Commentary on the narration cautioning against committing sins in private

Question

What is the meaning of this Hadith which you have answered here?

Sayyiduna Thawban (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reported that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “I certainly know of people from my ummah who will come on the Day of Qiyamah with [abundant] good deeds like the white mountains of Tihamah but Allah will make them like scattered dust.” Thawban (radiyallahu ‘anhu) asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Describe them to us and make it clear lest we unknowingly be of them.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “They will be your brothers from your race, worshipping at night as you do. However, they are people who while they are in private transgress the sacred limits of Allah [i.e. They perpetrate all types of sins in private].”

 

Answer

Imam Ibn Majah (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 4245)

This Hadith refers to people of weak resolute who disobey Allah Ta’ala whenever the chance presents itself, usually when they are alone in private. They become oblivious of the fact that Allah Ta’ala is watching them.

They do engage in good but Allah Ta’ala will destroy the reward of their good deeds due to them not fearing Allah and not abstaining from those deeds Allah has prohibited when they are in seclusion.

(Refer: Marginalia on Targhib, vol. 3 pg. 243 and Sharhu Sunan Ibn Majah of Al Harari, vol. 26 pg. 103)

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar