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Will I Be Forgiven If I Didn’t Know I Was Sinful?

Question: Before repenting, I lived a life where it was encouraged to talk about your sins openly. After reading some articles, I now know that sins should be kept between me and Allah, which I have done since then. Will I be forgiven for this sin as I had no knowledge of it even being a sin (to expose my sin)?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum brother,

Thank you for your question. Any sin that was committed in the past, whether you did it purposely or out of ignorance, whether you knew it was sinful or not, whether it was major or minor, whether it is in the future or in the past, can be forgiven by Allah, if you repent.

Anas bin Malik narrated that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Allah, Blessed is He and Most High, said, ‘O son of Adam! Verily as long as you called upon Me and hoped in Me, I forgave you, despite whatever may have occurred from you, and I did not mind. O son of Adam! Were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky, then you sought forgiveness from Me, I would forgive you, and I would not mind. So, son of Adam! If you came to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, and then you met Me not associating anything with Me, I would come to you with forgiveness nearly as great as it.’” [Tirmidhi]

A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
Is Repentance Accepted If I Sin Again?
Sin, Forgiveness, and Repentance in Islam – Dr. Shadee Elmasry
The Importance of Repentance – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

May Allah help us all give true genuine repentance for our words, actions, and states.

[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, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.