Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I’ve heard that if you are ashamed of your sins in front of others and hide and sin, then your good deeds will be wiped away; what does this mean? Does this mean that you will have to redo all the obligatory things you have done? Is it true? Let’s say someone is watching haram, and someone walks in, and they close the video only because they are scared of being yelled at. Will they have to redo every single prayer they have prayed?
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for that feeling of shame and regret, for I see that as a sign of faith and knowing what is right and wrong.
It is obligatory to hide your sins from people and not speak about them. Abu Hurayra, Allah be pleased with him, reports that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “All my community will be excused except those who are blatant. And it is from blatancy for one to perform an act at night and to wake up and tell something that they did such-and-such while Allah had concealed it for them. They slept under cover of Allah, and they rent asunder Allah’s covering from themselves in the morning.” [Bukhari; Muslim]
For this reason, one should not publicize one’s sins as this angers Allah. I have not heard that one’s prayers or other obligatory deeds are wiped away by hiding one’s sins. I don’t believe this is true because one should be ashamed of one’s sins. This is what incites repentance. Perhaps you can provide the source that you heard this from.
However, showing off can affect the acceptance of one’s good deeds. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Indeed that which I fear for you the most is the small association (of partners with Allah).” They said, “What is the small association, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “Ostentation. Allah Exalted and Majestic will say to them (the ostentatious people) on the Day of Judgment, when everyone is recompensed for their deeds, ‘Go to those for whom you showed off in the world. See if you find with them any reward!’” [Ahmad]
See the details of showing off here: How Can I Stop My Feeling of Ostentation When I Am Praying?
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.