Will everybody know in the hereafter the sins that only Allah knows and that are committed secretly?

The Details of the Question
How will the sins of a person that only Allah knows be judged on the Day of Reckoning? How will the sins or good deeds done alone or in the presence of others be judged on that day?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Sins are interferences that limit the communication of a slave with his Lord. The health of the communication of a slave with his Lord is closely related to the elimination of these interferences from his life. 

Suppose that you are making a phone call with one of your relatives. When there is an interference, you do not understand each other; you stop the call and try to eliminate the interference first.

This incident, which we encounter several times in the physical realm, is of more significance in our relationships with our Lord in the spiritual realm. The interferences of the spiritual realm are sins, harams, the deeds Allah rendered haram, the deeds our religion forbids and the sins our conscience condemns.

The first one to question us about sins, harams andthe deeds Allah forbad is our conscience. The institution that questions us the most severely in the eye of Allah is our conscience. To be acquitted in the eye of our conscience is repentance itself. Unless we are acquitted, our conscience continues to pressurize and condemn us.   

It is the most important condition and is sufficient for a person to regret and repent his sins in his own conscience, that is, in his essence and inner world, so as to be regarded repentant. There is no need to mention and list the sins in the presence of an institution or a person; such an attitude does not comply with oneness. For, nobody but Allah has the authority to accept or reject repentance of sins or to punish sins.

Sins are personal and are between a slave and his Lord unless they involve others’ rights. If it involves others’ rights, it is something between the person whose right has been violated and the person who has violated; it is still secret for others.

That is, the sinsdo not have to be known by anybody except by 1. the sinner, 2. Allah, 3. the slave whose right has been violated. Secrecy is essential in sins. Allah’s name “Sattarul-uyub”wants to hide sins. Sins have to be kept secret so that the way to forgiveness will be open.

Stating that man has a nature that tends to commit mistakes and sins, 1 Badiuzzaman Said Nursi states that the Allah Almighty’ names Sattar and Ghaffar are like a shield to hide mistakes and sins, and that Allah Almighty covers, hides and forgives sins when a person takes refuge only in Him. 2

Just courts do not pursuit the crimes and sins that do not interest the public. If a sin or crime is committed about the rights of one or more persons, the courts will definitely act in order to judge the criminals and protect the innocent people. This is necessary for the realization of justice; and it is a different issue. It is a virtue in a sense for a person to confess his crime in the court; and it is like repentance.  

However, a person should hide his sins that do not interest others; he should avoid spreading his sins and should repent of them in the presence of his conscience. It is haram to boast of sins.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states the following:

* “All of my ummah is forgiven except those who commit sins openly without feeling ashamed. If a person who commits a sin at night says in the morning, ‘I did such and such a thing last night’ though Allah hid his sin, he is one of those who commit sins openly without feeling ashamed. Although his Lord covers the sin he committed at night, he uncovers the veil Allah spreads.” 3

* “If a person hides the sin of another person in the world, Allah will hide his sin on the Day of Judgment.” 4

* “Do not search the hidden aspects of people. Do not try to find out people’s mistakes.” 5

* “When you commit a sin, repent immediately after it. Repent secretly of a sin that you commit secretly and repent openly of a sin that you commit openly.” 6

* “When a sin remains secret, it harms only the sinner. If it is not corrected when it is revealed, it will harm the community.”7

* “Ask Allah to cover your mistakes and to keep you safe from what you fear.” 8

* “Allah states the following: ‘I have such great generosity and pardoning that I will not reveal the sin of my slave, which I covered in the world, in the hereafter to disgrace him.’” 9


1. Mektûbât, p. 47;
2. Lem’alar, p. 59; Mesnevî-i Nûriye, p. 113;
3. Riyadus-Salihin, 24; Jamius-Saghir, 3000;
4. Riyadus-Salihin, 240;
5. Jamius-Saghir, 1576;
6. ibid, 419;
7. ibid, 332;
8. ibid, 638;
9. Jamius-Saghir, 2893.

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