Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel
I’ve been thinking about a question for a while. I know that justice is important in Islam, which comforts me because many people are wronged unjustly.
However, one thing that has stayed with me and bothered me is hearing that when non-Muslims convert to Islam, their sins are forgiven, but so are the wrongdoings they committed against others.
Suppose a non-Muslim wronged a Muslim, then converted to Islam and didn’t care about the Muslim or the individuals he wronged. How would those people find peace and comfort knowing that this person caused them pain, showed no remorse and that the wrongdoer is just relaxing in life?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
I pray you are in good faith and health.
Allah Most High said, “Tell the disbelievers that if they desist, their past will be forgiven. But if they persist, then they have an example in those destroyed before them.” [Quran, 8:38]
Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “When a servant embraces Islam and practices his Islam well, Allah will record every good deed and erase every bad deed that he did before it. After that, he will be held accountable. A good will be counted as ten like it, up to seven hundred times. An evil deed will be counted as one like it unless Allah Most High overlooks it.” [Nasa’i]
In another longer hadith reported by Ibn Shamasa Mahri (Allah be pleased with him), “(…) ʿAmr Ibn al-ʿAas (Allah be pleased with him) said (…), When Allah instilled the love of Islam in my heart, I came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said: Stretch out your right hand so that I may pledge my allegiance to you. He stretched out his right hand, I withdrew my hand, he (the Holy Prophet) said: ‘What is wrong, ʿAmr?’ I said, ‘I wanted to stipulate a condition.’ he said, ‘What is the condition?’ I said, ‘That I be forgiven.’ he said, ‘Are you not aware that Islam wipes out all the previous (misdeeds)? Verily migration wipes out all the previous (misdeeds), and verily the pilgrimage wipes out all the (previous) misdeeds.’ (…).” [Muslim]
Scholarly Difference About Conversion Wiping Away Rights of Others
There is a difference of opinion among scholars on whether conversion to Islam wipes away financial or non-financial related injustices. Some scholars are of the opinion that converting to Islam wipes away all previous sins in its absolute form, be it any injustice or major and minor sins. Some say it only wipes away the rights of Allah Most High, as for the rights of fellow human beings, it will not be wiped away, whether the right is related to finance or not.
In reality, one must try to repay, apologize and seek forgiveness for any financial wrong, human pain, injustice, etc., even after conversion. This newly converted person should be reminded and guided to repent and seek forgiveness for the wrongs done to others, as mentioned by scholars in the above explanation.
Immense Hope from Allah Most High
However, it is possible that Allah Most High will forgive the person despite his previous wrongdoings to others before conversion by giving him an immense reward for his good actions and conversion, and also immensely rewarding and pleasing the wronged person by making him forget about the wrong done to him in the Worldly life. [Shabbir Usmani, Fath al-Mulhim]
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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.