It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "A man had indulged himself in sin, so when death approached he enjoined his sons saying: 'If I die, then burn me, crush (my bones), and scatter me to the winds over the sea, for by Allaah, if Allaah grasps hold of me He will punish me as He has not punished anyone else in the world." So they did that to him. Allaah The Almighty said to the earth: "Bring what you have taken." When he (i.e. the man) stood up, He The Exalted said to him: "What made you do that?" The man said: "Fear and awe of You, O Lord." So Allaah The Almighty forgave him because of that.”(1).

Explanation of the Hadeeth:

•   Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: It was said to Al-Khattabi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, it may be said that how this man can be forgiven while he is denying Resurrection and the ability of Allaah The Almighty to resurrect the dead people? The answer is that he did not denied resurrection; however, he was ignorant and believed that if this was done to him, he would not be resurrected and thus would not be punished. His belief was well established when he acknowledged that he did so because of fear and awe of Allaah The Almighty. (2).

•   Sheykh Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "This man had doubt in the Power of Allaah The Almighty in returning him again after becoming dust; rather, he believed that he will not be resurrected. This is really a form of disbelief according to the consensus of Muslims, However, he was ignorant and did not know about it. He was believer and feared the punishment of Allaah The Almighty and thus He The Exalted forgave him because of this. (3).  


Amongst the lessons drawn from the above-mentioned Hadeeth:

1- Vastness of the Mercy of Allaah The Almighty towards His servants and His Great Forgiveness for the sins they commit due to ignorance, forgetfulness or coercion as it is indicated in this Hadeeth and the like.

2- One should beware of passing quick judgment against people who did something wrong. One should first consider their circumstances, excuses and establish proof against them.

3- Words of someone can indicate Kufr (i.e. disbelief) or Fisq (i.e. disobedience); however, this cannot make us deem him so unless we establish proof against him.




(1)         Reported in Saheeh Al-Bukhaari No. (3478) and Saheeh Muslim No. (2756) and the wording is reported by the latter.

(2)         Fat-h Al-Baari by Ibn Hajar 6/522.

(3)         Majmoo‘ Al-Fataawa (3/231).


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