Hadith on Hudud: Better to mistake in forgiveness than punishment

Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Avoid applying legal punishments against the Muslims if you are able. If the criminal has a way out, then leave him to his way. Verily, for the leader to err in pardoning is better than to err in punishing.

Al-Tirmidhi said, “It has likewise been narrated from more than one of the companions of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, that they said the same as this.”

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 1424

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Suyuti

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ادْرَءُوا الْحُدُودَ عَنْ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ فَإِنْ كَانَ لَهُ مَخْرَجٌ فَخَلُّوا سَبِيلَهُ فَإِنَّ الْإِمَامَ أَنْ يُخْطِئَ فِي الْعَفْوِ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَنْ يُخْطِئَ فِي الْعُقُوبَةِ

وَقَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى وَقَدْ رُوِيَ نَحْوُ هَذَا عَنْ غَيْرِ وَاحِدٍ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ

1424 سنن الترمذي كتاب الحدود باب ما جاء في درء الحدود

313 المحدث السيوطي خلاصة حكم المحدث صحيح في الجامع الصغير