will no longer seek redress from his killer.”

Tabari had said “The most correct view concerning that is the view of those who said that what is meant is: Whoever kills a believer deliberately, his punishment, if he is punished, will be Hell, to abide therein forever, but Allah may forgive and bestow His grace upon hose who believe in Him and His Messenger, in which case He will not punish them by causing them to abide therein for eternity.  Rather He,

may He be glorified, may either forgive him by His grace, and not admit him to Hell, or He may add admit him therein, then bring him forth from it by virtue of His mercy, because of His promise to His

believing slaves in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “Say: O‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah,verily, Allah forgives all sins” [al-Zumar 39:53].” (Tafseer at-Tabari (9/61-69))

If Ibn Abbas says that there is no repentence, then why are the majority(including Ibn Abbas’s own contemporary, Mujahid) saying the contrary to Ibn Abbas? Am I missing something? And I’ve noticed that IslamQA says “Ibn ‘Abbaas and Zayd ibn Thaabit (may Allah be pleased with them) differed from the MAJORITY”. Are there any sahabi who’ve said that there is repentence?

A:

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

 

You have cited various views on this. I have nothing else to add. However, we ought to remember the principle: one part of the Quran explains the other. We read in surah al-Furqan (25: 68-71): “And who call not upon another god along with God, and slay not the soul that God has made inviolable, save by right, and who fornicate not—for whosoever does that shall meet requital, and the punishment shall be multiplied for him on the Day of Resurrection. He shall abide therein, humiliated, save for those who repent and believe and perform righteous deeds. For them, God will replace their evil deeds with good deeds, and God is Forgiving, Merciful. And whosoever has repented and works righteousness does indeed repent to God with true repentance. (Quran: 25: 68-71).

It is clear from the above that a person who is guilty of even the most heinous crimes or sins can be redeemed by turning to Allah in repentance. We have the case of Wahshi who killed Hamza, and the story of the man who killed one hundred people, and then wanted to repent and redeem himself. He was on his way to do that, and then he died, and then the angels of mercy took his soul ascending to the higher heavens – after the intervention of Allah.

The principle we can derive from such stories is that premeditated murder is an enormous sin.  Yet unlike shirk, it can be forgiven once a person has turned to Allah in repentance and expiated for it by doing good deeds.

Allah says elsewhere: “Truly God forgives not that any partner be ascribed unto Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whomsoever He will, for whosoever ascribes partners unto God has surely fabricated a tremendous sin.” (Quran: 4: 48)

The following statement of Ibn Taymiyyah would shed some light on this issue:

“We are not allowed to make a judgment concerning any person regardless of the enormity of his sins that he would certainly be sent to hellfire. We have no way to know whether it applies specifically to him or not. Since everyone’s ultimate destiny is bound by conditions and lifting of particular obstacles,”

Such knowledge is the exclusive preserve of Allah, the Knower of the Seen and Unseen realities. We must never arrogate to ourselves such judgements.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Thursday, Jan. 01, 1970 | 00:00 - 00:00 GMT

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