Source : Lata’if al-Ma’arif
Ibn Rajab‘s book: Lataif al Maa’rif. A portion of this book pertaining to Ramadan was summarized by Sheikh Abdur Rahman bin Muhammed bin Qassim the compiler of Majmu al Fatawa by Ibn Taymiyyah, with several additions by Sheikh Abdur Rahman himself.
Translated by Mustafa George
Chapter: The End of Ramadan
Several narrations related to the merits of this month have proceeded, and from them is that which is recorded in Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, that The Messenger “salAllahu alayhi wa salem- said:
“Whoever fasts Ramadan with faith and seeking the reward will have his past sins forgiven.”
In the narration recorded in the Musnad of Imam Ahmed there is an additional portion of the same hadith stating:
“his past and future sins will be forgiven”
The chain of narrations for this additional wording is good (hasan). The Messenger “salAllahu alayhi wa salem also said:
“Whoever stands the night of decree (Laylatul Qadr) with faith and seeking the reward will have his past sins forgiven, and whoever fasts Ramadan with faith and seeking the reward will have his past sins forgiven.”
An additional wording is recorded in An Nisaee stating: “…his past and future sins will be forgiven”
Later the author states: Forgiveness of sins during this blessed month is conditional to the preservation of what one is instructed to preserve (i.e. Fulfilling the orders of Allah, and abstaining from what is forbidden). The majority (jemhoor) of the scholars hold that this expiation of sin is specifically referring to minor sins. This is because of the hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim, that The Messenger “salAllahu alayhi wa salem- stated:
“The five daily prayers, Friday prayer to the following Friday prayer, and Ramadan to the following Ramadan are expiations for sins as long as one abstains from major sins.”
The author also states: (Some scholars held a different view) Ibn Munthir mentioned pertaining to Laylatul Qadr: “It is hoped that the major and minor sins are all forgiven”
But the majority hold that one must make sincere repentance from all major sins ( in order for them to be expiated).