Answered by Ustadha Ustadha Umm Ihsan
Question: If I have done something which might be prohibitive or lets say haram and I came to know after a long time. Will my sincere repentance eradicate that sin?
Answer: Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahimi
If one has committed an action that is prohibited in Islam, one should make a sincere repentance and inshaAllah, Allah will pardon one’s wrongdoing.
Conditions for a Sincere Repentance
A sincere repentance entails four conditions:
a. One leaves the sin,
b. One feels remorse for the action committed,
c. One resolves to not return to it, and
d. One pays back or returns what one owes if the sin involves the rights of others.
[Nawawi, Riyad al-Salihin]
Do Not Despair Allah’s Mercy
No one should ever despair Allah’s mercy if they’ve truly repented. He is the only One who can forgive us for the wrong we willingly commit. He is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Allah says in the All-Mighty Quran:
“Say: Oh my slaves who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all sins.” [Throngs: 53]
“And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins – Who forgives sins save Allah only? – and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did.” [Ali Imran: 135]
“Ask your Lord for forgiveness and then turn in repentance to Him.” [Hud: 3]
“O you who believe! Turn in sincere repentance to Allah.” [The Forbidding: 8]
Even if one has repented from the sin committed, one should continue to actively engage in repentance. The Companion Abu Huraira (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘By Allah, I ask Allah’s forgiveness and turn towards Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.’” [Nawawi, Riyad al-Salihin]
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Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Umm Ihsan is a female student of Islamic knowledge from the US. She studies with leading Hanafi scholars from Syria and elsewhere.