What if somebody says, I have committed sins and I want purification, is there a way out?
Except he who repents and believes and follows it up with good deeds Allah will replace their sins into good deeds. (Quran 25:70)
Look at the conditions.
Allah said for such people that He will replace, He didn’t say He will erase, their sins and make them into good deeds.
Who can do that other than Allah?
And here the scholars have deferred, what does it mean that Allah will replace their sins and make them into good deeds?
Am I to understand that literally?
Ibn Abbas and Al-Hassan al-Basri said:
“It’s to be understood that Allah will replace disbelief into Islam. Allah will replace weak faith with strong faith. And Allah will replace fornication with marriage and halal relationship; He will replace the innovation with the Sunnah…”
Other scholars have said that there is a literal understanding here: Their actual crime, their alcohol, their interest… will be replaced into good deeds; and Allah is able.
A Beautiful Hadith
And this is supported by a hadith. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said in a beautiful narration, one that made him smile:
A man will be brought before Allah on the Day of Reckoning. Allah will say to the Angels:
Hide from him all of his major sins and let him only see the minor ones. And then the judgment begins.
The reckoning begins.
Do you remember when you did such-and-such on day such-and-such?
Think about this moment.
Do you remember those moments when we used to watch films with our parents? And then an inappropriate scene appears in front of you, and everyone starts rummaging for the remote quickly, you’re trying to change it fast for it’s very awkward.
That’s how we feel today in the life of this world when we see others doing this type of behavior; how then will it be when you and I will be made to read out our actions along with the private ones as well that we thought no one was aware about, and we will be reading it in front of Allah, the King, the prophets, messengers, and all of humanity? How would that be? For many people, their accountability will be in public. We ask Allah to make our accountability in private.
Trust in the Most Forgiving
So, Allah will say to the angels:
Hide from him his major sins, let him to see the minor ones.
Then the interrogation begins. You did such-and-such day such-and-such. And he will confess.
Allah will say to him:
However, we have forgiven you and we have replaced every one of your sins into a good deed.
The man will be so happy and he will protest:
“Allah, where are my major sins? I’ve done other things I don’t see them here!”
And so the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) smiled until his molar teeth could be seen, laughing with joy and hope in the mercy of Allah.