Do the Angels Wait Before Writing down a Bad Deed?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: As salaamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh.
My question is does the Angel on our right shoulder write down our bad deeds as soon as we commit them?
I heard they write them down 6 hours later? Apparently it gives us time to repent.
Can you explain with authentic references.
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Yes, the angel waits before writing down the bad deed. [Sawi/Laqani, Sharh Jawharat al-Tawhid]
It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Truly the Angel on the left [of a person] withholds from recording the sinful deed committed by the Muslim servant who sinned for a period six ‘hours’. If the servant regrets committing the sin and asks Allah for forgiveness, the Angel does not write down his sin. Otherwise, the angel records it as one bad deed.” [Tabarani, Mu`jam al-Kabir]
Munawi notes that the time frame could be six hours, as we know it, six moments or otherwise. [Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir]
However, even after the sin has been written down, it can be rubbed off as repentance completely wipes away the sin and its traces. [see: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)]
And Allah alone gives success.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani