Shaykh Muḥammad Naṣir ad-Dīn al-Albānī:
The ḥadīth came to mind wherein a man approached the Prophet ﷺ and said: “O’ Messenger of Allah, I entered a garden surrounded by walls. I then encountered a woman therein and done with her what a man does with his wife except that I didn’t have intercourse with her”. The Prophet ﷺ then said: [shaykh becomes over whelmed] “Did you pray in congregation with us?”. The man replied: “Yes”. Then Allah revealed the verse:
إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ
“Indeed the ḥasanāt [good deeds] expiate the bad deeds” (Q 11:114).
In addition to your acknowledgement that you committed such-and-such sin, pray my dear brother! Indeed the good deeds expiate the bad deeds. This procedure is an Islamic legislation, it is not an innovated (bid’a) procedure as I indicated to regarding other issues.
I’ll also mention, while we are on the subject, a young man approached the Prophet ﷺ and said: “O’ messenger of Allah, give me permission to fornicate”. The Prophet ﷺ replied: “Would you approve of that happening to your mother?” The young man replied: “No!” The Prophet ﷺ then said: “Likewise, people do not approve of that happening to their mothers”. He ﷺ continued: “Would you approve of that happening to your sister?”. The young man replied: “No!”. The Prophet ﷺ then said: “Likewise, people do not approve of that happening to their sisters”. The Prophet ﷺ then placed his hand on the young man’s chest and supplicated: “O’ Allah protect his private parts from fornication and purify his soul”.