The Punishment of those who Wage War Against Allah and His Messenger is Annulled if They Repent ...

Allah said,

﴿إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَقْدِرُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴾

(Except for those who (having fled away and then) came back (as Muslims) with repentance before they fall into your power; in that case, know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) This Ayah is clear in its indication that it applies to the idolators. As for the Muslims who commit this crime and repent before they are apprehended, the punishment of killing, crucifixion and cutting the limbs will be waved. The practice of the Companions in this regard is that all of the punishments prescribed in this case will be waved, as is apparent from the wording of the Ayah. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ash-Sha`bi said, "Harithah bin Badr At-Tamimi was living in Al-Basrah, and he committed the crime of mischief in the land. So he talked to some men from Quraysh, such as Al-Hasan bin `Ali, Ibn `Abbas and `Abdullah bin Ja`far, and they talked to `Ali about him so that he would grant him safety, but `Ali refused. So Harithah went to Sa`id bin Qays Al-Hamadani who kept him in his house and went to `Ali, saying, `O Leader of the Faithful! What about those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and cause mischief in the land' So he recited the Ayah until he reached,

﴿إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَقْدِرُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ﴾

(Except for those who (having fled away and them) came back cas Muslims) with repentance before they fall into your power. ) So `Ali wrote a document that granted safety, and Sa`id bin Qays said, `This is for Harithah bin Badr.''' Ibn Jarir recorded this Hadith. Ibn Jarir recorded that `Amir Ash-Sha`bi said, "A man from Murad came to Abu Musa, while he was the governor of Al-Kufah during the reign of `Uthman, and said to him after he offered the obligatory prayer, `O Abu Musa! I seek your help. I am so-and-so from Murad and I waged war against Allah and His Messenger and caused mischief in the land. I repented before you had any authority over me.' Abu Musa proclaimed, `This is so-and-so, who had waged war against Allah and His Messenger and caused mischief in the land, and he repented before we had authority over him. Therefore, anyone who meets him, should deal with him in a better way. If he is saying the truth, then this is the path of those who say the truth. If he is saying a lie, his sins will destroy him. So the man remained idle for as long as Allah willed, but he later rose against the leaders, and Allah punished him for his sins and he was killed.'' Ibn Jarir recorded that Musa bin Ishaq Al-Madani said that `Ali Al-Asadi waged war, blocked the roads, shed blood and plundered wealth. The leaders and the people alike, sought to capture him, but they could not do that until he came after he repented, after he heard a man reciting the Ayah,

﴿يعِبَادِىَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُواْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لاَ تَقْنَطُواْ مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعاً إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ﴾

(O My servants who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) So he said to that man, "O servant of Allah! Recite it again.'' So he recited it again, and `Ali put down his sword and went to Al-Madinah in repentance, arriving during the night. He washed up and went to the Masjid of the Messenger of Allah and prayed the dawn prayer. He sat next to Abu Hurayrah amidst his companions. In the morning, the people recognized him and went after him. He said, "You have no way against me. I came in repentance before you had any authority over me.'' Abu Hurayrah said, "He has said the truth,'' and he held his hand and went to Marwan bin Al-Hakam, who was the governor of Al-Madinah during the reign of Mu`awiyah. Abu Hurayrah said, "This is `Ali and he came in repentance and you do not have a way against him, nor can you have him killed.'' So `Ali was absolved of punishment and remained on his repentance and went to the sea to perform Jihad in Allah's cause. The Muslims met the Romans in battle, and the Muslims brought the ship `Ali was in to one of the Roman ships, and `Ali crossed to that ship and the Romans escaped from him to the other side of the ship, and the ship capsized and they all drowned.''

﴿يَـَأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَابْتَغُواْ إِلَيهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَـهِدُواْ فِى سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ - إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ أَنَّ لَهُمْ مَّا فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعاً وَمِثْلَهُ مَعَهُ لِيَفْتَدُواْ بِهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ مَا تُقُبِّلَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ - يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا هُم بِخَـرِجِينَ مِنْهَا وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّقِيمٌ ﴾

(35. O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah and seek the Wasilah to Him, and strive hard in His cause, so that you may be successful.) (36. Verily, those who disbelieve, if they had all that is in the earth, and as much again therewith to ransom themselves thereby from the torment on the Day of Resurrection, it would never be accepted of them. And theirs would be a painful torment.) (37. They will long to get out of the Fire, but never will they get out therefrom; and theirs will be a lasting torment.)