Committing a major sin while living in a country that does not enforce Shari`ah

Q 3: What is the ruling on those who commit major sins, such as murder, theft, Zina (sexual intercourse outside marriage), and the like, while living in a country that enforces laws other than the Islamic Shari`ah? Please provide us with authentic evidence.


(Part No. 1; Page No. 737)  A: Those people who are Mushriks (those who associate others with Allah in worship) and are committing major Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) when they die, will abide in the Fire eternally. However, if they perform Tawbah (repentance) from their sins and from Shirk, and do righteous deeds, Allah will forgive them and will substitute their sins with good deeds. Allah (Exalted be He) says: And those who invoke not any other ilâh (god) along with Allâh, nor kill such person as Allâh has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse - and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace; Except those who repent and believe (in Islâmic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allâh will change their sins into good deeds, and Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Allah also says: Say: "O ‘Ibâdî (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allâh: verily, Allâh forgives all sins. Truly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. "And turn in repentance and in obedience with true Faith (Islâmic Monotheism) to your Lord and submit to Him (in Islâm) before the torment comes upon you, (and) then you will not be helped. The Ayahs (Qur'anic verses) continue until Allah (Glorified be He) says: And Allâh will deliver those who are the Muttaqûn (the pious - See V.2:2) to their places of success (Paradise). Evil shall touch them not, nor shall they grieve. He (Exalted be He) also says: Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief), their past will be forgiven. But if they return (thereto), then the examples of those (punished) before them have already preceded (as a warning). It is also confirmed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Islam voids what was before it (previous misdeeds). However, as for those (Part No. 1; Page No. 738) who commit sins other than Shirk after embracing Islam, according to the correct opinion, i.e. that of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream), they are believers according to the level of their Iman (belief) and Fasiqs (those openly and flagrantly violating Islamic law) according to the amount of major sins, other than Shirk, that they have committed. However, if they die while practicing these sins, without repentance, according to Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah, the matter will be entrusted to Allah, Who may either pardon and forgive them due to their Iman, if He so wills, or punish them due to their sins, if He so wills. Allah (Exalted be He) says: Verily, Allâh forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills He (Exalted be He) also says: And (there are) others who have acknowledged their sins, they have mixed a deed that was righteous with another that was evil. Perhaps Allâh will turn unto them in forgiveness. Surely, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. It is reported on the authority of Abu Dhar (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "Someone came to me from my Lord and informed me" - or he said, "Gave me the good news that if any of my Ummah (nation) die while not associating anything in worship with Allah, they will enter Paradise." I asked, "Even if they had committed Zina and theft?" He replied, "Even if they had committed Zina and theft." Reported by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, and others. The Hadiths relating to Shafa`ah (intercession) that have been ranked as Sahih (authentic) and Mutawatir (a Hadith reported by a significant number of narrators throughout the chain of narration, whose agreement upon a lie is impossible) give detailed evidence on the subject. You can refer to them in "Sahih Al-Bukhari," "Sahih Muslim," and other books of the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet). This applies if a Muslim dies without performing Tawbah, but if they do perform it, Allah enjoined upon Himself to forgive them as has been shown in (Part No. 1; Page No. 739) the texts quoted above and other texts.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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