Answered by: Shaykh Tahsin Alam
Please explain how the Muhaditheen has explained this narration. Ibn Maajah (4245) narrated from Thawbaan (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “I certainly know people of my ummah who will come on the Day of Resurrection with good deeds like the mountains of Tihaamah, but Allaah will make them like scattered dust.” Thawbaan said: O Messenger of Allaah, describe them to us and tell us more so that we will not become of them unknowingly. He said: “They are your brothers and from your race, worshipping at night as you do, but they will be people who, when they are alone, transgress the sacred limits of Allaah.”
Does it literally mean that He or She who is pious, but sins discretely during the night will have all his good deeds in the day or in their life on the Day of Qiyamah IF they never repented, deleted?
Or does the Hadith suggest the actions of a hypocrite or have hypocritical attributes about themselves i.e. pretend to be good during the day, but is a Shaitan during the night.
I’m puzzled for two reasons. 1) I re-call another narration saying that the WORSE of sinners is He or She who sins OPENLY yet doesn’t suggest their good sincere actions will be deleted.
2) Anyone who is sincere in their salah and other forms of ibadat would never habitually sin albeit discretely or openly yet shamefully as the Hadith makes out.
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Imām Ibn Ḥajar al-Haytami interpreted this narration in the context of a person pretending to be righteous outwardly whilst secretly transgressing the sacred limits. He says, “the one whose habit is to make a show of being good and concealing his evil ways causes more harm and misguidance to the Muslims because he has no piety and no fear of Allah.”
If a person does not make sincere tawbah and istighfār for these secret sins, then their good deeds committed in the open will be of no use to them and will be wiped away as mentioned in the ḥadīth. It is possible for someone who is sincere in their ʿibādāt to habitually sin, but their performing of these good deeds will eventually prevent them from sinning.
Abu Huraira reported: A man came to the Prophet and he said, “This person prays in the night but he steals in the morning.” The Prophet, peace, and blessings are upon him, said, “Verily, his prayer will stop him from doing that.”
Only Allah knows best
Written by Shaykh Tahsin Alam
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham