Allah forgives all sins, but what about the rights of the people? Even if Allah forgives the sinner, will the wronged ones not ask for their rights?

Details of the Question
Allah forgives all sins, but what about the rights of the people? Even if Allah forgives the sinner, will the wronged ones not ask for their rights?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Only the wronged person may forgive the one who wronged him/her. Therefore, one must find a way to make himself forgiven by the one who he wronged. Otherwise, the problem will be solved in the hereafter, which will turn into a grave issue. If the person that we wronged has passed away, we must find his heirs and pay our debt. 
If one does not please the person he wronged here in this world, he will be interrogated in the other world and the wronged one will get his right from him.

However, if the wrong-doer regrets later on, repents sincerely, lives like a person that pleases Allah, but cannot find the person he wronged, it is expected from the mercy of Allah to ask the wronged one to forgive the other, in the other world, on condition that Allah bestows blessings on the wronged one. In return, the wronged one will forgive him as long as the repenter is sincere in his repentance.
However, if the wrongdoer wants to pay for his wrong doings to those he hurt, but cannot find them, then he is recommended to do good things on their behalf, give alms and pray for them.
If we wronged someone who is hard to please, we must find a way to pay his share directly or via a deputy. If that person does not know that we wronged him and if  it is not possible to express it openly, then we need to leave the money onto his desk or home or through another means, and then tell him about the situation with a note. There is no need to mention the name directly.

Man is an honorable being. Wronging his moral values like his freedom, honor, chastity and dignity is a grave sin, just like an encroachment done to his life and assets. They are all grave responsibilities.

One may have wronged another person willingly or unwillingly, knowingly or unknowingly. Or he may encroach his rights to the extent that causes the loss some of his rights. We cannot avoid being fully away from faults and sins, even if we strive to control ourselves or have strong self-determination to remain righteous.

What must we do in this case, which may be considered natural? Does it merely suffice to say “It happened once inevitably, it will not happen again, I wish I had not done it” with an inner soul-searching? Or, should we try to compensate for our faults through correcting our wrongs and asking for forgiveness from the one we wronged by expressing our regrets ?

Essentially, in Islam, there are two kinds of rights: the right of Allah and the right of the people. The right of Allah means the duties that every man should fulfill towards his Lord. Any failure or sin or shortcoming in this sense, requires sincere invocation, repentance and asking frogiveness from Allah. However, the right of people is different. There is only one compensation for it. That is, meeting the wronged one personally, asking for pardon and forgiveness and paying for the losses.

Our Prophet (PBUH) states the following in a hadith : “If one has wronged his brother’s dignity or assaulted his assets unrightfully, he must have himself forgiven before the Doomsday where there is no gold or silver to pay. Otherwise, some of his good deeds (equal to the rights of that person) will be taken away from him and given to that person. If he has no good deeds, then the sins of the wronged one will be given to him. “

Yes, also according to our Prophet’s (PBUH) advice, there is no solution in this case, other than pleasing the wronged one. In so much that, even if a person has become a martyr but has wronged someone, all of his sins are forgiven except the wrongs done to that person. Thus, the only remedy is applying to the wronged person to please him through confessing the mistake and asking for forgiveness. If there is a financial loss, you should pay for it as much as you can to please him.

So, you will have done your best. If he responds positively, shows tolerance and understanding, then you will have gotten rid of the responsibility and thus of the torment and account in the hereafter through settling the problem in this world.
However, if you still feel remorse, you can repent additionally. You will have relieved before Allah as it is stated in this hadith : “Regret is the repentance itself”, “ A repenter from sins is just like one who has not committed  any sins at all. “
How can a person understand and discern that his repentance has been accepted, he has been freed from the sin ?

Let us get the answer from the Prophet (PBUH)  :

One who repents and does a good deed following a committed sin, is like a person who wears a very tight armor on himself. Following the sin, if he does a good deed, one of the rings of the armor will be released; following another good deed, another ring will be released. After the good deeds, the armor will fall off the body

We deduce from the hadith that  a person who committed sin against Allah or wronged someone, can be freed from those sins, and the buttons  of the armor of the sin will be unbuttoned quickly through regretting following the sin and doing good deeds and increasing his services of the Quran and faith. So, it will not be necessary to feel remorse and feel uneasy or distress any more because he is regarded to  have done his best with a pure intention and sincerity.

Meanwhile, we should not forget this verse of the Quran : “Say: "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

Bukhari,Mazalim ( Persecutions),10
2. at-Targhib wa't-Tarhib, 4:97.
3. ibid ., 4:106
4. Surah az-Zumar, 53.

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