The Story of A Person Who Repented
Allah the Exalted decreed,
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
“Tell them, (O Prophet): “My servants who have committed excesses against themselves, do not despair of Allah’s Mercy. Surely Allah forgives all sins. He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (QS. Az-Zumar/The Troops: 53)
From Buraida, he said,
أَنَّ مَاعِزَ بْنَ مَالِكٍ الْأَسْلَمِيَّ أَتَى رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنِّي قَدْ ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي وَزَنَيْتُ وَإِنِّي أُرِيدُ أَنْ تُطَهِّرَنِي, فَرَدَّهُ. فَلَمَّا كَانَ مِنْ الْغَدِ أَتَاهُ فَقَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنِّي قَدْ زَنَيْتُ فَرَدَّهُ الثَّانِيَةَ. فَأَرْسَلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِلَى قَوْمِهِ فَقَالَ: أَتَعْلَمُونَ بِعَقْلِهِ بَأْسًا تُنْكِرُونَ مِنْهُ شَيْئًا, فَقَالُوا: مَا نَعْلَمُهُ إِلَّا وَفِيَّ الْعَقْلِ مِنْ صَالِحِينَا فِيمَا نُرَى. فَأَتَاهُ الثَّالِثَةَ فَأَرْسَلَ إِلَيْهِمْ أَيْضًا فَسَأَلَ عَنْهُ فَأَخْبَرُوهُ أَنَّهُ لَا بَأْسَ بِهِ وَلَا بِعَقْلِهِ. فَلَمَّا كَانَ الرَّابِعَةَ حَفَرَ لَهُ حُفْرَةً ثُمَّ أَمَرَ بِهِ فَرُجِمَ. قَالَ فَجَاءَتْ الْغَامِدِيَّةُ فَقَالَتْ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنِّي قَدْ زَنَيْتُ فَطَهِّرْنِي, وَإِنَّهُ رَدَّهَا. فَلَمَّا كَانَ الْغَدُ قَالَتْ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لِمَ تَرُدُّنِي لَعَلَّكَ أَنْ تَرُدَّنِي كَمَا رَدَدْتَ مَاعِزًا فَوَاللَّهِ إِنِّي لَحُبْلَى. قَالَ: إِمَّا لَا, فَاذْهَبِي حَتَّى تَلِدِي. فَلَمَّا وَلَدَتْ أَتَتْهُ بِالصَّبِيِّ فِي خِرْقَةٍ قَالَتْ: هَذَا قَدْ وَلَدْتُهُ. قَالَ: اذْهَبِي فَأَرْضِعِيهِ حَتَّى تَفْطِمِيهِ, فَلَمَّا فَطَمَتْهُ أَتَتْهُ بِالصَّبِيِّ فِي يَدِهِ كِسْرَةُ خُبْزٍ فَقَالَتْ: هَذَا يَا نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ قَدْ فَطَمْتُهُ وَقَدْ أَكَلَ الطَّعَامَ. فَدَفَعَ الصَّبِيَّ إِلَى رَجُلٍ مِنْ الْمُسْلِمِينَ ثُمَّ أَمَرَ بِهَا فَحُفِرَ لَهَا إِلَى صَدْرِهَا وَأَمَرَ النَّاسَ فَرَجَمُوهَا. فَيُقْبِلُ خَالِدُ بْنُ الْوَلِيدِ بِحَجَرٍ فَرَمَى رَأْسَهَا فَتَنَضَّحَ الدَّمُ عَلَى وَجْهِ خَالِدٍ فَسَبَّهَا, فَسَمِعَ نَبِيُّ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ سَبَّهُ إِيَّاهَا فَقَالَ: مَهْلًا يَا خَالِدُ فَوَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَقَدْ تَابَتْ تَوْبَةً لَوْ تَابَهَا صَاحِبُ مَكْسٍ لَغُفِرَ لَهُ. ثُمَّ أَمَرَ بِهَا فَصَلَّى عَلَيْهَا وَدُفِنَتْ
“Ma’iz Ibn Malik Al Aslami went to see the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- and said, “O Messenger of Allah, indeed, I’ve violated myself, because I’ve committed adultery, therefore, I’d like you to purify me.” But he rejected his confession. The next day, he (Ma’iz) came again and said, “O Messenger of Allah, truly, I’ve committed adultery.” But he still rejected his confession for the second time. Then the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- delegated someone to see his people and said, “Do you know if there’s something wrong with Ma’iz’s mind, that you deny?”. They replied,” We are not sure if Ma’iz is having a disturbed mind, as far as we know, he is a decent and sane man.”
For the third time, Ma’iz Ibn Malik came to see the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- to purify himself from the sin of adultery that he committed. Then the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- sent a person to his people to ask about the sanity of Ma’iz, but they told him that he was a sane and decent man. When Ma’iz Ibn Malik came for the fourth time to him, he ordered to make an execution hole for Ma’iz. Finally, he ordered people to execute the stoning punishment, and it was done.”
Buraida continued, “One day, there was a Ghamidiyya woman who came to see the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I’ve committed adultery, therefore, please purify me.” But at the first time, the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- ignored, even rejected her confession. The next day, the woman came to see the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- and said, “O Messenger of Allah, why do you reject my confession? It seems like you reject my confession as you’ve rejected Ma’iz’s confession. By Allah, now I am pregnant as the result of that affair.” Upon hearing that confession, the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “If you still want to repent, then return to your home until you’ve delivered your baby.”
After she delivered her baby, the woman came again to him while carrying her baby that was wrapped in a cloth, saying, “This is the baby that I’ve delivered.” He (the Messenger of Allah, -ed) said, “Go back and breastfeed your baby until you’ve weaned it.” After she weaned her baby, the woman came again carrying her baby, while it grasping a piece of bread in its hand, then she said, “O Prophet of Allah, I’ve weaned this little baby, and it can enjoy its own food now.” Then he handed the baby to one of the muslims, and called to execute the stoning punishment. Finally, the woman was buried up to her chest.
After that, he ordered people to throw stones to her. Meanwhile, Khalid Ibn Walid joined the people in throwing the woman’s head with stone, and suddenly her blood was spattered to his face, and he instantaneously scolded her. Upon hearing Khalid’s words, the Prophet of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “Be calm, O Khalid, by He Who has my soul in His hand, verily, that woman has truly repented, and if that kind of repentance was done by an owner of al maks, certainly, his sins would be forgiven.” After that, he ordered people to pray the janaza prayer for her and bury her.” (Narrated by Muslim, hadith no. 1695).
The meaning of “Owner of al maks” is a person who takes people’s possession unjustly, such as those required to collect taxes and levies from the Muslims without any rights.
A brief explanation: It is already mentioned in the previous article about the virtue, requirement, and etiquette of repentance, because a muslim shouldn’t be desperate from Allah’s mercy. Even, the feeling of despair from Allah’s mercy is a major sin, and among the characteristics of the disbelievers, as Jacob said to his children, “My sons! Go and try to find out about Joseph and his brother and do not despair of Allah’s mercy. Verily only the unbelievers despair of Allah’s mercy.”(QS. Yusuf: 87)
Take a lesson from the companions -may Allah be please with them-, even though their faith and knowledge were high and they continued in heading towards the perfection, they weren’t the ones who were free of sins. Thus, none of them who committed a sin but would immediately confess to the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- and immediately returned to Allah and repented, even they didn’t hesitate to ask so that the hadd (law) was enforced on them (if the punishment of the sin was by hadd), to purify their sins. And it showed how strong their faith was to Allah and the honesty of their intention to repent.
The story of two companions above, also the story about the killer of 100 souls, and the story of Ka’b Ibn Malik and his two friends who were boycotted when they didn’t join the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- in the battle, and other stories, are a very precious lesson for those who come after them.
There are several morals that could be taken from the above story:
1. The hadd punishment could erase a person’s sin if he underwent it sincerely.
2. The compassion of the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- to his companions, when he tried at his best to hinder them from the hadd punishment. It was proven by his rejection of the confessions of the two companions at the beginning. But when they kept on repeating their confession, he then enforced the hadd punishment on them.
3. This story showed us that if a person committed adultery without any witnesses, or without anyone reporting it, then he should introspect himself: If he was afraid that he would commit the adultery for the second time, then he should report himself to receive the stoning punishment, but if he had truly repented and he was sure that he wouldn’t commit the adultery again, then he should hide his deed and do not report himself. This point is shown in another valid hadith.
4. The stoning punishment is compulsory to be done but the time of execution is left onto the decision of the authority. He might postpone it (not abort it) due to another benefit, for example, the wellbeing of the baby if the adulterer was pregnant.
5. Insane man who committed adultery shouldn’t be punished with hadd punishment, the reason is because the Prophet asked about Ma’iz’s sanity to his people.
6. From the fifth point too, we could comprehend that an Imam should gather detail and accurate information first before enforcing the hadd punishment.
7. Stoning is a punishment where the body of the adulterer (who has married) is buried in the earth up to his chest, then he is thrown (with stones) by the muslims.
8. It is not allowed to disgrace and insult people who has repented. This point is also shown in the famous story among the scholars, of a debate between Adam and Moses -peace be upon them-.
And Allah the Exalted is The Higher and The Wiser.
Author: Ustadz Abu Muawiyah
Article of www.whatisquran.com