What is the signification of the Hadith that mentions the man who murdered ninety nine people? Please provide some commentary.
The Scholars have derived many lessons from this Hadith, among them are the following:
1. Allah Ta’ala’s willingness to forgive the most heinous of actions.
We are often convinced that our sins are too great and our conditions too wretched to gain the pleasure of Allah. This Hadith disproves this.
2. The need to couple the intention of tawbah with action.
In this story, the man had to relocate to find absolution. In a similar fashion, one must act decisively to gain the closeness of Allah Ta’ala. One cannot stop smoking while cigarettes are within reach, just as one cannot cure an addiction to pornography with an active internet connection. The mere intention of reformation is only the first step towards forgiveness. This should be followed up with action too.
3. The virtue of knowledge, and those who possess it.
The first man who was asked for advice, while pious, did not possess the necessary knowledge on the subject of tawbah to provide a comprehensive and appropriate answer to the seeker. This led to his own death and an increase in sin for the other.
The second man who was asked for advice was learned enough to provide the right answer, and this led to goodness for both him and the seeker.
(Fathul Bari: 3470)
And Allah Ta’ala knows best.
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar