Q. In regards to bad deeds being erased by good deeds, does this also apply when people abuse and oppress their staff, swearing them and even physically assaulting them. It seems that these people are under the impression that their Salaat and charity absolves them of their oppression.
A. With regards to good deeds erasing bad deeds as well as when we ask Allah for forgiveness, only those sins are forgiven which have infringed on our duty to Allah. As far as those sins that have infringed on the rights of people, there will be no forgiveness unless the oppressed person forgives the oppressor. No amount of Salaah, charity or repentance will secure forgiveness until the oppressed person’s rights are redressed and/or the oppressed person forgives the oppressor.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam once asked the Sahaabah Radhiyallahu Anhum: “Do you know who a bankrupt person is?” They replied: “A bankrupt person among us is the one without money or assets.”
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam then said: “Indeed, the bankrupt one of my Ummah will come on the Day of Resurrection with Salaah, fasting and Zakaah (in his account), but he comes along having abused this one, slandered that one, unlawfully took the wealth of this one and shed the blood of that one, and beaten that one. So this one will be given from his good deeds, and that one will be given from his good deeds. And if his good deeds finish before their rights have been recompensed, some of their sins (i.e. the ones he wronged) will be taken and cast onto him, then he will be thrown into the Fire.” (Sahih Muslim)
May Allah Ta’ala guide us all to become True Muslims in every facet of our lives, Ameen.
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa