Will you explain the hadith "All of my ummah will be forgiven except for those who declare their sins"?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

(5933)- Abu Hurayra narrates: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) 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." [Bukhari, Adab 60; Muslim, Zuhd 52, (2990).]


The hadith expresses that all members of this ummah will be forgiven by Allah and that only those who commit sins openly and declare them will be excluded. Some scholars say the meaning is as follows:  

"The backbiting of all of my ummah is abandoned except mujahirs (those who commit sins openly)." Those who interpret the hadith like that say the word muafa in the hadith means matruk and that its original form afw means abandoning.  

The word mujahir which we translate as "he who commits a sin openly" is defined as follows: "he who displays his sin, who removes the cover Allah places and tells others about his sin". Nawawi states the following:

"It is permissible to mention a person who displays his sins or bid’ahs with them but it is not permissible to mention him with the sins that he does not display." der.

Some scholars considers displaying sins as "disdaining the right of Allah, His Messenger and righteous believers".

Screening sins is salvation from disdaining because sins debase a person. In addition, if the sin that is committed necessitates hadd penalty, screening it will prevent hadd penalty; if it does not necessitate hadd penalty, it will save one from tazir penalty. If the sin is related to a right of Allah, He will probably forgive it since He is the most generous of the generous and since His mercy overweighs His wrath. Therefore, it means in the hereafter, Allah will not disclose a sin that He screened in this world. Thus, a person who discloses his sin will be deprived of this privilege in the hereafter.

Due to those virtues, the Messenger of Allah ordered us to keep sins secret and not to disclose them: "Avoid the dirty deeds that Allah prohibited. If anyone commits one of them, he should screen it with the screening of Allah."

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states clearly in other hadiths that in the hereafter, Allah will forgive a person who keeps his sin secret in the world. (Prof. Dr. İbrahim Canan, Kütüb-ü Sitte Tercüme ve Şerhi)

For more information, please click on the link given below;

Is the forgiveness of a person who tells others about the sins he commits difficult?

Questions on Islam

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