Do any sins remain after entering Islam?: Ibn Taymiyah

As it comes in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa:

وسئل عن اليهودي أو النصراني إذا أسلم . هل يبقى عليه ذنب بعد الإسلام ؟ ـ

He was asked about the Jew or the Christian who enters into Islam – does his sin remain on him after entering into Islam?

So Sheikh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyah replied:

فأجاب : – إذا أسلم باطنا وظاهرا غفر له الكفر الذي تاب منه بالإسلام بلا نزاع وأما الذنوب التي لم يتب منها مثل : أن يكن مصرا على ذنب أو ظلم أو فاحشة ولم يتب منها بالإسلام . ـ

When one enters into Islam both inwardly and outwardly, he is forgiven of the kufr which he repented of by way of his Islam. This is without any dispute. But as for the sins from which he did not repent, such as persisting upon a sin or an injustice or a sexually immoral deed, then he did not repent of it by way of his Islam.

فقد قال بعض الناس : إنه يغفر له بالإسلام . والصحيح : أنه إنما يغفر له ما تاب منه . ـ

Some of the people have said, “Verily he is forgiven of it by way of his Islam.” But the correct position is, “Verily he is only forgiven of it if he repents from it.”

كما ثبت في الصحيح عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قيل : { أنؤاخذ بما عملنا في الجاهلية ؟ فقال : من أحسن في الإسلام لم يؤاخذ بما عمل في الجاهلية . ومن أساء في الإسلام أخذ بالأول والآخر } و ” حسن الإسلام ” أن يلتزم فعل ما أمر الله به وترك ما نهي عنه . ـ

This is just as has been confirmed in the Saheeh from the Prophet (ﷺ) that it was said to him, “Will we be taken to account for what we did during the period of al-Jaahiliyyah [Pre-Islamic Ignorance]?” So he said, “The one who does good in Islam is not taken to account for what he did during al-Jaahiliyyah. And the one who committed evil in Islam is taken to account for both his previous and later deeds.” And husn al-Islaam (doing good in Islam) is to be committed to doing what Allah has ordered him and abandoning what He has forbidden him from.

وهذا معنى التوبة العامة فمن أسلم هذا الإسلام غفرت ذنوبه كلها . ـ

And this is the meaning of general tawbah (repentance), so whoever submits by accepting Islam, then all of his sins are forgiven.

وهكذا كان إسلام السابقين الأولين من المهاجرين والأنصار والذين اتبعوهم بإحسان ; ولهذا قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في الحديث [ ص: 702 ] الصحيح لعمرو بن العاص : { أما علمت أن الإسلام يهدم ما كان قبله } ” فإن اللام لتعريف العهد والإسلام المعهود بينهم كان الإسلام الحسن . ـ

And the Islam of the forerunners and the preeminent ones among the Muhaajiroon and Ansaar and those who followed them in goodness was like this. And for this reason the Prophet (ﷺ) said to ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas in a saheeh hadeeth, “Don’t you know that al-Islaam wipes out whatever was before it?” And the proper article in al-Islaam is used to define it as a covenant, and the convent between them is to make their Islam good.

وقوله : ” { ومن أساء في الإسلام أخذ بالأول والآخر } ” أي : إذا أصر على ما كان يعمله من الذنوب فإنه يؤاخذ بالأول والآخر . ـ

And his statement, “And the one who committed evil in Islam is taken to account for both his previous and later deeds” means: if you persist upon what you used to do of sins, the indeed you will be taken to account for both previous and later deeds.

وهذا موجب النصوص والعدل فإن من تاب من ذنب غفر له ذلك الذنب ولم يجب أن يغفر له غيره . ـ

And this is necessitated by the textual evidence and by justice. For indeed, the one who repents of a sin is forgiven of that sin and that does not necessitate that he is forgiven for other than that.

والمسلم تائب من الكفر كما قال تعالى : { فإذا انسلخ الأشهر الحرم فاقتلوا المشركين حيث وجدتموهم وخذوهم واحصروهم واقعدوا لهم كل مرصد فإن تابوا وأقاموا الصلاة وآتوا الزكاة فخلوا سبيلهم } وقوله : { قل للذين كفروا إن ينتهوا يغفر لهم ما قد سلف } أي إذا انتهوا عما نهوا عنه غفر لهم ما قد سلف . ـ

And the Muslim who repents from al-kufr is like what Allah said:

فَإِذَا انسَلَخَ الْأَشْهُرُ‌ الْحُرُ‌مُ فَاقْتُلُوا الْمُشْرِ‌كِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمْ وَخُذُوهُمْ وَاحْصُرُ‌وهُمْ وَاقْعُدُوا لَهُمْ كُلَّ مَرْ‌صَدٍ ۚ فَإِن تَابُوا وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ فَخَلُّوا سَبِيلَهُمْ

And when the sacred months have passed, then fight the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. [9:5]

And His statement:

قُل لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا إِن يَنتَهُوا يُغْفَرْ‌ لَهُم مَّا قَدْ سَلَفَ

Say to those who have disbelieved [that] if they cease, what has previously occurred will be forgiven for them. [8:38]

Meaning: if they cease from doing what they have been prohibited from doing, what has previously occurred will be forgiven for them.

فالانتهاء عن الذنب هو التوبة منه . من انتهى عن ذنب غفر له ما سلف منه . ـ

For ceasing from a sin is making al-tawbah of it. Whoever ceases from a sin, then he is forgiven for what previously occurred of it.

وأما من لم ينته عن ذنب فلا يجب أن يغفر له ما سلف لانتهائه عن ذنب آخر . والله أعلم . ـ

And as for the one who does not cease committing one type of sin, then his ceasing to commit another type of sin does not necessitate that he will be forgiven what has previously occured. And Allah knows best.

[Majmoo’ al-Fataawa 11/702-703]

See also: Those who tasted evil may love good all the more: Ibn Taymiyah

See also: Questions and Answers on Tawbah from ibn Taymiyah

See also: A Clarification on the Annulment of One’s Deeds: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: The relationship between al-Tawheed and al-istighfaar: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

See also: Each one of the five pillars expiates sins: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

See also: Remaining eternally in the Hell-fire and its causes: Imam al-Sa’di

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4 thoughts on “Do any sins remain after entering Islam?: Ibn Taymiyah

  1. Pingback: Allah implores the disbelievers to repent: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Remaining eternally in the Hell-fire and its causes: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Questions and Answers on Tawbah from Ibn Taymiyah | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: A Clarification on the Annulment of One’s Deeds: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

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