Affliction requires patience and expecting reward from Allah
Fatwa No: 343027

Question

Assalaamu alaykum and may Allaah reward you. I want to know the condition of this man in the sight of Allaah, The Exalted, based on the text. He used to believe in Christian/Islamic concepts, then he was a Shia, then he finally became a Sunni. He was living like a sinful disbeliever most his life; when he turned 19 years old, he got arrested for talking to a woman who pretended to be 18 on a dating site and then confessed to being 14, the man did not think that it was wrong at the time. So he went to jail, got bailed out, spent a few years wondering what will happen, and then finally called to Allaah, The Exalted, for help and read the Noble Quran and became a Shia (a Shia guided him, he later became Sunni). He said that he lost his medical career which he spent 4 years of college on because he cannot get a degree in it; he got put on probation for 5 years, in which he could not leave his state, not come in contact with anyone under 18 years old, not come within 1,000 yards of a park or school (anything where kids go), even if it was for a job or college, not even his own family members. He had to do 100 community service hours; he said that they made him download a spying program on his computer if he wanted to use it, so he did that. It seems that he has been humiliated many times because of these conditions; he could not go to a masjid for 2 years (during the 5 year term) and had to confess to the imam about his crime. The Imam wanted to tell other people just to be safe, which shocked him, but he accepted. There are many other things. He says that he hopes that he will get a double reward; one for being a slave (because the punishment is not according to the Sharia and he was ignorant of the punishment, and because he had to do 100 community service hours) and a reward for patience because he pretty much lost everything and hit rock bottom at age 19. Through all of that, he got much closer to Allaah, The Exalted; started going to the masjid frequently; practicing the sunnahs, and so on. He is a completely changed man; you would not recognize him now. What is his condition in the sight of Allaah, The Exalted?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, we congratulate this man for the blessing of Allah on him in becoming steadfast on the obedience of Allah and following the guidance after he was near to destruction. We ask Allah to protect him and increase him in guidance and righteousness.

We advise him to tread every path that would help him stay steadfast on the Truth; in this regard, he may make use of some guidelines stated in fatwas 85275 and 85277.

If a Muslim is afflicted by any kind of affliction and he is patient and seeks the reward of Allah for it, then the consequence of this will be goodness in this world and the Hereafter, as Allah may raise his ranks and expiate his sins. For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 83577.

There are some conditions for repentance in Islam which we have already highlighted in fatwa 86527. These conditions do not include going to the imaam of the mosque or any other person to confess his sin. Rather, the Sharia orders the sinner to repent and conceal his sins and not inform anyone about them, and it condemns the one who informs about his sins without any valid purpose. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated:

I heard the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) say, ‘All my nation may be forgiven for their sins except those who sin openly or disclose their sins to the people. An example of such disclosure is that a person commits a sin by night and though Allah screened it from the people, he comes in the morning, and says, ‘O so-and-so, I did such-and-such (sin) last night,’ 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.’” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

This is from the tolerance of Islam and the vast Mercy of Allah.

For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 92083.

Finally, it should be pointed out that it is not possible for us to know the condition of a person in the sight of Allah, as this is a matter of the unseen which we cannot know. Rather, the question should be: what is the Islamic ruling on such a man in your view?

Allah knows best.

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