Major and minor sins
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
You mentioned in your reply
"The scholars of Islam are unanimous in their opinion that these sins refer to the minor sins of the person; and major sins are forgiven by Allah Subhanah when one seeks sincere repentance and Taubah from the Merciful Lord."
Can you inform us what are the minor sins in the light of Quaran and Hadits and what are major ones.
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Major and minor sins
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 120:Eschew all sin, open or secret: those who earn sin will get due recompense for their "earnings."
The believers who sincerely fear Allah and the Last Day, must strive to abstain from all kinds of sins, whether they are major or minor!
The barometer to determine which sins fall into the major category, and which fall into the minor category is the terminology and the prescribed punishment of Allah Subhanah and His Messenger (saws). The bigger the punishment prescribed for a particular act, the bigger the enormity of the sin!
For example, the single biggest sin in Islam is the heinous act of shirk or associating others with Allah Subhanah; and that is because Allah Subhanah has Himself Declared this abomination of shirk as unforgivable for the one who dies in that state!
Allah says in the Quran: Chapter 4 Surah An-Nisa Verse 48:Shirk (associating other deities with Allah) is the only sin that Allah does not forgive, and He forgives, whomsoever He pleases, sins other than this. For whosoever associates any other partner with Allah, does indeed forge a big lie and commits the most heinous sin
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 72:Whoever commits shirk (invoking anything with Allah), Allah shall forbid for him Paradise, and Hell shall be his abode. And for such wrong doers there will be no one to help.
There are several other sins, like intentional murder of a believer without just cause, or the sin of adultery, or the usurping of someones inheritance, or the consumption of usury, etc., whereby Allah Subhanah Decrees that one who does those and does not subsequently repent, will deserve the everlasting punishment of the Hell-Fire! These will obviously be considered major sins.
Ref: Intentional murder of a believer without just cause:
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 93: If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein (for ever): and the Wrath and the Curse of Allah are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him.
Ref: Shirk, Murder, and Zina:
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 25 Surah Furqaan verses 68-69:
68 Those who invoke not with Allah any other god, nor slay such life as Allah has made sacred except for just cause, nor commit zina, and any that does this (not only) meets punishment,
69 (But) the Penalty on the Day of Judgment will be doubled to him, and he will dwell therein in ignominy
Ref: Unjust eating of the orphans property:
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 10:Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, eat up a fire into their own bodies: they will soon be enduring a blazing fire!
Ref: Not abiding by Allahs Boundaries, especially in distributing inheritance.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 14: But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger, and transgress His limits, will be admitted to a fire to abide therein: and they shall have a humiliating punishment.
Ref: The consumption of riba or usury:
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 278:O Believers!, fear Allah and give up that riba which is still due to you, if you are true believers. But if you do not do so, then you are warned of the declaration of war against you by Allah and His Messenger!
The Messenger of Allah (saws) categorized the major sins in one of his authentic narrations:
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.28 Narrated by Abu Huraira
The Prophet (saws) said, "Avoid the seven great destructive sins." The people enquire, "O Messenger of Allah (saws)! What are they?" He (saws) said,
"To join others in worship along with Allah,
to practice sorcery,
to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause, (according to Islamic law),
to eat up riba (usury),
to eat up an orphan's wealth,
to give back to the enemy and fleeing from the battlefield at the time of fighting,
and to accuse chaste women, who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 8.8 Narrated by Anas bin Malik
The Messenger of Allah (saws) mentioned the greatest sins or he was asked about the greatest sins. He (saws) said, "To join partners in worship with Allah; to kill a soul which Allah has forbidden to kill; and to be undutiful or unkind to one's parents."
The sins which have no prescribed punishment in the Quran and Sunnah, or the sins which are not mentioned as major sins by Allah and His Messenger (saws), will be deemed minor sins in Shariah. Allah and His Messenger (saws) have guided the believers regarding and making them aware of the major sins, and not provided the list of the minor sins as the list of minor sins is indeed innumerable; for man is indeed prone to short-comings, error and sin. Every sin which does not have a prescribed punishment in the Quran or Sunnah, or which are not listed as deserving of Allahs Anger and Wrath and Punishment, or not mentioned as major sins by Allah and His Messenger (saws), will be deemed minor sins in Islam.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,