Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Am I sinful if I intend to commit a sin and come near to committing it but refrain from doing so? Would I still need to repent?
Answer: assalamu alaykum
If someone intends to commit a sin, the majority of scholars stated that he or she would not be held accountable for it.
However, other scholars stated that one would be accountable for the actual intention itself but the act of sin will not be recorded against one until it is actually performed.
Given this, you should sincerely repent to God and thank Him for preventing you from actually committing the act of sin. Unlike good deeds whose reward we are given merely by making an intention to perform them, the sin of committing a bad deed is only recorded when the actual act is done. Nonetheless, it is very possible that we are taken to account for our intentions. Even if this was not the case, repentance is something that we should be engaged in for even the slightest of slips whether they relate to the heart, mind, or the limbs.
[al-Ayni, Umda al-Qari (1:39)]
[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.