(Chapter 22)

Abstaining from Sin

It is of vital importance for the Mu’min to abstain from all sin. This is essential of developing his Imaan. Sin darkens Imaan and creates weakness in it. On the assumption that there will not be punishment for sins, then too, it is necessary for the Mu’min to abstain from sin, for sin is disobedience which is the cause of Allah’s displeasure. No man wishes to displease even a worldly benefactor. The favours of Allah on man are innumerable. Allah Ta’ala is man’s greatest and true Benefactor. How can the Mu’min then displease Him?

Besides this consideration, there is also the danger of punishment for the commission of sin, such punishment may be both in this world as well as in the Hereafter. One form of worldly punishment is that a man given up to sin engrosses himself fully, body and heart, in the world to such a degree that he becomes fearful of the Aakhirah and thus detests it. He loses firmness of heart and Imaan. The Mu’min should therefore, not venture near to sin, no matter what type of sin it may be, whether the sin pertains to Huqooqullah (Rights of Allah)or Huqooqul Ibaad (Rights of creation). Various types of punishment for different sins have been mentioned in the ahadith.

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“When the Mu’min sins, a black spot forms on his heart. If he makes istighfaar and taubah, the black mark is removed and his heart is purified. If he increases his sin, the black mark increases. This is the corrosion of the heart spoken of by Allah Ta’ala (in the Qur’an)
                                         (Ahmad, Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)

Hadhrat Muaaz (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Guard yourselves against sin because the Wrath of Allah descends in the wake of sin.” (Ahmad)

Hadhrat Anas Bin Malik (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Should I not show you your sickness and its remedy? Your sickness is sinning and your remedy is to seek forgiveness (istighfaar).” (Baihaqi)

Hadhrat Anas (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“The hearts too become corroded(by means of sin). Its polish is istighfaar.”                                                      (Baihaqi)

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Verily, man is deprived of rizq because of the sins which he perpetrates.” (Ahmad)

6. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that once ten of them were in the company of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) when he said:

“I seek the protection of Allah from five things which may over take you. When immorality becomes rampant in a people, they will be oever taken by epidemics and such diseases which never existed before. When a people are involved in giving short-weight and measure, they will be overtaken by famine, hardship and oppression of the authorities. When a people stops paying Zakaat, rain is withheld from them. If it were not for the animals in their midst, never would there have fallen rain for them. When people violate pledges and promises, Allah will overwhelm them with their enemies from other nations. Thus the enemy will take by force their wealth.” (Ibn Majah)

7. Hadhrat Ibn Abbass (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“When khiyaanat (abuse of trust) becomes rampant in a people, Allah Ta’ala overwhelms their hearts with fear. A nation perpetrating injustice will be overpowered by its enemies.” (Malik)

8. Hadhrat Thaubaan (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“There will soon come a time when all the nations (of the kuffaar) will unite against you (muslim)…”

Someone asked: ‘Will we be less in numbers at that time?”

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘In fact, you will be numerous, but useless…. Allah Ta’ala will remove your respect and fear from the hearts of your enemies (who will then despise you) and Allah will instill weakness in your hearts.”

Someone asked: ‘What is the cause of the weakness?’

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Love of the world and detestation for Maut.” (Abu Dawood, Baihaqi)

9. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“When Allah Ta’ala desires to punish people (for their sins) he causes their children to die in abundance and makes their women barren.” (Jazaaul A’maal)

10. Hadhrat Abu Darda (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Allah Ta’ala says: ‘I am the King of kings, Their hearts are in my Control. When servants (i.e. Muslims) are obedient to Me, I make the rulers merciful to them. When the servants are disobedient to Me, I cause the rulers to oppress them and be cruel to them….” (Abu Nuaim)

11. Hadhrat Wahab (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Allah Ta’ala said to Bani Israeel:

“When I am obeyed, I become pleased; when I become pleased I bestow limitless barkat. When I am disobeyed, I become Wrathful and I curse (the disobedient ones). The effect of My La’nat (Curse) extends to seven generations.” (Jazaaul A’maal, Ahmad)

This does not mean that the Curse which descended on the wrongdoers, settles on the future generations as well. However, the future generations are deprived of the goodness and barkat which would have come their way if their forbearers were pious. The beneficial effects of the piety of parents are transmitted to offspring. But, if the parents are evil, there will be no goodness and benefits which could be transmitted to their offspring.

12. Hadhrat Wakee’ (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Hadhrat Aishah (radiallahu anha) said:

“When a man becomes disobedient to Allah Ta’ala then those who (formerly) praised him (the man), begin to find fault with him.” (Ahmad)

These narrations speak of sin and disobedience to Allah Ta’ala in general. The evils and harms which flow in the wake of sinning are stated in these ahadith. Some ahadith relating to specific harms of sins will now be cited.

1. Hadhrat Jaabir (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Allah Ta’ala has cursed the devourer of riba, the payer of riba, the writer (i.e. he who writes out the riba document) of riba, and the witnesses of riba. All are equal (in sin).” (Muslim)

2. Hadhrat Abu Musa (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“After the kabaa-ir (major sins), the greatest sin is that one dies leaving debt, but no wealth for its payment.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawood)

3. Hadhrat Abu Hurrah Riqaashi (radiallahu anhu) narrates on the authority of his paternal uncle that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Hear! Do not be unjust. Hear! A man’s wealth is not halaal (for another) without his voluntary consent.” (Baihaqi, Daar Qutni)

This hadith brings within its scope of warning all forms of injustices in which the rights of others were usurped and violated. Examples of such violation of rights are:

· Incurring debt and not paying.

· Depriving the rightful Shari heirs of their inheritance.

· Extracting funds for charitable purposes by exercising pressure, whether direct or indirect, on people. People are sometimes put to shame and contribute towards the charitable project what they cannot afford. Prominent people make use of their influence to extract contributions. This is in fact a form of exertion.

4. Hadhrat Saalim (radiallahu anhu) narrates on the authority of his father that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Aman who usurps even one cubit of land belonging to another, will be garlanded with the (weight) of that land as far as it extends into the seven earths.” (Bukhari, Ahmad)

In another narration by Hadhrat Tau’baan (radiallahu anhu) it is said that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) cursed the agent who arranged the bribe as well. (Ahmad, Baihaqi)

In the case of bribery too, exceptions. Where one is not able to escape the oppressions and injustice of an oppressor, but by giving a bribe, it will not be sinful to give a bribe in such circumstances, but it will always remain haraam for one to accept a bribe.

6. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) prohibited liquor and gambling. (Abu Dawood). All forms of intoxicants are covered by this hadith Insurance, lotteries, etc., all forms of qimaar (gambling) which are prohibited.

7. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“My Rabb has commanded me to destroy all musical instruments…..” (Ahmad)

8. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“The fornication of the eyes is to look with lust; the fornication of the tongue is to speak lustful things; the fornication of the hands is to touch with lust; the fornication of the feet is to walk towards lust; the fornication of the heart is to desire evil;…. (Muslim)

These forms of ‘fornication’ are stepping stones to the final act of zina (fornication). Intermingling with the opposite sex gives rise to such acts which lead to fornication.

9. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“The major sins are: to commit shirk with Allah Ta’ala, disobedience to parents, killing an innocent person, and to take a false oath.” (Bukhari)

Shirk means to associate any created being or object in the worship or in the specific attributes of Allah Ta’ala, such attributes which belong to Him exclusively. Among the practices of shirk prevalent in our time are:

· Worshipping of graves of the Auliya of Allah Ta’ala. The Auliya are the created beings and servants of Allah Ta’ala. Worshipping their graves by means of sajdah, ruku, tawaaf of the graves is among the worse acts of shirk. Kissing the graves of the Auliya and adorning the graves with bed-sheets also are linked to the practice of shirk.

· Taking a vow in the name of some Wali of Allah Ta’ala. Vows (Minnat) can be taken in the Name of only Allah Ta’ala.

· Believing that Allah Ta’ala has assigned the affairs of the universe to created beings in such a way that the created beings act independently of the Will of Allah.

· The belief that the Auliya are able to grant children, wishes and prayers (dua). In consequence of this belief of shirk people direct their dua directly to the Auliya instead of directly to Allah Ta’ala.

Disobedience to parents applies to all such things which are not in contradiction to the Law of Allah Ta’ala. Obedience to parents is of paramount importance, but obedience to parents is not permissible in such things which are haraam. It is not permissible to obey parents if their wishes conflict with the Wishes of Allah Ta’ala.

10. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“(Among the major sins are): to devour the wealth of orphans, to flee from the battlefield of Jihaad and to slander innocent and chaste women (to accuse them of fornication and immorality).” (Bukhari, Muslim)

In another hadith Hadhrat Abu Hurairah also mentions among the great sins, stealing, banaditry and fornication. (Bukhari, Muslim)

11. Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

Four qualities in man render him a total munaafiq (hypocrite). If one (of these four) exists in him, a share of nifaaq (hypocrisy) is found in him; such nifaaq will remain in him as long as he retains that quality. (These four qualities of nifaaq are):

· Abuse of trust when trust is reposed in him.

· When he speaks, he lies.

· When he promises, he violates his promise.

· When he argues, he becomes abusive.

Hadhrat Safwaan Ibn Assaal (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Do not deliver an innocent person to the rulers so that he be executed (or oppressed) and do not practice magic….” (Tirmizi, Abu Dawood, Nisaai)

All forms of injustices committed with the aid of the authorities in the land and all forms of evil satanic practices such as witchcraft. Fortunetelling, etc., come within the scope of this hadith’s prohibition.

The following are some evil acts prohibited in Islam and for which grave warnings of punishment have been sounded by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam):

· To mock at someone.

· To taunt a person.

· To call a person by a degrading nick-name.

· To cast suspicion against someone.

· To search for the faults of others.

· Gheebat (scandal ling)

· To gossip.

· To revile a person for no proper reason.

· Double-talk, to be two-faced.

· To slander.

· To deceive.

· Pride, vanity.

· Cruelty and oppression.

· Refraining from aiding one in hardship inspite of having the means.

· To create loss for another in his wealth.

· To cast aspersions against a person thereby running his reputation.

· To be unkind to juniors and disrespectful to seniors.

· To break ties with a Muslim for some worldly motive.

· Pictures of living things-people and animals.

· Shaving or cutting the beard.

· Imitating the kuffaar and fussaaq in dress.

· For women to imitate men in dress and for men to imitate women in dress.

Besides the above, there are many other sins and it is essential to abstain from all sin. Involvement in sin stunts spiritual development and the Noor of Imaan does not glitter. Sin darkens the heart. Sin hardens the heart and creates a detestation for Allah Ta’ala and for all pious men associated with Allah Ta’ala. Constant indulgence in sin creates in one an aversion for pious company. The consequence is that the one given up to sin recedes further and further from the Rahmat of Allah Ta’ala. He then loses all hope in rectitude and in the mercy and forgiveness of Allah Ta’ala. When overcome by this destructive condition, the Believer will be standing on the threshold of kufr.

It is essential to continuously resort to taubah and seek the forgiveness of Allah Ta’ala. Taubah and Istighfaar do not allow the darkness flowing from sin to engulf and permanently settle on the heart. Taubah secures forgiveness for all sins of violation of Allah’s Rights. However, if the sin involves the huqooq (rights) of others as well, a requisite for obtaining forgiveness is to rectify the rights of those whose rights were violated. This is to be done by either discharging the actual object if the haqq is in tangible form, e.g. money, etc., or by obtaining pardon if the right is intangible, e.g. slander, abuse, violence against the person.

13. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“A sincere repenter of sins is like one who has not committed sins.” (Baihaqi)

14. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Discharge the rights of the brother (Muslim) today-whether such rights pertain to his honour or wealth-before there comes the time (Aakhirah) when there will be neither gold or silver.” (Bukhari)

If arrangements are not made here to fulfil usurped or undischarged huqooq (rights), the demand for discharge will be made in the Aakhirah. But, there, man will have no means of paying his rights and fulfilling what he had cast aside here. Thus, he will be made to pay and discharge the rights of others in Qiyaamah by means of his accepted virtuous deeds. His deeds (the sole capital of the Believer in Aakhirah) will be taken and in proportion to the right usurped will be handed over to the Saahibul Haqq (the one who is entitled to the rights).

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