ٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَدِيدُ ٱلۡعِقَابِ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬
Know that Allâh is Severe in punishment and that Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
[Surah Al Maeda (5):98]
وَٱسۡتَغۡفِرُواْ ٱللَّهَۖ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمُۢ
And seek Forgiveness of Allâh. Verily, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful
[Surah al-Muzzammil (73):20]
It was narrated that in the days that the Prophet Musa (alayhi asalaam) wandered with Bani Israel (Children of Israel) in the desert, an intense drought befell them. Together, they raised their hands towards the heavens praying for the blessed rain to come. Then, to the astonishment of Musa (alayhi asalaam) and all those watching, the few scattered clouds that were in the sky vanished, the heat poured down, and the drought intensified.
It was revealed to Musa that there was a sinner amongst the tribe of Bani Israel who had disobeyed Allah (SWT) for more than forty years of his life.
“Let him separate himself from the congregation,” Allah (SWT) told Musa. “Only then shall I shower you all with rain.”
Prophet Musa then called out to the throngs of humanity, “There is a person amongst us who has disobeyed Allah (SWT) for forty years. Let him separate himself from the congregation and only then shall we be rescued from the drought.”
That man waited, looking left and right, hoping that someone else would step forward, but no one did. Sweat poured forth from his brow and he knew that he was the one. The man knew that if he stayed amongst the congregation all would die of thirst and that if he stepped forward he would be humiliated for all eternity.
He raised his hands with a sincerity he had never known before, with humility he had never tasted, and as tears poured down on both cheeks he said, “O Allah, have mercy on me! O Allah, hide my sins! O Allah, forgive me!”
As Musa and the people of Bani Israel waited for the sinner to step forward, the clouds hugged the sky and the rain poured. Musa asked Allah (SWT), “O Allah, you blessed us with rain even though the sinner did not come forward.”
And Allah (SWT) replied, “O Musa, it is for the repentance of that very person that I blessed all of Bani Israel with water.”
Prophet Moses, wanting to know who this blessed man was, asked, “Show him to me O Allah!”
Allah (SWT) replied, “O Musa, I hid his sins for forty years, do you think that after his repentance I shall expose him?”
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “My entire nation is safe, except al-Mujahirin (those who boast of their sins). Among the Mujaharah is that a man commits an (evil) act, and wakes up in the morning while Allah has kept his (sin) a secret, he says: ‘O Fulan! Last night I did this and that.’ He goes to sleep while Allah has kept his (sin) a secret but he wakes up in the morning and uncovers what Allah has kept a secret!” [Saheeh al-Bukhari]