Q: Out of ignorance and poverty, I made a mistake fifty years ago. You are well-aware of our circumstances at that time.1- In 1368, my late half-brother was serving in the Arab Army.2- In the same year, he fought with the Arab armies in the Palestine war. He was not married and our father (may Allah be merciful to him) and his mother had passed away before that year; therefore, I was his only heir.3- Some ignorant people advised and helped me to attribute two of my children to my late brother. At that time, there was no inspection. I submitted the papers to the authorities claiming that my two children, a boy and a girl, are the children of my late brother (A.`A) and that their mother had passed away.All the procedures were taken and I used to receive my brother's pension for a period of time. When religious knowledge spread among people and we understood our religion, I came to know that this was not permissible and that Allah (Exalted be He) (Part No. 23; Page No. 450) prohibited
I then went to the Ministry of Finance and gave up this pension. I repented for what I did thirty years ago. The pension was about eighty or less. The two children are still alive. The boy is married and has ten children and the girl too was married thirty-two years ago and she is now over fifty. I am now seventy-five years old and I am a disabled man and seek Allah's forgiveness.Your Eminence, what shall I do? Am I still a sinner? Does Allah's saying,
Allâh accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they whom Allâh will forgive and Allâh is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.
Apply to me? I now feel that I am a thief. People accuse me of being a swindler, whenever I am asked to testify in courts or to judge between people, they do not accept my testimony because of what I did.I would like you to advise me regarding this matter as the worldly punishment is easier than that of the Hereafter. May Allah grant you success and may you benefit the Muslims! (Part No. 23; Page No. 451) As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah's Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!). Looking forward to hearing from your Eminence. Allah is Sufficient for us and He is the Best Disposer of all affairs.
If the matter is as you have described, you should repent to Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He), be remorseful for your past, and be determined not to commit it again. You have to get rid of this money by paying it in the form of Sadaqah (voluntary charity) if you are capable of doing so, otherwise it is a debt which should be paid when you are capable. Moreover, you have to order this money to be spent in charity after your death after specifying its quantity.We ask Allah (Exalted be He) to forgive us all! If your children or others pay the debt on your behalf, it is acceptable.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.