Hazrat Ibn Shimaastah R.A. reports we were present around Hazrat Amr Ibn al-Aas R.A. before he passed away. He cried for a long time and then related the story of his embracing Islam. He said: “When Allah caused Islam to enter my heart, I came to Rasulullah Sal’am and said: ‘O messenger of Allah, put forth your hand that I may swear allegiance. ‘When Rasulullah Sal’am stretched forth his hand, I withheld mine. Rasulullah Sal’am inquired: “What troubles you ‘O Amr?” I said: I went to make a condition that Allah shall forgive my previous sins”. Rasulullah Sal’am replied: ‘O Amr, do you then not know that Islam washes away all sins committed in disbelief, and that the Hijrat (migration) washes away all sins committed before Hajj?”
In this Hadith too, no mention is made about whether minor or major sins are meant. An important point to bear in mind is that as far as mutual relations are concerned, a person commits a wrong against another. In this two things are involved.
The wrong to the fellowmen.
The sin of committing that wrong.
Let it be noted that the sin in itself becomes forgiven, but as for the wrong, that cannot be righted. For example: When a person steals someone’s possession, there is the stolen article and the sin of theft. It does not mean that having the sin forgiven will entail not having to return the stole article to the rightful owner. It is reported that on the day of Arafaat during the farewell pilgrimage Rasulullah Sal’am for a long time utmost humility prayed to Allah begging for forgiveness of his Ummat, where after Allah replied: I have accepted your du and granted your wish in that, whosoever commits a sin against Me, him have I forgiven. However, whoever among them commits a wrong against his fellowmen, against him shall I take revenge”. There after Rasulullah Sal’am again repeatedly begged Allah: ‘O Lord, You are able to forgive even that wrong for the wrong-doer.” At that time no reply was given, but on the following morning at Muzdalifah, this prayer too was accepted.
Rasulullah Sal’am smiled pleasantly, while deeply engrossed in prayer and meditation, which was not his habit. Rasulullah Sal’am (referring to this merciful act of Allah) then said: “Allah accepted this prayer of mine and on seeing this, Shaytaan started crying most bitterly, shouting and screaming, while throwing sand and dust over his head in self-pity”.