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I was curious to know about what sins are being pointed here. It seems from the hadith that its mentioning towards adultery. But sins also include giving bribe etc. Does it include those too?

Narrated Abu Huraira: "I heard Allah's Apostle saying. "All the sins of my followers will be forgiven except those of the Mujahirin (those who commit a sin openly or disclose their sins to the people). An example of such disclosure is that a person commits a sin at night and though Allah screens it from the public, then he comes in the morning, and says, 'O so-and-so, I did such-and-such (evil) deed yesterday,' though he spent his night screened by his Lord (none knowing about his sin) and in the morning he removes Allah's screen from himself." (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), Volume 8, Book 73, Number 95)"

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There are two kinds of sins:

  1. Shirk. (The sin of having someone/something partner to Allah at least one matter.)
  2. Fitne. (The sins that ruin social life.)

The second kind of sins are the ones like adultery, drinking, conceitedness, killing, stealing, swearing, being lazy, indulging into delights, etc.

If these second kind of sins are done publicly, they spread around quickly. This is a psychological fact. People are afraid of doing a sin alone, but if they have friend with him, they feel more relieved while doing that sin. For this reason, doing a sin publicly is a bigger sin compared to doing it at home alone.

This hadith is about this fact. It says "If you can't prevent yourself from doing a sin, at least don't talk about it in public. By telling the other people about your sins, you are encouraging them to do that sin.".

  • Regarding the answer, committing adultery with someone such that no one knew about it. How does this hadith cater it? Now they are 2 people doing it but not in front of the people. Please help. Thanks. – Foo Jul 2 '12 at 20:42
  • Are you asking that, how and why someone who secretly does adultery will be forgiven? What you are asking is a good detail indeed. If it is going to be forgiven, then what is the meaning of declaring that action as a sin in the first place? Don't forget that all hadiths are passed from a lot of mediators before reaching us/books. There may be damages in the meaning while passing from someone to another. Hadiths are not perfectly robust and reliable unlike Quran is. – hkBattousai Jul 2 '12 at 20:50
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That hadith is saheeh. Rasulullah (May Salat and Salam be upon him) also said in another hadith that anyone who has a tiny spark of faith will enter paradise in the end.

So the answer is: Every sin except shirk and its descendants; kufr and hypocrisy. Shirk is considered more than a sin, treachery perhaps. You will need to merge the verses below to reach this conclusion from Quran:

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful."

39:53

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا بَعِيدًا Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly gone far astray.

4:116

Warning: Not considering some action a sin that is declared sin by either Allah himself or rasulullah is a sign of lack of faith. On the other hand, knowing something is a sin and doing it just because you believe in the mercy of Allah is having faith (at least the tiny spark of it), but being negligent.

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