Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
If I do shirk unknowingly and don’t ask forgiveness, and then I die soon after, is there a chance Allah will forgive me? I also have the same question if I committed a major sin. I already do repent a lot, but I’m scared that I will die after sinning, which compels me to ask for forgiveness for doubts about major sins.
This would appear to be misgivings (waswasa) for three reasons:
- By definition, a believer (one who believes in Allah and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)) doesn’t do actual shirk (ascribing Divinity to other than Allah).
- Fears of such shirk are doubts from the Shaytan, and we’ve been commanded to seek refuge in Allah from his whisperings.
- You already seek forgiveness in prayer and after prayer (three times). General forgiveness clears out all sins and shortcomings.
Despair Is the Devil’s Trick
The Shaytan wants us to despair so that we leave the Straight Path. Don’t.
Allah Most High says: “Say: My servants who have wronged yourselves, never despair of God’s mercy. God forgives all sins: He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” [Quran, 39:53]
Busy Yourself with Remembrance Rather Than Negative Thoughts and Worries
Strive to follow the Prophetic sunna to “Keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah.” [Tirmidhi] In your walking, work, and rest. Engage your tongue, heart, and mind with the remembrance of Allah.
One way is to repeat the “lasting good deeds” the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) recommended: Subhanal Llah; Alhamdu lil Llah; la ilaha illal Llah; and Allahu Akbar. These can be recited in order or individually. Stay constant on them, and you’ll find peace of heart and increasing presence with Allah.
If Doubts Persist: Consult
If doubts persist, consult a local scholar or counselor. Consultation is sunna, and it is from being a strong believer.
And Allah alone gives success.
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Sinc