Sunday 5 Shawwal 1445 - 14 April 2024
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Is It Sunnah to Ask for Forgiveness before Ramadan?

Question

I would like to know the ruling on messages in WhatsApp asking for forgiveness before the month of Ramadan begins.

Summary of answer

The one who spreads a spirit of tolerance, asks people to forgive him and strives to right wrongs and to fulfil his duty towards others, and encourages others to do that, in Ramadan or otherwise, is undoubtedly following righteousness and doing good.

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

All righteous deeds – whether they are acts of worship that are for Allah alone, may He be Glorified and Exalted, such as prayer, fasting and so on, or are acts of kindness towards other people – are all required at all times.

They are particularly encouraged at times of virtue, and these times are only given virtue so that people will compete at these times in doing all kinds of righteous and good deeds.

One of the righteous deeds that are encouraged and enjoined is to forgive one another and dispel rancour.

It is proven from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he said: “If one of you starts his day fasting, let him not engage in any obscene or ignorant speech, and if someone insults him or argues with him, let him say: I am fasting, I am fasting.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 1894 and Muslim, 1151)

Hence, it is recommended for people to refrain from persisting in disputes, settling scores with opponents and answering back, and not to respond to offensive treatment in kind.

As the Muslim is striving to increase his righteous deeds at those times, and there is the fear that rancour may prevent his good deeds from being taken up to Allah, it is prescribed to ask people to forgive him.

Muslim (2565) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The people’s deeds are shown (to Allah) twice every week, on Mondays and Thursdays, and every believing slave is forgiven, except a slave between whom and his brother there is some grudge. It is said: Leave these two until they reconcile.”

Shaykh Ibn `Uthaymin (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“Undoubtedly conflicts and disputes among people are a cause of good being withheld. The evidence for that is the fact that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) went out one night to his companions in Ramadan , to tell them about Laylat Al-Qadr , but two men among the Companions were arguing, so the knowledge of when it was in that year was taken away.… Therefore the individual should strive not to have any resentment in his heart towards any of the Muslims.” (Al-Liqa’ Ash-Shahri, no. 36)

The one who spreads a spirit of tolerance, asks people to forgive him and strives to right wrongs and to fulfil his duty towards others, and encourages others to do that, in Ramadan or otherwise, is undoubtedly following righteousness and doing good.

In conclusion, it is clearly recommended to ask people for forgiveness and to try to right wrongs at this special time. There does not seem to us to be anything wrong, in sha Allah, with pointing this out on these occasions, or reminding others of that and encouraging them to do it.

For more details, please refer to the following answers: 220647 , 202017 .

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A