If you have accidentally hurt someone’s feelings in a very minor way, or cause them in slight convenience or slight physical harm, do you still have to ask them for forgiveness?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
May Allah forgive us all! If we harm others, we should always apologise, even if the harm seems very minor. This is because the rights of others are not forgiven by Allah. Rather, if they are not fulfilled or forgiven in this life, He gives them our good deeds in the next.
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said, “‘Do you know what a bankrupt person is?’ They said, ‘Someone without money or goods is bankrupt.’ The Prophet said, ‘Verily, the bankrupt of my nation are those who come on the Day of Resurrection with lots and lots of prayers, lots and lots of fasting, and lots and lots of charity, but he comes having had insulted others, slandered others, wrongfully consumed the wealth of others, having had shed the blood of others, and having had struck others. So some [of those whom he has wronged] will be given some of his good deeds, and others will be given others. If his good deeds run out before justice is fulfilled, then their sins will be cast upon him and he will be thrown into the Hellfire.'” [Muslim]
So other peoples’ rights are very important, and wronging others is very grave indeed.
However, if the wrongs are very slight, it has been a long time, and you genuinely believe that they have forgiven you or forgotten about it, you do not need to go and find every single person whom you have harm in any amount. You should just try to search out those who have wronged in a more significant amount and ask them for forgiveness.
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I pray this helps.
[Ustadh] Farid Dingle
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.