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Making Sins Public

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Alimah Safiyya-Maryam Ahmed


When it says all my Ummah will be pardoned expect those who make their sins known. Does this also mean when a person asks someone for guidance on what he has done? Or if tell someone his mistakes as guidance so they don’t do the same mistakes?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


The Prophet [sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam] said, “All the sins of my followers will be forgiven except those of the Mujahirin (those who commit a sin openly or disclose their sins to the people). An example of such disclosure is that a person commits a sin at night and though Allah screens it from the public, then he comes in the morning, and says, ‘O so-and-so, I did such-and-such (evil) deed yesterday,’ though he spent his night screened by his Lord (none knowing about his sin) and in the morning he removes Allah’s screen from himself.”

This Hadith applies to people who sin openly or disclose their sins in order to boast about them, show off, belittle the sin, or mock the teachings of Islam. One can tell people if they are in need of advice or as a warning and naseehah to others. However, it would be better to use generic examples and terms, for example, “So-and-so did this” rather than using your own name if it can be avoided. This is because one interpretation of the Hadith is “All of my Ummah will be free from the backbiting (and gossip) of people except the Mujairin.” Exposing your sins to anybody opens up the possibility that they will tell other people, have a negative impression of you, and spread gossip.

Therefore, one should sincerely repent from their sin, avoid returning to it in the future and not mention it to anybody but only offer general advice to people. However, if there is a need and you feel you need specifically tailored advice to your situation then you can confide in someone in your trust, or if you feel you can make an impact in preventing another person from falling into it you can mention it but there must sincere remorse and regret, there should be no feelings of pride or boasting attached to it at all.

Only Allah knows best

Written by Alimah Safiyya-Maryam Ahmed

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، حَدَّثَنَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ سَعْدٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ أَخِي ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ سَالِمِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ، يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ كُلُّ أُمَّتِي مُعَافًى إِلاَّ الْمُجَاهِرِينَ، وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْمَجَانَةِ أَنْ يَعْمَلَ الرَّجُلُ بِاللَّيْلِ عَمَلاً، ثُمَّ يُصْبِحَ وَقَدْ سَتَرَهُ اللَّهُ، فَيَقُولَ يَا فُلاَنُ عَمِلْتُ الْبَارِحَةَ كَذَا وَكَذَا، وَقَدْ بَاتَ يَسْتُرُهُ رَبُّهُ وَيُصْبِحُ يَكْشِفُ سِتْرَ اللَّهِ عَنْهُ ‏”‏‏.(صحيح البخاري, كتاب الادب, باب ستر المؤمن على نفسه, حديث ٦٠٦٩)

في الجهر بالمعصية استخفاف بحق الله ورسوله وبصالحي المؤمنين، ومنه ضرب من العناد لهم، وفي الستر السلامة من الاستخفاف، لأن المعاصي تذل أهلها، ومن إقامة الحدِّ عليه إن كان فيه حد، ومن التعزير إن لم يوجب حدًّا (فتح الباري, جزء ١٠, صفحة ٥٠١, المكتبة الإسلامية)

ل أمتي معافى ـ هو اسم مفعول من عافاه الله أي أعطاه الله العافية والسلامة من المكروه…. قال الطيبي:

 والأظهر أن يقال كل أمتي يتركون عن الغيبة إلا المجاهرون، كما ورد: من ألقى جلباب الحياء فلا غيبة له ـ والعفو بمعنى الترك وفيه معنى النفي ونحوه قوله تعالى: ويأبى الله إلا أن يتم نوره ـ التوبة، والمجاهرون هم الذين جاهروا بمعاصيهم وأظهروها وكشفوا ما ستر الله عليهم منها فيتحدثون، يقال جهر وجاهر وأجهر، أقول قول الأشرف: كل أمتي لا ذنب عليهم ـ لا يصح على إطلاقه، بل المعنى كل أمتي لا يؤاخذون أو لا يعاقبون عقابا شديدا إلا المجاهرون (كتاب مرقاة المفاتيح شرح مشكاة المصابيح, كتاب الآداب, حديث ٤٨٣١)

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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