Adultery is a most grievous sin in Islam, and therefore, whoever has been guilty of it, must repent to Allah. Allah says, “And those who do not call upon another god with Allah, and who does not slay the soul that Allah has forbidden, except by right, nor commit fornication, for whoever does that shall receive the penalty. For him shall the torment be doubled on the day of resurrection, and therein he shall abide for ever, disgraced. Save him who repents and believes, and does good works; those, Allah shall change their misdeeds into good works. And Allah is Forgiving, Compassionate.” (al-Furqan: 68-70)
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who states: It is not true or correct to say that those who have been guilty of adultery can only be forgiven by Allah if they submit themselves to be stoned to death. The Qur’an and the Sunnah are replete with texts that make it abundantly clear that adulterers can be fully forgiven provided they repent and change and amend their evil ways.
There is no doubt adultery has been described by Allah as a most heinous sin and despicable way; therefore, the faithful are not only ordered to shun it altogether but also told not even to “go near it”. This means they are to stay away from all circumstances, incentives, and associations that may lead to adultery. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “No one commits adultery while doing so remaining a believer.”
Moreover, Allah tells us in the Qur’an that severe punishment in the Hereafter is awaiting those who commit adultery. Nevertheless, Allah teaches us in the Qur’an that His mercy is limitless. He calls upon the faithful saying, “O My servants who have wronged against their souls! Do not despair of Allah’s mercy! For Allah forgives all sins; for He is indeed Forgiving, Compassionate. Turn to your Lord repentant, and submit to Him, before the torment overtakes you when you shall not be helped.” (Az-Zumar: 53-54) Allah’s forgiveness is granted to those who repent sincerely. Sincere repentance requires fulfilling three conditions: Feeling deep remorse and contrition for sin; refraining from the sin as well from associations and ways that led a person to it in the first place; and, finally, resolving never to do the same again. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) reminded us that sincere repentance involves changing oneself for the better by engaging in good works: “If you happen to comm
it a sin, follow it up by good deeds,” and “Allah does not wipe out a bad deed by another; He rather wipes out bad deeds with good deeds.”
Once a person has repented sincerely, he is forgiven. Allah says, “Save him who repents and believes, and does good works; those, Allah shall change their misdeeds into good works. And Allah is Forgiving, Compassionate.” (Q. 25: 70) The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “One who has sincerely repented of a sin is like one who has never sinned.”“