HARMS OF SINS
by ~ Moulana Naeem Motala DB
Alhamdulillah, during the blessed month of Ramadaan, most Muslims make a concerted effort to abstain from sins. This is done in order to attain the Pleasure of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala and in the hope of reaping the innumerable promised rewards of the Mubarak month. Whilst those who exercise self-restraint and avoid sinning, experience a Noor (light) entering the heart … those who are habitual and irresolute (attached to sinning), find themselves engulfed by the darkness of sin.(May Allah Taala protect us). While many try to give up sin, some believers succeed in doing so immediately and completely, whilst others struggle and give up sinning slowly (in increments) and with difficulty.
Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas Radiyallahu Anhu (an illustrious young Sahabi of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was once asked:
” رَجُلٌ كَثِيرُ الْعَمَلِ كَثِيرُ الذُّنُوبِ ، وَرَجُلٌ قَلِيلُ الْعَمَلِ قَلِيلُ الذُّنُوبِ ؟”
Is a man who has performed very little Nafl Ibaadah (over and above his Fardh) and engaged in very few sins, (better) than the one who has performed many good deeds and just as many sins?
Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas Radiyallahu Anhu responded > “لا أَعْدِلُ بِالسَّلامَةِ شَيْئًا “
I can never equate anything to something which is free and void of sins ie. something which is safe from sins ~ (Baihaqi)
Thus, one who engages in very little Nafl (optional) Ibaadah but is extremely cautious about engaging in sin cannot be compared to the one who is very punctual in Nafl Ibaadah, yet careless about engaging in sin. Whilst the former has earned the Pleasure of ALLAH Ta’ala through obedience and restraint, the latter has angered Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala by lack of concern and violation of major commands.
Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala has said :
“ام حَسِبَ الَّذِينَ اجْتَرَحُوا السَّيِّئَاتِ أَن نَّجْعَلَهُمْ كَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أَمْ سَوَاءً مَّحْيَاهُمْ وَمَمَاتُهُمْ ۚ .سَاءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ
Or do those who commit evils think We will make them like those who have believed and done righteous deeds – [make them] equal in their life and their death? Evil is that which they judge ~ Surah Al-Jathiyah 45:21
Although we are all living in the same Dunya (world) and travelling toward the same Aakhirah (Hereafter) – those who perpetrate sins are not equal to those who believe and engage in righteous deeds. The life and death of an evil sinner is not the same as the life and death of a righteous believer; nor will it ever be!
SINS ARE LIKENED TO THE EFFECTS OF POISON IN THE BODY
Allamah Ibnul Qayyim Rahmatullahi Alayh said:
أن المعاصي تُضعف القلب
“Innal ma’aasi thudh-‘iful quloob”
Sins weaken the heart.
When a person becomes defiant and persists in perpetrating sins, then that person’s desire for disobedience increases, the desire to repent decreases and is eventually removed from the heart completely. Sins weaken the heart and extract from a person the Iraadah of Taubah (intention of repenting). A time comes when his heart is so corroded and engulfed with sins, that the will and resolve of the heart is weakened, to the extent that the desire of turning to Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala never enters a person. In reality, his heart becomes incapacitated and a Hijaab (veil), is put between him and Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala. Thus, he becomes deprived of worshiping Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala and is far removed from the Mercy and forgiveness of ALLAH. (May Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala protect us all)
Scholars have thus written that the effect of sins upon the heart is like that of poison upon the body. Just as poison kills a person, sins kill the heart. When a person knows the harmful effects of a lethal poison he is very unlikely to consume it. Similarly, if one understands the extremely harmful effects of sins, one can make a sincere effort to refrain from engaging in them.
BE IT A KABEERAH (BIG) SIN OR A SAGHEERAH (SMALL) SIN
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ إِيَّاكُمْ وَمُحَقَّرَاتِ الذُّنُوبِ فَإِنَّهُنَّ يَجْتَمِعْنَ عَلَى الرَّجُلِ حَتَّى يُهْلِكْنَهُ
Hazrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ud Radiyallahu Anhu reported that Rasullulah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “Beware of minor sins. Verily, they pile upon a man until he is destroyed.”~ (Musnad Ahmad)
A Mu’min (believer) should never look at how small or great a sin is. Rather, he should look at the Greatness and Might of the One whom he is disobeying … Almighty ALLAH!
Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas Radiyallahu Anhu had also mentioned : “Oh sinner! Do not feel safe from the evil consequence of sins”~(Al Hilya)
Many a times we feel that it is just a “minor” sin. Ulema and Scholars have after categorizing major and minor sins, clearly mentioned :
“لا تنظر إلى صغر المعصية، ولكن انظر إلى عظمة من عصيت”
Do not look at how small your sin may be, but consider the Greatness of the One you are disobeying. ~ Al-Baihaqee’s ‘Shu’abul Eemaan’ (5/430
At the time of transgressing the commands of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala, if a person’s heart does not tremble out of the fear of Allah (who is constantly watching him), nor does he feel even a minute amount of shyness for the angels (who are witnessing the transgression), then that which comes along with the sin is greater (in evil) than the sin itself.
At the time of indulging in sin, a person is sometimes so caught up that he forgets that Allah sees him. In his deluded state, he feels some type of achievement or accomplishment as a result of having engaged in the sin. His ecstacy at being able to commit a certain sin blinds him to the consequences and his potential outcome on the day of Qiyamah! We are all aware that sins are punishable but are somehow so deluded and relaxed about it, that we think nothing is going to happen!
In more extreme cases, a person sometimes becomes sad when the opportunity of committing a sin is lost! He exhibits remorse at missing the prospect of disobeying Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala! Further, when he is committing the sin, the type of fear that overcomes him is not fear for Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala, but fear that people might catch him red-handed! Verily one has to be a servant and slave of only Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala and not anyone or anything else.
When indulging in sin, such a person’s heart is enveloped in Qillatul Haya (having very little modesty) and it is not disturbed by his forgetfulness of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala. The person is unmoved by his forgetfulness of the ONE Who created him – the ONE who provides for, nourishes, sustains, cares for and helps him. Such a person is blinded to the innumerable bounties from Allah Ta’ala and steeped in His disobedience. Certainly, this is not the character of a Mu’mim!
Hadhrat Wahab Radiyallahu Anhu narrates in a Hadith-e-Qudsi that ALLAH Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala said to Bani Israeel :
” اني اذا اطعت رضيت واذا رضيت باركت وليس لبركتي نهاية واني اذا عصيت غضبت واذا غضبت لعنت ولعنتي تبلغ السابع من الولد.”
“O my Bandah (Servants)! When I am Obeyed, I become pleased; when I become pleased I grant Barakah. When I am disobeyed, I become Wrathful and I curse (the disobedient ones). The effect of My La’nat (Curse) extends to seven generations.”~ (Ahmad)
A person who is sinful and who habitually disobeys Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, will thus suffer a life of wretchedness and misery. Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala is MOST Merciful and continuously overlooks sins and gives us countless opportunities to make amends; but when a person persists in sin, then Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala becomes SO Angry that He curses! … And the curse of AllahSubhaanahu Wa Ta’ala is so severe, that it extends for several generations!
THE ABOUNDING MERCY OF ALLAH SUBHAANAHU WA TA’ALA DESPITE OUR DISOBEDIENCE
No matter how much and how great our sins may seem, the vast and abounding Mercy of Allah knows no limits.
A bedouin once entered the Musjid of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. When the Salaah terminated, he cried out from behind the Sahabah (RA):
“اللَّهُمَّ ارْحَمْنِي وَمُحَمَّدًا وَلاَ تَرْحَمْ مَعَنَا احدا”
Allahummar Hamni Wa Muhammada Wa la Tarham Ma’ana ahada : Oh Allah! Have mercy on me and on Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and do not have mercy on anyone else
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam turned towards him and said: >” لَقَدِ احْتَظَرْتَ وَاسِعًا”
“You have narrowed (constricted) something that is vast” ie : the Mercy of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala.
Rasullulah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam further explained that Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala has divided His Mercy into one hundred parts, of which He retained ninety-nine parts and sent down only one part to earth.
Through the one percent of Mercy that Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala has sent down in the world, every living being (mankind, Jinn, animals and insects) all display Muhabbah (mutual love, compassion and kindness for one another), and through it, even wild animals care for their young. Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala has held back the remaining ninety-nine percent of His Mercy for His slaves on the day of Qiyamah! There is no doubt, that the Mercy of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala is vast and Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala will definitely forgive us, provided we sincerely seek His forgiveness.
TURNING TO ALLAH SUBHAANAHU WA TA’ALA WITH TAUBAH AND ISTIGHFAAR ERASES SINS
In another Hadith narrated by Hazrat Abu Hurairah Radiallahu Anhu, RasulullahSallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said :
كُلُّ أَمَّتِى مُعَافًى إِلاَّ الْمُجَاهِرِينَ ، وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْمَجَانَةِ أَنْ يَعْمَلَ الرَّجُلُ بِاللَّيْلِ عَمَلاً ، ثُمَّ يُصْبِحَ وَقَدْ سَتَرَهُ اللَّهُ ، فَيَقُولَ يَا فُلاَنُ عَمِلْتُ الْبَارِحَةَ كَذَا وَكَذَا ، وَقَدْ بَاتَ يَسْتُرُهُ رَبُّهُ وَيُصْبِحُ يَكْشِفُ سِتْرَ اللهِ عَنْهُ
“Every one of my followers will be forgiven except those who expose (openly) their wrongdoings. An example of this is that of a man who commits a sin at night which Allah has covered for him, and in the morning, he would say (to people) “I committed such and such sin last night,” while Allah had kept it a secret. During the night Allah had covered it up, but in the morning this sinner tears up the ‘cover’ provided by Allah, himself.” ~ Al-Bukhari
Regrettably, we have become very brazen and bold in committing sins openly! When a person indulges in sins, he does not realise the numerous harms and misfortune those sins generate.
Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala, out of His Infinite Grace, Kindness and Mercy, conceals and hides the sins of the Mujaahiroon (those bold sinners who commit sinful acts privately and then announce them shamelessly). Nobody had seen him committing a sin, but this foolish person, goes out in the morning and tears the veil placed by Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala concealing the sin from the eyes of the public and society. Essentially, the person ‘brags’ about the very sin which Allah Ta’ala had concealed for him at night.
When the heart has reached such a low state, then it eventually becomes diseased and weakened and the person will see ‘falsehood as truth’ and ‘truth as falsehood’. Due to his diseased heart he will find flaws in the Hadith and Sunnah, and will be blinded to the sublime way of life of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. The heart actually experiences a change called Khasful Qalb: It sinks lower and lower and becomes debased causing a person to bask in sins. The person will be constantly engaged in clubbing, drinking alchohol, womanizing, gambling and viewing pornography. Sins will manifest in every limb of his body and he will take pleasure remaining immersed in a filthy and immoral life.
When this connection with Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala is broken through engaging in a multitude of sins, then a person is overcome with the reality of Wahsha (estrangement): when one feels forlorn and wretched and that special contact with Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala is completely lost. Because he has forgotten Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala, in turn, Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala ignores him. When the soul goes down this dark path, there is no comfort or enjoyment in life, nor enjoyment in one’s Ibaadah.
Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala mentioned (in the Quran) :
نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَنَسِيَهُمْ
They have forgotten Allah, so He hath forgotten them (ignored them) ~ Surah Taubah 9:67
A person who saved himself from sins in this world deeming nothing to be minor – but rather – out of worry and concern, imagined all sins as major, will earn the Mercy of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala on the day of Qiyamah. On the opposite end of the spectrum, one who is a Faasiq/Faajir (open sinner) and thinks nothing of his sins (major or minor) faces destruction on the Day of Qiyamah. The former is like one who sees every sin as a huge mountain hovering over his head, threatening to crush him, whilst the latter sees every sin as a harmless, minuscule insect which can bring no harm. Foolish indeed is the Faasiq!
Whilst sins are dangerous and lead to destruction, in many instances, the person may have fallen into sin due to misguidance, error, or negligence. Thus it is not appropriate to look down upon a sinner with pride and contempt. One should make abundant Shukr to Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala for protection from falling into that sin and also for concealing whatever sins one has committed!
One can always escape the shackles of sins and be free through sincere repentance. The doors of Taubah are widely open to any person who turns to Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala, till before he leaves this world. It is open right until the soul reaches the throat (at the time of death). The Mercy of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala is not restricted, and nobody should despair of receiving it. Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala will accept the Taubah of every person provided that it is sincere. However great the sin is, it is not greater than the Mercy of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala!
10 POINT SUMMARY
1 – Abstaining from sin brings Noor in the heart, whereas habitually engaging in sin steeps ones heart in darkness.
2- Engaging in sins increasing the propensity for sinning and decreasing the propensity for repentance – sins are therefore like a poison which kills the heart.
3- Do not be careless about minor sins for they pile up quickly and lead to destruction.
4- Do not look at whether a sin is minor or major but rather look at the Greatness and Might of the ONE Who is being disobeyed: ALLAH Subhaanahu WA Ta’ala
5- The anger and curse of ALLAH Ta’ala upon the shameless habitual sinner may affect generations to come.
6- ALLAH Ta’ala is Most Merciful and loves to forgive the sinner who turns to HIM in sincere repentance.
7- The Mercy of ALLAH Ta’ala is infinitely vast – and of all HIS Mercy only 1% has reached the Earth and 99% is reserved for the Aakhira.
8 – Persistence in sins causes a veil to be drawn over the heart preventing one from repentance, forgiveness, enjoyment in life.
9- It is inappropriate to look down upon a sinner – it is best to make Shukr for being saved from such sins.
10- The doors of Taubah are always open right till mauth and ALLAH Subhaanahu WA Ta’ala accepts the sincere repentance of every person who turns to HIM. No matter how great the sin, the MERCY of ALLAH is undoubtedly far Greater.