Tawbah to prevent the execution of the Hadd

Question:

Is Tawbah (repentance to Allah) from the major sins for which Hudud (ordained punishments for violating Allah’s Laws) are imposed by the Qur’an and Sunnah, the same as for theft and Zina, can replace the establishment of these Hudud? If Tawbah from these major sins does not deter from carrying out Hudud prescribed for them, what should a man do if he committed a major sin that requires Hadd (ordained punishment for violating Allah’s Laws), but he lives in a country that does not carry out Hudud?

Answer:

If Hudud come to the knowledge of the ruler and are proven by sufficient evidence, they should be carried out and should not be waived by Tawbah according to the consent of scholars. It was reported that Al-Ghamidiyyah came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) asking him to carry out the Hadd prescribed for Zina (sexual intercourse outside marriage) after her repentance, and he said in her regard, “She has made such a repentance that even if the people of Madinah were to repent, they would have been forgiven.1

Nevertheless, he executed the prescribed penalty. This can be done only by the ruler. However, if the ruler knows nothing about the sin, the Muslim should conceal his sin and repent faithfully to Allah, in order that Allah may accept his repentance.


  1. Muslim, Sahih, Book on ordained punishments, no. 1696; Al-Tirmidhy, Sunan, Book on ordained punishments, no. 1435; Al-Nasa’i, Sunan, Book on funerals, no. 1957; Abu Dawud, Sunan, Book on ordained punishments, no. 4440; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 4, p. 430; and Al-Darimy, Sunan, Book on ordained punishments, no. 2325. 

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family and Companions