To repeat small sins

Protecting Yourself From Sins

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. 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. Allah says:

فَأَقِمۡ وَجۡهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفً۬ا‌ۚ فِطۡرَتَ ٱللَّهِ ٱلَّتِى فَطَرَ ٱلنَّاسَ عَلَيۡہَا‌ۚ لَا تَبۡدِيلَ لِخَلۡقِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ ٱلدِّينُ ٱلۡقَيِّمُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَڪۡثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ

“So, set your face to the Faith uprightly, this (faith) being the nature designed by Allah on which He has created mankind. There is no change in Allah‘s creation. That is the straight faith, but most of the people do not know.” (Surah Ar-Rum 30:30)

We should strive to concentrate on virtuous thoughts and actions and to turn our minds away from the temptations that pull us toward sin. Human accountability is an important aspect of justice as envisaged in Islam. And no one can be truly held accountable for an action he or she has no power to resist or avoid because Allah does not lay more burden on a human than he or she can bear. Allah says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَىٰ إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا

“Indeed, Allah (does) not forgive that partners be associated with Him, but He forgives other than that for whom He wills. And whoever associates partners with Allah, then surely he has fabricated a sin – tremendous.” (Surah Al-Nisa 4:48)

A real believer tries to avoid all sins whether major or minor. However, a believer should not approach sins, especially major sins because the responsibility and results of the major sins are more serious. Those who commit major or minor sins are not regarded as apostates except for the sins related to faith and accepting haram and halal unless they regard the sins they commit as permissible.

There are some major sins that we all should know about and avoid:

  1. To believe Allah that  has any partner or colleague
  2. To eat an orphan’s money or property
  3. To lose hope in the mercy of Allah
  4. To think Allah would not punish
  5. To slander a married woman
  6. To misbehave with parents
  7. To kill someone unjustly
  8. To repeat small sins
  9. To have no fear of Allah
  10. To misbehave with anyone
  11. To tell a lie; even more grievous
  12. To swear falsely by name of Allah
  13. To abuse, insult or disgrace a person
  14. To being suspicious or spying on others
  15. To neglect prayer (Salat) or any other wajib thing

Islam defines sin as an act that goes against the teachings of Allah.  Allah teaches us in the Qur’an that the previous nations were destroyed due to their persistence in sins and their failure to heed the call of the Messengers to repent and amend their ways. We are also told in no unmistakable terms that we stand to gain happiness and prosperity in both worlds by shunning sins altogether and following the right way. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَّصُوحًا

“O you who have faith, repent to Allah with sincere repentance.” (Surah Al-Tahrim 66:8)

Thus sins are termed as major or minor essentially because of their gravity or enormity in terms of their consequences or effects on individuals and society. A major sin in Islam is one that is directly warned against in the Quran, with reference to a specific punishment either in this life or in the Hereafter.

Allah Most High says in the Quran: 

  • “Verily good deeds wipe out bad deeds.” (Hud: 114)
  • “Allah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba.” (al-Baqarah 2:275)
  • “So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people,” (Al-Araf 7:116)
  • “No! Rather, the stain has covered their hearts of that which they were earning.” (Quran, 83:14)
  • “And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein, and the Wrath and the Curse of Allah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him.” (an-Nisa 4:93)
  • “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.” (al-Nisa 4:31)
  • “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them.” (An-Nur 24:30)
  • “Verily, those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, they eat up only a fire into their bellies, and they will be burnt in the blazing Fire.” (An-Nisa 4:10)
  • “Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases,” (An-Nisa 4:48)
  • “So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them, and they displayed a great magic.” (Al-A‘raaf 7:116)
  • “They may hide (Their crimes) from men, but they cannot hide (them) from Allah, for He is with them (by His Knowledge),” (An-Nisa 4:108)
  • “And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed, He is Hearing and Knowing..” (Quran 7: 200)
  • “And Iblees had already confirmed through them his assumption, so they followed him, except for a party of believers. And he had over them no authority except [it was decreed] that We might make evident who believes in the Hereafter from who is thereof in doubt. And your Lord, over all things, is Guardian.” (Quran, 34: 20-21)
  • “Come not near to Al-Fawahish (all kinds of evil, illegal and sinful deeds) whether committed openly or secretly,” (Al-Anam 6:151)
  • “Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist?” (Quran, 5: 91)
  • “…their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast.” (Ta-Ha 20:66)

Islam teaches that sin is an avoidable act that harms the perpetrator’s own soul, so there is no “original sin.” This means that there is no innate or inherited nature that prompts a person to disobey Allah; that is to say, it is a person’s choice whether to sin or not. Allah says:

وَلَقَدْ أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ وَإِلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكَ لَئِنْ أَشْرَكْتَ لَيَحْبَطَنَّ عَمَلُكَ وَلَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

“And verily, it has been revealed to you and to those who (were) before you, if you associate (with Allah) surely, will become worthless your deeds and you will surely be among the losers. (Surah Az-Zumar 39:65)

On the other hand, we cannot consider a person to be a sinner if he or she is forced to do something prohibited against his or her own will. Likewise, acts are done because of some illnesses, such as insanity or obsessive-compulsive disorder, are not sins. Almighty Allah, by narrating this story in the Qur’an, makes us aware of the fact that He is Compassionate and Merciful to His creatures, particularly to those who repent and return to Him. 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 An-Najm 53:32)

Major sins are among the basic principles that are necessary to be known by believers concerning issues like creed, belief, worshipping or the everyday issues and that are haram to do and obligatory to abandon. May Almighty Allah guide us to fulfil His commands and keep us away from committing all kinds of sins whether major or minor! Ameen