Islamic View On Criticizing Repenting Sinners
Allah SWT has created humans in the most desirable manner which is why they are known as the Supreme Creations. A man is given enough conscious to make its own decisions as the brain of a human being is the most highly developed. But that does not guarantee that they are perfect in every sense. Over the course of history of mankind, it has regularly fallen in wrongdoings and transgression from the Almighty Lord`s commandments. That is the reason why the Most Gracious has sent His Prophets to guide their respective nations mainly to make them realize about Oneness of God.
The above mentioned Ayah shows that man has always been associating false gods with the Most Merciful, Who has clearly declared that this one offense is not tolerable in His court on the Day of Judgment. It means that Polytheism is the biggest of the misdeeds as it is directly opposing the Greatness of the Almighty Lord. And also that other sins apart from that could be pardoned by the Most Compassionate. It is also commonly observed that people tend to publicly ridicule the wrongdoings of others when they come to know about it which is not a likeable action according to Islamic teachings as Allah SWT is the most Rightful Judge of all.
Now let us elaborate this delicate topic of criticizing others` sins in the light of Quran and Sunnah in order to become aware of our responsibility in this regard:
Committing Sins is Part of Life
We humans are always under a constant threat of transgression one way or the other. Sometimes, it is down to our own will and we can control things but still due to forceful satanic influence, sins are committed by most of us. It may also be because of lack of compactness of one`s religious faith, but then there is not a single person ever lived on the surface of the earth apart from the Sacred Prophets who has never sinned. The Apostle ﷺ of God has said:
“By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace you by those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them.” (Muslim)
It means that it is in human nature that a man has to carry out crime at some point in life because Allah SWT has given Shaitaan enough power to maneuver thoughts and actions. But that is not all; He has always awarded us with sufficient degree of awareness of the right and wrong and has made it clear that He listens to our requests for clemency over sins all the time as discussed in the previously stated Hadith.
Repentance Leading to Forgiveness
Since no one is free from the evil of misconduct, it should not be treated as a non curable state. In the Holy Quran, Allah SWT has repeatedly informed us of His Kindness and Mercy and that He is open to listen to every kind of entreaty of His servants. It can be observed in the following Quranic lines:
It shows that the Most Compassionate does not leave the true believers in state of despair for their crimes in this world; rather He is ever ready to excuse their misbehavior and grant them with His Clemency. Rasulullah ﷺ, when used to visit the graves, he would always cry to till the moment the soil would become wet with His tears. If a Prophet who is the most consecrated among humans weeps for Allah`s Mercy, then why we should not do so. The Holy Prophet ﷺ said regarding the matter of being remorseful over wrongdoings:
“The one who repents from sin is like one who has never sinned.” (Ibn Majah)
The above mentioned Hadith clearly suggests that feeling sorrow when one has committed a wrongdoing and asking for Allah`s Clemency is almost equal to a state of purity. It means that the Almighty Lord readily forgives all the sins of a person that one asks His Mercy for.
Keeping Away from Criticizing Others` Sins
It is commonly seen in our society that majority of us are looking for shortcomings in others` lives. It may be because of hatred toward a particular person or any other personal reason that some of us take it their responsibility to expose people for their crimes in public and feel proud about it. Some may also count themselves as superior to the wrongdoers with a view of being more pious than them which is actually an act which destroys one`s good deeds as self-importance is not allowed in Islam. The Messenger ﷺ of Allah said:
“Muslims are brothers. They do not treat each other cruelly and do not give in each other to the enemy. Whoever meets a need of his Muslim brother Allah will meet a need of his own. Whoever saves a Muslim from a trouble, Allah will save him from one of his troubles on the Day of Judgment. Whoever conceals a Muslim’s fault, Allah will conceal his faults on the Day of Judgment.” (Bukhari)
This Hadith plainly describes the great importance of hiding the wrongdoings of fellow believer, which is an act that leads to covering up of one`s own errors in the hereafter. Allah SWT says in the Holy Quran:
If a mere suspicion over others` conduct is a crime, then one can imagine how much a bigger sin publicizing others` transgressions will be. It is because there is only One God who knows what is present in the hearts of His servants. It may well be possible that we hate on a certain individual for his offenses, but the Most Merciful has already pardoned him because of his repenting over sins.
In short, every one of us should avoid from taking pleasure in discussing personal matters of others and leave them in the hands of the Creator of the universe, knowing that He is the Only One worthy of judging His servants.