Allah has stated in the Holy Qur’an: “Leave (O mankind, all kinds of) sin, open and secret. Verily, those who commit sin will get due recompense for that which they used to commit.” (Holy Qur’an, 6:120)
In the above verse, Allah has ordered that Mankind should abstain from all types of sins. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir). It is further mentioned, that no action should be performed which is against the pleasure of Allah. Nor should there be any doubts regarding the Deen of Allah, otherwise it will be regarded as a sin. (Tafsir Uthmani)
Sins are those actions that are performed against the criteria of the Qur’an and Sunnah. The example of a sin is like that of cancer. When cancer inflicts a body part, that part of the body is singled out and may need to be removed completely from the body. This is done to prevent the fatal spread of the cancer throughout the whole body. Therefore, whenever a sin is committed, the believer should immediately resort to repentance (Taubah). The Prophet said: Refrain from sins which you may consider as minor, as you will be held accountable for them. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Sunan Baihaqi)
The Reasons for Sinning
1. Whenever the individual thinks that he or she is not being watched then Because of this mindset, it becomes very easy for that person to commit a sin. Remember! Allah has highlighted this point in the Holy Qur’an: “Allah, is verily always watching over them.” (Holy Qur’an, 89:14)
2. Whenever the individual thinks that no one is aware of their actions. Remember! Allah has already answered this in the Qur’an. “Allah knows the fraud of the eyes and all that the breasts conceal…” (Holy Qur’an, 40:19)
3. Whenever the individual thinks that no one is beside/near them. When this thought comes to mind then it becomes a means of opening the doors of sin. Remember! Allah has already answered this in the Holy Qur’an: “Allah is with you wherever you may be. And Allah is All-seer of what you do.” (Holy Qur’an, 57:4)
4. Whenever the individual thinks that they can not be held accountable by anyone, a sense of pride, this type of thinking increases the zeal in a person to commit sins. Remember! Allah has already answered this in the Holy Qur’an: “Verily, the seizing of Allah (of the wrongdoers) is very painful and severe.” (Holy Qur’an, 11:102)
What the Scholars of the Ummah say about sins
Hafiz Ibn Qayim stated: My friend! Do not look at sin in the manner of it being minor or major, look at it in the manner of the Majesty of the being whose orders you are disobeying (Allah ).
Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmed Naqshbandi states: When you commit a sin, you take great care of the small children that may be around, yet you have no thought of Allah Most High!? When committing a sin you close all those doors from which people may be able to see you. However, you cannot close that door from which Allah is always watching you.
Ata bin Abi Riba Tabiee stated: Whenever there is a deficiency in sustenance that is provided by Allah to an individual, he complains of this to the people. When that same person’s book of deeds, filled with sins comes before Allah, Allah does not complain of this individual and his actions to the angels. But, Allah waits for the moment that he will repent for his wrongdoings.
Imam Abu Hanifa stated: When somebody praises you, then in reality they are praising Allah. For it is due to the Mercy of Allah that he has kept your sins hidden from the eyes of people. If sins had a stench, then no one would even come near you! What is praise?!
A Tabiee is recorded as saying: I have experienced, that whenever I happen to disobey any order of Allah, I get the recompense of disobedience from my wife, children, servants, and even the animals I own.
When a person happens to sin, Allah prepares 4 witnesses for him
1. The Earth is made a witness on the Day of Qiyamah to the sin perpetrated on its back: “That Day (The Earth) will declare its information (good and bad that happened over it)” (Holy Qur’an 99:4)
2. The body parts of an individual will bear witness against the individual on the day of Qiyamah: “This day (Qiyamah) we shall seal up their mouths, and their hands will speak to us, and their legs will bear witness to what they used to earn.” (Holy Qur’an, 36:65)
3. The Angels will bear witness on the Day of Qiyamah: “Verily, appointed over you are angels to watch over you, honorable and writing down your deeds, they know all that you do.” (Holy Quran, 82:10-12)
4. The Book of Deeds will bear witness to their actions on the day of Qiyamah: “And when the pages of the book of deeds (of every person) shall be laid open.” (Holy Qur’an, 81:10).
One day Sayyidina Umar bin Khattab was reading this verse from the Holy Qur’an and the reality of the verse dawned upon him, he lost consciousness and was bedridden for several days. Many of the pious predecessors, used to read the following verse and cry all night saying “O Allah, what will be our condition be on that day?!” “The Day when all the secrets will be examined (as to their truth).” (Holy Qur’an, 86:9)
The remedy for sins is only in sincere repentance
Allah says: “O you who Believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will expiate from you your sin, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise)-” (Holy Qur’an, 66:8)
Mufti Muhammed Shafi stated: the meaning of sincere repentance, is that an individual should feel guilt, remorse, and embarrassment over their past sins. Together with this, they should make a firm intention not to repeat the same sin. If however, the sins which are being repented over are amongst the ‘Rights of Allah’, it should then be performed/made up as quickly as possible through Qadha (Salat, fasting, Zakat, etc). If the past sin is from amongst the ‘Rights of the Creation’ then forgiveness must be sought from the wronged persons. If money/wealth was wrongfully taken, it should be returned to the rightful owner. (Khutabhaat)
If we perform our repentance in this manner then Allah says: “Except those who repent and believe and do righteous deeds; for those Allah will change their sins into good deeds, And Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Holy Qur’an, 25:70)
May Allah forgive all our sins through his Mercy and include us among his pious servants. Ameen!
by Mufti Muhammad Yusuf bin Yaqoob Danka