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An unreliable narration regarding returning to sin after tawbah

Question

Is this narration authentic?

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “When a person says ‘Astaghfirullaha wa atubu ilayhi’ [seeks forgiveness from Allah] thrice, but returns to sin each time, then after the fourth time Allah records him to be from amongst the liars.”

 

Answer

This narration is recorded in Musnadul Firdaws on the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu). However, the chain consists of a fabricator. The Muhaddithun have therefore declared the Hadith a fabrication.

(Musnadul Firdaws, Hadith: 1125, Tanzihush Shari’ah, vol. 2 pg. 285)

 

This narration is therefore not suitable to quote.

 

On the contrary, there are Verses of the Quran and Hadiths which mention that we should not lose hope in the mercy of Allah Ta’ala, and continue making tawbah even if we slip up. See here.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar

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التخريج من المصادر العربية

الفردوس بمأثور الخطاب (١١٢٥): أبو هريرة: إذا قال العبد أستغفر الله وأتوب إليه فقالها ثم عاد ثم قالها ثم عاد كتبه الله عز وجل في الرابعة من الكذابين.

تنزيه الشريعة (٢/ ٢٨٥):  إذا قال العبد أستغفر الله وأتوب إليه ثم عاد ثم قالها ثم عاد ثم قالها ثم عاد، كتبه الله في الرابعة من الكذابين (ابن الجوزي) من حديث أبي هريرة ولا يصح فيه الفضل بن عيسى.