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Rights of Others

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Mohammed Dilwar Hussain


I have made many mistakes in the past related to haq e abd. Now I can’t find them all one by one to give back there their rights. So what to do in this situation?

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


The general process is that we must continue to search for them and seek their forgiveness for any wrongdoing. Whether that has been done knowingly or unknowingly. There is no need to break down in exactly which manner we have wronged the person. To do that, may cause greater harm. Rather it is simpler and normally more appropriate to apologise and ask for forgiveness in a generic manner, i.e., to say something along the lines of, “please forgive me for whatever wrong that I have done to you knowingly or unknowingly.”

You can also repent for your sins by doing Taubah. There are three conditions for repenting;

  • Stop committing the sin;
  • Feel remorse for the sin which has been committed;
  • Make a sincere vow to never return back to the sin;

These are the three conditions for when we have broken one of the rights of Allāh Ta’ālā. However, there is a fourth condition which comes into effect when it comes to dealing with the rights of others. In this situation, Allāh Ta’ālā does not forgive us until the one whom we have wronged also forgives us.

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said: “The atonement of backbiting a man is to ask Allāh to forgive him.” [Bulugh al-Marām: Hadith 81] [1]

If, after making every effort to search for those whom we have wronged and we are still unable to locate them, then we can act on the above Hadith and hope for our atonement.

Allāh’s Messenger ﷺ would face directly the worst of people, thereby winning their hearts. He used to do the same with me so that I thought I was the best of the people… [Shamā’il Muhammadiyah : Hadith 343] [2]

The Prophet ﷺ met the worst of peoples in the best of manners. His perfect character and traits softened their hearts and bought them towards Islam. This is a lesson for us on how to meet and treat one another. If we can do this then we save ourselves from so many wrongs.

Only Allāh Ta’ālā knows best.

Written by Maulana Mohammed Dilwar Hussain

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

[1] وَعَنْ أَنَسٍ ‏- رضى الله عنه ‏- عَنْ اَلنَّبِيِّ ‏- صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏-قَالَ: { كَفَّارَةٌ مَنْ اِغْتَبْتَهُ أَنْ تَسْتَغْفِرَ لَهُ } 

[2]حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ مُوسَى، قَالَ‏:‏ حَدَّثَنَا يُونُسُ بْنُ بُكَيْرٍ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ إِسْحَاقَ، عَنْ زِيَادِ بْنِ أَبِي زِيَادٍ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ كَعْبٍ الْقُرَظِيِّ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ الْعَاصِ، قَالَ‏:‏ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، يُقْبِلُ بِوَجْهِهِ وَحَدِيثِهِ عَلَى أَشَرِّ الْقَوْمِ، يَتَأَلَّفُهُمْ بِذَلِكَ فَكَانَ يُقْبِلُ بِوَجْهِهِ وَحَدِيثِهِ عَلَيَّ، حَتَّى ظَنَنْتُ أَنِّي خَيْرُ الْقَوْمِ…

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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