Will I Be Forgiven If I Didn’t Know I Was Sinful?

Question: Before repenting, I lived a life where it was encouraged to talk about your sins openly. After reading some articles, I now know that sins should be kept between me and Allah, which I have done since then. Will I be forgiven for this sin as I had no knowledge of it even being a sin (to expose my sin)?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum brother,

Thank you for your question. Any sin that was committed in the past, whether you did it purposely or out of ignorance, whether you knew it was sinful or not, whether it was major or minor, whether it is in the future or in the past, can be forgiven by Allah, if you repent.

Anas bin Malik narrated that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Allah, Blessed is He and Most High, said, ‘O son of Adam! Verily as long as you called upon Me and hoped in Me, I forgave you, despite whatever may have occurred from you, and I did not mind. O son of Adam! Were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky, then you sought forgiveness from Me, I would forgive you, and I would not mind. So, son of Adam! If you came to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, and then you met Me not associating anything with Me, I would come to you with forgiveness nearly as great as it.’” [Tirmidhi]

A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
Is Repentance Accepted If I Sin Again?
Sin, Forgiveness, and Repentance in Islam – Dr. Shadee Elmasry
The Importance of Repentance – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

May Allah help us all give true genuine repentance for our words, actions, and states.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

How Do I Repent From Petty Theft When I Was Young?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: When my grandma was at home, I used to transfer credit from her phone to mine without telling her. Also, I used my sisters’ stuff, like her creams without asking her and never told her about it. How should I absolve myself?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

“The Messenger of Allah said, ‘The pen has been lifted from [documenting and acts of] three particular types of people: someone who is sleeping until he wakes up, a child until he reaches puberty, and an insane person until he regains his sanity’ [Ahmad]. Based on this hadith you are not sinful for having taken the property of others, however, the Shari’ah still demands that their property and financial rights be returned.

To return someone’s property, you would need to return (in order of preference): the same item, an item similar to the stolen item, or its monetary equivalent. In your case you could, for example, give your grandmother a gift of 50$, intending to pay her back, without telling her that. Buying her something that she needs instead, would not suffice. You could give your relatives a new pack of erasers (or stationery set) and a new set of creams or lotions to your sister.

Another option is that you tell your relatives and your sister what you did and ask if they want to be paid back. They might overlook it since they are minor losses or they might not. You should be prepared to pay them back.

As for anything which you cannot recall, Shaykh Abdul-Wahhab al-Sha’rani mentioned in one of his works that one should regularly perform an act of worship and then donate its reward to anyone who he may have wronged in any way; this way he will have something to compensate them with on the Day of Judgement.

[What Should I Do About Thefts Committed During Childhood?]

Repentance is the most important thing here. Be sure to feel remorse, repent for the petty theft and the lying, resolve never to do it again, and return to people their rights.

Say, (O Prophet, that Allah says), “O My servants who have exceeded the limits against their souls! Do not lose hope in Allah’s mercy, for Allah certainly forgives all sins. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [Qur`an, 39:53]

What Should I Do About Thefts Committed During Childhood?
How Do I Repent From the Theft I Committed Many Years Ago When I Was a Teenager?
Am I Responsible for Childhood and Adolescent Errors?

May Allah reward you for taking the higher road and changing your ways.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

What is the punishment for apostasy in Islam?

Question:
Assalamu Alaikum

What is the punishment for apostasy in Islam? One set of scholars say apostates should be put to death and others say only apostates who commit treason/blasphemy should be put to death. Which is correct?

Allah says “There’s no compulsion in Religion” in Quran 2:256. In that case, can we compel someone to be in Islam when they can’t be true to it? We don’t put non-Muslims to death for not accepting Islam. So how can we punish those who have left Islam? Please, clarify.

Answer:

Wa alaykum al-Salam

Thank you for your question.

The Schools of Jurisprudence
Abdullah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever changes their religion, kill them” (Bukhari).

The above narration and others form the basis for the ruling agreed upon by all four schools of jurisprudence that the apostate must be killed. However, they agree that such an order may only be passed by an Islamic ruler or a representative of his court. In addition, three of the four schools require that the apostate, after having been declared as such in court, be given an opportunity to repent. The Hanafi school considers the giving of this opportunity to be recommended and not required. It also takes the view that a female apostate may not be killed (al-Mawsuah al-Fiqhiyyah).

The fact that the execution of apostates is only permitted in an Islamic country where the ruler or his representative passes the judgment is of utmost importance. No human being, no matter how serious his crime, can ever be killed without the process of a valid Islamic court.  This effectively means that the death penalty will not be passed on an apostate in 99 percent of countries around the globe.

A wisdom
In the early Muslim communities, apostasy was often associated with revolt. A revolt meant that the rule of Islam might be eradicated, and that would spread injustice and oppression.

There is enough evidence to establish that, Islamic conquests spread peace, harmony, and understanding throughout the lands. This was clearly expressed in the words of Ribiy ibn Amir when he said addressing the Persian general, Rustam, “Allah has sent us to deliver you from the worship of creation to the worship of the Creator of creation; and to deliver you from the constriction of this world to the vastness of the afterlife, and from the oppression of the religions to the justice of Islam.” [al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya]

There is no compulsion in Religion.
As for the verse, “There is no compulsion in religion” (Qur’an, 2:256), the scholars advise that it refers specifically to compelling a non-Muslim to embrace Islam.

Non-Muslims always had a place in Muslim communities and countries. They had rights and were dealt with fairly. The incident where a Jew made a claim against the Caliph of the time, our master Ali bin Abi Talib, and the court passed judgment in his favor, serves as ample proof to establish this point.

And Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Is Studying About Someone Considered Backbiting If Bad Qualities of That Person Are Mentioned?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Is studying about someone considered backbiting (ghibah) if bad qualities of that person are mentioned?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Backbiting

Reading and studying about past peoples is not considered backbiting. Backbiting is restricted to the definition given by the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace), where he said, “Your mentioning of your fellow believer in a way that they would dislike…” [Muslim]

Don’t Curse the Deceased

However, you should refrain from cursing such people or stating that they are definitely going to the Hell-Fire.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Do not curse the deceased. For surely they have gone ahead to that which they put forth.” [Bukhari]

We Are Not The Judge Of Others

These are matters which are unseen to us and we do not know how people’s lives ended.

As Allah, Most High says, “They are a people who have passed, for them is what they earned and for you is what you earned. And you will not be asked as to what they did.” [Qur’an; 02:134]

May Allah bless you for your question
Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

How Can I Help My Old Mother That Suffers a Mental Disorder?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: My old mother is bed-bound, disabled, demented, and now deaf. I have to look after her without much help from my siblings. She is very difficult to deal with, and I lost my cool with her a lot, but then repent. Please advise. 

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

Dear sister, I pray you are well, and that Allah makes a way of these difficulties for you. You have a very difficult test, and I pray Allah Almighty makes it easier for you and rewards you tremendously for it.

Good News

A woman who had epileptic fits came to the Messenger of Allah, Allah blesses him and give him peace. She wanted him to pray for the affliction to be removed. He told her that if she remained patient she would get Paradise. (Bukhari)

From the details you described in your question it seems that you have an incredibly difficult test. Perhaps this is the means that will gain you a place in Paradise without any judgment. And perhaps your mother’s illness will gain her the same. Have a good opinion of Allah.

Do What You Can

Try your best to remain calm with your mother. If you do happen to lose your patience,  ask Allah for forgiveness and try to apologize to her. It’s clear that your test is an intense one, and as humans, there is only so much we can handle, especially when there is no rest from the trials. Don’t let the guilt burden you. With every repentance, assume your mistakes are all wiped away.

Practically, however, I don’t think this situation is something you can manage on your own long term. If you carry on like this you are going to end up getting ill yourself. Speak to your siblings, and if they cannot physically come to help, then maybe they can all make a monthly contribution towards hiring a carer to come to your home and assist you.

This is the least they can do, and it will give you some much-needed rest as well.

Please have a daily dose of reminders on patience and fortitude as they will provide you with invaluable support. May Allah grant you ease in all your affairs. Amin.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

How Can a Muslim Be Fully Aware of Satan’s Plan?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: How can a Muslim be fully aware of Shaytan’s plan? Like avoiding the bad? What tricks does he use to make a person transgress?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

The fundamental component by which one can know the plots and plans of the Shaytan is having deep understanding of the Religion.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “One person of deep understanding of religion is harder on Shaytan than a thousand worshippers.” [Ibn Majah]

Deep Understanding

Deep Understanding is the fruit of seeking sacred islamic knowledge. Knowledge of the teachings of Allah Most High and His beloved Messenger (may Allah bless him and give him peace).

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever travels a path, seeking therein (sacred) knowledge Allah will facilitate for him a path toward Paradise. And verily the Angels lay down their wings out of being pleased with seeking knowledge….” [Ibn Majah]

Practical Steps for Seeking Knowledge

Firstly, you should seek out a reliable teacher who has studied from a reliable institute or from reliable scholars. Their character should be in accordance to the Prophetic teachings.

Secondly, strive to learn from them the basics of the religion regarding faith, worship, and spirituality.

If you then desire to further your studies, consult your teachers regarding the way forward.

Shaytan’s Plot

– Shaytan’s goal is to drag everyone with him to the Hell-Fire.

Allah Most High says, “Verily Shaytan is your enemy, so take him as an enemy. He only calls his followers to become inhabitants of the Blazing Fire.” [Qur’an; 35:06]

– He has no control over anyone except that he incites them toward evil through his whispers.

Allah Most High tells us, “And Shaytan says, when the affair is decided: ‘Verily Allah promised you the promise of truth; I also promised you but I broke my promise to you. I did not have any authority over you except that I called you and you responded to me. Therefore, do not blame me, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me…’” [Qur’an; 14:22]

– Shaytan deceives. He beautifies disobedience for people.

Allah Most High says, “…and Shaytan has made their deeds beautiful to them and he has barred them from the (right) way, so they are not guided.” [Qur’an; 27:24]

His Plot is Weak

Allah Most High says, “… surely Shaytan’s plot is weak.” [Qur’an; 04:76]

Summary

In summary, the greatest way to travel the straight path and protect one’s self from the plots of Shaytan is knowledge coupled with sincere practice. Thereafter, having a community and a teacher or mentor in which one can consult in unclear decisions.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

How Do I Know If My Repentance Has Been Accepted?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: How do I know if Allah has accepted my repentance because I fear my repentance will not be accepted and I also struggle to feel emotions of regret because I feel like my regret is not that strong kindly clarify?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

All Sound Repentance is Accepted

Know that if one makes sincere repentance there remains no doubt of its acceptance. Just as no thirst remains after taking a drink of water. [Ghazzali, Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din]

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The one who repents (sincerely) from a sin is like one with no sin.” [Ibn Majah, Tabarani in al-M’ujam al-Kabir, and Bayhaqi in Sh’ib al-Iman]

Conditions of a Sound Repentance

However, in order for the repentance to be sincere and sound one must fulfill the following conditions:

(1) Sincere remorse for the sin
(2) Immediately leaving the sin
(3) Firm resolve never to repeat the sin

True Remorse and its Signs

True remorse is explained to be the pain experienced by the heart when the loss of something beloved is perceived.

One must understand the reality of sin. Sins are obstacles and impediments in our relationship with Allah Most High.

[Ghazzali, Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din]

For this, the one with a stronger understanding of the greatness of Allah Most High and how desperate we are for His mercy and nearness will have a stronger aversion for sins, remorse for committing them, and realization of what is at stake.

Its signs are:

(1) extended regret
(2) grief
(3) flowing tears
(4) deep reflection

Also:

(5) Softness of heart
(6) Establishment of the bitterness of sins in the heart and an aversion to them.

This version is like the aversion one would have from poison. Even if said poison was placed in something desirable like honey, one would detest the honey. Likewise, although human nature inclines toward certain sinful desires, the knowledge of the harms of those desires has on one’s relationship with Allah will prevent them from committing the sin.

[Ghazzali, Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din]

Cultivating Remorse

In order to cultivate sincere remorse, which is a condition of valid repentance, take the following steps:

(1) Reflect on the greatness of Allah Most High. Ponder over the fact that Allah does not need anything from us, rather we are desperately in need of Allah. Think deeply of the consequences of losing or harming one’s relationship with Allah, the one whose mercy we depend on for salvation in this life and the next.

(2) Make a methodical ablution and prayer two voluntary units of prayer for repentance. Afterword..

(3) Recite Istighfar. For example:

“I seek forgiveness of Allah and I repent to Him”

While reciting this reflect on the fact that Allah Most High has blessed you innumerably throughout your life and you respond with sheer ingratitude by using His blessings in His disobedience.

(4) Try to bring yourself to tears during the above.

This should assist you in bringing your heart to a state of real remorse.

Having A Good Opinion of Allah Most High

With all that said, know that Allah Most High intends to forgive you and accept your repentance.

Allah Most High says, “And Allah intends to accept your repentance…” [Qur’an; 4:27]

And know that Allah Most High has prohibited His slaves from losing hope in His mercy.

He says, “O My slaves who have wronged themselves! Do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Verily Allah forgives all sins. Verily He is the All-Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur’an; 39:53]

Hope this helps
And Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teacher of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

What Is Considered Slander?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: What is considered slander?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, The Most Merciful and Compassionate

Slander is to mention something false about someone and is strictly prohibited.

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Do you know what backbiting is?” They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “To mention your brother in a way that he dislikes.” It was said, “What if what I said about my brother is true?” He said, “If he is as you’ve said, then you have backbitten him. If it is not true what you said, you have slandered him.” [Muslim]

Argumentation

Even though what you said is not slander, it is best to leave argumentation. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever leaves dispute, while they are incorrect, a house will be built for them in the outskirts of Paradise. And whoever abandons it, while they are correct, a house will be built for them in the center of Paradise, and whoever’s character is made beautiful, one will be built for them in the highest part (of Paradise). [Tirmidhi]

May Allah bless us all with beautiful character

Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Is It Permissible to Sit at a Table or in a Restaurant Where Alcohol Is Served and Consumed?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Is it permissible to sit at a table or in a restaurant where alcohol is served and consumed? Also, how do we apply this ruling in the context of western countries?

Answer: It is sinful to accompany people of open sin and transgression unless one intends to prevent them or reproach them in that sin. [Hashiyah Ibn Abidin]

The Western Context

In the western context, though many things that the Muslims do not partake in are common, we find that there are many alternatives. It is not farfetched to meet friends and colleagues at a coffee shop or a restaurant that does not serve alcohol.

One must use wisdom in these matters. For example, being the first to suggest the meeting place or if necessary by excusing one’s self in a very tactful manner. If one is frank and straightforward, with a respectable and dignified approach, it is usually taken well and with respect. For example, “Sorry, but as a Muslim, I would prefer we go somewhere where alcohol is not served.”

May Allah bless you

Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Have My Words Made Me Leave Islam?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: I think I said blasphemous words and realized it only later. Am I not Muslim now?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum sister,

The words that you uttered are not blasphemous and you have not renounced your religion. You did not say anything against Allah and His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

Your instant repentance is a sign of your strong faith and devotion to Islam and this can serve a good lesson for you to always think before you speak. ‘Uqbah bin ‘Amir narrated, “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! What are the means to salvation?’ He said: ‘That you control your tongue, suffice yourself your house, and cry over your sins.'” [Tirmidhi]

Please see the following link for more information on blasphemy and apostasy.

I Think I’ve Committed Apostasy. How Do I Repent?
Types of Thought, Blasphemy, and Sin

May Allah purify all our tongues and souls.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.