Praise be to Allah,
Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Prophet of Allah (PBUH) said: “There was a man from among a nation before you who killed ninety-nine people and then made an inquiry about the most learned person on the earth. He was directed to a monk. He came to him and told him that he had killed ninety-nine people and asked him if there was any chance for his repentance to be accepted. He replied in the negative and the man killed him also completing one hundred. He then asked about the most learned man on earth. He was directed to a scholar. He told him that he had killed one hundred people and asked him if there was any chance for his repentance to be accepted. He replied in the affirmative and asked, `Who stands between you and repentance? Go to such and such land; there (you will find) people devoted to prayer and worship of Allah, join them in worship, and do not come back to your land because it is an evil place.’ So he went away and hardly had he covered half the distance when death overtook him, and there was a dispute between the angels of mercy and the angels of torment. The angels of mercy pleaded, ‘This man has come with a repenting heart to Allah,’ and the angels of punishment argued, ‘He never did a virtuous deed in his life.’ Then there appeared another angel in the form of a human being and the contending angels agreed to make him arbiter between them. He said, `Measure the distance between the two lands. He will be considered belonging to the land to which he is nearer.’ They measured and found him closer to the land (land of piety) where he intended to go, and so the angels of mercy collected his soul”.
In another version: “He was found to be nearer to the locality of the pious by a cubit and was thus included among them”. Another version says: “Allah commanded (the land which he wanted to leave) to move away and commanded the other land (his destination) to draw nearer and then He said: “Now measure the distance between them.’ It was found that he was nearer to his goal by a hand’s span and was thus forgiven”. It is also narrated that he drew closer by a slight movement on his chest.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
1. One comes to know from this Hadith that the gate of Taubah is open even for the worst of the sinners, and Allah forgives everyone provided he repents sincerely.
2. It is the duty of a religious scholar that while discussing a problem, he should keep in mind the psychological aspects of the questioner and adopt a policy that neither causes a change in Allah’s Injunction nor makes the sinner reckless in his sins out of frustration.
3. When a situation warrants, angels appear in the form of men on Orders of Allah.
This Tradition is Indicative of Numerous Benefits:
The killer has [access] to repentance, the evidence for this [principle] is contained in the Book of Allah, [consider] His statement, the Most High:
“Verily Allah does not forgive [the one] who associates [partners] with Him. [However] He forgives other than that to those whom He pleases. [Surah al-Nisa’a : Ayah 48]
Meaning: Excluding the act of Shirk, Allah shall forgive [misdeeds] if He pleases. The majority of the People of Knowledge have ascribed to this opinion.
It has been mentioned from Abdullah ibn Abbas ( May Allah be pleased with him) that there is no repentance [available] for the one who commits murder, for Allah states:
“Whosoever kills a Believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell. He shall abide therein forever, the Wrath and the Curse of Allah is upon him, and a terrible punishment has been prepared for him”.
[Surah al-Nisa’a : Ayah 93]
However, the opinion ascribed to by the majority is correct.
In addition, what has been narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas can perhaps be construed to mean that there is no [access] to penitence for the killer concerning the one who has been murdered. The killer’s [action] of killing is connected to three rights.
The First Right: For Allah.
The Second Right: For the one killed
The Third Right: The guardian of the murdered.
Concerning the Right of Allah:· There is no sphere of doubt that Allah shall grant forgiveness to the penitent one, as per His statement:
“Say: 0 My slaves who have transgressed against themselves, despair not of the Mercy of Allah, for Allah forgives all sins. ( Surah Az-Zumar- 53)
Concerning the right of the one killed: The penitence of the killer is of no benefit to him and does not fulfill his right, for he is deceased. It is not possible [for the killer] to seek atonement [from the murdered], nor to absolve himself of his blood. The killer, therefore, remains [in this state] seeking to [fulfill] his right, irrespective of [his action] of questing for penitence. When the Day of resurrection arrives, Allah shall adjudicate between them.
Concerning the right of the guardian of the individual killed: The penitence of the killer is not actualized until he surrenders himself to [the individual’s] guardian, confesses to [his] action o f killing, and declares: I am the killer and I am before you. If you wish, kill me. If you wish, accept the blood money. If you wish, pardon me.
For more information on repentance, please click here
1.RYADUSSALIHEEN, Compiled by Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya Bin Sharaf An-Nawawi with commentary on Ahadith Sheikh Safiur Rahman Mubarpuri. Chapter 2, Repentance.