Message No : 14Sr.No : 180/725
Question By : Yoginder Sikand

Dear Sir


A favour please: I have been reading the QurĄŻan recently, trying in particular to understand the QurĄŻanic concept of Divine mercy and judgment. I have the following queries, and I woud be grateful if you could clarify these issues from an Islamic perspective separately:

1. The QurĄŻan, at several places talks about GodĄŻs willingness to forgive oneĄŻs sins provided one sincerely repents. Now, if God does forgive these sins [in this life], would these sins be taken into account on the Day of Judgement in deciding whether one would go to hello or heaven?

2. Also, the QurĄŻan refers to MosesĄŻs slaying of a man, and that soon after he did that he repented and appealed to God for forgiveness. Now, would this act of Moses be taken into account on Judgment Day when deciding his fate? Further, Islam says that every action is judged by its intention. The QurĄŻn also says that prophets of God are free from evil intentions, so then what was MosesĄŻ intention when he struck the Egyptian? Was it to kill him? The QurĄŻan says that if one slays a single human being wrongfully it is as if he had killed the entire human race. What does this mean for MosesĄŻ killing of the Egyptian?

3. Some critics argue that the great stress that the QurĄŻan gives to GodĄŻs mercy might violate the principal of divine justice and might even enable people to justify evil acts by telling them that if they commit an evil act and then repent they would be forgiven. What is the true Islamic position on the matter? What, if for instance, a person, knowing that the act he is going to commit is evil, does so by convincing himself that he would later repent sincerely and then be forgiven by God and that this evil deed of his, because it is forgiven, shall not be accounted for on the Day of Judgment?

I know these are sensitive issues, but I find them quite difficult to understand and so I am asking you for your guidance. Please be so kind as to clarify these matters, in the light of the Quran and the Hadith.




Reply By : Mohd. Shihabuddin Qasmi
Designation : Mufti, ODI, MMERC, Mumbai 

In the name of Allah, All Gracious, All Merciful
Dear Brother,
The answers to your questions are as follows:

1) Allah Almighty is Often-forgiving, Most Merciful. He forgives all the sins to whom He wishes, but never forgives the sin of associating a partner with Him. The Glorious QurĄŻaan says, Ą°Allah does not forgive that compeers be ascribed to Him, though He may forgive aught else to whom He pleases. And he who ascribes compeers to Allah is guilty of the gravest sin.Ą±(Suratun-Nisa 4: 48)

None knows in this life whether he is forgiven or not except the prophets, messengers and the companions as well as those whose forgiveness has been declared by Allah Almighty. But believer never should despair from the mercy of Allah Almighty. The Glorious QurĄŻaan says, Ą°Say: Ą°O my servants who have transgressed against their souls! Do not despair of the mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.Ą± (Suratuzumar 39: 53)

However, the mercy of Allah Almighty is the key for entering paradise. Without His grace, nobody can enter paradise. The Lofty QurĄŻaan says, Ą°And he said: Ą°O my Lord! Grant me that I should be grateful for the favours You have bestowed on me and my parents, and do good things of Your pleasing; and admit me by your grace to the ranks of your righteous devoteesĄ±. (Suratun-Namal 27: 19) Therefore, he will enter paradise to whom Allah Almighty shows His mercy and forgives.

2) Islam teaches tolerance and justice and asks its followers to establish peace and windup tyranny and injustice from the surface of the earth. It also lays a great emphasis to help those who are oppressed.

Once Hazrat Moses (AS) entered his city Egypt, preferably at the time of siesta and found an Israeli and Egyptian fighting one another. The Israelite appealed Moses (AS) for help against the Egyptian. So, Moses (AS) struck the Egyptian a blow with his fist to release the Israelite, but the Egyptian could not bear the blow and died. This event is before Moses (AS) received his prophethood. The killing was unintentionally. Since, the intention of Moses (AS) was only to release his fellow-brother. But unfortunately the strike caused the death of Egyptian.

This kind of killing is not the killing of whole humanity. But the killing that occurs out of intention and undue reason is considered the killing of entire human race. The Glorious QurĄŻaan says, Ą°That whoever kills a human being, except (as punishment) for murder or for spreading corruption in the land, it shall be like killing all humanity; and whosoever saves a life, saves the entire human race.Ą± (Suratul-Mayidah 5: 32)

After all, Moses (AS) was amongst the righteous devotees of Allah Almighty and righteous people consider minor sin as major. Therefore, Moses (AS) called his deed as an act of Satan and turned towards Allah Almighty with sincere repentance. He asked for AllahĄŻs forgiveness and obtained it. Allah says, Ą°He prayed: Ą°O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul! Forgive me!Ą± So Allah forgave him: for He is the Oft-forgiving, Most MercifulĄ±. (Suratul-Qasas 28: 16) Therefore, the killing of Egyptian does not contradict the principle of Islam that the prophets and messengers are innocents.

3) A human is governed by his desires that naturally urge him to take the way of comfort or the path against the teachings of Islam. And following oneĄŻs desire is very dangerous for the faith of a believer. Sometime, desires cease one to be a Muslim. The Glorious QurĄŻaan says, Ą°Do not follow your lust lest it should lead you astray from the way of Allah. Surely for those who go astray from the way of Allah, is severe punishment, for having forgotten the day of reckoning.Ą± (Suratu-Saad 38: 26) Therefore, A true Muslim never dreams to commit sin thinking he will repent later. This is because, nobody knows where and when his death will occur and he will find no time to repent though every sin committed knowingly or unknowingly is forgiven by repentance made before facing death. The Glorious QurĄŻaan says, Ą°Allah accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will Allah turn in mercy: for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom. But (He does not accept) the repentance of those who continue indulging in evil until death draws near to one of them, and he says, Ą°Now have I repented indeed;Ą± not of those who die rejecting faith: for them we have prepared a chastisement, most grievous.Ą± (Suratun-Nisa 4: 17-18)

It is to be born in mind that there are two conditions for repentance to be accepted; Tawbah (to regret at committing sin) and emending oneself promising never to commit the same sin in future. Moreover, one should perform as much as one can the rights violated by committing the previous sin whether the rights belong to Allah Almighty such Salaah, Sawm etc or to human beings. The Glorious QurĄŻaan says, Ą°And those who having done an act of indecency or wronged their own souls, remember Allah and ask for forgiveness for their sins, and who can forgive sins except Allah? And are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in the wrong the have doneĄ±. (Suratu-Al-Imraan 3: 135)

And Allah knows the best,

Certified by

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