“All of My Ummah will be Excused, Except for Those who Make Their Sins Known” (13 Points of Benefit)

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful…

Imaam al-Bukhaaree stated in his Saheeh (#6069), Book of Manners, Chapter: The Muslim’s Screening of Himself, with his chain to Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) saying:

“All of my ummah (nation of followers) will be excused, except for the mujaahireen (those who make their sins known).  And verily it is a kind of mujaaharah (exposing one’s sins) that a man does something (sinful) at night, and then in the morning, when Allaah has screened his sin for him, he says, ‘Hey So-and-So!  I did such-and-such last night…’  And the night passed with His Lord screening him, and he wakes up casting aside the screen of Allaah from himself.”

Imaam Muslim also reported it with a similar wording in his Book of az-Zuhd war-Raqaa’iq.

Benefits found in the hadeeth:

* In it is a clear prohibition of exposing one’s sins.

* The Muslim has hayaa’ (shame/shyness) that prevents him from exposing his sins.

* Hayaa’ (shyness/shame) is good, the whole of it, and it does not lead except to goodness, and it is a branch of eemaan.

* In the absence of hayaa’, the Muslim will expose his own sins, and the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) conveyed to us something of the previous prophets’ messages, that “If you have no shame, then do as you wish!”

* Exposing one’s sins is taking the fact that Allaah has screened them for granted and a lack of thankfulness.

* Concealing one’s sins can not be considered hypocrisy, since we have been prohibited from exposing them, so rather it is an act of obedience.

* Exposing one’s sins can happen in more than one way.  Notice that the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said, “And verily it is a kind of mujaaharah…” Meaning that there are other kinds.  A man intentionally leaving evidence of his sin for others to see fits the description of mujaaharah as mentioned in the hadeeth, as does a man writing about his sins, or confessing to a pious person, as found among the Christians and some of the Soofees who have blindly imitated them.  An exception to this would be a Muslim turning himself into those in authority and seeking to have the Islaamic punishment applied to him to purify himself, or a Muslim who wants to learn if his sin corrupted his Hajj, so he asks about the effects of his sexual intercourse that he had while he was in ihraam, and the likes, while he takes all means to screen himself in his question if possible, by saying, “If someone did such and such, then what is upon him…?”

* What is called “fah-wal-khitaab”, or something even more rightly being included in the meaning of this prohibition would be: actually commiting the sins in front of the people, since if it is prohibited to inform people about one’s sins, then even more despicable would be to actually commit the sin in front of the people.  This shows even more of a lack of shame.  This shows the mistake of the one who sins in public and says, “I am not a hypocrite, I do not try to hide what I do,” thinking to be upon sincerity.  It also shows the straying of the extreme Soofees who commit sins in front of the people to be belittled by the people, thinking to attain humility and draw close to Allaah!

* Since all of the children of Aadam have sins, then they all have to conceal their sins.

* Some of the scholars, like Ibn al-Qayyim, affirmed the Name “as-Sitteer” (the One who screens) for Allaah the Almighty, based on a hadeeth collected by an-Nasaa’ee in his Sunan, and authenticated by al-Albaanee.

* Being shameful about one’s sins leads one to repent honestly between himself and his Lord.

* Speaking openly about one’s sins means that one takes that affair of disobedience that he did lightly, and thus it is not likely that he will repent from the sin.

* Being “excused” as mentioned in the hadeeth can refer to both this life and the Next.  As for this life, then concealing one’s sins excuses a person from being talked about, and an-Nawawee mentioned that from the kinds of permissible backbiting is to mention the sins of people who expose their sins.  As for the Next Life, then since concealing one’s sins is obedience to the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), an act of hayaa’ which is from eemaan, and something that leads to honest repentence, then it is something that earns the pleasure of Allaah.  Thus, the person will be excused from what would reach him if Allaah was angry with him.

And Allaah knows best.

Written by: Moosaa Richardson

ST Archives: 11-3-2004

41 thoughts on ““All of My Ummah will be Excused, Except for Those who Make Their Sins Known” (13 Points of Benefit)

  1. Assalaamu Alaikum, Beneficial read maashaaAllaah. What can be said to those who expose their sins in order to give ‘daw’ah’ to youth and others? Does this apply to those who accepted Islaam and relate what they did before Islaam? I think iv read a narration from one of the companions Radiallahu anhum mentioning the time where he buried his daughter alive before Islaam. BaarakAllaahu feek

        • Asalamu alaykum. What is the ruling on [a person] who goes to a Sufi shaykh and this “shaykh” sends jinns to carry out things for my father such that this lead to the separation of a sister and her husband due to [him] not being pleased with it he went to this shaykh and the shaykh said he sent “Muslim” jinns as a result separating the sister from her husband. Jazkhallahu khayran [comment edited by admin]

          • wa ‘alayk as-salaam wa rahmatullaah. Based on the information you provided, this seems to be a magician, not a Muslim “shaykh”. Magicians seek the aid and service of Jinns. If you live in a Muslim country, report this activity to the authorities, and keep yourself away from all involved. If you are not in a Muslim country, then stay away from these people and advise others to stay away from them. And Allaah knows best.

  2. as salaamu alaykum warahmatullah jizaka Allahu khairan for the benefit. Does this also apply to the one who asks others for advice to get rid of doubts and waswaas and tells them some of the doubts that come to their mind and heart if they ask him/her about his/her doubts? also would it be a sin to tell certain people that are close to you that you are having doubts which cause you to have some pain in your heart? BaarakAllaahu feek.

    • salam ,this does not constitute exposing of sins as it happen during the sahaba when abu bakr and one other sahaba are having was -was in which they thougth they had turned to hyprocrite and they went to prophet[saw]to tell him

      Admin: Hanthalah and Aboo Bakr were afraid of hypocrisy in action, as explained in the story clearly, not that they might have been disbelievers in their hearts pretending to be Muslims openly, i.e. munaafiqs. And please read here about the obligation of sending Salaat and Salaam upon the Prophet when he is mentioned (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace).

  3. Assalaamu alaykum

    Na’am, BaarakAllaahu feeka for the post,I have also come across gatherings in which people mention their past sins thinking it to be okay due to the fact that it occurred before they began learning the deen and obeying Allaah. Is this haraam also?

  4. assalamu alaikum,

    I remember that i heard -when a woman came to prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam and said that she had committed adultary the prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam said that you should have concealed it so that you would not have been punished but she was punished as she exposed it..is it true?if yes then could you please clarify the statement here “An exception to this would be a Muslim turning himself into those in authority and seeking to have the Islaamic punishment applied to him to purify himself,”

    • wa ‘alaykas-salaam. May Allaah bless you for your question, Salman. I think you may be including an explanation of the hadeeth mistakenly understood to be part of the wording of the hadeeth itself, or perhaps you have heard a hadeeth that I do not know of. Allaah knows best.

      In al-Bukhaaree and Muslim is the hadeeth of Maa’iz ibn Maalik, who willingly confessed repeatedly to adultery, asking to be purified, and he was put to capital punishment (by stoning). About his action, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said (what means): “Surely he has repented so earnestly that his (single act of) repentance would suffice an (entire) ummah if it were spread out over them.”

      The woman from the Ghaamidee Family (of the Juhaynah Tribe) with whom he commited the act had become pregnant, and she also confessed willingly, asking to be purified. She was also put to capital punishment (after the birth), and a similar statement was made about her repentance. [Muslim #1695, 1696] May Allaah be pleased with both of these noble Companions, whose acts of repentance were sincere and accepted by Allaah, and they were purified of the sins they committed.

      The narrations about this event are the grounds for my statement above, “An exception to this would be a Muslim turning himself into those in authority and seeking to have the Islaamic punishment applied to him to purify himself,” and Allaah knows best.

  5. Baaraka Allahu feekum for this very beneficial explanation of said hadith. My question is the next hadith 6070 in Bukaree rrated Safwan bin Muhriz:
    A man asked Ibn `Umar, “What did you hear Allah’s Messenger ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) saying regarding An-Najwa (secret talk between Allah and His believing worshipper on the Day of Judgment)?” He said, “(The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) said), “One of you will come close to his Lord till He will shelter him in His screen and say: Did you commit such-and-such sin? He will say, ‘Yes.’ Then Allah will say: Did you commit such and such sin? He will say, ‘Yes.’ So Allah will make him confess (all his sins) and He will say, ‘I screened them (your sins) for you in the world, and today I forgive them for you.”‘
    حَدَّثَنَا مُسَدَّدٌ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَوَانَةَ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ صَفْوَانَ بْنِ مُحْرِزٍ، أَنَّ رَجُلاً، سَأَلَ ابْنَ عُمَرَ كَيْفَ سَمِعْتَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ فِي النَّجْوَى قَالَ ‏ “‏ يَدْنُو أَحَدُكُمْ مِنْ رَبِّهِ حَتَّى يَضَعَ كَنَفَهُ عَلَيْهِ فَيَقُولُ عَمِلْتَ كَذَا وَكَذَا‏.‏ فَيَقُولُ نَعَمْ‏.‏ وَيَقُولُ عَمِلْتَ كَذَا وَكَذَا‏.‏ فَيَقُولُ نَعَمْ‏.‏ فَيُقَرِّرُهُ ثُمَّ يَقُولُ إِنِّي سَتَرْتُ عَلَيْكَ فِي الدُّنْيَا، فَأَنَا أَغْفِرُهَا لَكَ الْيَوْمَ ‏”‏‏.‏
    Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 6070

    Is this hadith a explanation and further clarification for earning the forgiveness of Allah by concealing your sins?

  6. As-Salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu,

    Several years ago, someone mentioned to me that Allah would not forgive sins against another until the harmed party has forgiven the offender. Is this true? If it is true, should the offending party reveal themselves to the offended party in order to ask forgiveness? What is the better thing to do in this situation? May Allah forgive us all our sins and may Allah make us among the pious.

    May Allah increase you in goodness and knowledge.
    Jazakallahu khayran.

    • Wa ‘alaykas-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. As our Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have Mercy on him) and other scholars have mentioned: When the oppressed knows about the personal offense (i.e. backbiting, slander, etc.), it is a condition for the oppressor to go and apologize and make ammends. However, when the oppressed is unaware of the oppression, the oppressor should should not mention what he has said or done, but rather made du’aa’ for him in his absence and mention him in the gatherings in a good way, while he retracts whatever was said or done among those who heard or saw it from him in the first place. And Allaah knows best.

      Also, remember that if the harm included property, money, or other material rights, that must be returned and/or restored, even if the oppressed did not know it was taken from him. And Allaah knows best.

  7. assalaam alaikum. what if you downloaded windows or another software etc? Should you give the money you should’ve paid back to them?

  8. Aswrwb, [As-Salaamu ‘alaykum]

    I under weakness revealed my sins to my Aunty and another person. Will Allah swt accept my repentence. I am extremely scared that Allah will turn me away. I do not know why I did this now. Will Allah swt be angry with me and never forgive me according to the Hadith??

    • [wa ‘alayk as-salaam] Al-hamdulillaah, you have remorse for doing something wrong. Repent to Allaah earnestly for both the original sins and your talking about them to your Auntie. The door of repentance is wide open, and your Lord is Most Forgiving for those who turn to Him in sincere repentance. Share this link with your aunty, and maybe she will realize that next time she cannot listen to someone who talks about their sins.

      • Assalamu alaikum. Can the act of telling a part of your sin to your mother be considered boastful, if you were distressed about harming someone else’s rights and not Allah’s. Also, will allah expose the sin on the day of judgement.

        Jazakallahu khairan.

  9. Assalamu alaykum,
    Akhi, you use the internet and most people we know do. […] Have you heard of cookies? They store them on your computer and are used to collect data to improve their websites such as eBay and Amazon […]. Now these cookies send stats which help them to improve their service which probably will lead to Haram. please tell me if it is okay as I have waswas. [edited by admin]

    • Wa ‘alaykas-salaamu wa rahmatullaah. You are not responsible for what people observe about you, whether they record it or document it, whether on the internet or in real life. You are responsible for your actions. If you do not want cookies on your computer, turn them off in your browser’s options.

      • The problem is that in their privacy policies you are required to agree to allow them to use that info. I have blocked cookies on everything apart from email and Amazon and it is fine alhamdulillah. I just don’t want to help in Haram it even in shirk or Bidah authubillah. I hope you understand my concern. I ask Abu Iyaad and he replied basically that if you want to interact with a site you need them but otherwise you can turn them off. Perhaps write an article on this sort of internet stuff? I mean if you download an application you are allowing them sometimes to use the camera … [abridged by admin]

  10. Assalamu alaykum Ustaadh Moosaa

    My question is if someone asks you if you committed a sin, should you lie to hide your sin or tell the truth and expose your sin?

    • Wa ‘alaykas-salaamu wa rahmatullaah. Tell them to fear Allaah and ask about what benefits them and does not harm them or others. Share with them the prohibition of revealing hidden sins.

  11. Assalaamu aleikoum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

    I used to tell to people that I listened to music like for two years ago, I mentioned the ones I used to listen to.
    Is this also not allowed?
    Shouldn’t I talk about the topic of music (and other haraam-things I left) at all?

    Baarakallaahou feek.

  12. As salaamu alayka wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh

    JazaakAllaahu khayran for this beneficial post.

    I would like some clarity on a misunderstanding I have and can not find any answer to,

    Someone has already acknowledged this hadith and the harms of exposing his sins. He later finds himself with a group of muslims whom he boasts and exposes his sins too. Later on, he comes to realization of this hadith once again, and repents from his mistake of exposing himself, will he be from those who are pardoned? He has hope from his lord as he forgives all sins. At the same time, this doubt has caused some to continue in exposing themselves as they feel they will not be pardoned for their initial sins anyways!

    May Allaah reward you with good and bless you for your efforts

  13. As Salaamu Alaikum
    So if your husband or wife is cheating or has been lieing about it by of course sneaking around and doing it all in secret but then they decide to let their spouse know because they feel bad- does that count as exposing ones sin?

    Jazakuallah for any clarification that can be offered in this regard. Shukran!

  14. assalamoe3laikoem, is it correct to tell your sins, so that other will benefit from what happend. like a women disobeyed her husband than had a lot of problems. knowing that it was a punishment of Allah..?

  15. Does this mean exposing the exact sin one has done. If someone says “I have repeated some things from which I had repented before” because they were having doubts and scared and wanted comfort. does that count as revealing the sin of they did not specify what exactly they did? Please advise me on this

  16. Assalaamu’alaykum..

    Ustaadh, what is the remedy for evil thoughts? These thoughts cause confusion and the chest to become constricted. How to counter them especially when they cause a person to become negligent in his duties sometimes? And what is the indicator of a person’s faith so that he can counter evil thoughts which cause the person to doubt the integrity of the Salafee students, scholars and to fall into something even worse than that?

    • Wa ‘alayk as-salaamu wa rahmatullaah.

      1. Happiness that one is able to detect evil notions, as that is Sareeh al-Eemaan, the most explicit manifestation of faith.
      2. Gratitude to Allaah for this great blessing, being disturbed by evil thoughts.
      3. Shunning evil notions whilst seeking refuge with Allaah.
      4. Learning about the virtues of the duties he has become weak in performing.
      5. General sincere repentance from all sins.
      6. Praying for the success of all upright Muslims he has thought ill of.

      And Allaah knows best.

  17. I didnt know i told my husband coz i thought he will find out on judgment day will allah forgive me for misunderstanding feeling so depressed but still have hope coz our allah is forgiving subhan’allah

  18. As-Salāmu ‘Alaykum Wa-Rahmatullāh

    Does this hadeeth also apply to those who commit sins in public? For example; A brother drinking alcohol or smoking weed, or a sister going outside dressed improperly.

    • Wa ‘alayk as-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. He is even less shy and more sinfully audacious than one who at least sins in private in the first place, so such a person is even more danger, and Allaah knows best.

  19. Assalaamu Alaikum,
    My friend is getting married, and she wonders if she should tell about her past (mistakes) to her fiancee before getting married. She knows she has to hide it but she fears if he would get to know through other sources, that might offend him. If thats the case, should she trust Allaah and believe she wont be exposed, or should she honestly tell her fiancee regarding the past?

    • Wa ‘alayk as-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Personal sins that do not affect the relationship with a potential spouse must be kept private. Sins which have ramifications that may affect the potential spouse must be disclosed. Do so wisely and with a pact of confidentiality. Examples: [1] A past sin of intoxication. Repentance has been fulfilled and the person has no withdrawal symptoms or addiction remaining. Such a sin is kept private, not disclosed. [2] The same sin, yet the person has been struggling with withdrawal and falling back into the use of the intoxicant sometimes. In this case, that situation needs disclosed confidentially, as a trust. Perhaps the potential spouse will be willing to support them, or perhaps they may feel it is too much of a risk. They make the decision with knowledge of the situation. And Allaah knows best.

  20. Asalaamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa baarakaatuhu, I just wanted to ask does this mean the one who openly sins is not of those forgiven? Or if you could explain what is meant by not excused?


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