In Islam, sin is defined as “any act a person chooses to take that is against the commands of Allah”. When a person sins even once, it is like a black dot is placed on his heart. The minor sins, on the other hand, are those which do not fall in the above category. They are minor in so far as they do not incur any of the above serious consequences. Allah says:
الَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَاحِشَ إِلَّا اللَّمَمَ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ وَاسِعُ الْمَغْفِرَةِ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِكُمْ إِذْ أَنشَأَكُم مِّنَ الْأَرْضِ وَإِذْ أَنتُمْ أَجِنَّةٌ فِي بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ
“Those who avoid great sins and the immoralities except the small faults; indeed, your Lord (is) vast (in) forgiveness. He (is) most knowing about you when He produced you from the earth and when you (were) fetuses in (the) wombs (of) your mothers. So (do) not ascribe purity (to) yourselves. He knows best (he) who consciously reveres.” (Surah Al-Najm 53:32)
The religion Islam classifies sins according to the severity of their consequences on individuals and society. According to Islam, the major sins are those which are forbidden by Allah Almighty and His Messenger Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in the Holy Quran and Sunnah. Allah says:
إِن تَجْتَنِبُوا كَبَائِرَ مَا تُنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُكَفِّرْ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَنُدْخِلْكُم مُّدْخَلًا كَرِيمًا
“If you avoid the major (part) of what you have been forbidden (to do), We will cancel out for you your (other) evil deeds and will admit you (to Paradise) with a noble entry.” (Surah Al-Nisa 4:31)
Sincere repentance involves four steps: The first is for a person to be deeply remorseful of the sin; secondly, to refrain from it and all of the circumstances that led to it; thirdly, to make a firm resolution never to do it again; and finally, to follow it up by whatever good deeds one can do. Allah says:
كَلَّا بَلْ رَانَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِم مَّا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ
“Nay! But, (the) stain has covered [over] their hearts (for) what they used to earn.” (Surah Al-Mutaffifin 83:14)
Eventually, if a person accumulates enough black dots his heart is completely covered and hardened. The road back to Allah then becomes more difficult, but never hopeless because Allah is the Most Forgiving and wants nothing more than to forgive those who turn to Him in repentance. Allah says:
وَآتُوا النِّسَاءَ صَدُقَاتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً فَإِن طِبْنَ لَكُمْ عَن شَيْءٍ مِّنْهُ نَفْسًا فَكُلُوهُ هَنِيئًا مَّرِيئًا
And give the women their dower graciously. But if they remit to you anything of it (on there) own, then eat it (in) satisfaction (and) ease.” (Surah an-Nisa 4:4)
One of the gravest sins in Islam is the intentional taking of a life. This is because Islam embodies a code of ethics, designed to protect the rights of an individual including his or her right to live in a secure community. Prophet Muhammad said, “A man will continue to be sound in his religion so long as he does not shed blood which it is forbidden to shed.”
Major sins in Islam, below mentioned are some major sins that we all should know about and avoid:
- Associating anything with Allah
03. Practising magic
04. Not Praying
05. Not paying Zakat
06. Not fasting on a Day of Ramadan without excuse
07. Not performing Hajj, while being able to do so
08. Disrespect to parents
09. Abandoning relatives
10. Fornication and Adultery
13. Wrongfully consuming the property of an orphan
14. Lying about Allah and His Messenger
15. Running away from the battlefield
16. A leader’s deceiving his people and being unjust to them
17. Pride and arrogance
18. Bearing false witness
19. Drinking Khamr (wine)
21. Slandering chaste women
22. Stealing from the spoils of war
24. Highway Robbery
25. Taking false oath
27. Illegal gain
28. Consuming wealth acquired unlawfully
29. Committing suicide
30. Frequent lying
31. Judging unjustly
32. Giving and Accepting Bribes
33. Woman’s imitating man and man’s imitating woman
34. Being cuckold
35. Marrying a divorced woman to make her lawful for the husband
36. Not protecting oneself from urine
38. Learning knowledge of the religion for the sake of this world and concealing that knowledge
39. Betrayal of trust
40. Recounting favours
41. Denying Allah’s Decree
42. Listening (to) people’s private conversations
43. Carrying tales
45. Breaking contracts
46. Believing in fortune-tellers and astrologers
47. A woman’s bad conduct towards her husband
48. Making statues and pictures
49. Lamenting, wailing, tearing the clothing, and doing other things of this sort when an affliction befalls
50. Treating others unjustly
51. Overbearing conduct toward the wife, the servant, the weak, and animals
52. Offending one’s neighbour
53. Offending and abusing Muslims
54. Offending people and having an arrogant attitude toward them
55. Trailing one’s garment in pride
56. Men’s wearing silk and gold
57. A slave’s running away from his master
58. Slaughtering an animal that has been dedicated to anyone other than Allah
59. To knowingly ascribe one’s paternity to a father other than one’s own
60. Arguing and disputing violently
61. Withholding excess water
62. Giving short weight or measure
63. Feeling secure from Allah’s Plan
64. Offending Allah’s righteous friends
65. Not praying in congregation but praying alone without an excuse
66. Persistently missing Friday Prayers without any excuse
67. Ensuring the rights of the heir through bequests
68. Deceiving and plotting evil
69. Spying for the enemy of the Muslims
70. Cursing or insulting any of the Companions of Allah’s Messenger
Major sins might be one of the reasons due to which Allah Almighty does not accept our dua. It is very important for a believer to avoid major sins because they are the reason for severe punishments and Allah has guaranteed Paradise to those who avoid them.
What is the difference between a major and a minor sin?
Islam classifies sins according to the severity of their consequences on individuals and society. A major sin in Islam is one that is directly warned against in the Quran, concerning a specific punishment either in this life or in the Hereafter. This includes violations against Allah such as worshipping idols or something other than Allah alone. Other major sins include murder, theft, perjury, bribery, slander, adultery, and drinking alcohol. Allah says:
وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ذَٰلِكَ ذِكْرَىٰ لِلذَّاكِرِينَ
“And establish the prayer (at the) two ends (of) the day and (at) the approach of the night. Indeed, the good deeds remove the evil deeds. That (is) a reminder for those who remember.” (Surah Hud: 11:114)
These actions are considered severe because of the disastrous consequences they have on individuals and societies. Other acts that are usually more personal are considered to be minor. They are acts about which Allah has not stated extreme anger, punishments, or warnings.
Why avoid sin, especially major sin?
Major sins might be one of the reasons Allah does not accept your dua. Ask yourself how and why would Allah respond favourably to one who remains in a state of sin and does not give it up or repent from it. It is very important for a believer to avoid major sins because they can carry many severe punishments and Allah has guaranteed Paradise to those who avoid them. Allah says:
يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَكُمْ وَيَهْدِيَكُمْ سُنَنَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَيَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ
“Allah wishes to make clear to you and to guide you (to) ways (of) those before you and (to) accept repentance from you. And Allah (is) All-Knowing, All-Wise.” (Surah An-Nisa` 4:26)
What are the major sins?
Over hundreds of years of Islamic scholarship, many lists have been compiled of the major sins in Islam. Today we will begin our lesson by using a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah. The Prophet said, “Avoid the seven great destructive sins.” They (the people) asked, “What are they?” He answered as follows:
- To join partners in worship with Allah.
- To practice sorcery.
- To use riba (usury).
- To take a life unjustly.
- To deal unjustly with the property of an orphan.
- To turn one’s back and flee from a battle.
- To accuse chaste women of immorality.
We must always exercise extreme vigilance and caution against all types of sins, both major and minor. We must develop the habit of repenting in the prescribed manner and expiate for our sins by consistently engaging in good works as best as we can. May Allah help us all to protect the purity of our hearts, and may He grant us forgiveness and mercy. Ameen.