Books · Repentance · When Will You Repent

The Repentance of Ghamdia


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

the heart that beats for Allah

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A woman from Ghamid tribe visited the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Cleanse me.”

The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “Grief! Go and seek forgiveness from Allah and repent to Him.” So she said, “I can see that you want to return me as you returned Ma’az ibn Maalik?”

The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “What is the matter?” So she said, “She has conceived from adultery.” The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked, “Is it you?” She replied, “Yes.”

[Do Not Approach Immoralities]

The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed her to go away until she had delivered the baby. Her needs were looked after by a man from Ansaar until she had delivered the baby.

After delivering the baby, she returned to the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said, “Ghamdia has delivered the baby.” It was said, “Then we cannot stone her such that the infant is left behind without anyone to suckle him.”

A man from the Ansaar stood up and said, “O Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! Nursing of the child is on me.” So, the mother was stoned.

In a narration it appears that Khalid ibn Waleed radhiAllahu ‘anhu brought a stone and hit it on the woman’s head. When the blood drops fell on Khalid’s face, he cursed her. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Stop, O Khalid! By He in whose Hands is my soul, she has repented such that if a tax collector had repented so, he would have been forgiven.”

Then the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed a verdict about her, offered her funeral prayers and buried her.

In a narration it appears that her repentance was such that if it was to be distributed among 70 people of Madinah, it would have sufficed. Have you ever found a better repentance than this where a person gives up his life for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala?

[Punishment in this World is Expiation for Sins]


In one of our previous posts we talked about the virtue of self-introspection. Holdingdo not reveal your sins yourself to account is what can make you reflect on your errors. This was the tarbiyah of Rasoolullah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that the people around him were neither complacent with the pleasures of this world nor considered themselves free from the punishment of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. They knew that even if they are saved in this world, there is a greater punishment in the Hereafter. What must be the level of emaan and taqwa of Ghamdia that she does not fear her life and presents herself for the punishment? She feared a heavier punishment in the Hereafter where no one will be treated unjustly. (Again, this does not mean that we should advertise our sins, if Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has concealed our sins take it as a great favor. Repent to Him with sincerity and stand firm on your repentance.)

[The Seven Destructive Sins]

However, if there are some sins where you usurped the right of others, hurt them, or cut of relations with them, then muster up courage and apologize for your behavior. Ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to soften their hearts toward you and that they forgive you.

Do not utter lies to cover up your mistakes. Be honest and choose the right conduct.

Notice that the first thing that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam says to this woman is to return and repent to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. He did not want her to share her sins with him. He was the Prophet of Allah, he was sent as the mercy for mankind but he had respect for other people. Unlike us, he was disinterested in the bad deeds of other people. He knew being humans we will slip, so he advised her what was best – repent before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. If ever any of your friend or child comes to you to confess their sins tell them to go to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and cry before Him. Neither be suspicious about others nor lend your ear to confessions. In Islam, there is no confession to another human being.

[7 Prophetic Strategies of Correcting Mistakes]

The character of Ansaar requires no description.

These were the people who opened up their homes, divided up their properties and welcomed the Muhajjireen with open hands. Their generosity has no match.

In this incidence, we see that Ansaar men do not frown upon the woman who has sinned. One takes responsibility to provide her with food and other needs, and another takes the task of making nursing arrangements for the infant. From their conduct we learn: Hate the sin not the sinner. Have hope in people. Do not shun them so that they never get out of their sins. Be warm toward them and help them get out of their sins.

[Loving the Ansaar – A Sign of Faith]

What led this woman to her own death? Fear of Allah’s accountability. Do we fear Allah’sliving to please Allah accountability? Have we ever visualized the Day when we will stand before Him like an open book where He knows each detail of our sins and misdeeds? What are we going to say? That Day all matters will be in Allah’s Hands. If He wills, He can forgive us, and if He wills He can punish us. Are we prepared to meet Him?

What stops us from seeking repentance? Are we guaranteed Jannah?

When you recite the Qur’an or read the ahadeeth reflect on the narrations where Hellfire is mentioned. Gain knowledge about what can lead us to it (may Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala protect us, aameen.) Apparently, we might be doing a good deed but it can lead us to Hellfire such as not wiping the heels when making ablution. How many of us make proper ablution?

Ghamdia was not fearful of people that if my sin is disclosed they are going to call me adulteress. She feared the punishment of the Hereafter. Many times, we appear pious before people but what our “real” condition is only Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala knows. Be fearful of Him and repent to Him.

[NOTE: This is a rough English translation of the Arabic book and lessons discussed in the class. Listen to the Urdu lectures on this book here. Download the book (in Arabic and Urdu).]

2 thoughts on “The Repentance of Ghamdia

  1. SubhanaAllah! So this woman that was stoned for fornication, couldn’t she be thought to just ask Allah for forgiveness. And where is the man that she made the baby with?

    1. Asalaam o Alaykum wa rahmatullah,

      In her first meeting with the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, she is advised to go back and cry before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, but the woman keeps presenting herself for punishment. If you read the other posts, we are advised not to reveal our sins if Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has concealed them even if they were major sins. It is up to Him whether He forgives us or delays the punishment for the Hereafter. We are to seek repentance, though.

      This woman’s emaan and taqwa made her restless, and she presented herself for atonement.

      There is no mention of that man in the story. Allah knows best.

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