Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I have apologized to my husband many times for a big mistake, and I have refrained from it completely. But my husband has told all the family and relatives about it and has embarrassed me. My husband is asking me to come in front of the entire family to explain the mistakes, answer their questions, and apologize to them. This is too embarrassing and difficult. I asked him to explain and convince them on my behalf, but he refused.
Can I apologize only to my husband and make him understand?
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for repenting from your sin, and may Allah envelop you in His mercy, and may he put compassion in your husband’s heart.
Allah deserves your repentance first, and building your relationship with Him is more important than anything else. You have done the right thing by abandoning this sin and should have strong faith in Allah’s forgiveness. Find comfort in this Quranic verse, “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] Acquire the habit of turning to Allah Most High in dhikr, prayer, and the Quran when tempted to sin. The Devil will be dissuaded and leave you alone by Allah’s grace.
Facing your in-laws to explain your sin is ludicrous, and they are not owed any kind of explanation whatsoever. You have paid your dues by apologizing to your husband and by repenting to your Lord. It is wrong of your husband to be so cold-hearted and not accept your apology. Your repentance is good enough for Allah Most High. Is it not good enough for your husband?
If your husband does not let this go, and you should do everything to convince him, perhaps you can sit with your mother-in-law or father-in-law, or someone else, with your husband, and talk to them about it. Keep it short, and simple, and display good character. After this, you should make them promise to bury it and never bring it up again.
Forgiveness and Apology
Forgiveness is integral to our Prophet’s sunna (Allah bless him and give him peace), and he was commanded to forgive. Explaining the Quranic verse, “Hold to forgiveness,” ‘Abd Allah b. al-Zubair said, “The Prophet of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was commanded to hold to forgiveness from the conduct of the people.” [Abu Dawud]
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said, “Forgive the people of good qualities their slips, but not faults to which prescribed penalties apply.” [Abu Dawud] Please don’t get in the habit of begging him constantly for forgiveness; it is unnecessary, as an apology is only needed once.
Please see these links as well:
Should I Stop Excessively Asking My Parents for Forgiveness?
How to Repent When It Involves Right of Others?
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, 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 later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.