If a person sinned in public and everyone knows about his sin, is it required of him to make his repentance public as well? If it is not required of him, is it allowed for him to do so?
the Fatwa Department Research Committee - chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî
Publicizing one’s repentance is not a condition of repentance, regardless of whether the sin was committed openly or in secret.
In the case where a person committed the sin secretly, he should definitely not publicize his repentance, since that would be exposing to others a sin that Allah had concealed.
Ibn `Umar relates that he heard the Prophet (peace be upon him ) speak about the private reckoning of deeds in the Hereafter, saying:
You will come close to Allah until you are concealed by Him. Then He will ask you: “Did you do this and that?”
And you will reply: “Yes.”
Then He will ask you: “Did you do this and that?”
You will reply: “Yes.”
He will make you declare all of your misdeeds, then He will tell you: “I have concealed (your misdeeds) in the world, and I will forgive you now.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (2441) and Sahîh Muslim (2768)]
If the person had sinned publicly, it is his choice as to whether he wishes to make his repentance public. If he thinks it will benefit others – or be a source of guidance for them, then he may do so. However, he is under no obligation to publicize his penance.
And Allah knows best.
Source: Islam Today
-- Al Arabiya Digital