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24 July 2017 CE | 01 Dhul-Qadah 1438 AH
Explanation below

Hadith Explanation

Ninety-Nine Murders and Allah’s Mercy

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Amongst the men of Bani Israil there was a man who had murdered ninety-nine persons. Then he set out asking (whether his repentance could be accepted or not). He came upon a monk and asked him if his repentance could be accepted. The monk replied in the negative and so the man killed him. He kept on asking till a man advised to go to such and such village. (So he left for it) but death overtook him on the way. While dying, he turned his chest towards that village (where he had hoped his repentance would be accepted), and so the angels of mercy and the angels of punishment quarreled amongst themselves regarding him. Allah ordered the village (towards which he was going) to come closer to him, and ordered the village (whence he had come), to go far away, and then He ordered the angels to measure the distances between his body and the two villages. So he was found to be one span closer to the village (he was going to). So he was forgiven.” [Sahih Bukhari]

This hadith is an illustration of Allah’s Mercy and His love of repentance. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) loves repentance and the repentant so much that he caused the earth between the man and the village of good people to shrink and the earth between the man and the village he had left to expand, so that the angels of mercy might have cause to take his soul.

The man had killed a hundred people and had not been able to begin his new life in the village of good people, so hadn’t done any good deeds to make up for his previous sins. But Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) erases all the sins of the true repentant and so He saved the repentant man from the angels of punishment.

Thus, we must never despair of the Mercy of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). Hazrat Fudail bin Ayaadh says that fear is best while one is healthy, so that one may excel in good deeds. However, during weakness and illness, hope is best so that one does not grow despondent.

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