It was narrated that the days when Hazrat Musa wandered in the desert with Bani Israel, an extreme drought befell them. They raised their hands to gather towards heaven, praying for the rain. Then, to the astonishment of Musa (Alahi salaam) and all those watching. The few scattered clouds that were in the sky vanished, the heat poured down, and the drought intensified.
Who was a Sinner?
There was a sinner among the tribe, and that sinner disobeyed ALLAH for more than forty years. Let him separate himself from the tribe. ALLAH told prophet Musa only that I shall bless you all with rain.
Hazrat Musa then called the tribe and told them that there is a person among the tribe who disobeyed ALLAH for forty years. He said that separate him from the tribe, only then will we be blessed with rain. The man waited to look here and there and hoping that maybe someone else would step forward, but no one did. He knew that he was the one.
The man knew very well that if he stayed with the tribe, all would die of thirst. And if he stepped forward, he would be humiliated for all eternity.
So, with sincerity, he raised his hands he had known before with humility. He never tasted it before, and tears poured down from his eyes. And he said that dear ALLAH, have mercy on me! O Allah, hide my sins! O Allah, forgive me!
The Reaction of Hazrat Musa:
As Musa (Alahi salaam) and the people of Bani Israel awaited for the sinner to step forward, the clouds hugged the sky, and the rain poured. Musa (Alahi salaam) asked Allah, O Allah, you blessed us with rain even though the sinner did not come forward. And Allah replied, O Musa, it is for the repentance of that very person that I blessed all of Bani Israel with water.
Hazrat Musa (Alahi salaam) wants to know who was the man. He asked; Show him to me, O Allah!
Allah replied, O Musa, I hide his sins for forty years. Do you think that after his repentance, I shall expose him?