Sin separates the sinner from God and his prayer is not acceptable, no amount of ritual prayer or washings will wash away our sins: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that He will not hear” – Isaiah 59:2
We list below a number of hadiths which state the view that in Islam prayer and ablution are sufficient in themselves for the forgiveness of sins.
Certain prayer times are effective in obtaining forgiveness of sins
> “Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven” (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 31, Number 125)
> “Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever prayed at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 32, Number 227)
> “Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Our Lord, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the latter part of the night is left, and says: Who supplicates Me so that I may answer him? Who asks Me so that I may give to him? Who asks Me forgiveness so that I may forgive him? (Muslim Book 4, Number 1656)
Sins are washed away at the ablution ceremony
> “Abu Huraira reported: Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: When a bondsman-a Muslim or a believer-washes his face (in course of ablution), every sin he contemplated with his eyes, will be washed away from his face along with water, or with the last drop of water; when he washes his hands, every sin they wrought will be effaced from his hands with the water, or with the last drop of water; and when he washes his feet, every sin towards which his feet have walked will be washed away with the water or with the last drop of water with the result that he comes out pure from all sins. (Muslim Book 2, Number 475)
> “Uthman b. ‘Affan reported: The Messenger of Allah (way peace be upon him) said: He who performed ablution well, his sins would come out from his body, even coming out from under his nails. (Muslim Book 2, Number 476)
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