Fatwa ID: 04750
Answered by: Maulana Imran Mughal
That famous story of the prostitute that gave water to the dog and was forgiven of her sins. Was she a Muslim that would have entered Janna anyway even if she stayed in hell for a limited amount of time but the giving of water to the dog forgave all her sins, and thus she will enter Janna without punishment? Or was she a non-Muslim that the giving of water to the dog made her a Muslim as a reward?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
The hadith in question is as follows:
“Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “A prostitute had once been forgiven. She passed by a dog panting near a well. Thirst had nearly killed him, so she took off her sock, tied it to her veil, and drew up some water. Allah forgave her for that.”
It is important to note firstly that this hadith only mentions that she was forgiven, not whether her minor or major sins were forgiven.
Mufti Taqi Uthmani writes, “If the meaning was that all her minor sins were forgiven then this is the forgiveness that follows that general rule that good deeds repel bad deeds. As for if the meaning was complete forgiveness that includes the major sins, then this is from the ultimate and encompassing forgiveness of Allah, but it cannot be taken as a general rule.”
Only Allah SWT knows best.
Written by Maulana Imran Mughal
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
 Sahih Bukhari Hadith 3321.
 Mufti Taqi, Takmila Fathul Mulhim (Karachi: Maktabah Dar Al-Ulum Karachi), 4:241.