Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel
Can you clarify and explain the hadith, “Verily, Allah has pardoned my nation for the stray thoughts occurring within themselves, as long as they do not speak of them or act upon them.”?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
I pray you are in good faith and health.
Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Verily, Allah has pardoned my nation for the stray thoughts occurring within themselves, as long as they do not speak of them or act upon them.”
Qatada (Allah be pleased with him) said, “If a person thinks of divorce in his mind, it will have no effect.” [Bukhari; Muslim]
A non-verbal, voiceless, and wordless thought does not count. It is an inner non-verbal promise that is not binding, which we all think of about matters we should or should not do. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
Addressing Allah (Most High) while making a dua about an internal promise will have no bearing or effect. Rest assured, just make a habit of general repentance and seek forgiveness, whether one falls into sin or not. This is a safe refuge and proven way to keep our body, thoughts, mind, and heart in check.
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May Allah Most High give you ease and relief from thoughts that disturb or annoy you, amin.
I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.