Should I Receive the Hadd (Punishment) for My Past Sins?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question

I have committed major sins that most disbelievers commit in the West. I constantly seek repentance for my past sins; I have not committed any of them in the past two years. I started seeking Sacred Knowledge last year, and a scholar-to-be has advised me to get hadd punishment to seek knowledge and to get closer to Allah (Most High) without any hindrance.

He heard that I committed the sins from an old friend (during my times of ignorance), and he told me that I would be arrogant if I didn’t receive a hadd punishment. He quoted a hadith (from Sahih Muslim) and said that Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was checking the lady’s sincerity. Should I take hadd punishment? If yes, then from whom?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him. Amin.

Allah has saved you from a terrible ordeal, so do not seek to place yourself into another one. No, you should not seek the hadd punishment. The hadd punishment would only be valid after a valid legal trial in a recognized state, which is not extant.

The advice you received is not valid. Seeking Sacred knowledge and gaining proximity to Allah does not require you to seek legal punishments. Repentance is sufficient, and Allah knows best.

Avert the Legal Punishments

When it comes to legal punishments (hudud), the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) gave us the following principle:

He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Avert legal punishments (hudud) from the Muslims as best as you can (…).” [Tirmidhi]

You need not worry over legal punishments; your concern should be repenting to Allah Most High. [Nawawi, Majmu‘]

Conditions of a Sound Repentance

However, for the repentance to be sincere and sound, one must fulfill the following conditions:

  1. Sincere remorse for the sin;
  2. Immediately leaving the sin;
  3. Firm resolve never to repeat the sin. [Nawawi, Riyadh Al-Salihin]

All Sound Repentance is Accepted

Know that if one makes sincere repentance, there remains no doubt of its acceptance. Just as no thirst remains after taking a drink of water. [Ghazali, Ihya ‘Ulum Al-Din]

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The one who repents (sincerely) from a sin is like one with no sin.” [Ibn Maja; Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir; Bayhaqi, Shu‘b al-Iman]

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.