The Great Importance of Confession in Islam
By: Allamah Syed Muhammad Husain Tabataba'i
The importance of confession: The role of confession in re-establishing people's rights which are being trampled upon and are not being taken care of in a society is self-evident, because an action - which is taken by the judicial organizations after a great deal of efforts and pains, collecting evidence, calling the people to witness as well as after depending on guess and conjectures - can be substituted by confession in the easiest and most clear way with only a few words.
In Islam, the confession has a great importance from a personal point of view as well, because it originates from an instinct which Islam has perfectly endeavored to revive and employ and that is the human instinct of admiring the right which is exactly the opposite of sensuality.
In His words, the Almighty Allah addresses those who believe in Islam: "O you who believe! be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness for Allah's sake, though it may be against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives...(4:135)."
The Holy Prophet (S) states: "Tell the truth, though it may be against your own interests."
The meaning and conditions of confession: In Islamic terms, the confession is a statement that substantiates the rights of others on the confessor, for example, one who confesses might say: "I owe one thousand Rials to such and such a person."
The confessor must be mature and sane. He should confess out of his own free will. Thus the confessions of a child, an insane person, an intoxicated person, an unconscious person, a person who is asleep, and the one who is forced to confess are not correct and valid.