Whatever sins one might have done are nothing compared to Allah’s encompassing mercy. The door to repentance is wide open, and Allah showers His sinful servants who turn penitent to Him, with His Forgiveness.
While speaking of repentance, we’d like to clarify that repentance cannot be considered valid unless one takes the following steps:
First, one must feel deep remorse for the sins he has committed.
Second, one must refrain from the sin totally while also abstaining from all those leads or circumstances that led him to such a sin in the first place.
Third, one must be firmly resolved never to sin again and immediately become occupied in whatever good deeds that he can in order to wipe out his past sins.
all of the above involve sins involving the rights of Allah. If, however, one’s sins involve the rights of human beings, then he must also do whatever it takes to return, compensate or redress the grievances of the person he has wronged. Paying him his dues or compensating him in whatever ways possible becomes an essential condition of valid repentance.
Once repentance is accomplished as described above, one’s sins will be undoubtedly wiped out and he is guaranteed a clean record. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “One who has repented of a sin (sincerely) is like one who has never sinned at all.”
The eminent Muslim scholar and renowned Da`iyah, Sheikh `Abdel Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef, states: “Ina case of stolen items, if you know the owner of these stolen things and you can reach him and dare to confess your deed before him, then you should give back the stolen things to their right owners in order to let them forgive you. In case the stolen things perished, then you should compensate the owners or seek their pardon and forgiveness.
If you don’t dare to confess your fault before the owner face too face, you should look for other means to give back the stolen thing to him. You may do so seeking the help of the Imam of a nearby Islamic Center or local Muslim scholar.
However, if you do not know the owners or they died and you do not know the heirs, then you should give out the stolen money and other things in charity. If the stolen thing is in kind, you may sell them and give out the money in charity.
Before that, you should ask Allah for forgiveness and do your best to come closer to Allah asking Him to guide you and us all to the right path and to forgive your sins and to grant you happiness in this worldly life and the world to come.”