Social relations

I have wronged someone how can I ask their forgiveness?

Question: Zayd drinks alcohol and he deceivingly let Amr drink liquor, so he also started drinking it. In a little while, Zayd became regretful and completely stopped with liquor but Amr kept drinking. Will Zayd also be caught on the account of Amr? If Zayd will be caught then what prevention measure does Zayd have? State and be rewarded.
 
Questioner: Shaykh Hussayn al-Din Ahmad Saheb, Raipur in India.
 
Answer: Allah made sincere repentance [tawba] so delicate that it is enough to make amends for any sin. There is no such sin that remains after sincere repentance even for idolatry and disbelief. The meaning of sincere repentance is a sin that was in disobedience to its Lord, is immediately abandoned while being ashamed and worried, and that with full conviction of a sincere heart you never come near to that sin again while you amend it with the means at your disposal. Like repenting for missing prayers and fasting, or usurpation, stealing, bribery, interest; it is not sufficient to merely leave these sins. Instead, it is also necessary to make up for those neglected prayers and fast. The wealth that has been stolen, or looted, bribed, accrued [riba] must be returned or forgiven by him, and if he is not alive, then to his heirs. If you cannot acquire them, then give that wealth in alms and make the intention in the heart that if they are not happy with the alms whenever you meet them, you will return it [the wealth] to them from yourself.

It is stated in Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar,
The people of knowledge have elucidated that there are three fundamentals of repentance [tawba].

  1. [The feel of] Shame [of past sins]
  2. Keep your current style of action good and repress sins.
  3. Full conviction not to sin again in the future.
This works when the repentance is between the slave and Allah, like consuming liquor. But if he was negligent in the rights of Allah and wants to repent of them such as being negligent and oblivious of fulfilling prayer, fasting and zakat and so on, then for him the way of repentance is to be ashamed first and then having a full intention that in the future you will not be oblivious to fulfil them, and you will never waste them again, you will then make up [qada] for all wasted rights.
 
And if the wasted right is related to a person, then the soundness of repentance will depend upon him, which we have already stated under the clause of the rights of Allah, relieving yourself of the responsibility of wealth and pleasing the oppressed is necessary. The one whose wealth has been stolen must be returned to the owner or it must be forgiven by him, and if the person concerned is not present and alive, the wealth must be returned and their forgiveness sought from the related heirs and the elected representative of the person.
 
In al-Qunaya it is stated that if a person has a lot of debts from people which have some sort of aspects of usurpation, tyranny and illegitimacy and the repentant does not know the corresponding individuals, then with the intention of making amends give the corresponding amount in alms to the poor and orphans. Besides repenting to Allah, when you happen to find the individuals ask then their forgiveness.
 
If it is related to the honour and so on of the oppressed, such as cursing someone, gossiping, then the necessities of repentance are according to the condition which we have stated in the clause of Allah’s rights. That is; whatever he said about him, he should inform him of the misdeed1 and ask for his forgiveness. If this is difficult, hold on to a firm intention that when you see him, you will necessarily ask for forgiveness. If this way also becomes impossible, that is, the oppressed who has attained death, then seek Allah’s forgiveness. And it is the great hope of Allah’s bounty that the late oppressed is pleased from the endowment of His bountiful treasures, and that He reconciles between the two, for He is the Noble One, the Most Merciful.2 End of citation.
 
al-Imam Ahmad Raza Khan al-Qadiri al-Barelvi
8-Shaban-1313 || ≈ 24-Jan-1896
al-‘Ataya al-Nabawiyyah fi’l-Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah: vol. 21, p. 121-123, #9
Click for more fatawa’s of Ala Hazrat
  1. Meaning to inform about your misdeed like saying you have gossiped about the person
  2. Minah al-Raud al-Azhar fi Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar: p. 59-157
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