If we deliberate on the various forms of Islamic
punishments, in particular on the punishment of Qadf
(wrongly accusing someone of fornication) mentioned in the Qur’ān, it becomes
evident that in sins that do not relate to the violation of rights of a party,
the Almighty does not like that a criminal confess to his crime himself or that
those who are aware of his crime report this matter to the authorities.
The Prophet (sws) is reported to have said:
He among you who gets involved in such filth should hide
behind the veil stretched out for him by Allah, but if he unfolds the veil, we
shall implement the law of Allah upon him. (Mu’attā, Kitābu’l-Hudūd)
Similarly, he once told a person:
If you had hidden the crime of this [person], it would
have been better for you. (Mu’attā, Kitābu’l-Hudūd)
If a man and a woman have committed such a sin, they should
sincerely repent before God and keep asking His forgiveness. To cleanse
themselves internally from the effects of this sin, they can adopt two measures:
a. Keep some fasts.
b. Spend some amount in the way of Allah.
This is not an atonement prescribed by the Almighty;
however it is a kind of self-imposed penalty that helps both in purifying the
inner self and in lessening the burden of guilt.